When you think Canada, don’t forget to think West Coast! Not every place up there is frozen tundra and unchartered territories. If you like your Bachelor Party classy and cool, head to the warmest city in the Land of Apologies. Vancouver offers, arguably, the most Canadian experience one can have, without the below-zero winters the rest of the country gets. The pride of British Columbia has all hockey, beer, seafood, and rye whiskey to keep you and your bachelor crew partying at maximum levels for a three-day weekend.
Let’s not forget that exchange rate either! Your Yankee dollar (depending on the market) often stretches to about a buck thirty Canadian. Everything will be considerably cheaper—especially the lap dances (such a deal!) From the Granville Strip to English Bay, Vancouver’s got great eats, amazing beers, and a melting pot of culture to explore. Now, let’s see if you can cram it all into 72 hours. -By Kiana Zemenchik
10 a.m. Check in at the Delta Hotel
Grab an Aerocar (larger & much fancier than a taxi, as Vancouver doesn’t yet have Uber) from YVR to the Delta Hotel on West Hastings, a perfect pin drop beautifully centred between everywhere you’ll need to go. The spacious rooms mean you can probably save a few bucks by doubling or tripling up. More importantly, the rooms offer views of the city or a view of the ocean and the mountains behind the skyline. Get settled and freshened up, you’ve got a big day ahead of you.
12 p.m. Lunch at Yew
After settling in, take the quick walk to Yew Restaurant, which has a menu that rotates to feature only the freshest, in-season seafood straight from the Pacific. One of the many perks of Vancouver is the seemingly unlimited supply of fresh seafood. This classy restaurant will make you feel like you’re starring in an Al Pacino film. Scratch that. It’ll make you feel like you are Al Pacino. More Godfather, less Scarface. Hooah!
2 p.m. Booze Cruise Around English Bay
Grab some beers and a boat and make like the Canadians do: head out for a rip. Fairweather Cruises has vessels for every group size. Just make sure you think to book ahead so you don’t end up a crew of disappointed landlubbers. Taking a little tour of English Bay or checking out the Indian Arm is every Vancouverites’ hobby, and you can make like a local, but with front row seats and drinks in hand.
6 p.m. Steak Dinner at Black+Blue
Jump into some serious 1950s vibes without the indoor smoking by heading to Black+Blue for a mean steak with the option of hopping onto the rooftop patio. The restaurant has a semi-private tobacco room, which includes special group menus for up to 16 people, as well as two completely private rooms. Grab your sharpest serrated knife and get your taste buds salivating for some of the best cuts in the city.
9 p.m. Live Music at the Commodore Ballroom
The Commodore Ballroom has live music every Friday and Saturday night without fail. As one of the oldest venues in the city, not only is it a local favourite, it’s also one of the most visually pleasing and can be on the cheaper side for tickets. It has lounge seating available for reservation, which usually get snatched up quickly if there’s no ticket on them, but there are seats available along the railing on the second floor, or on either side of the stage. Or you could just jump into the flailing crowd on the floor if you dare. Choose your own adventure.
12 a.m. Pizza at the Parlour
Finish the first night at Parlour – yup, that’s with a u, welcome to the colonies! – the pizza joint located in the upper-class neighbourhood. Despite its location, it attracts people from all over as it’s known for hiring sick DJs who play tunes that bump, creating a great get-drunk atmosphere without the sweatiness of a club (we’re saving that for a bit later). The place is known for adopting the East Side style and combining it with the class that the West End offers. Taste some local craft beers and sink into the comfortable Canadian lifestyle and ride that twist of elegance that Parlour offers until your eyes sting.
12 p.m. Brunch at The Capital
The Warehouse Group is known throughout Vancouver for their affordably delicious menu, where every plate is just $5.95 (Canadian bucks!), and the drink specials vary day to day. Luckily, there’s locations all over downtown, but the one called The Capital on Davie Street is who does it the best. The baja shrimp tacos taste like they’ve jumped from the Pacific onto your tortilla. Get the barista to slide you a Caesar (A Canadian staple, it’s like a Bloody Mary but made with clam broth), and then you’ll find yourself more than ready for the day of drinking ahead.
3 p.m. Craft Beer Tour
This is Vancouver so a Brewery Tour is totally in order, complete with a map created to explore “Yeastvan,” the East side of the city, a place rich in various cultures and bumping in the hipster scene. The trip includes a coffee and ice cream break, with bicycles for rent to easily travel from Point A to B to C. Cycling is its own culture in Vancouver, one which almost every tourist jumps on board with, so you’ll look like a true Vancouverite travelling in style to some of the best breweries the city has to offer. Seven miles in total, complete with a map, just for the memory of how exciting scavenger hunts were not-so-long ago. Just make sure you’ve packed the right gear for this particular adventure.
7 p.m. Catch a Hockey, Soccer, or Football Game
Another beautiful thing about Vancouver is that sports are always in season, be it the Canadian Football League, the National Hockey League, or the Major League Soccer, we’ve got you covered year round for game time. Not to mention that Saturdays are nationally known as Hockey Night in Canada, and during the right time of the year, you could be making the biggest decision of the trip. The stadiums are also within five minutes of walking distance from each other, so even if you’re torn at the last minute, you won’t likely be late for either. Grab a bite to eat in one of the stadiums, or wait until later when you’re on the move.
10 p.m. Ping-Pong at Back & Forth Bar
As one of the most unique and underrated bars in the city, Back & Forth Bar offers 6 ping-pong tables, board games, and Nintendo Classic, with seemingly unlimited beer and wine on tap. The place is just a quick cab away, bringing you and the gang back to historic Gastown, the oldest part of the city. The ping-pong tables are rented out by the hour, and their team is quick on the email responses. Check the website before heading there just to make sure they aren’t closed for a tourney. If they are, the Bourbon–our favorite dive bar–is nearby, and offers billiards, board games, and old school arcade games. Make sure you stock up on Canadian quarters before heading to either place!
11 p.m. Explore the Granville Strip
Hit up the Granville Strip! Although the hotel is nearby this street, it’s one that deserves your undivided attention for at least one of your nights in town. The Parisian and 1920s-ish vibes work nicely together to bring luminescence to the street, and the cops usually block it off for traffic, so you can sway your drunk body back and forth across the street. The Strip takes about 15 minutes to walk the whole thing without stopping, but for you guys, it won’t, firstly because you’re going to be making a couple of stops on the way, and secondly because you’re not headed to the very end of the street.
One Under is a swanky lounge with a scotch menu so beautiful it’ll bring tears to your eyes. Next up is The Bottleneck, a laid-back bar with mouth-watering appies and the kind of architecture that Vancouverites are getting into now: that minimalistic-but-I’m-still-with-money look. Two Parrots, with it no-nonsense, tropical looking decor features daily karaoke and regular singers. The cheap beer and waitresses that won’t take your crap, give this bar some serious nostalgic baggage. The Morrissey (not to be confused with the Smiths singer) has style. It looks like everything in there is antique, even the bartenders. Don’t let its atmosphere deceive you: it’s more up with the times than you would believe. End the bar dash with some live music and craft beers at this place before backtracking to…
The Roxy Cabaret, a place which really needs no introduction. The nights usually alternate between live bands and DJs, so it’s hit or miss what you’re going to get. Sometimes they have theme nights to be sure to check out the website if you’re feeling up to dressing with purpose. Be prepared to get lost in the music and the cheap beers. Try to get here around 1 a.m. at the latest so you can enjoy at least a bit of the party before she gets shut down.
12 p.m. BBQ at Memphis Blues
Enjoy the flavours of Tennessee while still staying in close vicinity to the Pacific. Memphis Blues BBQ House has perfected the art of fall-off-the-bone BBQ. They’re the best that you can find in Vancouver, and the only option for your last laid-back breakfast in the city (we suspect that the last one will be grabbing a sandwich from the Mickey D’s in the airport). Now is probably as good a time as any to give the significant other a quick phone call. Trust us, it’s totally worth it.
2 p.m. Pitch & Putt in Stanley Park
Try your swing out at the Pitch & Putt in Stanley Park, Vancouver’s own small-scale Central Park. The pitch and putt usually opens March 16th until about November 15th, depending on the weather. Drinking is allowed on the course (that is, if you’re not still fighting too much with your hangover), and it attracts both locals and tourists in the middle of a serene park in the city.
5 p.m. Explore Avocado Bay
Take a cab (or walk) to Avocado Bay and check out the drinks and atmosphere before making your way up Davie Street, known for its rainbow crosswalks and abundance of gay bars. After you load up on some booze at the Avocado, stop for some drinks at The Score and then pop your head into The Fritz, because you can’t visit Canada without having poutine at least once. Don’t fill up too much though, next we’re headed to the oyster bar.
7 p.m. Whiskey and Oysters at Blackbird
Take the quick walk to Blackbird, a whiskey bar good for dinner, and spend a couple hours lounging around the pool tables and sipping cocktails. Enjoy the short skirts of the waitresses before heading to the next destination where the staff will be wearing considerably less.
11 p.m. Strip Clubbing at Brandis Lounge
Head right next door to the least-sleazy strip-joint in the city: Brandis Lounge. This show lounge is everything you would expect for a night club, with both Canadian and foreign girls strutting their stuff. In fact, even folk like Ben Affleck (aka sad Batman) have been seen here so you know you’re in a good spot (depending on how you view Affleck). Opinions aside, the groom will make the call on this one. After all, it’s the wrap to his engager rager.
If you’re flying home, Vancouver national airport is about a 25-minute drive from the hotel (but always ask a local what traffic is like at that time of day). Make sure to put any remaining Loonies or Toonies jangling around your pockets to good use at the duty free shop. And if you need any further help in making this plan become a reality, we’ve got you covered.