Vancouver, British Columbia
Twenty-one years ago, my best friend moved to Canada. She moved for college, but she started a life there, got married, had two kids, and has made Vancouver a second home for me.
I've visited Vancouver once or twice a year every year for the past 21 years. I have done almost everything a tourist can do, and a lot of things the locals do. If you want to come and try the tourist things in town, there are a ton of websites and lists that can point you in the right direction. I'm going to stick to the topics in which I'm a true expert. At this point in our lives, the things we do most frequently are eat ice cream and hike. So, it's really fair to say I'm a Vancouver ice cream connoisseur.
If you're visiting Vancouver the top three ice cream places to hit are:
1. Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream . Important fact about me and my ice cream endeavors, I'm lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive. Rain or Shine has amazing coconut milk based ice creams, that make me feel like I'm eating real ice cream and not withholding from myself. My favorite thing to get there is the Vegan Yumaste sundae with 2 Scoops Coconut Choc Chunk ice cream, Vegan Chocolate Sauce, Seasonal Berry Compote, Candied Hazelnuts, and a Cherry on Top. It is absolutely delish.
2. Innocent Ice Cream. This is definitely one of our new favorites. Amazing gluten-free ice cream sandwiches with come in regular sizes and minis which are just right for kids. You can even get a flight of 3 minis, but I found that was too much for me. Their dairy free ice cream isn't as good as Rain or Shine's but between the gluten free cones and cookies, it makes up for that slight gap.
3. Earnest Ice Cream. I like the variety of flavors at Earnest, and this one might be the kid's favorite. Between the vegan flavors, the seasonal flavors and the traditional ones, there is something for everyone.
Short list of my favorite Vancouver hikes (if you want to burn off the ice cream)
Lynn Canyon and Suspension Bridge
Capilano Pacific Trail