As a local Vancouverite, I got to thinking what I’d most like to share with others about my hometown. What came to mind wasn’t a vigorous hike or laying on the beach. Neither was it mountain biking or kite-surfing. Though all of these sound marvelous.
The truth is, what I most like to do with my leisure time is sit at cafes enjoying a great view, perhaps with a friend or a great book. The other thing I like most in life is a great urban walk. Somewhere not too far out in nature (I’m a city girl), but where I can enjoy the natural beauty of Vancouver and experience the scent of earth and the song of birds. Queen Elizabeth fits the bill on all counts.
One hundred and fifty two meters above sea level, Queen Elizabeth park is the highest point in Vancouver and has spectacular views of the park itself, of downtown Vancouver, and of the North Shore mountains. And you can see it all from the mountain top restaurant, called Season’s in the Park.
Inside the restaurant, the lounge area has a fireplace and cozy chairs, the elegant dining room has expansive views of Vancouver, and the outdoor tables are near a fireplace and decked out with natural wood decor.
And what makes this a great destination for a meal or a drink? Above and beyond the spectacular view, is the chance to stroll through Queen Elizabeth Park, a horticultural masterpiece and a major attraction for floral display enthusiasts.
Just outside the restaurant, follow a path to a wooden bridge that overlooks a waterfall, then follow the winding path down to the bottom of the park with its colorful flower beds. Along the path are hidden nooks with benches where you can stop awhile.
Between the restaurant and bridge you will pass a dome-shaped building, which is The Bloedel Conservatory, an indoor tropical garden with over 500 plant species, as well as dozens of tropical birds flying about freely, including some talkative parrots.
If you’d like to keep exploring, just behind the Bloedel Conservatory is an open square with a fountain, a quaint chapel for weddings, and if you come early in the mornings, groups practicing Tai Chi on the boardwalks surrounding the fountain. In the afternoons in the summer, the open area around the conservatory and restaurant is filled with artists… yet another fabulous attraction as you wander about Queen Elizabeth Park.
All in all, the combination of a great lounge and restaurant with a view, a terrific garden walk, and the chance to check out a tropical conservatory definitely make this a destination worth visiting–for locals and tourists alike.
INFORMATION: Seasons in the Park Restaurant: 604-874-8008: Location: 33rd Avenue at Cambie in Queen Elizabeth Park