Texas of the North … with the rockies next door.


Overall, Calgary is a lovely ‘midwestern’ city on the doorstep of the Canadian Rockies. Main motivation to visit were the National Parks ;).

5/18/19 – Flying over the Canadian rockies en route to Calgary


($66 / day)


May 18 2019 – June 1 2019
14 Days


We stayed at an Airbnb:


I was really bad about taking photos of food, but honestly the food scene in Calgary, although good, is on a significantly lower level than other cities visited thus far. Hence, quite a few of my meals were cooked at the bnb.

DateNameTypeGoogle Maps
5/19Van SonVietnamese
5/20Jerusalem ShawaramaMediterranean
5/21Calan Beef Noodle
Mango Mania
5/22Cluck N’ CleaverFried Chicken
5/23Cooked at bnb
5/24Ramen ArashiRamen
5/25Junk food (Banff)
5/26Junk food (Banff)
5/27Rau Bistro
Szechuan Restaurant
5/28Cooked at bnb
5/29Cooked at bnb
5/30AnjuKorean Fusion
5/31Velvet CafeSandwich / Coffee


Downtown / City

Although more populated (metro) than Vancouver, the city is much more spread out and doesn’t feel crowded at all (surbubia). The downtown while wandering around was mostly empty.

5/22/19 – Downtown Calgary

The surrounding parts of the city have ample space and parks to wander around with little to no folks.

5/29 – View from Rose Hill Park

Banff – Day 1

If you don’t like the outdoors, then Calgary probably isn’t for you. This was the main reason for us to come to Calgary and the National Parks did not disappoint. Very glad we came right at the beginning of the summer season as it was just starting to get crowded however once you get away from Banff town, crowds died down quite a bit.

  • Driving in
  • Johnston Canyon Hike

Banff / Jasper – Day 2

  • Drive to Jasper and back with many many stops

Banff – Day 3

  • Sulfer Mountain Hike

Slightly challenging but this was probably the highlight of the trip for me. This hike was amazing the entire way with views that only get better the more I climbed. Summit, although crowded because of the Banff gondola with cafe as well, is well worth a visit for 360 views. (Free if you hike :))


Public transportation is not all that great. We mostly used Car2G0 with car rentals for trips to Banff/Jasper. Also Uber/Lyft is available but a little pricey.


As I mentioned before, the national parks are what made the trip worth it. Otherwise, city and some UNESCO heritage sites could be knocked out in a few days. We didn’t get a chance to go to the Dinosaur Park, however read good things about that.


Without question it may be said of Vancouver that her position, geographically, is Imperial to a degree, that her possibilities are enormous, and that with but a feeble stretch of the imagination those possibilities might wisely be deemed certainties.

A. N. Homer


Dwelling $729
($76 / day)


April 27 2019 – May 18 2019
21 Days


We stayed at an Airbnb:

What’s interesting here about housing is that rent is significantly cheaper (from some quick craigslist searches and the locals we spoke to) than owning. Also its very evident that foreign investors and money has taken over the real estate in this city :).


As usual we ate out quite a bit. Vancouver is a haven for asian cuisine, particularly Chinese Dim Sum. Its also safe to say you really can’t go wrong with seafood, especially oysters which were surprising cheap if you go during happy hours. Although Vancouver to locals is considered a more expensive city, to us it seemed cheap for two reasons: (1) After living in SF, everything seems cheaper and (2) USD when writing this post was quite strong 1:1.34 (USD:CAD).

DateNameTypeGoogle Maps
4/28Spring Garden Chinese
Triplo Os
Dim Sum
4/29Cooked at bnb
4/30Cooked at bnb
Charisma Dessert House
5/2Celina Fish and ChipsSeafood
5/3Biejiang RestaurantChinese
5/4Sun Sui Wah Seafood
Bangkok City Cafe
Dim Sum
5/5Kirin Dim SumDim Sum
5/6Cooked at bnb
5/7Go Fish
Brassneck Brewery
Fish n Chips
5/8Cooked at bnb
5/9Harbor Oyster + Bar
East Van Brewery
5/10Sushi AjiSushi
5/11Mr. Sushi
Brassneck Brewery
5/13Paramount Fine Foodsmediterranean
5/14Cooked at bnb
5/16Teppan KitchenChinese Fast Fod
5/18Spring ChineseDim Sum


Drive around burbs to north Vancouver

4/28/19 – Driving around Vancouver

The first thing we did since we had a rental for a few days was pretty much drive around most of the city and suburbs. We were quite lucky with the weather … of the three weeks we were there, only had two cloudy / rainy days. Rest were absolutely beautiful.

Bloedel Conservatory

Bloedel is touristy but worth visiting since its free (except the birds conservatory) and also had an amazing view of thew city. Although some spots are touristy, in general all of them really weren’t crowded or required much wait at all … love that about this city.

University of British Columbia

5/4/19 – Garden at UBC

Its becoming a trend as well to visit some local campuses (mostly cuz Avi wants to :)). Wish my campus was this nice…

Cypress Mountain Hike

5/5/19 – On the way to St. Marks Summit

Had to get at least one hike in, and this was definitely worth it. Views were the best so far in the stay and also quiet a good work out since the snow wasn’t all melted.

Stanley Park

5/18/19 – Beach at Stanley Park

This park is very well known and an amazing place to spend a few hours walking, biking, hiking, or chilling. Probably the most crowded place we visited in Vancouver, the views are completely worth it.


Majority of time we used public transportation (Buses and SkyTrain) and it was extremely easy. Two weekends we rented a car for convenience and for hikes / area we wanted to get to. Still extremely affordable. No Uber or Lyft here so you’re stuck with whats available, however the city has quite good coverage so it wasn’t that big of an issue. Oh also, sometimes with mixed and matched Car2Go as well.


Vancouver thus far has been one our favorite cities. It really has something for everyone and the best part is it doesn’t feel congested or overcrowded. Asian food was the main highlight along with the outdoor activities. Also couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Would have loved to do more challenging hikes but ran out of time to get to those. Also, heard great things about Vancouver island, however the high cost of taking a car and ferry there, we decided to pass.