Travel watch: Houston to Vancouver, and back again

Photo: iStock

International travel doesn't necessarily mean long, expensive flights, foreign languages and days of jetlag -- Canada is so close. If you're looking to explore America's northern neighbor, consider Vancouver. The bustling west coast seaport, located in British Columbia, is one of Canada's densest, most ethnically diverse cities. The city is surrounded by mountains and boasts thriving art, theatre and music scenes, not to mention a delicious food scene closely tied to the region's bountiful seafood offerings.

Whether you're trying to escape ASAP or you're looking to plan ahead based on the cheapest fares, take a look at these forthcoming flights between Houston and Vancouver, which we pulled from travel site Skyscanner.

We've also included popular hotels, restaurants and attractions in Vancouver, to get you excited about your next excursion.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Flight deals to Vancouver

The cheapest flights between Houston and Vancouver are if you leave on January 25 and return from Canada on January 29. WestJet currently has tickets for $293, roundtrip.

If you fly out of Houston on January 25 and return from Vancouver on January 27, United can get you there and back for $601 roundtrip.

Top Vancouver hotels

To plan your stay, here are some of Vancouver's top-rated hotels, that we selected from Skyscanner's listings based on price and customer satisfaction.

The Rosewood Hotel Georgia (801 W. Georgia St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, consider The Rosewood Hotel Georgia. The hotel has a five-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $292.

The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver (791 W. Georgia St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

There's also the 4.8-star rated The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Rooms are currently set at $247/night.

The Four Seasons is a luxury hotel in the center of downtown Vancouver, bordering the business district and a short walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Pacific Centre Mall, the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Canada Line and Skytrain. Amenities include YEW Restaurant + Bar, a fitness facility, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and more. There are four wheelchair accessible rooms, but no roll-in showers.

Local restaurant picks

If you're looking for a popular spot to grab a bite, Vancouver has plenty of excellent eateries to choose from. Here are a few from Skyscanner's listings to help you get started.

Cafe Medina (780 Richards St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a local favorite, head to Cafe Medina, which has an average of five stars out of 16 reviews on Skyscanner.

"First off, do yourself a favor and throw your name on the wait list early. We went in on a Saturday morning and the wait was over an hour," wrote visitor Julian. "The mood and setting of Medina is casual with a slight french touch. Our food was amazing!"

Vij's Restaurant (3106 Cambie St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is Vij's Restaurant, with 4.7 stars from 32 reviews.

"Some of the best Indian food I've ever had, " wrote reviewer Travis. "This is not your traditional Indian restaurant -- it's modern and stylish, with dim lighting and cool music."

Featured Vancouver attractions

To round out your trip, Vancouver offers plenty of popular attractions worth visiting. Here are some top recommendations, based on Skyscanner's descriptions and reviews.

Stanley Park
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Stanley Park.

With over 8 million visitors each year, Stanley Park is one of Vancouver's top destinations for locals and tourists alike. The beautiful park is home to art events, acclaimed restaurants and world famous landmarks, like Prospect Point and the Nine O'Clock Gun. Lining Stanley Park is the Seawall, a stretch of pavement next to Vancouver's waterfront that is popular for jogging, walking and skating. If you're a fan of horticulture, an entire day can be spent enjoying the park's individual gardens -- the Rose and Perennial Beds with over 3500 plants, the Shakespeare Garden, which includes trees mentioned in the poet's works, and the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden, among others.

"Just a lovely and massive park, " wrote visitor Stephen. "You can bike, swim or just walk around and explore the bounties that nature has to offer, all under a backdrop of the city."

Granville Island Public Market (1669 Johnston St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Granville Island Public Market is another popular destination.

If Granville Island is the king of Vancouver destinations, then the Public Market is the jewel in the Island's crown. A fascinating assortment of colorful stalls, showcasing unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights.

"The Granville Public Market is a massive place, and you can find everything from a bar to slip into to fresh seafood to a butcher shop to old albums to whatever artistic venture beckons you, " wrote visitor Stephen. "It's a world within its walls."
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