Our list of things to do the day after Thanksgiving that don't involve shopping.
We know Black Friday is all about shopping, but that doesn't mean you want to join the fray searching for deals in the stores. If you have time off and happen to be traveling in Vancouver, skip the retail rush and spend the day getting to know the city. Here are nine things to do instead.
1. A Classic City Breakfast
Have breakfast at White Spot, a Canadian chain in BC and Alberta, Canada, whose origins date back to 1928, when founder Nat Bailey was hustling its original recipes in his Model T food truck at Vancouver's Lookout Point. Today, the brick-and-mortar restaurant serves modern comfort food, such as buttermilk waffles and pancakes on the breakfast menu, and fancier diner fare like arugula and goat cheese flatbread for lunch and dinner.
2. Stanley Park Stroll
Take a walk around Stanley Park, which encompasses a 988-acre rain forest and part of the Vancouver Seawall. The views are spectacular on a clear day, from the water to the cliffs, to the evergreens and the mountains.
3. Vancouver Art Gallery
Take in the works at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the premier exhibit space in the city. You can view the conceptual design of the much-anticipated upcoming renovation, created by the architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.
4. Lunch at the Flying Pig
Sit down for a leisurely lunch at The Flying Pig, which has three locations in Vancouver. This nouveau Canadian bistro is a favorite with locals and serves updated classics, such as braised beef short rib jumbo macaroni, on the lunch menu.
5. Dive Deep into the Diversity
Learn about other cultures, such as the First Nations, at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus. You can catch the "c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city" exhibition on the Musqueam First Nation's history and culture, running through January 2016.
6. Browse the Public Market
Explore the Granville Island Public Market, a bustling place with tourists and residents alike browsing through the local produce, seafood, and artisanal meats and cheeses, among other foodstuffs and crafts. You can buy smoked candied salmon as a snack or souvenir.
7. Pause for a Craft Beer
Sample the local flavor at a craft brewery, such as 33 Acres Brewing Company, a hipster magnet in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Their citrusy 33 Acres of Ocean is a good choice.
8. Seafood Dinner
Vancouver is rich in elegant seafood, and you should indulge. One of the best sushi restaurants around is Miku, a waterfront dining room specializing in Aburi sushi that's flame-seared.
9. Art House Cinema
Sit back for essential cinema at The Cinematheque, an art house cinema showing classics, both famous and overlooked. On Black Friday, you can catch "Baby(a)lone," a coming-of-age drama from Luxembourg/Belgium, or "The Keeper of Lost Causes," a Nordic noir film.
Aileen Torres-Bennett covers the Vancouver beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her blog at: abttorres.wordpress.com.