Hyper-Specific City Guide: What to Do With Your Former Ski-Racer Mom (Who Also Loves Jimmy Buffet)

Our city guide tackles another hyper-specific situation: how to entertain your mom who is a former ski racer and a lifelong Parrothead.

This is part of our Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide, featured in the May 2024 issue of Vancouver magazine. We’ve created 25 unique personas and 25 unique itineraries to match. If this to-do list for ‘ski-racer moms’ isn’t helpful, perhaps one of the other 24 bespoke schedules will be. 

10:00 a.m.: Take It to the Top (Then the Bottom)

We don’t mean this as a taunt, just a fact: your mom is an adrenaline junkie. Good thing there’s the bone-rattling, warp-speed descent by bike from Prospect Point to put a smile on her face. Rent your wheels from any of the bike rental shops clustered on Denman Street and brace yourself for a workout: it’s a brutal climb to the top through Stanley Park, but a beautiful one. Take a moment to enjoy an ice cream cone or the view of the North Shore before hurtling down the thrill-ride of a hill, eating Mom’s dust the whole way. prospectpoint.com

12:00 p.m.: Island Time

Keep the cardio going and take your bikes over to Granville Island, where you’ll share some halloumi and grilled cactus ($21) on the tropical-cool patio at Alimentaria Mexicana—along with maybe a mezcal margarita ($16) or two? It’s five o’clock somewhere, as her hero Jimmy Buffet once said. Then, it’s time to rent a couple of paddleboards ($40 for two hours) from Vancouver Water Adventures and take to the open sea. She’ll be lapping you, of course, but even less-than-elite athletes can enjoy the ocean breeze and chasing the Aquabus. 1596 Johnston St., alimentariamexicana.com; 1812 Boatlift Ln., vancouverwateradventures.com

dish of food on a mexican-print tablecloth

4:00 p.m.: Heat It Up

True athletes know that recovery is a key part of maintaining great performance (or so we’ve heard). After a day of working those muscles, the infrared sauna ($56 for a private experience) at Hälsa awaits. Proponents of infrared say it increases circulation to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the body, but here’s one thing we know for sure: the cedar room smells incredible. 2028 W 4th Ave., halsa.ca

woman sits on the edge of a clam-shell-like float pod in a pink room

6:00 p.m.: Let the Mystery Bowl Gong Ring

She’s got her second trip to Maui of the year already booked, but a visit to the Shameful Tiki Room will help tide her over till then. The perfectly retro-kitschy Polynesian-themed cocktail bar is a great place to access vacation vibes—though all this bamboo and thatching has to be a fire hazard, especially with the flaming Mystery Bowls that are constantly coming out of the kitchen. With a frothy, coconut-y Painkiller ($14) in hand and a live surf-rock band scoring the scene, it’s a little piece of paradise on Main Street. 4362 Main St., shamefultikiroom.com

a large bowl full of ice and liquor


More from the Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide here.