Vancouver is probably one of the most culturally diverse cities in British Columbia. It is also the third-largest of all Canadian metropolises. Being a seaport also makes it one of the most beautiful.
There is a lot to unpack if you plan to visit given the city's density. Luckily our own Ravi Roth and travel YouTuber Josh Rimer aren't afraid to unbox all that gay Vancouver has to offer.
In this episode of the Gaycation Travel Show, we visit the Gay White North.
Rimer dispels a myth about Vancouver's climate during the cold months.
"Since it's in Canada I'm going to guess that some people think it snows a lot here in the winter, but we only typically get snow for less than a week in total each year. It's one of the warmest and greenest places to be in Canada during the winter if you don't mind a lot of rain!"
You can watch the full episode featuring Ravi and Josh below:
[Editor's Note: Make sure to check for COVID safety updates before traveling at the CDC HERE.]
Gaycation Travel Show Transcript
Hey friends, my name is Ravi Roth and I'm your host of the Gayacation travel show. And today we're heading to the kindest country in the world, Canada, we're actually going to the southwest part of Canada, Vancouver to be exact, and we're linking up with Josh Rimer, former host of Out TV, and Mr.Gay Canada himself to take us all around what's known as Hollywood of the North. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I love a park within a city. And apparently, the park in downtown Vancouver is 10% larger in size than Central Park in Manhattan.Sign me up. I can't wait to learn from Josh all about the queer culture in Vancouver. I'll be linking up with Josh midshow for an extra sensible Q and gay for now Josh Rhymer take it away. This is essentially the gayborhood I am on Davie street at Butte. This is also known as Davey village in the West End, that is the neighborhood. This is where in the past definitely It was almost all the LGBTQ people would live and play. Now it's quite spread out around the city, but it's still known as the gayborhood. This is where you're going to find a lot of LGBTQ businesses and people. So Vancouver is a very gay-friendly city. And it has been that way for quite a long time. Our previous mayor was a big supporter of the community, he went to a lot of LGBTQ events and fundraisers and functions, and especially this area that I'm in right now with DavieStreet. This is where all the gay bars used to be. And still many are and a lot of the businesses back in the day, you could be gay and holding hands with your partner here and not be worried. And today you can really do that pretty much anywhere in Vancouver and feel safe. Basically, you'll want to find a place to stay that's downtown. Everything you'll want to do for the most part is downtown. There are some exceptions, of course, especially if you want to go out hiking and that sort of thing. But this is such a great downtown area. There are a lot of hotels around here. You can of course find some Airbnb s or Mr. B and B's. But I would say location is key finding somewhere downtown or near downtown. And then you can take off to explore from there. And there is one hotel just behind me here on Davie Street. It's a Sandman. So that's if you want to be right in the thick of things in the heart of the gay village, that would be a great place to stay. In East Vancouver, there is a street called commercial drive, which is kind of known as being the lesbian area. It's also great for kind of a hipster kind of hippie vibe if you want to take part in that. Otherwise, really,you could go anywhere in Vancouver like I said, it's really kind of spread out. It's not so concentrated like it used to be back in the day. But certainly the West End and commercial drive in East Vancouver are the two main LGBTQareas.Right now I'm standing in the gym diva Plaza right in the heart of the Davie village, our neighborhood. This is a space where people to come hang out and feel comfortable. It's named after Jim diva who was a local activist and the owner of the Little Sisters bookstore and LGBTQ Emporium. He was an important figure in our community and unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago. So this space was changed from just a regular Street to this communal area to hang out,t here's some positive messaging. It's just a nice space to be right near the rainbow crosswalks.Along Davie street in the West End and commercial drive in East Vancouver you'll find lots of local coffee shops often owned and operated by LGBTQ people or at least certainly friendly to the community. This city is known for having a ton of restaurants any kind of food you could want to have you will find in Vancouver. If you come here in the summer months, you can expect beautiful warm weather you can sit out on a patio to have a drink or have your food in the winter months and surrounding months. It rains a lot. It's one of the warmest places to be in Canada in the winter, but you definitely have to put up with a lot of rain so not so much patio time, but still pretty vibrant area. lots of places to eat, drink and be merry. Probably one of the biggest issues Use in Vancouver is the cost of living here and especially housing. So you might not want to be living here permanently. But of course the cost kind of gets passed on to you. If you're going to do Airbnb or Mr. BnB or even try to find a hotel, it's not the cheapest place to be, that's for sure. And even restaurants can be pretty expensive. Everything here is not exactly cheap. So you need to bring some money to come visit. And for locals that makes it difficult to live right here in Vancouver proper, so a lot of people have to move to the outskirts or even further away. But as a visitor, I'm sure you'll find a place to stay.Just bring some money with you.And here we are at the interstitial Q and day I am withJosh Rhymer welcome, Josh. Hi. Good to be Hey, if you can just start off by introducing yourself your pronouns and how you identify. Sure, I'm Josh Reimer he/him/his and identify as a gay man.The words that come to mind when I say Vancouver go water trees, gay. What gives you the most life and energy living in Vancouver?I love that it's so gay-friendly. And I can walk around anywhere especially in the downtown core holding hands with my fiance and nobody bats an eye and just great weather, especially for Canada.If our viewers have only one day in Vancouver, what is a must-do?You must go to Stanley Park. It's the big forested area that's downtown.On what museums or attractions would you recommend that someone must hit up? They should go to the Vancouver art gallery or badge.It's right downtown and they've always got something great to see. And the Museum of Vancouver. It's just across the bridge from downtown. They've always got great exhibits as well. How do people get around Vancouver? It's very easy to walk around if you're staying and playing downtown. And otherwise we have great transit and the buses and a sky train system it's called which is basically subway but often aboveground in the sky. And there's also lots of car share program so you could rent a car by the minute. Or you can use our bike share program to rent a bike by the day.Say I'm going to Vancouver. What do I need to pack? Well, it depends on the time of year it does rain a lot here outside of the summer. So if you're coming outside of the summer, you want to bring some waterproof shoes and an umbrella. If you're coming in the summer, it's beautiful and hot. So you want to wear some sunscreen and some sunglasses.What is Vancouver's best-kept secret? The van dusen Gardensand Queen Elizabeth Park. These are two beautiful areas that are like in the southern end of the city. So they're outside downtown and maybe people don't think to go to them when they're here. But they're both beautiful, lots of flowers and just love that. And are there any like cafes that you'd recommend going to? Are you more of like a Starbucks or Dunkin staple town? Or is it more of the local mom and pop but there are some queer ones for sure. On Davie Street.There's Mel Rich's cafe. It's a great queer-owned independent cafe. And on Denman street is de lanius. That's awesome as well.That's awesome. So Josh, thank you so much for coming to this little que en gay and I'm gonna give it back to you. Vancouver is rated one of the most walkable cities in NorthAmerica, so is a great place to walk around and it is very LGBT-friendly, especially in the downtown core, you really don have to worry, feel free to hold hands with someone of the same sex, no one's gonna even bat an eye, kind of the further you go out from downtown, maybe the less you want to be overtly having PDA, but it is generally a very gay-friendly area. So there really isn't much to worry about in terms of that. There also a ton of hiking around. But if you do have some accessibility issues, wheelchair accessibility is pretty prevalent everywhere you go, even on public transit, so you shouldn't have too many issues with that.So on Davey street is where you're going to find most of the gay bars and clubs. There's 1181, which is a cute little lounge for some fancy cocktails. There is the junction for dancing and across from it is pumpjack where also there is usually more dancing as well or it's just a great place to get a beer. For the down debut Street. You can go to fountainhead pub to have a drink and some food across them. It is celebrities, which is kind of turned quite straight. It's kind of the trendy place for straight people to go and that's a gay club. And there is numbers which is one of our oldest gay bars, it's the classic kind of gay bar with the campy music. So there still are lots of options. There shouldn't be fewer than back in the day.But it's still a pretty vibrant area to check out at night as well.Vancouver is right on the west coast of Canada. So we are right by the water. And we have some of the warmest temperatures in the winter in Canada, at least for a major city. So you're going to get a lot of sunshine and beautiful warm weather throughout the summer. And then in the winter, there's going to be a lot of rain, it's quite similar to the weather in Seattle. There's a lot of beautiful nature here. If you want to go whale watching, you can do that if you want to go hiking, you can do that. A couple hours away is Whistlerfor amazing skiing in the winter, or all kinds of great outdoor activities in the summer. So we really are in a beautiful location and one of the best downtown areas in NorthAmerica because there are beaches, there's a forest called Stanley Park. There's all kinds of great shopping and restaurants, you can walk this seawall down there and go kind of all the way around downtown. It's fantastic.I hope you will come visit Vancouver if you haven't yet.And if you have already been here, you know what I'm talking about. Everybody loves this place when I travel and I say I'm from Vancouver, people always say either that they've been there and love it and want to go back or that it's on their bucket list. We're often rated one of the best cities in the world. And there are just so many reasons which needs to come experience it for yourself. So especially try to get here sometime between May and September for ideal weather. But otherwise, if you don't find some rain come any time of year and you'll find lots of things to see and do as an LGBTQ person, or just anybody who loves the outdoors and great people.Wow, I'm obsessed with a walkable city, hence why I live in Manhattan. But seeing how accessible Vancouver is for allis super, super rad. They have beaches, they have nature they have dancing on Davie Street. Thank you so much Josh for showing us all around your beautiful city of Vancouver. Now be sure to follow Josh Rhymer as he uncovers queer culture all around the globe with his channel as well. Next week, I'm putting on my cowboy boots and my cowboy hat, and I'm heading to the Midwest. I'm going to Tulsa Oklahoma. Be sure to follow vacation travel show each week as we dive in tank top first, obviously, and show you some known and off-the-beaten-path destinations that should be on your travel bucket list. Stay safe, stay proud and always remember to live out loud