All photos: Copyright Maple Leopard
Welcome to one of the Lower Mainland’s best getaways: Coquitlam, British Columbia. This beautiful city is a bustling urban getaway 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver. I grew up in the area, and spent a few years in Coquitlam. It was an amazing adventure to revisit childhood memories.
We had a lot of fun shopping, eating our way through the city and discovering new landmarks and businesses. After reading this complete travel guide, I’m confident you will be inspired to visit soon. The city truly lives up to its motto:
“Fun is in our nature”
HOW TO EXPLORE COQUITLAM LIKE A LOCAL
Town Centre Park
I was happy to see Le Chateau in the mall. Stepping inside to browse, brought back many memories. This was my favorite store as a teenager. I probably wore my mum out by constantly asking her to buy me clothes.
The chic outfits and shoes are your ticket to effortless style. These colorful block heels and pumps are all you need to elevate your looks for the season.
Can you say sweetness overload? I discovered this bakery tucked back in the corner of the mall. What a great find! The bakery is named one of the best in the Vancouver area. I couldn’t stop licking my lips. All the buns and desserts were screaming: EAT ME! I gave into temptation, and grabbed a few to take home.
Saint Germain has locations in British Columbia and Ontario. A unique art of baking is mastered by using top techniques from around the world. Chefs from France, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia are enlisted to help staff at the Canadian Flagship bakery.
If you love sweets, make sure to stop at Saint Germain. Homemade goodness and unique tastes await you!
- Zone Bowling
- Climb Vancouver’s largest indoor rock climbing gym
- Watch a hockey game with the Coquitlam Express
- Do a family bike ride at Mundy Park
- Cool off at area spray parks and outdoor pools
- Play disc golf for free at Mundy Park( BYO disc)
- Fish for rainbow trout at Como or Lafarge Lakes
- Have my kind of fun: go swimming at City Centre Aquatic Complex ( wave pool, waterslide, whirlpool and fitness centre)
- Sample craft beer at Mariner Brewing
- Take a steep climb on the iconic Coquitlam Crunch at Eagle Mtn.
- Watch a live performance at Evergreen Cultural Centre
- See local bands and big name acts at Hard Rock Casino
- See where Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed
- Shop for unique gifts and fresh produce at the Coquitlams Farmers Market
- Take a hike at Minnekhada Regional Park
- Go mountain biking at Pinecone Burke Provincial Park
- Go bird watching at Colony Farm Regional Park or DeBoville Slough
- Go for a run through Mundy Park’s 16km trail network
- Go Golfing – multiple courses to choose from
WHERE TO STAY
Executive Plaza Hotel
This is a beautiful stay located in the heart of Metro Vancouver, near the North Road corridor. This area is known as “Korea Town” and has a wonderful choice of eateries and shops. Big bonus: the Skytrain is located nearby, at the Lougheed station. Jump on board: for a whiz through the sky to downtown Vancouver or Coquitlam Centre Mall.
Who can refuse a view like this! Our room at the Executive Plaza hotel, had stunner views of the Vancouver skyline. At dusk beautiful orange hues paraded across the sky. This hotel prides itself on stylish luxury and a comfortable stay. I really felt at home in the room, which was perfectly fitting for a ” Coquitlam” homecoming.
There are many amenities for guests to enjoy: tennis courts, outdoor heated pool/hot tub, fitness room, steam room, complimentary 15 minute massage and live entertainment in Coquitlam’s only piano lounge. If you are more into the “pub'” scene, Taphouse is conveniently located next door.
C Market Coffee Roastery & Kitchen
The coffee beans are roasted on site and food items are homemade from wholesome ingredients. The Market takes a modern approach to coffee, by serving specialty grade coffees in microlots: This happens in one single location where growers, artisans and families are connected.
C Market aims to support a healthy lifestyle by offering good coffee and delicious fresh food. It is their hope that people and moments will come together to create an all inclusive setting. I can’t say enough about the wonderful experience we had at this coffee shop.
I highly recommend trying something totally different! I usually stick to the same drink. I decided to be brave and try the Black Salt Cream Coffee. It was DA BOMB!! I could’ve drank a few more cups, it was that good.
This is the neighborhood where I lived in 3rd and 4th grade. This shop is literally two blocks from my old apartment building and school I attended. I was a little misty eyed, while drinking coffee and reminiscing about my childhood. Visiting C Market Coffee was the highlight of my “coming home'” experience.
The Golden Boot
We ordered the Amante Spanci, it was to die for. If you go, I hope you order this one, it was too good for words. The ingredients included: tomato sauce, mozzarella, fior di latte, (semi-soft Italian mozzarella) grana padano,(semi-aged hard Italian cheese) spinach, pesto, kalamata olives and ricotta cheese. Yum yum yum!
You can also order a whole pie and choose 8 different flavors of pizza slices. Next time we go, I am going to try this out. I LOVE this idea! La Ruota prides itself on their hand crafted, artisan, stone oven baked pizzas. They use the highest quality ingredients, sourced from British Columbia and Italy. You can certainly tell the quality in the taste.