Buju Tattoo, San Diego

We're always on the hunt for unique spaces, and happily we discovered this amazing boutique tattoo studio! When our friend (and San Diego local) Rachel told us about Buju Tattoo, we knew it was the perfect place to get some impromptu ink. YOLO, right?

Buju Tattoo is named after owner Briana Sargent's lovely dog, and you'll see Buju both in the decor and in the studio! The staff is primarily female artists, which we love. Sometimes it can be a bit intimidating to go into a dark, loud tattoo shop full of bros, so Buju was a welcome surprise. It's a super warm and inviting environment that's accepting of everyone. 

Now, about that tattoo...earlier when we said YOLO, we really meant it! Taylor has been wanting a YOLO tattoo for what seems like forever, and this seemed like the perfect time to make it happen. Elaine had the brilliant idea of getting our friend and talented designer Elizabeth Gilmore to draw it, and next thing you knew we're at Buju! 

As lame as it sounds, we really do "YOLO it up" all the time, especially on our travels. Life is too short and precious not to! If you find yourself in San Diego and want a tattoo, we definitely recommend Buju.

Thanks for reading! Want more of San Diego? We're posting our next city guide next week, yay.

A Trip to Joshua Tree

Oh, Joshua Tree. The land of never-ending yucca trees and a whole bunch of rock formations. It's also a magical place. At least, that's what we had gathered from the social media posts we'd seen over the years, with everyone talking about their amazing life-changing experiences at Joshua Tree. We couldn't wait to visit.

But sometimes when you're travelling, things don't exactly work out like you want them to. You wake up and it's just one of those days: your car stereo decides to break so you travel for two hours with no music, you can't find the date shake place that's near a stop sign (where's the stop sign???), you swallow a bug while driving, or you just don't end up loving your destination.

But finally we arrived in Joshua Tree, super excited to see all things desert-y. We started walking around, taking photos, and waited to have some life-changing experience. Maybe we should try a hike! We're met by a group of hardcore hikers. Bandanas everywhere, all the gear you could imagine, and they're on the same route as us. We're wearing, well, this. "Haha, oops, we're on the wrong trail, silly us..." we say as we scramble back to the car in embarrassment, having no clue what we're in for here.

Still no sign of a "spiritual awakening," we're starting to seriously doubt the "powers" of Joshua Tree. One of us finally says what the other is thinking: "Okay, I'm good to go when you are." We laugh, turn the car around, and decide to head to the Integratron instead (more on that later).

Joshua Tree is great for hiking, rock-climbing, the heat, and if you're prepared for camping. But to be honest, your best "local guide" to the national park is probably the park ranger at the Visitor's Centre. If you want some tips on where to take pretty pictures, get some coffee, and even shop at a local boutique, you'll find those below! 

Across the street from the entrance to Joshua Tree and the Visitor's Centre is an adorable local complex with a coffee shop, yoga studio, and pizza place. Basically perfect, right? Joshua Tree Coffee Co is a local organic roastery that creates delicious coffee right in Joshua Tree. Everything is made (and packaged) by hand, and their back patio is like a little coffee oasis. 

Next door you'll find Pie for the People, a New York-style pizzeria with huge and delicious slices. Perfect for re-fueling after a day of hiking! 

As far as cool houses go, this one is pretty amazing. We spotted it a few minutes after the paid entrance to the park and pulled over for a little walking adventure. Along the way we found an Airstream and stopped to take some portraits with both. Luckily no one was home...(we think). 

It wouldn't be a Joshua Tree excursion without some really cool rocks, and there's a ton of them! The park rangers are really helpful and can help you find the rock formation of your dreams.

Something that often goes hand-in-hand with a visit to Joshua Tree is the Integratron. More than just a cool-looking dome, you can book "sound baths" where you sit and experience the music of crystal bowls played live. Just be sure to book ahead! 

Another pro tip: the Integratron is located about 20 miles from Joshua Tree, and we definitely do not recommend continuing on the rural roads after you've visited. We thought this would be a faster way to get to LA than taking the freeway back to Palm Springs, and we were so wrong. We ended up going up some extreme mountain road terrified for our lives and found ourselves in Big Bear during a snowstorm! Apparently California has snow.

Once you take the correct road back to Palm Springs, you'll drive through Yucca Valley which is home to the local boutique Hoof & the Horn. We love this place so much, it's a great mix of vintage and brands with beautiful jewelry, all at reasonable prices. Definitely a must! 

Thanks for reading! You can now look forward to posts from us every Tuesday and Thursday, woot woot. 

What We're Wearing:
Taylor Outfit #1: dress from Free People, hat from Urban Outfitters, boots from Poppy Barley
Elaine Outfit #1: romper from Free People, sandals are thrifted
Taylor Outfit #2: jumpsuit from TopShop, sandals from Topshop
Elaine Outfit #2: top was thrifted, dress from Forever21

Where to Stay in Palm Springs

Whether you want your own space or want to meet new friends, we have two suggestions for your next stay in Palm Springs (and they're not The Ace Hotel, even though their pool is dreamworthy). We have fallen in l-o-v-e with the locally-owned, desert-chic oasis of The AmadoAt The Amado, you get to experience the classic mid-century mod design for yourself in a beautiful and peaceful environment - with a pool, of course. 

We stayed in Unit 1, but The Amado is made up of 5 units (and 6 bedrooms), each with their own kitchen and living space so you can rent one unit for yourself or the whole place for you and your friends. After spending so much time on the road going from place-to-place, we loved being able to just sit down, open a bottle of wine, and relax on the couch in our own space.

The Amado is owned by our friend Jaime Kowal, a fellow Canadian who came to Palm Springs on Christmas vacation and never left! On our first trip to Palm Springs last year, Jaime opened her own home to let us crash with her - and she didn't even know us! Needless to say, she's a wonderful person and brings a huge smile to everyone's face and experience at The Amado. 

Okay, so are you in love with the Amada now too? If you're heading to Palm Springs, you can book your stay here through Airbnb. 

If you're heading to Palm Springs for a party weekend, or just want to be in a place where you can meet a bunch of young people in a huge pool setting, then you'll probably want to stay at The Saguaro Palm Springs. There's a ton of really amazing places to stay in Palm Springs, including The Ace, but the Saguaro tends to be both cool and cheap (if you book ahead!). If you're here during big weekends like Coachella or SplashHouse, it's a constant pool party. 

We love all the bright colours everywhere, and even if you don't come for a stay here, it's the perfect place to visit for some selfies. 

Inside the hotel is the restaurant El Jefe, which has $2 Taco Tuesdays, so you can't go wrong with that! The hotel also has cruiser bikes you can use, daily yoga, and a shuttle to downtown Palm Springs. In general, the Saguaro seems to always be full of fun, young people with an bumpin' vibe and you can book your stay here. 

Thanks for reading! This is not a sponsored post, just something we thought was useful to you :) 

Palm Springs Livin'

The California desert is one of our all-time favourite places to visit, and we're excited to share some local Palm Springs love with you! First up? A pit-stop at the windmill farms, followed by some of Coachella Valley's famed date shakes. 

The Uptown Design Destrict is full of the contemporary and mid-century design that Palm Springs is famous for, and Ernest Coffee is the independent coffee shop at the heart of it all. Stop by to sip on some Stumptown Coffee, grab a gluten-free or vegan treat, or just hang out with a beer and work for a bit. Either way, you'll spot the historic tiki torches that have been there since 1953!

Next door you'll find Bootlegger Tiki, by the same amazing locals behind Ernest Coffee - which turns into a wine bar at happy hour! Plus, they were just named one of the Top 5 Tiki Bars in America. 

Which brings us to the food and drinks! Does anything beat a craft cocktail and charcuterie spread on a patio in Palm Springs? Don't think so. Seriously those, the craft cocktails are amazing and we loved the choose-your-own-charturie options. 

We are obsessed with the mid-century mod architecture in Palm Springs. Like, really, really obsessed. You can take yourself on your own self-guided tour of the classic spots, or just drive around some of the neighbourhoods brimming with Alexander homes. Is that creepy? Maybe a bit, but it's also oh so pretty. 

Two more things you should check out while in Palm Springs: breakfast at Cheeky's (get there right at 8am to avoid the line!) and a night at Bar. Yes, it's a bar named Bar! 

Stay tuned for our next Palm Springs post, all about where you should stay! 

All Around Tofino, BC

Chesterman's Beach in Tofino, BC is beautiful any time of year. The morning we visited, the sky was misty, the water cold, and the waves were a-plenty. If you want to hit the water yourself, check out Live to Surf, the original surf shop, or Surf Sisters. Or, just stay dry and just enjoy walking in the never-ending sand.

We love the local boutique Caravan Beach Shop, where you can find everything you need to survive in the wilderness (and look good doing so). Stop by to check out their books, backpacks, and wool shirts from brands like Pendleton and Topo, plus local handmade goods like Good Prospects. 

For such a small town, Tofino has such a good restaurant scene, and the seafood is so fresh! If you're "downtown," treat yo self with drinks at appies at Shelter or a mean margarita at Sobo. For dinner, look no further than the fried oysters and shared platters at Wolf in the Fog (below), which was just named Canada's Best New Restaurant and we definitely agree. 

Whether it's storm watching or whale watching, Tofino is known for it's crazy west coast waves. While not the most "local" thing to do, we figured this was the place to try the tourist thing and get in some bright red suits! It was pretty fun to sit in the front of a zodiac boat and zoom around the water with Jamie's Whale Watching - we even spotted some feral cows on a beach. And yes, a whale too! (We didn't catch her on camera though). 

We were surprised to find out that a local activity in Tofino is foraging for mushrooms in the Kennedy Flats. Jesse from Wildside Grill took us out and taught us how to spot chanterelles, so now we're a little more equipped in the forest. There's also a two-hour hike nearby that will take you to the site of a crashed bomber plane from World War I!

Like we said, the seafood everywhere in Tofino is great, but the fish tacos / fish and chips at Wildside Grill are just amazing. If you stop by, make sure to say hi to Jesse, he's pretty awesome. Jesse's restaurant in the "Live to Surf" plaza, which is also home to great coffee from Tofitian Cafe and yummy gelato from Chocolate Tofino

Our experience in Tofino was so amazing and magical that we can't wait to visit again (and eat way more food). For now though, it was time to say goodbye, pack up Taco the VW, and head home.

Until we found some pretty landscape on the side of the road! Thanks again to Shayd & Jesse for sharing their photos with us.

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This might be our best tip yet...on our way home, we discovered a beautiful nature hike thanks to a Tofino local. 

Giant Cedar Trail is a nature walk through a 500 year old forest that leads to this beautiful riverbed. We're so thankful that we live on such a beautiful planet and that we have all of you to share our adventures with! Be sure to snap your own selfies and portraits at this spot, the light is incredible. 

Thanks for reading! This post is sponsored by Tourism Tofino. 

An Escape to Tofino, BC

We're all about the surf of the California coast, but did you know that Canada has it's own surfer's paradise? Tofino, British Columbia is like the shiny jewel of the Pacific Northwest, where you can find everything from forests and sandy beaches to turquoise waters and a local foodie scene. Despite growing up in Vancouver, we (somehow) had never been to Tofino before, despite always hearing about how amazing it is. So, we loaded up "Taco the VW bus" and ventured out with our friends Shayd and Jesse for a weekend of hiking, eating, and...flying?

The first thing we did when we got to Tofino was acquaint ourselves with the gorgeous landscape. The best way to do this? Jumping in a seaplane, eeks! The guys at Atleo Air gave us a quick tour of the never-ending peninsula from above, which was a pretty cool experience (even if we were a little nervous).

For those who aren't familiar with Canadian geography (aka most of you), Tofino is on the far west coast of Vancouver Island, which makes it perfect for that awesome surf. After taking the ferry to Nanaimo, it's a few hours drive along windy roads but oh-so-worth-it. 

We definitely recommend hopping in the seaplane with a few friends (and splitting the cost) for a unique view of the Pacific Northwest. Okay, to be honest, we might have been a littttttle sea sick (air sick?) after the plane, so pro tip: don't fly after driving windy roads! 

Taylor trying not to throw up 

Taylor trying not to throw up 

Tofino is the type of place where all the locals know each other's names, including their...cars? Clearly, our little "Taco" had to meet Tofino's very own "Chestervan," who's all decked out for the ultimate surfing adventure. 

Love at first sight

Love at first sight

There's a ton of beaches in Tofino, and one of our favourites is Mackenzie Beach because it allows campfires! Ocean Village Resort is located along the beach, and we quickly fell in love with our little wood cabins and cozy ocean views. 

We took some local libations from the good folks at Tofino Brewing and headed to the beach for a relaxing night of learning how to make a fire (thanks boys), singing campfire songs, lighting sparklers, and making s'mores. All the s'mores. 

Turns out that everyone at home was right: Tofino really is a magical place. Stay tuned for more of our Tofino picks in the next post, and shout-out to Shayd & Jesse for sharing their photos with us. You can view Jesse's adventure blog here.

Thanks for reading! This post was sponsored by Tourism Tofino. ✌️ 

Hip(ster) Mexico

When you think of "Mexico," usually images of sandy beaches and endless ocean come to mind. Not modern architecture in the middle of wine country, right? When we weren't gorging ourselves on lobsters with Bryan and Adam, we found ourselves driving around Valle de Guadalupe, which is Mexico's wine country! 

Only about a 2 hour drive from San Diego, wineries in Valle de Guadalupe have teamed up with creative chefs and architects to create their Ruta del Vino (wine route!). We didn't know this at the time though, and instead just found ourselves amazed at the hip(ster) Mexican oasis that is Encuentro Guadalupe Antiresort. It is stunning! 

Encuentro is an "eco-hotel" that has modern yurt-like rooms nestled along a hill, overlooking the rolling greenery of the valley. Not pictured? The infinity pool behind it all. We didn't stay here, but trust us when we say we definitely want to go back for longer next time! Especially since it's so close to the border, more Californians should really hit up Mexico more often. 

Photo by Bryan Dale

Photo by Bryan Dale

It wouldn't be wine country without some wine - and food. The tasting room is a bright, open room with gorgeous views and a calming atmosphere - which is perfect for happy hour at sunset. If you want more info on the wines in the region, we'll leave it to the professionals: WineMag has a great resource on the area.

Photo by Bryan Dale 

Photo by Bryan Dale 

Basically, we just really loved it here. Encuentro's wine is hyper-local and for sale only at the winery. Plus, in the summer they have a mini-Farmer's Market with samples of hand-made cheeses, olive oil, jams, and other treats. 

Photo by Bryan Dale

Photo by Bryan Dale

Photo by Bryan Dale

Photo by Bryan Dale

Okay, and one more of those yurts because...seriously. 

After visiting Encuentro, we got a little lost in the valley and were amazed at how green everything was! When we saw some coconuts at Cocos Locos, we obviously had to make a quick pit/photo stop. 

Fresh coconuts cut with a machete? Yes, please.

Thanks to our favourite LA boys Bryan and Adam for coming along with us - you'll see more of them in some of our other California posts, but you can also follow them on Instagram here and here

Thanks for reading! We were paid $0 for this blog post. If you loved it, consider sharing it with your friends (or visiting the local businesses!) <3 

Baja California Girls

On our very first (and very long) road trip, we made it all the way from Vancouver, BC to the Mexico border. Literally, we went to the border beach and saw the fence and may have been yelled at by the border guards over a loud speakerphone for getting too close. Oops! But that was over a year ago, and this time when we visited San Diego we had our hearts set on actually visiting Mexico and Baja California.

A lot of people had told us not to go to Tijuana (does anyone else remember that episode from The OC??) but we were intrigued. We made the trip down with Adam + Bryan, and the first stop we made was at a Radioshack to get a new memory card. No, really, we didn't stop until then. Turns out that when you cross the Mexico border, you actually don't have to stop at the border, or wait in line, or talk to anyone and show your passport. You just drive right on through! 

We ended up bypassing Tijuana (until we went home and Elaine had to drive through Tijuana at night, without cell reception, in the dark...) and headed for the coast instead. It's an amazing view the entire way, and the perfect highway to cruise along. Make sure you have cash for the tolls though!

We got the local scoop on where to go and what to do, and our first stop was Puerto Nuevo, a small town known for lobster, lobster, lobster. There's a ton of places that advertise lobster, and after walking around a bit, we randomly settled on "La Casa del Pescador".  Thankfully it was the right decision, as the place was filled with both locals, lobster, and cold margaritas.

Three of us ordered the "medium" lobster (the smallest size), which resulted in 9 half lobsters at our table. NINE! It was the most delightful accident and we were all in a bit of seafood heaven.

There's just something about Mexico that makes everything magical. 

We continued driving down the coast for a while towards Ensenada, and turned inland for a bit - but that's another adventure to be shared soon. We wanted to hit the coast again for sunset, and started heading north as we watched the colours fade into the sky.

Adam was driving, and he spotted an moji-like sign that seemed to say "pull over here." It led to an abandoned viewpoint which was something out of a Grecian novel, and we all savoured the beautiful light and company before heading back to the USA.

Oh, and on that note...we may have been detained at the border on our way back. Thankfully we had stocked up on churros while we were in line! The border is basically like a marketplace for Mexican blankets, souvenirs, snacks, and a bunch of other things you never knew you wanted.

P.S. Never bring an orange into California ;)

CRSSD Fest in San Diego

Hellllloooo, San Diego! We are in California for the next month-ish, and are so excited to be back road-tripping in the sunshine state! What better way to kick it all off than a sun-kissed music festival filled with local eats, craft beer, and a waterpark full of tropical vibes? 

This was the first year for CRSSD Fest,  and it was an awesome way to kick off festival season! In general, it was a really chill festival that was just full of people wanting to hang out under the sun with their friends while taking in a bunch of awesome music. There wasn’t any dust and ravers - instead there was oysters and cocktails. Seriously.

Music-wise, the line-up was pretty amazing and featured both live and dj sets from Chromeo, Pete Tong, Flight Facilities, Odesza, James Murphy, and so many more. We started the day at the Goldroom show, which was a live set with the band and a surprise reunion with Mereki! If you haven’t heard, of Goldroom before, do yourself a favour and take a listen here. Taylor is obsessed.

Now, let's talk about the food. Oh my goodness.

 As our friend Rachel said, the food was from "all the cool places" in San Diego. There was sushi handrolls and whiskey mules from Bang Bang, oysters from Ironside, meatball sliders from Sode & Swine, cold-pressed juice from Juice Saves, and pizza from Spicy Pie. The beer was craft and local, and there was a huge cocktail bar run by Polite Provisions.

Our favourite though were the mezcal margaritas from El Camino’s - we had a few of these, oops.

There was three stages at the festival, and we took in Thomas Jack's tropical set with a fellow Canadian and some Seattle-ites on a magic carpet.

The venue was so gorgeous - Waterfront Park is, you guessed it, right on the waterfront. It also has a water park, which made it perfect for splashing around and cooling off in the hot hot heat. 

Classixx was playing an amazing live set as the sun was setting and the vibe was shifting into a livelier night-time mood. We made new friends, found some glowsticks, and got our groove on. 

All in all, we had such a fun time meeting new people, stuffing ourselves with local eats, and dancing under the sun. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram at @localwanderer for more San Diego love. <3 


Rockin' the Rockies

Sometimes you just have to get in a car with your best friends and drive. Drive into the snow? Well, we weren't expecting that but somehow a road trip to Kelowna, BC turned into a quick road trip through some of the Canadian Rockies.

We packed a little vehicle with some jackets, boots (or so we thought, turns out Elaine forgot hers), and friends: fellow adventure blogger Jesse Morrow & Lindsay from Treasures & Travels. We had never been to Banff before, so we were excited to learn about it! Banff is a beautiful National Park in Alberta, Canada well known for its abundant ski hills and mountains for days.

It is so much better in person, but we are excited to show you some of our favourite spots so that you can enjoy them too!

The Virmilion Lakes are a few minutes outside of the Banff village area, and are a calm, cool oasis. We woke up at the crack of dawn in order to catch the sunsrise, but ended up catching a snowstorm instead! Note to self: WEAR BOOTS, they will actually keep your feet warm. Elaine's toes were at risk of frostbite for a while there without them...

We stayed at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge, which was a cozy, cabin-like experience! We took full advantage of the fireplace & balcony throughout our stay to warm up those cold fingers and toes.

A little sidenote, but people are always asking us what our travel essentials are, and our mini-Jambox is definitely one of them! Well, two of them, since we each have one. We've used them as a radio system in VW vans where the radio doesnt work, to pump us up on the long gondola rides at Whistler, and basically just anywhere we want to chill out, sip some coffee, and listen to tunes. 

As we were hanging out after a long day, the weather took a turn for the stormiest and we decided to drive to the city of Calgary, which is less than 2 hours away. But in those 2 hours we found ourselves literally driving through a snowstorm until we suddenly came upon clear Albertan fields. This was the perfect time to try out our new Brixton hat and poncho (which doubles as a blanket to keep you extra warm in those snowy car rides). 

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And of course, we had to pay Lake Louise a visit while in the Banff neighbourhood. It looks a lot different when it's covered with 4 feet of snow, but it was still a stunning and miraculous view that showcased some of Alberta's finest mountain ranges. We can't wait to come back in the spring time when the snow has melted and that turquoise lake is showing!

Thanks for the fun times, Alberta!

Oh, the places you'll selfie...

To celebrate the launch of our new blog + Vancouver city guide, we had ourselves a little party! We wanted to bring together the Vancouver small business, creative, and Instagram community for some coffee, music, and photos and it was a super fun day. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support, and to all of our amazing local vendors for making #heynowvancouver a success. 

We are now officially 1 year old, so we wanted to celebrate our birthday too! The girls at Anewall Decor made us this incredible custom Instagram wallpaper mural that brought tears to our eyes. It was definitely a hit, and also really wonderful to be able to see the past year of our adventures all together in one place. When else does that happen? We can’t wait to put it up in our “studio” (also known as our apartment), and if you like what you see, you can get your own here. 

When we were planning our party, we really only wanted one thing: selfies. Our friend Katie from Serpent Botanical offered to make us a “selfie frame” and boy, did she everr! This frame is so gorgeous and made for the perfect backdrop, along with some of her other floral styling. Speaking of, the flowers and table arrangements were provided by the girls at Our Little Flower Company, who sent us some really gorgeous stems too!

Shane from Cheddar Booth set us up a super sleek photo booth that lets you take your own pics at the click of a button and view them right after. You can see all the photos from the event here.  The ladies at Hey Jude Shop styled us for the day to make sure we were party and selfie-ready with their awesome restored vintage wear. 

http://www.cheddarbooth.com

A funny aside, we had actually rented a cotton candy machine, but while we were setting it up it kind of started smoking and we’re pretty sure it caught fire…sometimes you just gotta smile and say “oh well!” 

Propaganda Coffee was the perfect venue for our party, the light was incredibly beautiful, the space was large, and best of all: it was a smallbusiness that had just opened and served coffee from all local roasters! We can’t wait to come back to the space and work out of here on sunny days. 

It’s not a party without a little music, and our friend Jenny Banai, set the perfect ambiance with their indie folk-y ukulele vibes. You can hear more of her tunes here! Following Jenny, our good friend Jordan Klassen delighted the party with some of his delightful folk tunes. Check out his music here!

A huge thank you to all the local businesses that donated goods for our door prizes! To pick up your prize, send us a DM on Twitter or Instagram (@localwanderer). Here are the winners! 

  • Cheese board from Union Wood Co: @longrunlisa 
  • (2) Growler, fill, and Greff carrier from 33 Acres: @sarahfelicitys & @serpentbotanical 
  • Postmark Brewing x MyPakage hat, boxers, and Later mag: @aggi.ags
  • (2) T-shirts from Postmark Brewing: size M @jpcabral, size S @smckennasc
  • $25 to Meat and Bread: @markpaulstevens
  • (2) $50 to Charlie & Lee: @kdandy & @dainalightfoot
  • (4) $10 to Luke's General Store: @mgillette5, @nerdgf, @jaredbraund, & @sandrogynous
  • (2) T-shirts from Matchstick Coffee: size L @rickchung, size S @joordanrenee
  • (2) Greeting card bundles from Board of Trade Co/Lost Boys Life: @alysmk & @dvdkyl

And another huge thank you to Josh Yong & Jordan Dyck for contributing photos to this blog post! <3 

 

Other thank-yous, to the people who did the most thankless jobs and saved our butts:

  • Our bestie and roomie Lindsay Sjoberg for helping with all things music-related, especially when it was the night before and we didn’t know we needed speakers and a PA system…

  • Jordan Klassen for lending us said speakers and PA system

  • Chloe Hughes, our amazing intern, for all of her help the day of 

  • Tim Drinovz for attempting to set up the cotton candy machine

  • Devin Lilly (Notch Coffee) for suggesting the venue and caffeinating us 

  • Sandra Chung for picking up prizes on a minute's notice

  • Will and the staff of Propaganda Coffee for being so happy and helpful

    -

Localism, not tourism

Oh hey there! We're Taylor and Elaine, and we're so excited to introduce you to the brand new Local Wanderer. It's full of bright and delightful places handpicked by us, for you. 

We want to make it easier for you to discover beautiful and local places when you're travelling. Our travel blog (what you're reading!) and city guides (click above!) connect you with spots that are part of a community, so you can make new friends and try new things. 

We spent the last year living on-the-road, and quickly realized that we were spending way too much time researching places and making disorganized lists. W
e just wanted a directory of awesome and pretty places to visit, that was curated by someone we trusted (like a human, not a robot). We couldn't find anything that fit, so we decided to make it ourselves!

LW Launch Day

Our first city guide is none other than our hometown Vancouver, and we hope it inspires you to fall in l-o-v-e with some new places (whether you're a local or a visitor). We visit every single place ourselves and we only recommend things we enjoy doing, so we want you to trust us. Localism, not tourism - it's kind of our thing. 

If you're in Vancouver, we want to celebrate with you! Come on out to our launch party this Saturday, March 7th from 1-4pm at Propaganda Coffee. More details here.

How It Works:

Our guide is organized by neighbourhood to make it easy for you to find that much-needed cup of coffee while you're out and about. Just go to localwanderer.com on your phone, choose your 'hood from the menu, and browse until you find something you like. Each page tells you what the place is perfect for, what it's known for, a ton of beautiful photos, and the right Instagram handle. Oh, and there's the basic info like address and website too ;) 

So what are you waiting for? Click the menu and start exploring!

Whistler Wonderland

Growing up in Vancouver, Whistler has been our local vacation spot for years. Only a two hour drive away, we’ve both spent summers and winter weekends here with our families, so we were stoked when Sorel asked us to explore the mountain and make a guide of all the local gems. This proved a little bit more difficult than usual, because Whistler’s locals are few and far between. You’ll notice right away that “the village” is inhabited by Aussies and Kiwis who fly halfway around the world to spend their winters on the mountain - which isn’t a bad thing, because they’re possibly the nicest people around.

This is a collection of our favourite adventure spots around the mountain, the village, and everything else in-between.

In the summertime, you can swim to the dock at Lost Lake, play along the beach, and people watch at the sunbathing locale. In the wintertime though? It’s frozen solid and oh so beautiful. Lost Lake is also full of nordic trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. This was our first time snowshoeing, and we may have had to Youtube how to put on snowshoes…

We had the most magical, Canadian experience when we wandered up to the lake. Not only was it frozen, but there was a crew of locals creating a hockey rink. You can’t make this stuff up! Turns out there is a pretty active pond hockey league here, so bring your skates and hit the lake if you want to get a game in. The local players are awesome.

What better place to dangle 160ft off a bridge than here, right? Uh….maybe not. Whether you’re a daredevil like Elaine or pass out at the sight of heights like Taylor, the trip to Whistler Bungee is pretty epic. Make sure your car can handle tough terrain though!

To warm up when it’s freezing cold outside, you definitely want to hit up Purebread for some hot coffee and warm treats. They have a large selection of gluten-free and vegan noms, plus they serve Stumptown. Tip: the location in the village only does espresso based drinks, and the location in Function Junction only does pour-over.

The best part about a day on the mountain might be the aprés. We <3 Whistler Brewing, the local brewery located about 10 minutes out of the village in Function Junction. Taylor adores the Winter Dunkel (it tastes like a chocolate orange!) while Elaine recommends their gluten-free beer. Their bartenders are mighty friendly too. Want a tour? Head over there at 2:30pm or 4!

The Peak 2 Peak is crazy. Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are separated by a large valley connected by the highest and longest unsupported lift in the world. You may think this is a typical touristy thing to do, but it’s presence has completely changed the ski season for locals. Previously, it took an hour of skiing and uploading to get from Whistler to Blackcomb; now it’s only an 11 minute journey through the sky. If it’s your first time though, you definitely want to wait the extra minutes to get a gondola with a glass floor! If you can stomach it. 

After all your exploring, you’ll need somewhere warm and cozy to come back to. While there’s no shortage of hotels in Whistler, there’s also an expansive condo economy that works similar to AirBnb. There’s no shortage of condos, hot tubs, and ski in/ski out resorts here, and VRBO is probably your best bet.

Eat: amazing burgers at Splitz Grill, Aussie pies at Peaked Pies, appies at Elements Tapas, pizza at Creekbread outside the village, and waffels at Crystal Hut up on Blackcomb mountain. On a budget? Hit the $5 menu at El Furniture Warehouse. Want to treat yo self? Umberto’s or Araxi are classics.

Drink: The green moustache is your go-to for fresh juice and smoothies, along with gluten-free treats and all the raw, vegan eats you could want. Mount Currie Coffee brews Intelligentsia and Elysian, a local roastery, with a rotating espresso selection.

Shop: the adorable boutique 3 Singing Birds is the other half of the juice shop and The Beach is nearby in the Village, while Circle is the local independent skate and surf shop.