Hostelling International has a really unique hostel on the west side of Vancouver toward the University of British Columbia campus. Here are some travel tips for you if you are going to that hostel (which is actually seasonal).
(1) Romantic spot
If you are looking for a romantic spot to propose or just for a mood then there is certainly a spot like that in Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver, the park that the hostel is located in. The area is very safe so it can be visited at night without any worries.
At the beach in Jericho Beach Park there is a pier that jets out into the bay. At night time to the north there will be the gentle orange glow of the mountain-side houses while to the east there will be the well-lit skyline of Vancouver.
That, combined with the gentle lapping of waves against the pier, will help create a nice, natural, peaceful, and romantic spot for you and your significant other.
This spot is only a few minutes walk from the HI – Jericho Beach.
(2) Thumbs down on the tours
A lot of the tours of the Vancouver area that are run out of the Jericho Beach hostel actually go through the downtown hostel. What that means is that if you are looking for a hostel with a lot of tours, then you would be smart to stay at the HI – Vancouver Downtown and not the HI – Jericho Beach.
For example, on the downstairs notice board at the HI – Jericho Beach hostel they indicate that they have a tour leaving on Fridays for the Capilano Suspension Bridge. However, to join the tour you would actually have to make it to the HI – Vancouver Downtown by 8:45am, a hostel that might take about 45 minutes to get to by bus.
(3) Bird watching tips
In Jericho Beach Park there is a forested area, a lengthy beach, and there is also a swampy wetland area. Those factors make the park a really great place to enjoy bird watching.
I spent a half an hour looking around the wetlands and noticed several different species of birds. Most were banal crows or small singing birds but there were also tons of ducks, a soaring eagle (or hawk), and Canadian Geese. I speculated that there might be owls in the region but I’m not one to go looking in forests at night so if there is, I can’t vouche for seeing one.
(4) Bad location for services
The Jericho Beach Hostel is in a bad location for services. Of course the trade-off for that is that you do get to relax in a non-commercial and peaceful recreational area. While the hostel does have a cafeteria you can expect to pay $6 to $8 just for breakfast there so you would be best to have some groceries as they have a full and large kitchen.
The walk to the nearest grocery store that I could find was about 25 minutes, partly uphill then partly downhill. Simply head south from the hostel to 4th Avenue West, then head east on that street for about 20 to 25 minutes. The address of the IGA Market Place store will be 3515 4th Avenue West (if you cross Collingwood you will have gone too far).
At that grocery store you will find a deli and everything else in this smaller, but full service location. Make sure to load up on enough food to last you your stay at the Jericho Beach Hostel.