Grouse Mountain in North Van is such a nice little escape from Downtown and a really good spot to bring people who maybe aren't so into the hiking thing because they can take a gondola up the mountain to take in the views. Or, if you're not into these views and prefer to be immersed in the scenery you can have your try at the Grouse Grind. The trail is only 3 km, but it's completely up hill - I have yet to hike the Grouse Grind.
I've heard from multiple people who've tried the hike that it is seriously no joke, but the views are totally worth it. While visiting I noticed a lot of people either hiking their way up, stopping for a smoothie, and then taking the gondola down the mountain; or vice versa.
I've also heard that people hike the grind as their AM workout. When driving up to the entrance the road winds through enviable neighbourhoods nestled at the base of the mountain, the thought of living there and waking up every morning with an open mountain as your backyard sounds like such a dream!
While at the mountain we also made our way to the Eye of the Wind, a giant wind turbine with a viewing platform that gives you amazing views of Vancouver, the Island, and Mount Baker in the distance. We finished the day off with a mountain top meal before heading back down. Perfect place for a family outing or even an alternative date night.