While Hollywood is still the world’s epicenter for entertainment, many fans might not realize that most of their favorite television shows and movies aren’t actually filmed in the City of Angels. Sure, there are still plenty of studios, as well as production companies, and yes, celebrities, lurking around Los Angeles, but more and more productions are taking place north of the border.
Cities like Vancouver are fast becoming meccas for celebrity spotting, thanks to the number of actors, singers and musicians who call the city home, as well as the number of productions that take advantage of the low costs and great weather the city offers. In fact, you probably have as good a chance of seeing a star here as you do in California.
When you visit this seaside metropolis, you can increase the chances of scoring an autograph and photo—or just a glimpse—of your favorite star if you head to some of the following restaurants, hotels and hotspots:
While there are plenty of great restaurants in town, several are known to be celebrity hotspots. And since even famous people have to eat, eateries are a great place to do some stargazing. Check out the Blue Water Café, where Anna Paquin and Catherine Zeta Jones have been known to eat. Blue Water is also a mecca for Twilight fans, as the cast and crew of the trilogy spent a lot of time here during the filming, and even held the wrap party at the restaurant. Another hotspot is the restaurant Cin Cin, where you can rub elbows with the likes of Janet Jackson, David Duchovny or local athletes. The Gotham Steakhouse, a local institution, has attracted plenty of celebrities including native son Michael Buble, who regularly eats at this upscale spot—along with Uma Thurman and Halle Berry.
The Elixir Bar at the Opus Hotel is another celebrity hotspot. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake and dozens of other stars have gotten their drink on—and spent the night at—this swanky downtown establishment.
Even the most A-list celebrities need to take a breather once in a while, and there are several spots around town where you can catch them kicking back and relaxing.
Perhaps the best spot to catch celebrities in their off-hours? Stanley Park. Many celebrities, like Michael Buble and Sarah McLachlan, another native, list the park as one of their favorite places to unwind. The park is also a common spot to catch filming.
And since many celebs passing through the city stay at the posh Sutton Place Hotel, it’s another great place to see someone famous. Take a peek in the lobby, or grab a drink in the Gerard, the English-pub style lounge, where you’ll see actors unwinding after a long day of shooting as well as producers, directors and other behind-the-scenes types hashing out deals.
If you want to get some relaxation—and perhaps rub shoulders with a celebrity like Christina Aguilera, Gwyneth Paltrow or Sharon Stone— book an appointment at the Absolute Spa at the Century Hotel. Celebs flock to this luxurious spa for pampering, and even if you don’t spot one, you’ll leave feeling like a rock star.
Celebrity Spotting Hints
If you’re serious about getting some star wattage into your vacation, do some research beforehand to determine where your best chances of celebrity spotting will be. Ask your hotel concierge, waiter or bartender where the celeb hotspots are. They might be able to point you in the right direction.
You can also check out where filming is happening in town during your visit. Do a search beforehand, and scope out those locations. Chances are you’ll encounter some closed sets, but you never know when you’ll be able to watch some scenes of your favorite show or an upcoming movie being filmed. Not only will you get a glimpse of the stars, but when the finished product comes out, you can say “I was there.”
With so many celebrities on the streets of this Canadian city, it’s usually not difficult to spot someone you admire. Stay calm and polite if you do meet someone, and your celebrity encounter could be one of the highlights of your trip.
Writer Delia Rose is a celebrity-news junkie and Vancouver native. She has been known to lurk around Stanley Park hoping to see the stars of Twilight.