To lift winter-weary spirits, head to Vancouver, British Columbia's South Granville Rise, so called for the gentle grade that climbs through the trendy district. Here you can check out dozens of art galleries, shop for clothing and housewares, and sample international food. To top it all off, a steam at an exotic Turkish-style spa should leave you relaxed enough to wait serenely for spring.
WHAT: Casual modern Indian restaurant that's high-style but friendly. Try the savory chaat ― crisp wafers with mung beans, potatoes, yogurt, and chutneys. WHEN: Lunch and dinner daily. HOW MUCH: $ U.S. WHERE: 1488 W. 11th Ave.; 604/736-5711.
West Restaurant and Bar.
WHAT: Executive chef David Hawksworth's inspired creations, such as silky red wine-braised sablefish with clams and bacon, justify a splurge. WHEN: Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily. HOW MUCH: $$$$ U.S. WHERE: 2881 Granville St.; 604/738-8938.
Miraj Hammam Spa.
WHAT: Hammam (steam) and gommage (exfoliation with Moroccan soap) are followed by a massage or facial. Afterward, enjoy mint tea and sweet cakes in a luxurious, silk-cushioned lounge. WHEN: Open Tue-Sun; call for women-only and men-only days. HOW MUCH: Treatments from $84 U.S. WHERE: 1495 W. Sixth Ave.; 604/733-5151.
WHAT: Modern art in an airy, sunny space. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 3045 Granville St.; 604/733-7011.
Douglas Reynolds Gallery.
WHAT: Top-notch coastal Northwest native art in a pristine setting. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 2335 Granville St.; 604/731-9292.
WHAT: Warm up with a tea sample at the tranquil teahouse off Granville St. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1568 W. Broadway; 604/730-8390.
WHAT: Ultracool women's clothes, along with tableware at the adjacent Bacci's at Home. WHEN: Open Mon-Sat. WHERE: 2788 Granville St.; 604/733-4933.
Peridot Decorative Homewear.
WHAT: Sparkly, bright treats for your home, from vintage chandeliers to pajamas. As one salesperson says, "It always feels like spring in here." WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1512 W. 14th Ave.; 604/736-4499.
INFO: South Granville runs along Granville St. between W. Sixth Ave. and W. 16th Ave. Most galleries are at the north end, with more shopping to the south.