One of the most scenic cities in the world, Vancouver is surrounded by glittering waterways, and majestic snow-capped mountains, yet still offers all the big-city cultural attractions and experiences you could wish for, providing a winning combination of urban cool and outdoor adventure.
The spectacular setting of Vancouver is hard to beat. Everywhere you look you are surrounded by beautiful mountains and sparkling ocean and yet, this Pacific city can still deliver both a big-city vibe, world-class cultural attractions and a great gourmet experience. Known for their friendliness, Canadians are rightly proud of their city and take great pride in showing it off, making any trip to Vancouver a real delight.
Highlights include Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest district, with Victorian-style architecture, street lights and even a working steam clock. In contrast to this, visit the hipster area of Yaletown, a revived warehouse district, where Library Square showcases post-modern architecture at its best, with a clever reworking of a Roman Colosseum. This is also Vancouver’s hottest gourmet area. The city has embraced the farm-to-table philosophy and the creativity shown in creating amazing dishes from the freshest ingredients, makes for a great dining experience. Vancouver is also home to Stanley Park, the largest green urban space in the world. Surrounded by water, this is a fabulous place to hire a bike, sunbathe or swim on one of the beaches, visit the aquarium and check out the nine totem poles of First Nation Kia’palano at Brockton Point.
We’d also recommend a visit to Grouse Mountain, a short 15-minute drive north of the city. Take the Skyride up the mountain for fabulous city views and take a hike. Slightly closer, just a 10-minute drive away Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, is one of Vancouver’s main attractions. The park has seven different suspension bridges over the towering evergreen treetops, a spectacular cliff-walk along the Capilano River and a centre for discovering more about the lives of the First Nation Kia’palano.
A harbour cruise or flightseeing tour is another great way to experience the city, or take boat trip out into the Pacific to see the abundant marine life, including the dolphins and whales that swim in these waters. For wild landscapes, First Nations history and bear viewing, a trip to Vancouver Island just a 90-minute ferry ride away, will allow you to enjoy the natural coastal beauty, little fishing villages, wild seascapes and plentiful wildlife found there. Alternatively, step aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for the trip of a lifetime deep into the spectacular Rockies landscape.
A fantastic city to explore, a great base for discovering more of British Columbia and a gateway to the Rocky Mountains, we think Vancouver makes a wonderful holiday destination for families, couples and those looking for urban charm with the added bonus of outdoor adventure activities and abundant wildlife.