|Vancouver is a great city to enjoy at any time of year due to its mild climate (see below) and is particularly popular for its outdoor pursuits. Within 30 minutes drive of downtown Vancouver for example, you could visit a rainforest, or you could go skiing (depending on the season!). There’s loads to do in Vancouver, so here are some of the highlights…
Stanley Park is probably Vancouver’s most famous attraction. This public park is over 1,000 acres in size and features a number of attractions in addition to the park itself. You can walk, cycle or skate around the perimeter of Stanley Park and enjoy the amazing views of the city and the mountains, or you can go to the interior of the park and use the various trails there.
Vancouver Aquarium is situated within Stanley Park, and is the largest and oldest aquarium in Canada. There’s lots to see and do here including Beluga Whale shows. Nearby are the famous Stanley Park totem poles, and other attractions include an 18 hole pitch and put course, beaches, a swimming pool and a miniature railway.
An excellent way to see Vancouver and the surrounding stunning scenery is by visiting Vancouver Lookout. This is an observation deck at the top of the Harbour Centre Tower and is the tallest building in the province.
Perhaps the best way to see Vancouver from the ground is on a tour. Many different city tours are available with various companies, though a popular one is with the Vancouver Trolley Company who offer a hop on, hop off tour of the city. Boat tours are also a wonderful way to see Vancouver and the surrounds. Harbour Cruises offer one hour tours of the Burrard Inlet, for example.
Vancouver’s downtown area is where most of the tourist attractions are. The historical district of Gastown shows visitors what Vancouver was like back in its early days. This area has been rejuvenated over recent years and you can now walk around the quaint cobbled streets with shops and restaurants lining them, and visit the famous Gastown Steam Clock.
Another rejuvenated historical part of Vancouver is Granville Island. This is now an entertainment centre as well as having the popular Public Market and the Granville island Brewery.
The Chinatown here in Vancouver is the second largest in North America (behind San Francisco). There are some great shops and restaurants here as well as attractions like the Dr Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden which is well worth a visit.