VANCOUVER

Vancouver is a laid-back city on the pacific coast. It is popular for its year-long mild temperature and rainy periods. Vancouver has a diverse population of cultures and is known for accepting all types of lifestyles. This cosmopolitan city is often named as one of the best cities in Canada to visit. It even has a place on the millennial (World) Edition of Monopoly and was the site of the highly acclaimed 2010 Winter Olympics.

Vancouver is one of Canada’s largest cities, and features everything that a traveller looks for in a destination: shopping, dining and nightlife; cultural attractions; multiple beaches and friendly people. Because there is so much to do here, there isn’t just one ideal attraction. There are venues with excellent facilities for weddings, and honeymooners can luxuriate in any of the upscale hotels. People into adventure or more active vacations can hike the trails and mountains nearby or ski at Whistler Park during the winter months.

Top Attractions in Vancouver

Vancouver Sea Wall

The sea wall is a trail that covers Vancouver’s waterfront. The original trail was inside Stanley Park, but as part of maintenance and upgrading, it expanded to cover a much greater area. The Seawall is the city’s most popular recreational area both with tourists and locals, for its scenic views and peaceful setting. Because it is popular, the trail can become quite crowded, especially on warm, sunny days. However, the magnificent view of the city and the waterfront make braving the crowded paths worthwhile. There are two distinct trails, the nearest to the water is for walkers and joggers; the one a bit further away from the waterfront is for cyclists.

VanDusen Botanical Garden

This is one of the best kept secrets in Vancouver. The gardens are always in bloom, but the flowers change with the season. This is a great place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic or just to sit and read. You can meander on your own or take a guided tour and learn about the flora and fauna of the park. A conservatory, which is home to around 100 birds (all free to come and go) including exotic and tropical ones such as the McCaw and Cockatoo and temporary exhibits are additional attractions found within the botanical gardens. Come when you have time to spare. You’ll want to take your time.

The Pacific National Exhibition

The Pacific National Exhibition is a huge fair filled with rides, exhibits, performances and games. At over 100 years old, it is one of Vancouver’s oldest attraction. There are activities for all ages, making it a top activity for families (and adults) to experience. The PNE is the west coast equivalent of Toronto’s CNE. It runs in late summer and early fall. The highlight of this annual event is the summer market.

Vancouver Aquarium

A coastal city like Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without an aquarium. This large facility is both educational and entertaining. Come and see dozens of varieties of fish plus sea mammals like whales in this modern aquarium. Children never fail to be fascinated by the marine life they see here. Adults too can learn from a visit to the aquarium. As part of the conservation efforts, this aquarium help to heal and rehabilitate sea life in need. The original aquarium was small, but recently reopened following the largest renovation in its history.

Cross the River on Capilano Suspension Bridge

Definitely one of North Vancouver district's top attractions, Capilano Suspension Bridge in British Columbia offers a cross over the Capilano River. This bridge is suspended 70 meters (230ft) above the river and is 140 meters (460ft) in length, both facts guarantee stunning views and breathtaking walk across.

Whale Watching

The Pacific Ocean is excellent for catching several species of Whales. They come to the area to feed on plankton and other small species of fish before migrating to their seasonal home. Numerous operators offer whale watching excursions and can take you to the best places to see these majestic mammals.

Vancouver Art Gallery

The gallery is located conveniently near Robson Street, one the largest shopping areas. The gallery has four floors of contemporary art to challenge and stimulate your thinking. It also features a much-praised café where you can enjoy a light meal or snack as part of your visit. This is a must-stop destination for art lovers

China Town

One of the largest immigrant populations that make up Vancouver is the Chinese. The Chinatown, filled with traditional Asian stores and amenities is a way of experiencing China from the familiarity of North America. Vancouver Chinatown is quite large and bustling. It’s a great place filled with stimulation for all of your senses. Buy traditional wares, taste real Asian foods and indulge your imagination in this exotic bit of Asia.

Shopping

Shopping in Vancouver is excellent with numerous facilities an areas to bag a great deal or splurge on a special item or outfit. Robson Street is where to go for designer names and world-famous brands. It’s easy to find in the downtown core. The Metropolis at Metrotown is the largest shopping centre, and a great place for major consumer names. Often overlooked but worth checking out for independent boutiques, is South Granville not far from downtown Vancouver. Take a day and explore the excellent stores and shops of Vancouver.

Best time to visit Vancouver

Tourists visit Vancouver in summer

There is not just one ‘best time to visit’ Vancouver. Instead, you should plan your stay according to your interest.

Winters are temperate and mild, unlike much of Canada. Outdoor enthusiasts and active vacationers can hike, bike and explore comfortably during the day, then lounge by a fire at night. Winter is the off-season for tourism, and some of the best deals and rates are found during this time.

Spring finds people both skiing and golfing in the same day. It’s a great time for shopping, with spring sales and the annual wine festival. This is the time of year Vancouver blossoms.

Summer – Summer is marked by almost constant festivals and special events running from music to film to art and beyond. It is also the season when the international fireworks competition lights the skies for a celebration of light and life. If you want to take in festivals, summer is the time to go.

Fall/Autumn – Fall has its own special attractions such as the start of the performance season for the arts (opera, symphony, theatre). You can enjoy a Christmas Carol themes cruise too starting in the fall. Round out your day with trips to museums and galleries or perhaps take in a game of the Sharks, Vancouver’s NHL team.

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