Vancouver

Orientation

Some think Vancouver is the most beautiful city in North America. That might be debatable. Vancouver has roughly over 2.5 million people and was founded in 1885 with the connection of the Canadian Pacific Railroad to the City.  Vancouver is the third largest city within Canada.

It is the home to the business and culture heart of British Columbia. It is an extremely highly ethnic community with Richmond having the highest concentration of Chinese, outside of China itself.

Vancouver is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the world. This is primarily because Vancouver has natural beauty which has been untouched by development. As well the city is working towards a  zero-footprint by 2050. The City is also made up of many bike paths,  having a large number of cyclists within the City.

Activities In Vancouver 

Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

It’s a beautiful and peaceful oasis located in the heart of the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. The garden was designed in the traditional Chinese style, with winding paths, rock formations, and a tranquil pond. It’s a great place to relax and unwind, and learn about Chinese culture and philosophy.

The garden is open year-round, and there are often events and exhibitions held on the grounds. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own. There is also a tea house on site, where visitors can enjoy traditional Chinese tea and snacks while taking in the beautiful scenery.

If you’re interested in Chinese culture and history, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is definitely worth a visit. It’s a unique and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and a great way to learn more about Vancouver’s rich cultural heritage.

Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain Vancouver BC

Cypress Mountain is located about 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver. It is one of 3 ski hills within an hour of the city centre. Cypress is apart of Cypress Provincial Park. It was the home to the 2010 Olympics free skiing and snowboarding events. The view from the parking lot alone is one of the best views of Vancouver and beyond within the city.

TV & Films Sets

Many TV and movies since the early 1980s have been filed in Vancouver.  Dubbed as Hollywood North, as it is the second most active filming location next to Los Angeles for TV and movies in North America.  These sets have become attraction within themselves,  many people just going to the shooting locations happening with in the City at any given time.

Granville Island

view of granville island vancouver bc

Granville Island is a man-made peninsula on False Creek close to downtown Vancouver. This is a redeveloped industrial part of the city, a redeveloped in the 1970s of the entire south part of False Creek. Today it is an tourist attractions; it is a daily market, with many popular restaurants, museums, theatres and hotels. It is now the centerpiece of the popular Seawall that circumferences the entire False Creek.

Queen Elizabeth Park

View of downtown Vancouver BC from Queen Elizabeth ParkThe park is situated in the center of what is known as proper Vancouver.  It’s a hundred acres and rises about 400 ft above sea level, providing panoramic – 360 degree – views of Vancouver.. Parking costs about $5 but the entry into the park is free plus has botanical gardens definitely worth a visit.

Stanley Park

This 1000 acre jewel connects Vancouvers downtown to the North Shore. The park is made up of 1000 year old ancient Douglas Firs; as well as a walkable and runnable perimeter sea walk wall. The park also has several beautiful beaches and tennis courts.

VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen_Botanical_Garden_Vancouver

This 50 acre park is located in the Center Vancouver not far from Queen Elizabeth Park. Is an oasis

and probably the most brilliant of all the manicured Gardens in Vancouver. It  opened in 1975 and it’s a perfect free activities to do with the family.

Gastown

Gastown was the original location of  the  settlement of  Vancouver dating back to the 1880s. Today it is made up of many beautiful art galleries and restaurants that are geared towards  tourists.  The area is also very popular with the local University  students with the many pubs and nightclubs in it.

Kitsilano (Kits)

If there was a California hippie part of Vancouver it would be Kits. Today those hippies are more yuppies, but the area still keeps that hippie vibe with its now many vegan restaurants and yoga studios.

Richmond

It is a city of 200,000, made up again of the largest Chinese population outside China. Richmond has the Richmond Night Market which is made up of several hundred kiosks selling vegetables, seafood as well as local crafts. The City is also surrounded by other popular tourist attractions like Steveston.

Activities in Vancouver

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a popular year-round mountain playground located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. In the winter, it offers skiing and snowboarding on 33 runs, snowshoeing, and ice skating. In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, zip-lining, and mountain biking. The Skyride gondola takes visitors to the top of the mountain, where they can enjoy stunning views of the city, ocean, and surrounding mountains.

The mountain is also home to a wildlife refuge, where visitors can see grizzly bears and birds of prey. There are several dining options on the mountain, including casual cafes and fine dining restaurants. Grouse Mountain is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking for a fun day out.

Trips From Vancouver

There are many great trips within hours of Vancouver. Here are a few:

Whistler

It surprises many that this world-renowned ski resort is less than 2 hours away from Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway, which was improved prior to the 2010 Olympics. Whistler can be a day, overnight or even a weekend trip. For fun, the alpine village offers skiing, hiking and world-class restaurants. 

Victoria

Victoria is almost ten times smaller in population than Vancouver and is the capital of British Columbia. It is less than a 3 hour ferry ride over to this charming, well-manicured, little town with many attractions with tourists in mind.

Capilano Suspension Bridge 

Really the suspension bridge can be done in less than a few hours. To really  enjoy the experience of the suspension bridge, you’ll have to pay the day fee which allows you to walk across it as  many times as you want. One of the beauties of the  bridge, is that it’s in a deep forest, over a two hundred foot river gorge.

Squamish

At half the distance to Whistler, you’ll find Squamish. Spuamish is a beautiful town at the end of Howe Sound. Take a climb up the Chief or take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola. Squamish is worth the trip, just to take in more of the beauty in and around the Vancouver area.

Salt Spring Island

People who travel to Vancouver note there is a laid-back  vibe  to the city. When you go over to Vancouver Island, you’ll notice that it is even more laid-back  and then if you go to Salt Spring Island, you noticed that the vibe is very very very late back.

This is where many American hippies, who were avoiding Vietnam, eventually settled. Salt Spring Island is a beautiful island offering quaint restaurants,  hikes up Mount Maxwell Provincial Park. As well as beautiful beaches and world renowned art studios.

Tofino

Tofino is a small but popular town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, about a 5-hour drive from Vancouver. It’s known for its rugged natural beauty, stunning beaches, and world-class surfing opportunities. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, and Cox Bay Beach.

In addition to surfing, Tofino offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and whale watching. The town is located near the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which is home to some of the most pristine wilderness areas in Canada. Visitors can explore rainforests, go on wildlife watching tours, and take in the stunning views from various lookout points.

Tofino is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with galleries, music festivals, and a thriving artisan community. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in town, offering fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Overall, Tofino is a great destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Its remote location and rugged beauty make it a unique and memorable place to visit.

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is a stunning coastal region located just a short ferry ride from Vancouver. It is known for its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and charming seaside villages. Visitors can explore the coastline by kayak, go hiking in the mountains, or relax on the beach. There are also several art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants to explore.

The Sunshine Coast is also home to several festivals and events throughout the year, including music festivals, art shows, and farmers markets. It is a great destination for those looking to escape the city and enjoy the natural beauty of British Columbia. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure or a relaxing getaway, the Sunshine Coast has something to offer.