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Vancouver Travel Guide

  • Photo: Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock

Plan Your Vancouver Vacation

Vancouver is a delicious juxtaposition of urban sophistication and on-your-doorstep wilderness adventure. The mountains and seascape make the city an outdoor playground for hiking, skiing, kayaking, cycling, and sailing—and so much more—while the cuisine and arts scenes are equally diverse, reflecting the makeup of Vancouver's ethnic (predominantly Asian) mosaic.

Vancouver is consistently

ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, and it's easy for visitors to see why. It's beautiful, it's outdoorsy, and there's a laidback West Coast vibe. On the one hand, there's easy access to a variety of outdoor activities, a fabulous variety of beaches, and amazing parks. At the same time, the city has a multicultural vitality and cosmopolitan flair. The attraction is as much in the range of food choices—the fresh seafood and local produce are some of North America's best—as it is in the museums, shopping, and nightlife.

Vancouver's landscaping also adds to the city's walking appeal. In spring, flowerbeds spill over with tulips and daffodils while sea breezes scatter scented cherry blossoms throughout Downtown; in summer office workers take to the beaches, parks, and urban courtyards for picnic lunches and laptop meetings.

More than 8 million visitors each year come to Vancouver, Canada's third-largest metropolitan area. Because of its peninsula location, traffic flow is a contentious issue. Thankfully, Vancouver is wonderfully walkable, especially in the downtown core. The North Shore is a scoot across the harbor, and the rapid-transit system to Richmond and the airport means that staying in the more affordable ’burbs doesn't have to be synonymous with sacrificing convenience. The mild climate, exquisite natural scenery, and relaxed outdoor lifestyle keep attracting residents, and the number of visitors is increasing for the same reasons. People often get their first glimpse of Vancouver when catching an Alaskan cruise, and many return at some point to spend more time here.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Stanley Park The views, the activities, and the natural wilderness beauty here are quintessential Vancouver.
  2. Granville Island The mini-ferry will take you across False Creek to the Granville Island Public Market where you can browse local foodstuffs; come at lunchtime and eat outside when the weather's good.
  3. Kitsilano beaches Options range from beaches with grass-edged shores to windswept stretches of sand to cliff-side coves so private that clothing is optional.
  4. Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia The phenomenal collection of First Nations art and cultural artifacts, and the incredible backdrop, make this a must-see.
  5. Forest, trees, and suspension bridges There are a variety of bridges, canopies, and even zip lines at the UBC Botanical Garden and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to help you experience the surroundings.



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