An Introduction to Vancouver, B.C.

An Introduction to Vancouver, BC
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Visit the coastal city of glorious Vancouver, British Columbia where you can ski the snowy slopes then hang out on a sunny beach all in the same day. Situated in the lower mainland, this city is surrounded by the Fraser River, Coastal Mountains, and the Strait of Georgia. Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan city in Canada with over 600,000 people living in the city and over 2 million people residing in the entire Greater Vancouver area. Its diverse culture, lively nightlife, intriguing attractions, and delectable dining encourages millions of people to visit every year. 

Nature and Beaches

English Bay Beach Vancouver

Known by film buffs as Hollywood North because of its popularity as a major film producing city, Vancouver is bursting with beauty, wilderness, and outdoor excursion opportunities. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor fun such as kayaking, paddle boating, canoeing, rollerblading, and beach volleyball, just to name a few. Kitsilano beach, English Bay beach, and Jericho beach are some of the most popular choices if you want to grab a towel, some sunscreen, and lounge the day away in Vancouver’s radiant summer sun. 

 

stanley park vancouver

You don’t even need to venture out of the city to enjoy the great outdoors. Stanley Park is the largest park in the city of Vancouver with 1000 acres of lush foliage, trees, and trails. It is surrounded almost entirely by the Vancouver Harbour and English Bay, providing gorgeous sights of both the Burrard Inlet and the Vancouver Harbour. You can bike along the seawall, walk through the trails of the dense rainforest, check out the First Nations Totem Poles, relax at the beach, or play some tennis on one of the many courts in the park. You could spend a whole day exploring just Stanley Park alone.

Trail Hiking

grouse grind hiking trail north vancouver

The lower mainland has plenty of parks and massive patches of wilderness that are absolutely riddled with hiking trails. Grouse Mountain is an excellent choice if you’d like to test yourself on the Grouse Grind and then reward yourself with some lunch or a cold drink when you reach the top. Grouse Mountain also offers a ton of neat activities to check out, such as ziplining, a mountain ropes adventure, a wildlife refuge, a lumberjack show, and tons of other incredible stuff that will have you exploring every inch of this amazing mountain.

lynn canyon suspension bridge north vancouver

For an easier hike and some beautiful views of rivers and waterfalls, check out the 617 acres of Lynn Canyon and trek across its 160 foot high suspension bridge. You can also learn a little about the local natural history with the interactive displays at the Ecology Centre or grab a souvenir from the End of the Line General Store. Serious hikers looking for an all day excursion, or even an overnight camping trip, should definitely head over to Golden Ears Provincial Park and explore the many trails this park has to offer. It is also home to Alouette Lake, a great spot for swimming, water-skiing, boating, and fishing.

City and Shopping

canada place sails vancouver

Just within the city limits you will find sidewalk cafes, waterfront dining, busy shops, and historic landmarks. Visitors can take panoramic photos from the Vancouver Lookout in the Harbour Centre Tower and then grab dinner at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. Just steps away is Canada Place, one of Vancouver’s most iconic landmarks. With its five 90 foot sails, Canada Place is home to the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, and Vancouver’s World Trade Centre. 

gastown vancouver steam clock

The most famous neighbourhoods of Vancouver are a favorite stop for many tourists. Gastown is known for its whistling Steam Clock, cobblestone streets, and Victorian buildings. Chinatown is the place to go for Asian bakeries, dim sum restaurants, traditional apothecaries, and open air markets. Yaletown is home to many old warehouse style buildings turned cocktail bar, restaurant, or boutique shop. For some upscale shopping, head to the many clothing and jewellery shops situated all along Robson Street.

granville island vancouver

One of the most interesting areas to see is Granville Island with its curious little shops, waterfront restaurants, and lively pubs. You can browse the many stalls of the huge Public Market or take your little ones to the Kids Market so they can do some shopping of their own. Granville Island Brewery is not to be missed if you’re a fan of craft beer. You can sip a cold Granville Island beer in the Taproom, explore the brewery on one of the many daily tours, or shop for beer and souvenirs next door in the retail store.

Museums and Attractions

science world vancouver

Vancouver has much to offer where attractions are concerned and family friendly fun is available at every turn. Watch as the float planes glide into the harbour or see the massive cruise ships come into the busy Port of Vancouver. Science World is a favorite among kids, who can learn all about how stuff works by playing and experimenting in the many permanent exhibits. Science World’s Omnimax Theatre, which is 5 stories high and 88 feet across, is always an engrossing and unforgettable way to learn a little more about nature, history, animals, and many other topics. New educational films and documentaries are added frequently, so even if you’ve been to the Omnimax 100 times, there is always something current and captivating to lure you back.

museum of anthropology vancouver

Vancouver has no shortage of museums. Those looking for a little civic history can check out the Museum of Vancouver, which is the largest civic museum in Canada. If it’s the ocean that calls to you, head over to the Maritime Museum for some Pacific Northwest and Arctic Ocean history. World art and culture can be found at the Museum of Anthropology and just a 15 minute walk from there is the Beaty Biodiversity Museum with over 500 exhibits on display. The Vancouver Police Museum is must-see for true crime buffs and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is the place to go for lovers of astronomy, stars, and the endless reaches of space.

Families, students, backpackers, and business travelers alike can enjoy an exciting visit to Vancouver where they are always guaranteed to take some of the city home with them. No matter your interests, there is something for everyone in Vancouver with its bustling waterfront, dense rainforests, and vibrant metropolis. This city is one of the most diverse and fascinating cities in the world and visitors are bound to fall in love every time they visit.

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Nikki Bertrand

Nikki Bertrand

Nikki is a British Columbia native who was born in the Vancouver area. When she’s not busy being a tourist in her own city, you can find her exploring her passion for SFX makeup at MixxSFX.com or reviewing subscription boxes at unboxingrocks.com