Vancouver is a natural beauty of epic proportions. Its proximity to Canada’s rugged nature means you can engage in any type of outdoor activity at any time of the year. It is home to a melting pot of cultures and this diversity energises Vancouver and leaves its mark on the city’s art galleries, festivals, and restaurants, where chefs take locally grown, caught, and produced food seriously.
When to Go?
With four distinct seasons, Vancouver is alluring at any time of the year. Summer is when festival season kicks into high gear with the Food Cart Fest taking place every Sunday from late June until September. It’s also your chance to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st with outdoor concerts, barbeques, picnics, and night-time fireworks.
One of the busiest airports in Canada, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located only 12 kilometres south of the city centre. The city is easily accessible from both the domestic and international terminals using the YVR-Airport Station stop on the Canada Line of Vancouver’s Sky Train rapid transport network.
Granville Island may be small in stature when compared with the skyscrapers of Vancouver’s downtown core, but it packs a big punch. The Public Market is the star of show and the streets are also crowded, in the best way possible, with many artists and artisan producers, street performers, restaurants, and even a brewery, Granville Island Brewing.
If heights make you nervous, then you may find the Capilano Suspension Bridge slightly overwhelming. It’s a mildly wobbly 137 metre walk from one side to the other and at 70 metres above the Capilano River, offers gorgeous views of the river valley. If you make it across, you’ll be rewarded at the Treetops Adventure, a series of elevated suspension bridges taking you through a Douglas fir tree forest.
Stanley Park is a calm, green oasis on the northwest fringe of downtown Vancouver. Whether you’re cycling or walking the seawall route, riding the miniature train through the forest, or watching the sun sink into the water from Third Beach, Stanley Park has everything to offer outdoor enthusiasts.
Spark your curiosity and stimulate your creativity at Science World. Fun for the entire family, it’s a learning experience which engages visitors “in science and inspires future science and technology leadership”.
There are two ways to tackle Grouse Mountain – the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is a smooth journey up in the SkyRide gondola but the hard way takes considerably more effort. You’ll have to challenge the Grouse Grind, a strenuous 2.9 kilometre climb to the top. It’s no easy task – there is a vertical gain of 850 metres and in some parts the gradient is more than 50 degrees.
Eat and Drink
Those in the know have already discovered that Meat & Bread have the best sandwiches in Vancouver. With two locations in the city, their menu is quality over quantity simplicity, yet a changing Daily Special keeps everything new and fresh.
Salt Tasting Room allows you to build a custom tasting plate of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, condiments, and then to pair your selections with the wines of your choice. If you’re undecided or would like to be surprised, don’t worry, they’ll do the thinking for you with a Daily Plate selection.
Vancouver’s Chinatown may not be the first place you would look for a currywurst and a stein of cold beer but Bestie, a ‘friendly little sausage and beer parlour’, is serving up some fine German classics. Sausage and sauerkraut, anyone?
Mid and low season rates are very affordable at the Sylvia Hotel, located on the beautiful English Bay in downtown Vancouver. Named after the first building owner’s daughter, the Sylvia Hotel was also where Vancouver’s first cocktail bar opened in 1954.
Picture yourself relaxing in an outdoor, heated saltwater pool and drinking in the urban landscape of the city. If you stay at the boutique L’Hermitage Hotel in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district, it will be your reality.
One of the best views in the city may come at a price, but a stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim will be worth every penny. With stunning views over the waterfront, the city skyline, and the Coastal Mountains, you may never want to leave your room.
Here are additional options for where to stay in Vancouver.