With mountains and beaches leaving anyone awestruck, Vancouver is indeed one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With a mild temperature throughout the year, Vancouver is a paradise for leisure activities. Apart from the natural beauty, it also boasts a busy cultural life, with picturesque scenes all around. Vancouver proved a visit to the city worthy by hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, which kept everyone engaged and amused. You can treat the city as your playground, and a driveway which takes you to three world-class mountains, all within a 15-minute drive from downtown, go around hundreds of parks and campsites, or for thousands of hiking trails, experience one of the world’s longest seawalls and countless rivers and lakes to explore. The list of things you could do in Vancouver is unlimited so let’s take a look at few of the things that you should give a try:
- Granville Island: reach the Granville Island which is a thriving center of activity with a relaxed and distinctive atmosphere. The peace of this place attracts many artists and retailers who get determined to move into converted warehouses alongside houseboats, theaters, galleries, and restaurants and do what they’re best at. The Granville Island Public Market is one of the most popular attractions, famous for its stocks of fruit and vegetables, seafood, and a great variety of other specialties as well as ready-to-eat items. Earlier, the Granville Island was mostly an industrial area but now has converted into a art hub which is linked to residential areas by one road and footbridges to the south, and to the Downtown peninsula by ferry.
- Grouse Mountain: if you love heights and admire the beauty from a high level, Grouse Mountain is your place. The mountain offers panoramic views of the city in both, winter and summer. Your experience brightens when the city brightens with lights all around. Reach for a gondola to take you to the summit and enjoy dining, activities, and wildlife on the top of the mountain. If you visit the Grouse Mountain in winters with family or friends, you won’t regret, as the mountain offers outdoor skating, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding to make your experience even better. In summer, Grouse Mountain becomes the best place to hike with trails.
- Kitsilano Beach: enjoy a sandy, laid-back day full of Vitamin D on Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach. Play along with your friends on the shore or enjoy a dip in the outdoor heated seawater swimming pool while admiring the mountain backdrop. Look around yourself and find mesmerizing views of the city, while having a perfect brunch at alongside cafés and walking trails, and shop your heart out on the nearby West Fourth Avenue.
- Museum of Anthropology: while strolling around Vancouver, a thought might get stuck in your head—why is this city so peaceful and full of beauty, there must’ve been some past to it! The answer is Yes! There’s a history to it which is rarely told to visitors. To get deep into the history of the city, one should visit Museum of Anthropology. Maintained on the campus of the University of British Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology offers a collection of Aboriginal works, both ancient and contemporary, that weaves together a story of the historic Vancouver.
- Sea-to-Sky Highway: The Sea-to-Sky drive is world’s most beautiful drive, not just because of the 1.5 hours long journey on a plain smooth corridor, but also because of what you get to see out of your window- beautiful waterfalls, jaw-dropping vistas, a stunning cultural center, and a suspension bridge along the way. This driveway is so soothing that you’d want to keep going while clicking pictures of every beauty that you’re sure of never seeing anywhere else.
- China Town Vancouver: a trip to Chinatown is of no use if it isn’t Vancouver’s Chinatown. One of the oldest and largest Chinatown in Canada, the place has an array of funky shops, inexpensive markets, and not to forget, the best Dim Sum restaurants in town. Dare to visit Chinatown on a Sunday evening and apart from feeling almost lost in the extremely crowded space, try to observe around family legacies going together, and how people devote their holiday to their family and friends in its full spirit.
- English Bay: English Bay is one of the city's loveliest and busiest beaches. Part of the West End neighborhood, English Bay offers exclusive shopping areas and high-end restaurants. It is also a famous spot for walking, biking, rollerblading, or hanging out with the public art installations. You’ll be lucky enough to visit the place in summers, when the biggest event of English Bay takes place, where thousands of people gather around the shores to watch three nights of fireworks set to music. If you’re adventurous enough, join the New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim event, when hardy swimmers have to take a dip in the chilly Pacific waters.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge: the first tourist attraction of Vancouver opened in 1889 and is still famous with the name Capilano Suspension Bridge. For over a century, the bridge stays intact and thrills visitors with its swaying motion over a plummeting canyon ever since. The footbridge spans a 70-meter deep river canyon which leads to an activity park filled with forest trails and a treetop walk through old-growth giants. The Cliffwalk, which is a collection of totem poles and a transparent suspended platform is sure to leave you stunned.
- Queen Elizabeth Park: to reach the highest point in Vancouver, climb to the center of Queen Elizabeth Park, Little Mountain and get an amazing view of the city through its elevated position. The recreated form of the park includes pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, dining (at Seasons in the Park Restaurant), an extensive outdoor arboretum, and the lovely enclosed tropical environment of Bloedel Conservatory. Stroll on the sunken Quarry Garden on a warm summer day. To satisfy the wanderer in you, head a couple of blocks west to VanDusen Botanical Garden, to experience bloom amid beds representing various regions and species.