5 Reasons to discover (or rediscover) Vancouver
Ranked sixth as the most livable city in the world by The Economist, Vancouver has this little something that puts its visitors immediately at ease. Here is a list of our favourite places to visit in this beautiful metropolis.
1. Stanley Park
In the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver’s downtown, Stanley Park is a magnificent 400-hectare green oasis enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. With its sand beaches, walking trails and incredible vistas of Vancouver, this natural haven has charmed families and travelers in search of tranquility. This is also where you’ll find the Vancouver aquarium.
To visit the peninsula, a bicycle is your best bet. Bike rental kiosks are easy to find and will provide you with a helmet, bike and lock for around $30 for a half-day.
2. Granville Island
Granville Island is the perfect appetizer to Stanley Park. This incredible public market has 90 or so merchants making it easy to find everything you need for a picnic lunch.
Granville Island isn’t just for foodies. Lovers of art and culture will revel in the many art galleries, glass blower shops, colourful murals and street music performances. Artists even offer creative workshops.
Finally, don’t forget to make a stop at Railspur Alley to visit Osake, the first Canadian sake factory, and the Liberty Distillery, renowned for its gins and other fine spirits.
3. Capilano Suspension Bridge
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a breathtaking experience. Located north of the city in an 11-hectare natural park, this suspended footbridge stretches across the 137-meter canyon, 70 metres above the Capilano River.
The park's trails will take you through the lush rainforest or West Coast Rainforest, home to towering trees and countless species of birds. Information panels teach visitors all about this fragile ecosystem and a scavenger hunt is a sure hit with the kids.
4. The Vancouver Police Museum
If you love detective novels and stories of murder and intrigue, this museum is for you. Recounting the history of the Vancouver Police Department, this unusual museum recreates the gritty and glum atmosphere of crime solving in a bygone era.
Among its most prized showpieces, weapons seized during arrests (which include a rusty axe and random stockpiles), organs donated to science and the seemingly archaic tools used by coroners only a few decades ago.
Not for the faint-hearted!
5. Robson Street
What would a city vacation be without a trip to the shops? Robson Street has something for everyone, with its trendy window dressings and lively atmosphere. Luxury boutiques, more affordable brand stores and trendy Vancouver fashion designers will certainly make you want to refresh your wardrobe.
Between fittings, sit on a public bench and do some people watching, or visit one of the many cafes and restaurants for some refreshments.
For those who want to add a bit of culture to their shopping experience, both the Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Art Gallery are also located on Robson Street.
Other things to see and do!
Vancouver can also be the starting point for many fantastic trips, like pacific coastal or Alaskan cruises, or if you simply want to take the ferry to Victoria, gateway to Vancouver Island―a must if you have the time.
Plus, Vancouver is only a 90-minute drive from Whistler, a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, and about three hours from Seattle, Washington (if you have your passport with you).