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Tucked into the very southwest corner of Canada, Vancouver boasts a very high quality of living, augmented by temperate weather and a stunning mountain, forest and ocean setting, creating one of the most popular destinations in the world! Many visitors pass through Vancouver on popular Alaska cruise ships, arriving at Port Metro Vancouver, the busiest and largest Canadian Port. Whether a stay is for a day or a week, Vancouver promises an amazing array of attractions!
Vancouver International Airport (YVR), VIA Rail, and the TransCanada Highway also give great access to this metro area of over two million, and the 50 km distance from the U.S. State of Washington makes it easy to visit. Once there, TransLink public transportation offerings include Bus, SkyTrain (3 lines), SeaBus (ferry) and West Coast Express (commuter rail); the Vancouver Trolley Company and taxis also gets you around with little problem.
Downtown Vancouver is the happening place to be, with a myriad of attractions, so many visitors choose a downtown Vancouver BC hotel for convenience. Canada Place is a city icon, a giant tent-framed home to the Port Metro Cruise Ship Terminal as well as Vancouver Convention Centre. Stanley Park is the city's oldest and largest park, with a thousand acres of forests, gardens, beaches, the traditional Prospect Point Lookout for terrific views, and the Vancouver Aquarium. Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park is another locale to enjoy Vancouver's natural beauty, and the park's Quarry Gardens continue to inspire Plein-air artists. Another popular back-to-nature spot is VanDusen Botanical Garden – you might be interested to know that the city supports a huge film industry, and VanDusen is often used as a shooting location. Vancouver is quite well known for its springtime blossoming cherry trees, and there are gardens scattered all over the city, creating an outstanding city setting.
Your exploration of Vancouver should definitely include Granville Island, a great urban oasis featuring restaurants, shopping and a fantastic fresh food market. Another neighborhood to visit is Chinatown, an historic heritage area with tea shops, cozy little restaurants and filled-to-the-brim shops. Stop in at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden to immerse yourself in Eastern culture and relax in lovely gardens. Gastown is known for its cobblestone streets line with galleries, restaurants and shops as well as boasting an outstanding nightlife scene.
Grouse Mountain is certainly a great place to get outdoors, just fifteen minutes from downtown. Hike the Grind, downhill ski, and take a walk across the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge and revel in truly breathtaking views. Vancouver itself is very bicycle-friendly, so you might like pedaling some of the 20 km along the BC Parkway to see Vancouver at a different pace.
Vanier Park is home to the Museum of Vancouver, the Space Center and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Fest is held in this park.
Hastings Park hosts the popular Pacific National Exhibition, featuring the annual summer Fair, the popular Playland theme park as well as concerts and sporting events at the Pacific Coliseum.
The University of British Columbia, 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, serves over 45,000 undergraduate and graduate students; its campus offers many popular venues, including the Museum of Anthropology, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and the UBC Botanical Garden. The Thunderbirds offer collegiate sports competition of all kinds; exciting hockey matches are found at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, with Nat Bailey Stadium hosting baseball games.
Professional sports abound in Vancouver as well, including the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, who play at Rogers Arena; the BC Lions of the CFL and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC both play at BC Place, which recently received a retractable roof.
For a cultural experience, attend a symphony performance at the historic Orpheum Theatre, or an opera or ballet at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Robson Street offers a hip and upscale shopping experience for those inclined to select a few items while visiting. Consider taking a daytrip to Whistler, a resort community to the north of Vancouver, where you can enjoy mountain biking, whitewater rafting and all winter sports amidst scenic mountains.
As you can see, there is a never-ending list of things to do in Vancouver. OneTravelSource.com has all the tools you need to plan this trip of a lifetime. We offer descriptions of all the Vancouver attractions you will want to see – let's get started today!