In the middle of the urban landscape of Vancouver sits Stanley Park, a 400 hectare public green space. But this isn’t any old park – oh no – walk along kilometres of trails, kick back and relax on a beach, hire a bike and cycle along the famous Seawall or visit Canada’s largest aquarium. Located in downtown Vancouver, it’s also the perfect place for kids, with activities such as a water park and miniature railway. Nature lovers will marvel over its blooming gardens and vast variety of trees and adventure seekers will jump at the chance to rent a kayak or play a spot of volleyball. Phew! You certainly won’t get bored, will you?
The oldest, and certainly one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Gastown was born from a single saloon opened by John ‘Gassy Jack’ in the 1900s. With its famous steam clock, distinctive street lamps and historic architecture, this part of downtown Vancouver is definitely worth a visit. Nowadays it’s a fun mix of restaurants, hip boutiques, interior design shops and galleries, and better still, is ideal to explore on foot. It’s also at the centre of Vancouver’s food & drink scene, so sit back and relax with a cocktail after a day of exploring and watch the world go by. Aaah, bliss.
Just a short ferry ride away from the mainland, this island is a favourite for both locals and visitors alike. Our top pick for any visit is the Public Market – a large, indoor food market housing endless stalls of fresh foods. So whether you fancy a sweet treat, a gourmet dish or some local seafood, you won’t be short of options. Aside from the food market, the island also boasts a variety of theatres and galleries, so you’ll be able to get your culture fix with a tum full of tasty food!
Head to Kits beach for a trendy hangout with stunning views across the downtown skyline and beyond. A top pick for activity lovers, you can spend your day playing basketball, volleyball, tennis and hockey or head out on the water for a spot of windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, the beach is the perfect spot for watching the world go by, so kick back and take in your surroundings, which are especially impressive at sunset.
A definite must-see on any trip to Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension bridge is the longest foot suspension bridge in the world; pay a small admission fee and have a stroll along the 140 metres of walkway on offer. Suspended 70 metres above the Capilano River, the bridge gives you gobsmacking views of the flowing water below you coupled with the vast forests of fir trees, so you really feel like you’re getting back to nature. Walk about 2km and you’ll get to the Salmon Hatchery (good news – it’s free!) where, depending on the season, you’ll see salmon jumping from one pool to the next in the fish ladder. Top this off with a walk on the opposite side of the river to the Cleveland Dam, then up to Grouse Mountain for breathtaking views of Vancouver, and you’ve got yourself a day out you won’t forget anytime soon.