Here are your top things to do while visiting Vancouver
Vancouver is a great place to pick-up your RV for seeing the rest of BC, making your way up North to the Yukon, or East to Calgary. For a cross-country road trip, consider finishing in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec or Halifax.
Outside in the City:
Stanley Park is a 405-hectare heavily wooded park that encompasses many attractions, the most popular being the Seawall. Here you can walk, bike, run, and fish if you have a license. Walking around the 9 km (5.6 miles) path can take 2-3 hours, and biking about 1 hour.
Other attractions in Stanley Park include:
A Miniature Railway offering rides
Beaver Lake where you can see beavers, birds and fish including salmon in the spawning season in Beaver Creek
Lost Lagoon with Canadian Geese, ducks and swans
A large seaside swimming pool, playgrounds and a water park
And the Summer season brings the Malkin Bowl theatre for entertainment!
Vancouver Sea Wall in Stanley Park
Photo Courtesy of: By Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada (Out and about) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
VanDusen Botanical Garden & Bloedel Floral Conservatory
covers 22 hectares and has attractions such as: The Elizabethan Maze, Stone Garden, Korean Pavilion, and Scottish Shelter. The Bloedel Conservatory contains 3 types of climate zones in their triodetic dome, these are Desert, Tropical and Subtropical. There are many species of plants and birds. The Bloedel is an artsy twist on the traditional conservatory. The Botanical Gardens and Conservatory are within a half an hour walk of each other.
Photo courtesy of: Stan Shebs [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Lynn Canyon Park
This must-see municipal park located on the edge of the city is just another reason Vancouver is such a great place to start your vacation. Although the suspension bridge here is smaller than the Capilano suspension bridge, it is also less crowded and it is free! There are hiking trails leading to waterfalls if the suspension bridge leaves you wanting more.
Photo Attribution: By Dave Olson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/119959344/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Other Outdoor areas in and near Vancouver:
Queen Elizabeth Park
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Nitobe Memorial Garden
Vancouver Public Library / Library Square
History, Art & Museums:
Museum of Anthropology at UBC
A teaching and research museum, MOA focuses on the West Coast’s First Nations. There are amazing sculptures, art pieces, artifacts, an outside totem pole exhibit and more. Free 30-60 minute tours are offered throughout the day. While at the UBC campus, consider checking out UBC Botanical Gardens, Nitobe Gardens, The Canopy Tree Walk and The Biodiversity Museum.
Photo courtesy of: By Xicotencatl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Vancouver Art Gallery
Get your art fix at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The VAG is a national historic site of Canada and boasts over 11,000 artworks in their permanent collection. This includes pieces by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, Harry Callahan, Marc Chagall, and Jeff Wall.
By Atr1992 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Vancouver Police Museum
The VPM covers history of the area and unsolved cases. There are memorabilia such as confiscated firearms, publications, counterfeit currency and more! This is an attraction if you are interested in mysteries and crime. The museum is geared for a mature audience. They put on a great walking tour called ‘Sins of the City’, which covers significant history as you see the area.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Vancouver Maritime Museum
Bill Reid Gallery
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Museum of Vancouver
Dining, Shopping & Culture:
An artistically inspired area that has an artisan market, street performers, stores, bakeries and restaurants.
The famous shopping of Robson Street (East) is located near the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Public Library. Shops and malls line the streets, leading to a cluster of restaurants at the West end.
Photo courtesy of: TagarSpinebreak at CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons)
The first core of downtown Vancouver is reminiscent with cobblestone streets and changing with new development.
Annual festivals here include: Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. The Steam Clock is a classic photo.
By Anthony Maw, Vancouver, Canada (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Brockton Point Totem Pole
Granville Island Brewing
An engaging and interactive Science centre, science world provides plenty to do for families.
“Vanaqua” is located in Stanley Park. Their exhibits include: Discover Rays, Tropic Zone, Canada’s Arctic, Penguin Point, Amazon Rainforest, Exploration Gallery, BC Coast Treasures, Clownfish Cove and Pacific Canada Pavilion. The focus of the Vancouver Aquarium is education and conservation. This is a feel-good aquarium as the animals here are not captured but have been rescued from the wild because they were not able to survive.
Photo Attribution: Wikimedia user Voyager
Capilano Suspension Bridge
BC Place Stadium
Lions Gate Bridge
The Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre is on the Vancouver Harbour near Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. Their address is 200 Burrard Street.
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