Vancouver is a vibrant city on the west coast of Canada, dominated by glittering skyscrapers and surrounded by towering mountains. It is home to the legendary Vancouver Canucks hockey team, is one of the best places for the film industry, and hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the spring the streets are lined with cherry trees and in the summer residents flock to the beaches. The city turns into a web of color in the fall when the leaves change, and during the winter the mountainous backdrop is blanketed in snow. Vancouver is a year round destination with a bustling downtown for city lovers but with an abundance of nature close at hand for the adventurous.
Must see places:
Stanley Park is a beautiful, open-air public place with a path alongside the seawall allowing locals and tourists to admire the views while walking, running, or biking. The views of North Vancouver and the coastal mountains are simply breathtaking. There are also many trails that run through the park which contains countless gardens, First Nations totem poles and the Vancouver Aquarium. Entrance to the park is free and accessible to all.
Gastown is the historic center of Vancouver. The downtown area is known as the birthplace of the city and is named after the British sailor "Gassy" Jack Deighton who opened Vancouver's first pub in 1867. Stroll the streets to appreciate the history and architecture, step into one of the many neighborhood restaurants, and check out Kit and Ace for some local luxury clothing.
The Two-ton Gastown Steam Clock on Water Street is powered by an underground steam pipe system that provides heat to much of the city center. This must see one of the few watches of this type in use in the world. The steam provides the whistles for the clocks and the steam shoots off every quarter of an hour.
Granville Island isn't exactly an island, but it is a creative hub at the foot of the Granville Bridge. The easiest and fastest way to get there is the Aquabus from False Creek, which takes about five minutes. Granville Island is a foodie's paradise with a huge covered market selling fresh produce, local cheese, chocolate, seafood and cold cuts. Perogie (a type of Eastern European dumpling) with sour cream is exceptionally good and a perfect snack before heading to Granville Island Brewery to sample their great selection of beers. There are also numerous arts and crafts shops in the surrounding streets and Granville Island Stage regularly present theatrical productions.
Asian cuisine is popular in Vancouver, especially Japanese cuisine, and Guu with Garlic on Robson Street has a creative Izakaya-style menu. Despite being surrounded by other West End restaurants, Guu maintains a constant follow-up with regular wait lists for tables, reflecting quality and atmosphere. Once inside, the staff shout to greet customers, the service is quick, and they even partnered up with local Russell Brewing to serve their own Guuud! Ale. Sitting at the bar overlooking the kitchen is a great experience as the chefs take orders before making sushi with convenient efficiency. The daily special menu is worth reading, especially with previous offerings of Japanese-style chicken pie, yellowfin tuna with wasabi sesame sauce, and fresh sea urchins. Be bold and try something new.
A Caesar! The classic Canadian cocktail is similar to a Bloody Mary but made with clammato juice, a blend of tomato and clam juice. The description might not sound appetizing, but it is really delicious with many establishments serving their Caesar with a garnish of olives, sweet onions, pickled beans, asparagus or bacon. Caesar is a popular brunch drink and has become synonymous with Canada as mountains and grizzly bears. Do not miss.
Perfect to calm stressed mind:
Yoga. Vancouverites love to be fit and healthy, and yoga tops the list. YYoga is an established chain of studios in Vancouver offering a variety of hot, flow, yin and spin classes. The instructors are trained and experienced, the studios are modern and most offer an infrared sauna to complement a solid practice. YYoga's location on Burrard Street is within walking distance for visitors staying downtown, and offers drop-in rates for yogis who are only in Vancouver for a short trip. Wake up early, take a class, and then enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city.
Enjoy your stay:
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