The third largest city in Canada, Vancouver is one of the world’s diverse as well as beautiful cities, located in south west province of British Columbia, on the Strait of Georgia. Vancouver serves as the major commercial and industrial center of the province. Surrounded by water from all the three sides, Vancouver boasts of an amazing ecosystem comprising attractive beaches and oceans, enchanting mountains, sparkling rivers and lakes, and lush green meadows and marshes.
In fact, this fascinating city is considered a premier location for enjoying such interesting activities as birding, salmon as well as trout fishing, and whale watching. Vancouver is also a year-round destination for enjoying activities like skiing and swimming. Perhaps for these reasons, Vancouver has been consistently rated among the most livable cities in the world. In addition, it was voted ‘the Best City in Americas’, based on its ambience, friendliness, culture and sites, restaurants, lodging, and shopping.
Vancouver has to its credit such a great amount of attractions that it takes months to explore them all. The focal point of the city is the scenic Stanley Park, set amid 1,000 acres of evergreen oasis. The first of its kind in the city, Stanley Park is much popular among the wild life as well as plant lovers, naturalists and people who like relax in a tranquil setting with a backdrop of majestic trees such as cedar, fir, and hemlock.
Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver. Located across the Capilano River, the bridge holds the distinction of being the world’s greatest suspension footbridge. Another great attraction is Granville Island, regarded as the cultural hotspot of the city. This lively spot is swarmed with theaters, galleries, and a public market.
A must-see attraction in the city is the University of British Columbia, housing facilities such as the Museum of Anthropology, Chan Center of the Performing Arts, and Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Vancouver’s highlights also include attractions such as Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science conducting dolphin and whale shows; Minter Gardens with 11 spectacular themed gardens; Science World coupled with a gallery exclusively for kids; Space Center providing stargazing opportunities at its expansive theaters; and Storyeum offering presentations on the colorful past of British Columbia. Further, attractions in Vancouver cover Queen Elizabeth Park, Pacific Space Centre/Planetarium, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Robson Street, Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and Robson Street.
No visit to Vancouver is complete without taking a tour to the fabulous museums of the city, including, the Museum of Anthropology featuring artifacts of Northwest Coast First Peoples; the Roedde House Museum with displays of Vancouver family life from 1890 to 1925; Vancouver Art Gallery housing artworks of the British Columbia artist Emily Carr; Pacific Museum of the Earth with exhibits like an 80 million year old Lambeosaurus; and Vancouver Museum, the largest civic museum in the nation.
Apart from these attractions, Vancouver has a good number of mountains, among which prominent ones are the Grouse Mountains – an incredible area providing opportunities for a range of activities such as helicopter tours, skiing, ice skating, and sleigh riding; Mount Seymour boasting of panoramic vistas, forest trails, Seymour Dam, and Seymour Fish Hatcher; and Cypress Mountains offering a rewarding skiing, among many others. Canada’s much famed Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are also within the easy reach of Canada. Equally worth mentioning are the beaches of the city, such as, the English Bay, Crescent, Kitsilano Beach, Locarno Beach, Jericho Beach, and Spanish Banks, each of which serves as a perfect ground for a variety of water sport recreational activities.
Vancouver is also home to a host of interesting festivals such as Vancouver Fringe Festival, Powell Street Festival, the New Play Festival, Vancouver International Dance Festivals, Hyack Festival, Pacific National Exhibition, New Forms Festival, Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, and Merritt Mountain Music Fest.
Above all, the area’s gastronomy is superb, with a fantastic array of restaurants including Chinese restaurants. Vancouver’s accommodations facilities are also superb. For instance, for weary travelers, some excellent options are available in the form of Vida Wellness Spa specializing in holistic treatments, Bedwell River Outpost Wilderness Resort, and the Westin Resort and Spa with an exclusive spa facility offering more than 75 treatments inclusive of holistic Chinese therapies.
There are also fantastic accommodation choices available for budget conscious travelers. Some hotels even provide packages inclusive of accommodation, dining, and facilities to explore the attractions of the place.
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