Getting to Know Vancouver
Whether you like nature, history, or even trendy microbreweries, there’s something for everyone in Vancouver.
One of the most beautiful cities in all of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, is a perfect combination of nature and metropolis. Nearly 30 kilometres of a waterfront path surrounds this cosmopolitan paradise, offering you views of the Pacific Ocean with all of the perks of a big city.
Seeing the Sights
Whether you are hoping for an outdoor adventure or a cultural experience, you will find it in Vancouver. Here are some of the best sights you can see in and around the city.
In the City:
- Stanley Park: The third-largest park in North America, Stanley Park offers a great way to get outside. With a 5.5 mile walking path, you will get views of the water as well as other scenic views. There is also an aquarium in the park and other recreational facilities.
- Queen Elizabeth Park: This park is a former rock quarry that was converted into flower gardens. It offers panoramic views of the city and a wide array of flower varieties to enjoy.
- Brassneck Brewery: Brassneck is the most popular microbrewery in Vancouver and a great place to get a pint. While it has its popular brews like Passive Aggressive, the brewery is always trying out new recipes.
- Museum of Anthropology: Sitting in the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Museum of Anthropology specializes in First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia and Canada.
- Beaty Biodiversity Museum: The only natural history museum in Canada, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum features over 500 exhibits on biodiversity.
- UBC Botanical Gardens: In the UBC Botanical Gardens you will find an internationally-recognized collection of wild plants. Part of the Botanical Gardens include the Nitobe Memorial Garden, a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden, which is one of the best Japanese Gardens in North America.
Outside the City:
- Whistler: One of the best ski mountains in the entire world, you can visit Whistler for its winter sports, go ziplining, rent an ATV, or simply go for a hike. This is the best destination for adventure seekers.
- Victoria: The capital city of British Columbia is a quick trip from Vancouver. It is known for its colonial style and heavy British influence and is one of the oldest cities in the Northwest.
- Horseshoe Bay: A small village and marina, Horseshoe Bay is the third busiest ferry terminal in British Columbia. Many of the boat tours, including Vancouver Island, depart from here. The village itself is a great place to spend an afternoon, with Whytecliff Park and Lighthouse Park to check out.
- The Islands and Around: There are many different islands that you can take a ferry to from Vancouver. Vancouver Island and Bowen Island are both popular destinations, but you can also tour the waterways, including the Sunshine Coast and Howe Sound.
Where to Eat
On a Budget:
- Go Fish: Incredibly fresh seafood, you can easily get takeaway fish and chips from this tasty seafood shack.
- Meat & Bread: Trendy but affordable, Meat & Bread offers simple sandwiches and a small menu. These sandwiches are for meat lovers.
- Dock Lunch: In a side-street house, Dock Lunch is a popular local choice with a menu that changes every day.
- Fable Kitchen: A great choice for those looking for a farm-to-table dining experience. It is open for both brunch and dinner.
- Bao Bei: Situated in Chinatown, Bao Bei brings some contemporary flair to traditional Chinese cuisine.
- Chambar Restaurant: This chic restaurant offers Belgian cuisine, seafood, and a wonderful selection of wine and beer.
- Stanley’s Bar & Grill: Sitting in Stanley Park Pavilion, this is a great place to eat either outside or in and is perfect if you have been outside exploring the park.
- Jamjar: With its rustic interior and friendly staff, you will be right at home in Jamjar. Jamjar serves delicious Lebanese cuisine with vegetarian options.
- Stepho’s: A popular place for food lovers, this Souvlaki Greek tavern offer the choicest lamb chops and meals that are truly value for money.
There are many ways to get around Vancouver.
- Walking: Depending on where you’re staying and headed, Vancouver can be a very pedestrian-friendly city. If you are in downtown, you will be in the midst of the big sights and activities and you can easily walk around Stanley Park, Chinatown, Yaletown, Robson Street, and the West End.
- Trolley and Bus: If you are tired from walking, there are also trolleys and buses that run between the major sights, allowing you to hop on or off as you go. The Vancouver Trolley Company stops in the popular locations, making it easy to hop on again when you are done sightseeing an area.
- Taxi: Taxis are a good idea if you are out at night and need a lift back to where you are staying. They are relatively affordable and will get you exactly where you want to go.
- Seabus: If you want to check out the North Shore, you can catch the Seabus downtown. It will drop you off at Lonsdale Quay.
- Car: When all else fails, you can always rent a car to get around the city. It might be a good idea if you are interested in exploring outside of the city but not be confined with a tour’s schedule.
Places to Shop
Depending on what you are interested in looking for, there is a lot of great places to get some unique Vancouver shopping done.
- Keefer Street: Located in Chinatown, you will find Chinese grocers and apothecary shops along Keefer Street.
- Main Street Poodle Area: If you are taking the bus around the city, get off at the Main Street Poodle to find all of the best indie stores in Vancouver, including the Regional Assembly of Text and Neptoon Records.
- 4th Avenue: You will find a variety of boutique shops along 4th Avenue, including popular trendy and indie shops, including Wanderlust, a travel-themed store, and Zulu Records.
Ultimately, you can find just about anything that you need in Vancouver. Bursting with culture and diversity, Vancouver offers something for everyone. Whether you would like to take in nature, history, or even the trendiest microbreweries around, you will find it in Vancouver.