It feels like Vancouver is the city that has it all – clean, modern streets, quirky culture, mountains, forests and even beaches! It’s regularly voted one of the best cities in the world to live in, and it’s easy to see why. These are just a handful of the best things that you should check out if you visit this amazing city!
1.) Stanley Park
The shiny skyscrapers of the Vancouver cityscape are beautiful, but if you need a bit of time to get away from the hustle and bustle and just relax, Stanley Park has got you covered. With its 405 hectares of land, including forests, beaches and open space, you can pick your favourite recreation and while away a whole day here.
2.) English Bay Beach
English Bay beach is your quintessential golden sand, clear water beach, and it’s right on the edge of the city! You can come down and relax on the sand and sunbathe for the day, or if you are more of the active-type, how about a game of volleyball, or taking out a kayak?
Gastown is one of the oldest parts of Vancouver, and we loved how it has kept its old-school vibes. The area is filled with historic buildings, reminiscent of European design. It also has loads of quirky shops and tasty places to eat. Don’t forget to stop by the old steam clock and hear it play a tune every 15 minutes from the top of the hour.
4.) Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
This famous suspension bridge is set within a beautiful park, with enough to keep you busy for a whole day. However, if you are able to whizz round at a reasonable pace, try visiting after 5pm. The entry fee is 30% less after 5pm, and it is also much quieter in the evening. We stayed right up to closing time, and managed to get some shots of the bridge almost empty!
5.) Visit the Laughing Statues
It’s impossible not to smile as you set eyes on this artwork. These cheerful chaps can be found just off English Bay Beach. The ‘A-maze-ing Laughter’ bronze sculptures were created as part of the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale, and were later donated to the city of Vancouver.
6.) Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
If Capilano is a little on the pricey side, then make sure you check out Lynn Canyon. Entry to this area is free, although we’d recommend getting there early in order to guarantee a space and to beat the crowds. Once you’ve crossed the suspension bridge, there are hours of hikes around beautiful woodlands and streams here.
7.) Experience the Telus World of Science
The exterior of this place is enough of an experience as it is, but if you have time, do check out Science World, especially if you visit with children (although big kids will love it too!).
8.) Seek out the Street Artwork and Sculptures
The Trans-am Totem is just one of many amazing sculptures and works of art dotted around Vancouver. The Mount Pleasant area boasts lots of murals at the side of the road, although you can spot artwork all around Vancouver.
Be sure to check out the painted concrete silos on Granville Island, which you can see from the Granville Bridge.
9.) Granville Island
Visiting Granville Island is a bit like stepping into a bubble, to a simpler and more carefree time. You’ll find art studios, small cafes, street performers and a huge indoor market here. It is bursting with fun and colour, and is definitely worth a visit.
10.) Eat cheesecake at Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House
Voted the best cheesecake in Vancouver, Trees Organic is worth a visit for its famous dish. We treated ourselves to a ‘Coconut Dream’ cheesecake, along with two rather indulgent hot chocolates, topped with heaps of cream and chocolate shavings.
11.) Marvel at the stunning interior of the Marine Building.
Once upon a time, the Marine Building stood as the tallest building in Vancouver. It may since have been massively overtaken by the many modern skyscrapers, but what this building lacks in height, it certainly makes up for in style. Designed in a detailed art-deco style, the architecture and finishing details in this building are absolutely gorgeous.
12.) Enjoy the stunning landscape at Cleveland Dam
The dam itself is a pretty spectacular sight to behold, but don’t forget to take a look at the picturesque surroundings. Perfect for a picnic with the family, there are plenty of picnic benches here – don’t forget to bring a frisbee!
If you’re interested, we have put together a few vlogs on the couple of days we spent in Vancouver – check them out on our YouTube channel:
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