Vancouver Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Vancouver is British Columbia’s biggest city. It’s the gateway to the glaciers of Alaska, the wilderness of Western Canada and
the slopes of Whistler, and it’s also one of the world’s
most desirable places to live. Wherever you roam in Vancouver, the salty sea breeze carries the fresh scents
of the forest and the promise of adventure. It’s welcoming neighborhoods are filled
with the aromas of incredible cuisines, roasting coffee beans, brewer’s hops, and all the urban delights you’d expect
from city which is regularly voted, “the World’s most livable”. The secret to Vancouver’s success is that it has always been developed
with livability in mind. Ever since European settlement only 150 years ago, the people of Vancouver have protected the rivers, coastline and forest, maintaining the perfect balance between nature
and the built environment. And there’s no finer example than the city’s
pride and joy, Stanley Park, which dates all the way back to 1886. Because Stanley Park spans more than
a thousand acres, you can return over and over again
and always discover something new. To get to the park, simply cycle or walk along the century-old Seawall
from the nearby downtown area. The wall not only keeps the sea at bay, but ensures Vancouver’s waterfront is accessible
to everyone. Water has always played a major role
in this port and river city. Watch ships come and go from Brockton Point, where a lighthouse marks the easternmost tip
of Stanley Park, or from the viewing platform at Prospect Point, on the park’s northern tip. The coastal First Nations people are seafarers too, having paddled to these misty shores
over 17,000 years ago. In the Museum of Anthropology at the
University of British Columbia, totems and sculptures depict the rich mythologies
of the Haida people and the other indigenous tribes of the
Northwest Coast. The modern city takes its name from the
British navigator George Vancouver, who landed here in 1792. The original settlement, however, was called “Gastown”. In 1867 Gassy Jack, a sailor and renowned storyteller, convinced local timber cutters to build him
a saloon in exchange for all the whisky
they could drink in one sitting. No one knows who got the best end of the deal, but a tavern was quickly erected
and a town was born. Gassy Jack and his makeshift pub may be long gone, but in the historic neighborhood of Gastown, his spirit lingers on, in the good company, the hearty food and in the vapors that rise
from the city’s iconic Steam Clock. Vancouver’s early history continues at nearby
Waterfront Station, the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The railway’s construction brought
Chinese workers by the thousands, whose descendants have enriched Vancouver
ever since. Experience this interweaving of cultures at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park and
Classical Chinese Garden, the first garden of its kind created
outside of China. And in Vancouver’s Chinatown, where the fusing of Oriental flavors with
fresh local seafood has helped earn the city the title, “the Culinary Capital of Canada”. Back in Downtown, admire yet another of the city’s iconic landmarks, The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Opening in 1939, this Castle in the City, became a reflection of the city’s growing prestige
and confidence. Just a short stroll away, is Canada Place, where cruise ship travelers from all over
the globe arrive to explore the city, or embark on epic voyages to Alaska. If you’re visiting Vancouver
with younger adventurers, they’ll find plenty to discover at
Science World. And at the Vancouver Aquarium, little Jacques Cousteaus can meet the cold-water
creatures of the British Columbian coast, or simply watch in awe as tropical species
glide on by. After visiting Vancouver’s central highlights, explore the city’s south side. Ride the ferry or aquabus across False Creek
to Granville Island. Stock up on provisions and delicious treats
at the famous Granville Island Public Market, then, sample a few craft ales at Granville
Island Brewing. From Granville Island, head south to Queen Elizabeth Park on
Little Mountain, the city’s highest peak. Once scarred by quarries, the city transformed these former gravel pits
into a stunning network of gardens, creating a peaceful oasis high above the city. After you’ve breathed in the views, check out the Bloedel Conservatory, a lush greenhouse filled with some of Vancouver’s
most colorful residents. When it’s time to answer the call of the wild, cross the Lions Gate Bridge, named after the nearby twin peaks
which loom over the city. The North Shore Mountain range is dissected
by three deep valleys. It’s a wilderness where bears roam,
and salmon-filled rivers flow through old-growth forests. Cross the 450 foot-long Capilano Suspension Bridge, which has been testing the nerves of visitors
for over 125 years. Then take a Treetops Adventure, high above the rainforest floor. For a bird’s-eye view of Vancouver, head to the top of Grouse Mountain. Or to go even higher, climb into the viewing pod of The Eye of the Wind,
the mountain’s landmark wind turbine. Vancouver offers extraordinary outdoor experiences
and mind-blowing vistas, all within its city limits, but venture a little further and you’ll arrive
at a whole other level of awesomeness. Less than a two-hour drive from the city is the world-renowned mountain village of Whistler. This adventure playground is simply magic
all year round, but when the season’s first snows
come whirling down, it transforms into a wonderland. Hit the slopes of the Whistler Blackcomb Resort, the largest ski resort in North America. The beautifully connected runs here
cater to all skill levels and attract elite skiers and beginners from
all over the globe. And while you could drive to back to Vancouver
the same day, why not put the world on hold for a few nights, warm yourself by a fire, and enjoy some of Canada’s finest hospitality. Vancouver is and always has been, a city connected with nature and adventure, it beckons from the breeze, the waters, the mountains, her very street corners. So whether your idea of living, is testing yourself in the wilds, or adventures of a more urban kind, you’ll feel perfectly at home, and alive, in Vancouver.

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