Vancouver is a wonderful place to explore nature's beauty. With the mountains as a backdrop, the Pacific Ocean as its boarder and lush forests located throughout the city, you'll be amazed at how beautiful Vancouver is. Whether you'd like to shop at the many stores, enjoy a dinner at one of its fantastic restaurants or stroll through nature's playground, Vancouver offers a unique experience for the adventure seekers and those who seek relaxation.
There are many wonderful landmarks found in the city including stunning churches, buildings and museums, which showcase talents within the city and from around the globe. But one of Vancouver's most famous sites is the Lion's Gate Bridge. Crossing over the Burrard Inlet, this stunning bridge connects the city of Vancouver to the beautiful North Shore Mountains. Chances are if you're taking a tour on the coast or happen to be leaving on a cruise, you'll be able to sail right underneath it.
Once you cross over on the Lion's Gate you enter the magical world of the North Shore Mountains. Those who love the outdoors will love the opportunities available whether its spring, summer, fall or winter. Home to three fantastic mountains, the North Shore is a favorite for both locals and tourists. First up, Grouse Mountain. Located about 15 minutes away this beautiful place is also known as the Peak of Vancouver. There are countless hiking and skiing trails and it offers a great view of the city below. Next is the Cypress Mountain affectionately known as Vancouver's Spectacular Mountain Playground and holds claim to having the most lifts, the most runs and being the highest of all North Shore Mountains. Last, but certainly not the least is Mount Seymour. Found on North Shore's east side, its close to the Pacific ocean, perfect for collecting lots of snow in the winter and offering warm temperatures in the spring. Seymour is well known for advancing the art of freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Adventure enthusiasts can also experience the rush of whitewater rafting at one of the many rivers that swell with the melt of snow. About 20 minutes away from downtown, you'll find the Capilano River, Lynn Creek and Seymour River, each one perfect for a 'cruise' down the river.
With close to 3,000 acres of parks located throughout the city, you'll be able to enjoy a lot of Vancouver's natural beauty with Stanley Park as its largest. It also happens to be the third largest park in all of North America. Located near downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park filled with many wonderful sites and activities. Explore the forests or lakes, take a ride on the miniature railway and tour the park, visit the Vancouver Aquarium or stroll along the seawall. Close to 9 km, this paved scenic pathway is a favorite for joggers and cyclists. And if you like to walk, spend a great day strolling along Robson Street. There is a huge selection of great places to enjoy a bite to eat ranging from Greek to Sushi, as well as a wack of coffee shops. Both sides of the street are lined with boutiques and stores showcasing the latest fashions. Peppered throughout are unique shops and galleries.
It seems that Vancouver has a coffee shop at almost every corner. But there are just as many great sushi places as well. But if raw fish and seaweed isn't your style, don't worry. Vancouver has a wide selection of restaurants to cater to everyone's palate. Make your way to the Yaletown Pub and Brewery. This fantastic pub has a great selection of drinks and meals (the goat cheese ravioli is amazing as are their pizzas). It's usually packed because of the service and great music that pumps throughout the place. You might even get lucky and see the magician that walks around showing amazing tricks. For a more elegant affair, enjoy the Blue Water Café. It's a beautiful restaurant whose service is impeccable. The meals are fantastic and if you are in the mood for sushi, they have some of the best in the city. End your night going to one of the casinos, enjoy a fantastic concert or dance the night away at one of the many clubs found on Granville Street.
For another great experience, make your way to Granville Island, not to be confused with Granville Street - two very different areas in Vancouver. Granville Island is a wonderful place to explore some of the best finds in Vancouver. One of the world's finest public markets is located here. There's a huge selection of produce, meat, fish and spices. Enjoy strolling through the many stores showcasing crafts and art from local artists or take a tour of the Granville Island Brewing Co. Wonder how they got the name. There's wonderful music, provided by live entertainers, ranging from folk to a string quartet. And with all the walking you'll be doing, there are many great places to get refueled. Taste some of the best fish and chips at a tiny restaurant or enjoy a gourmet meal at one of the well-known establishments. Just as a side note - if you can, try to walk to the island or take a small ferry. You can drive to it but parking is pretty hard to find.
There is a lot to do in Vancouver and if you have enough time you can experience it all. There are fantastic areas like Chinatown, and Gastown that are worth exploring. And even if you're not sure what exactly you're in the mood for or are only visiting for a few days, choosing just a few of Vancouver's activities, restaurants, sites and natural beauty make it well worth the effort to come here.