Vancouver City Guide


Suggested Itineraries for Visiting Vancouver

©2006 Tom Ryan The Gastown Steam Clock sounds its whistles every 15 minutes.

There are so many things to do in Vancouver that you may not know where to start. The following suggested itineraries -- broken down into categories of interest ranging from shopping to the arts scene -- should help.

Special Events & Attractions in Vancouver

Special Events & Attractions in Vancouver

From the cultural attractions in Chinatown to the natural wonders along the seawall, Vancouver offers loads of special events and attractions for every type of visitor. These suggested itineraries will ensure that you won't miss any of the must-see attractions.

1 day: Make the seawall your lodestar. Since it runs around the downtown peninsula for about 13 miles (21 kilometers), you should pick a few sections to walk and experience.

One option is to catch a small passenger ferry to Granville Island (False Creek Ferries or Aquabus) from a public dock along the north side of False Creek or Sunset Beach. After a cappuccino and pastry, amble through the public market and walk west on the seawall for about 20 minutes to the Vancouver Maritime Museum (1905 Ogden Ave). Visit the St. Roch RCMP schooner that defeated difficult ice conditions in the Northwest Passage in the 1940s. Just beyond the museum sprawls Kitsilano Beach Park, with a spectacular outdoor pool and popular restaurants.

Alternately, walk the seawall from Canada Place westward through Coal Harbour into Stanley Park (2009 Beach Ave). Spunky coffeehouses line this route. Just inside the park is the Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Science Centre, one of the best anywhere.

Later, make your way to English Bay and Denman Street, filled with modestly priced traditional and ethnic eateries, or head back downtown for an exploration of oh-so-hip Robson Street, where you can dine or chose a place in the Granville Island Entertainment District.

2 days: Head from the downtown eastward this time -- not far -- to Yaletown. This one-time railway terminus sports a funky industrial ambiance and exceptional restaurants. Then continue to the Urban Fare Food Emporium (177 Davie St) and (again) to the seawall on the North Shore of False Creek.

Check out Vancouver's chic inner-city lifestyle and eye-opening public art, or venture northeast to historic Chinatown (E Pender and Gore sts) or Gastown (Columbia and Alexander sts) -- both a little tatty but always interesting. In Chinatown you can purchase or see unique items like 100-year-old duck eggs, and in Gastown you can watch the Gastown Steam Clock pipe up every 15 minutes or visit the Vancouver Police Centinnel Museum, which covers notorious local crimes.

Spend the rest of your evening at a downtown venue or maybe take in a groovy Yaletown bar like George (1137 Hamilton St) or Elixir at the Mobil Two-Star Opus Hotel (322 Davie St).

3 days: Drive or join a bus tour to the North Shore, via the iconic Lions Gate Bridge. Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge (3735 Capilano Rd) and its Treetops Adventures, then take the SkyRide up Grouse Mountain, where from up high you can see Greater Vancouver -- even Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands on a nice day.

If you're feeling fit, rent bikes or inline skates at one of the rental shops on Denman Street (in the West End) or Davie Street (Yaletown). Then cycle or skate the entire Stanley Park Seawall (5.5 miles or 8.8 km).

Vancouver's White Spot restaurants (renowned for their sloppy burgers and fries) make a great finale. Or enjoy a serious restaurant on the water -- in English Bay, False Creek, or Coal Harbour. Follow up with a nightcap in the Bacchus Lounge of the Mobil Three-Star Wedgewood Hotel (845 Hornby St) or the 900 West Lounge in the Mobil Three-Star Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at Granville and Georgia.

Arts & Culture in Vancouver

Arts & Culture in Vancouver

With several museums, theaters, and galleries, the arts and culture scene of Vancouver is bustling. See the itineraries below to make sure that you catch some of the best the city has to offer.

1 day: Art lovers will want to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St) for the Emily Carr paintings, as well as University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology (6393 NW Maritime Dr). (Eccentric in her day, Carr was especially sympathetic to the native people, and her paintings reflect that.)

©2006 John Sinal See Emily Carr paintings and more at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

To shop for a superb aboriginal mask by a Haida or Kwakiutl artist, head to Gastown (Columbia and Alexandria sts) or Yaletown (Hamilton St from False Creek to Burrard Inlet on the NW to Georgia St NE), where high-end art emporiums offer a good selection in terms of style and price. A sophisticated (and hip) place for dinner is Yaletown's Blue Water Cafe (1092 Hamilton St). While the menu will depend on the season, fine options include B.C. sablefish and Queen Charlotte Islands halibut.

Hop a False Creek Ferry at Sunset Beach in the West End for a short bob to the Vancouver Maritime Museum (1905 Ogden Ave) in Kitsilano. Then amble along the seawall path for meal at the fine new Watermark restaurant in Kitsilano Beach Park).

Evening might include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre or an offbeat production at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island (1661 Duranleau St). After dinner, stroll the seawall in Coal Harbour and have a look at the Light Shed.

2 days: South Granville (recently re-dubbed the Granville Rise) is a dozen city blocks of higher-end stores and galleries south of the downtown peninsula. Commercial art galleries and antique dealers cluster here, making it ideal for an artsy stroll. Near the entrance to Granville Island, the Waterfall Building includes the flagship Elliott Louis Gallery, specializing in Canadian art (1540 West Second Ave).

Avant-garde art seekers will appreciate the downtown Contemporary Art Gallery (555 Nelson St) and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery on the UBC campus.

In Kitsilano's Vanier Park, near the maritime museum, you'll find the Vancouver Museum (1100 Chestnut St) and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut St). The latter shows astronomy-related laser shows in its rooftop Planetarium. Both museums are child-friendly. Science World (1455 Quebec St) at the east end of False Creek is mainly for kids.

For a unique theater experience, take in Bard on the Beach also in Vanier Park. This phenomenally successful seasonal Shakespeare festival takes place in marquee tents that overlook the West End and North Shore mountains.

3 days: Storyeum (142 Water St), a classy tourism-oriented multimedia show about British Columbia's history is in Gastown. For mildly edgy street culture and antiques culled from around the province and beyond make your way to Main Street in Mount Pleasant.

The commercial district is long, but interesting pockets are found between (East) Eighth Avenue and 30th. Movie stars who work briefly in this Hollywood North have been known to shop at Vancouver Architectural Antiques (2403 Main St) for maybe a pair of luxurious wall sconces or an elaborate armoire.

Adventurous visitors will want to explore the Punjabi Market on Main Street around East 49th Avenue. Here's a little bit of genuine India in shops selling luscious clothes and fabrics, along with a few modestly priced restaurants.

Wrap up your visit with a night at The Playhouse (Hamilton and Dunsmuir sts). Then slip into Yaletown to the Coast Restaurant (1257 Hamilton St). The seasonal menu will likely include spring or sockeye salmon with a distinctly coastal twist.

Architecture & Landmarks in Vancouver

Architecture & Landmarks in Vancouver

The following itineraries will help you experience the best of Vancouver's architecture and  landmarks:

1 day: Spend the morning around Canada Place in the north of the city. Just to the west, on Burrard Street, is the evocative Marine Building (355 Burrard St). Step inside and check out the atrium and elevators. Then walk westward along the seawall (past the new convention center construction site) into Coal Harbour. Here you'll get a sense of a burgeoning Vancouver lifestyle -- the good life in modestly sized apartments with lots of nearby amenities.

Among them is the Coal Harbour Community Centre (480 Broughton St), with a park on its roof and a juice bar that makes a good pit stop. In the afternoon, take in the UBC Museum of Anthropology (6393 NW Marine Dr), notable both for its architecture and world-class collection of coastal aboriginal art.

Another option is Vancouver's Chinatown (E Pender and Gore sts). Though not as vibrant as it once was, it remains a genuine slice of the South China Sea region from which most early immigrants came. Note the elaborate porches in the colonial-era Chinese-style buildings on East Pender Street, suggestive of the tropical heat they left behind.

For dinner, an obvious choice is Wild Rice (117 West Pender St). Recommended dishes include shanghai sweet & sour sticky ribs and knotted long beans and capsicum saute.

2 days: For a sense of Vancouver's industrial history, begin with an amble through Yaletown (Hamilton St from False Creek to Burrard Inlet on the NW and Georgia St on the NE). Once a Canadian Pacific Railway terminus, its Hamilton and Mainland streets retain the original loading docks with overhanging canopies. Today they shelter chic coffeehouses, eateries, bars, and brewery.

Then take a ferry to Granville Island (1661 Duranleau St), which has also preserved a little early character as a nexus of shipyards, sawmills, and iron forges. Explore its Maritime Market, with a large boat repair facility, marina, and other nautical features.

©2006 Tourism Vancouver Granville Island is a must-visit spot, offering plenty to see and do for hours.

If it's a nice day, travel over the Lions Gate Bridge -- an important Vancouver icon -- to Grouse Mountain (6400 Nancy Greene Way). Take the SkyRide to the top for a fine view of the city. For a gander at the best of suburbia, motor (or take the West Van Blue Bus) along West Vancouver's Marine Drive. Homes sited on coves and hillsides west of Dundarave -- through West Bay, Caulfeild, Eagle Harbour, and Fisherman's Cove, all the way out to Horseshoe Bay -- are among the most desirable and coveted on the West Coast. A longtime favorite at Horseshoe Bay is Troll's Restaurant (6408 Bay St). What to order? Fish and chips, of course.

3 days: Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard St) is open weekdays for visits and daily for services. Built in the late 1800s in the Gothic Revival style, it's a wonderful combination of old world design and new world materials, mostly fine woods.

Across the street stands one of Canada's great railway hotels, the Mobil Three-Star Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia St), where you should explore its lower floors for a step back in time. For a sense of how the city has evolved architecturally, walk through the West End, where you'll find a scattering of century-old mansions among the mid-rises.

From English Bay, head back east along the seawall to False Creek and Concord Pacific Place, a new community of luxury condo towers and townhouses that typifies today's downtown lifestyle. Note the street-level architectural features, including lamps, furniture, public art, and the Roundhouse Community Centre. The community also has facilities for children -- this is downtown living for affluent families. Dine nearby at the Provence Marinaside Restaurant (1177 Marinaside Crescent), where you should try the seafood platter, a chef specialty.

Shopping in Vancouver

Shopping in Vancouver ranges from unique purchases in Richmond's Golden Village to great finds at Yew and Vine streets. These suggested itineraries should make it easier to plan out your shopping excursions.

1 day: For an appreciation of Vancouver's artistic output, you can't beat Granville Island (from West Second Avenue, onto Anderson Street). Prepare to spend half a day perusing the studios and shops. Include Railspur Alley and the Netloft and the vendors in the Granville Island Public Market. Also have a gander at the Crafthouse and the Gallery of B.C. Ceramics, both on Cartwright Street.

Distinctly Canadian goods such as Hudson's Bay Company wool point blankets are sold, of course, downtown at The Bay. Designer fashions dominate the Pacific Centre's Holt-Renfrew, Leone in the Sinclair Centre (Howe at Hastings), and on the South Granville Rise at outlets like Boboli (2776 Granville St) and Zonda Nellis (2203 Granville St).

A high-end restaurant nearby, renowned for its regional cuisine, is the Mobil Four-Star West (2881 Granville St). Make sure to try the Quebec foie gras followed by Canadian prime tenderloin with short rib ravioli.

2 days: Gastown and Yaletown offer a smattering of stores that in no way resemble The Gap. In Gastown you'll find them mostly on Water Street, but don't forget about the side streets as well. They include reputable outlets for quality aboriginal art from around British Columbia and the Arctic, such as the Spirit Wrestler (47 Water St), Marion Scott Gallery (308 Water St), and Inuit Gallery (206 Cambie St). In Yaletown an eclectic selection of interesting retailers cluster on and around Hamilton and Mainland streets.

Main Street, bisecting the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, has a new cachet. This historic thoroughfare has morphed into concentration of young designer shops and quality vintage outlets. They're all mixed up with inexpensive eateries, many of which serve the latest in coastal cuisine or ethnic foods. A chic, modestly priced newcomer is Habit (2610 Main St). Comfort dishes (for sharing) include duck ragu with olives on herb polenta.

3 days: For an all-round West Coast shopping experience, explore the mostly mid-priced stores along Kitsilano's Fourth Avenue. What's been called the "golden block" lies between Yew and Vine streets and includes destinations shops like Paboom (good junk, 2209 West Fourth Ave), the Magic Flute (classical music, 2203 West Fourth Ave), Duthie (gorgeous books, 2239 West Fourth Ave) and Gravity Pope (exotic shoes, 2205 West Fourth Ave).

For a slightly grittier shopping experience, get yourself east to Commercial Drive (the SkyTrain will take you to the Broadway Station, then walk north on Commercial). This is as near to lingering hippie-dom as you're going to get.

For a near-Asian cultural experience, immerse yourself in Richmond's Golden Village -- a massive agglomeration of mostly low-rise shopping malls located along No. 3 Road. At the high end is the glamorous Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way). Several hundred dining options abound in this area, too. A good bet is Aji Taro Japanese Bistro (101-4940 No. 3 Rd), where you should try the classic tempura. 

Nightlife & Entertainment in Vancouver

Nightlife & Entertainment in Vancouver

Whether you prefer a nice glass of wine or a dance club that's open till 4 am, Vancouver can deliver. Check out these suggested itineraries to catch all of best in nightlife and entertainment:

1 day: With just one night in the city, stick downtown. Amble into to Yaletown, and drop in at the George (1137 Hamilton St), an "Ultra" lounge celebrated for its mixed (and classic) drinks from gifted mixologists. Try a Mumbai Sling, a gin cocktail reflective the trend to classic spirits. Drop in at the Elixir at the super-chic and Mobil Two-Star Opus Hotel (380 Davie St), also home to gifted bartenders.

Or if you prefer a nice glass of B.C. wine (don't scoff, the industry here is stellar), amble down to Urban Fare (177 Davie St). There's a perfectly acceptable wine (by the glass) and coffee bar here, and good, inexpensive take-away meals, too.

If you're into socializing and heady music, head to the Roxy Night Club, (925 Granville St). A hot dining spot is the George Lounge (1137 Hamilton St). Sip a cocktail, with plates such as finger spring rolls and satay trio.

2 days: Now that you're warmed up, check out the Caprice Night Club & Lounge (965 Granville St), or slip over the Burrard Street Bridge to Kitsilano and the foot of Yew Street. There's a cluster of drinking spots here that draw a gorgeous crowd with a fair age range. They include Malone's Bar & Grill (2210 Cornwall at Yew), Urban Well (1516 Yew St), King's Head Pub (1618 Yew St), and Rossini's for live jazz (1525 Yew St).

South on Fourth Avenue is Bimini's Tap House (2010 West Fourth Ave), a local institution. Another laid-back fixture is Las Margaritas Restaurante & Cantina (1999 West Fourth Ave), where a must-try classics dish includes the deluxe quesadilla.

3 days: Commercial Drive, on the East Side, teems with spicy places for drinks and tapas-style plates -- and, importantly, eyeballing the passing sidewalk scene. This is little-bit edgy territory. Best bets include WaaZubee (1622 Commercial Dr), Havana (1212 Commercial Dr) and Stella's (1191 Commercial Dr). At Stella's, order a Belgian beer, poured in the traditional manner, and a "cornet of Belgian frites with aioli."

Now head to Main Street, where you'll find King Edward (East 25th Ave), with a number of small, understated clubs, restaurants, and coffeehouses with live music. Back downtown, late-night clubs include veteran Richard's on Richards (1036 Richards St). If there's a happening at the Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville St), don't miss it.

Celebrities Night Club (1022 Davie St) is a popular dance spot for the gay crowd. For dining with buzz, drop into Bin 941 (941 Davie St, no reservations), where you can't go wrong trying the coconut-steamed mussels.

1-, 2-, and 3-Day Suggested Itineraries for Relaxing & Unwinding in Vancouver

You'll find plenty of ways to unwind in this naturally beautiful city. Here are some of the best bets:

1 day: Walk the Stanley Park seawall, and contemplate the horizon. A circumnavigation will take a couple of hours -- longer if you linger at Third Beach. Have lunch at a waterfront location, such as the Mobil Two-Star Sequoia Grill at the Teahouse in Stanley Park (7501 Stanley Park Rd) for a ricotta and spinach tortellini or the Watermark on Kits Beach (technically at 1306 Arbutus St) for pan-fried coastal oysters.

Explore Granville Island, then enjoy a quality brew at the Dockside Pub in the Granville Island Hotel (1253 Johnston St). If it's a nice evening, take the SkyRide up Grouse Mountain (6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver), and dine at the Altitudes Bistro (honey mussels) or fancier Observatory Restaurant (beef carpaccio). If it's raining, consider the Mobil Two-Star Cannery Seafood House on the East Van shoreline (2205 Commissioner St). Best bet: Any one of the day's wild salmon entrees.

©2006 Tom Ryan Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is just one of many great gardens in Vancouver.

2 days: Rent a kayak or two (or a kayak for two) on Granville Island, and paddle placid False Creek. Fly a kite in Vanier Park in Kitsilano, or walk or cycle to Kitsilano Beach Park. Swim in the Kitsilano pool, one of the world's best outdoor public pools.

Explore the city's great gardens: VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak St); the tropical Bloedel Floral Conservatory (Queen Elizabeth Park); UBC Botanical Garden and Japanese Nitobe Memorial Garden.

Revel in the tranquility of the UBC Museum of Anthropology, or roam the peaceable Vancouver Art Gallery. In the early evening, cozy up to the bar at the Mobil Three-Star Pan Pacific Hotel at Canada Place. Afterward (and if you're feeling flush), dine on prime Alberta beef at its Mobil Three-Star Five Sails Restaurant.

3 days: Even if you're not a serious cyclist, rent bikes (they, too, come tandem) and cycle around Stanley Park. If you're with a companion, walk the park's leafy interior trails (it's not a good idea to walk alone). Rent kayaks at Deep Cove in North Vancouver (Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak), and paddle across Indian Arm. Picnic on an island or take the Blue Bus from downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay.

Watch the fishing boats and ferries come and go, then have a beer or dinner at one of a dozen bars and restaurants along the beachfront.

Back in Vancouver, mellow out at a restaurant on False Creek, in Yaletown, or Coal Harbour, and watch the sun go down. On the north shore of False Creek, Mobil's Three-Star C Restaurant (2-1600 Howe St) will dazzle with the likes of its crisp rainbow trout.

No matter where your interests lie -- from native art to trendy shopping to kayaking -- Vancouver will deliver. This Canadian city has really come into its own, with a wonderful blend of culture, nature, food, and good old-fashioned fun awaiting its visitors.

©Publications International, Ltd.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alison Appelbe is a travel writer and photographer, based in her native city of Vancouver, B.C. While she's written extensively about the city, including her own guidebook Secret Vancouver, her travel articles on other parts of the Pacific Northwest are frequently published in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the United States. Beyond that, Europe, and particularly its smaller walkable cities, are a perennial attraction. She's visited Europe almost every year of her adult life.

Nightlife & Entertainment in Vancouver

Nightlife & Entertainment in Vancouver

Whether you prefer a nice glass of wine or a dance club that's open till 4 am, Vancouver can deliver. Check out these suggested itineraries to catch all of best in nightlife and entertainment:

1 day: With just one night in the city, stick downtown. Amble into to Yaletown, and drop in at the George (1137 Hamilton St), an "Ultra" lounge celebrated for its mixed (and classic) drinks from gifted mixologists. Try a Mumbai Sling, a gin cocktail reflective the trend to classic spirits. Drop in at the Elixir at the super-chic and Mobil Two-Star Opus Hotel (380 Davie St), also home to gifted bartenders.

Or if you prefer a nice glass of B.C. wine (don't scoff, the industry here is stellar), amble down to Urban Fare (177 Davie St). There's a perfectly acceptable wine (by the glass) and coffee bar here, and good, inexpensive take-away meals, too.

If you're into socializing and heady music, head to the Roxy Night Club, (925 Granville St). A hot dining spot is the George Lounge (1137 Hamilton St). Sip a cocktail, with plates such as finger spring rolls and satay trio.

2 days: Now that you're warmed up, check out the Caprice Night Club & Lounge (965 Granville St), or slip over the Burrard Street Bridge to Kitsilano and the foot of Yew Street. There's a cluster of drinking spots here that draw a gorgeous crowd with a fair age range. They include Malone's Bar & Grill (2210 Cornwall at Yew), Urban Well (1516 Yew St), King's Head Pub (1618 Yew St), and Rossini's for live jazz (1525 Yew St).

South on Fourth Avenue is Bimini's Tap House (2010 West Fourth Ave), a local institution. Another laid-back fixture is Las Margaritas Restaurante & Cantina (1999 West Fourth Ave), where a must-try classics dish includes the deluxe quesadilla.

3 days: Commercial Drive, on the East Side, teems with spicy places for drinks and tapas-style plates -- and, importantly, eyeballing the passing sidewalk scene. This is little-bit edgy territory. Best bets include WaaZubee (1622 Commercial Dr), Havana (1212 Commercial Dr) and Stella's (1191 Commercial Dr). At Stella's, order a Belgian beer, poured in the traditional manner, and a "cornet of Belgian frites with aioli."

Now head to Main Street, where you'll find King Edward (East 25th Ave), with a number of small, understated clubs, restaurants, and coffeehouses with live music. Back downtown, late-night clubs include veteran Richard's on Richards (1036 Richards St). If there's a happening at the Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville St), don't miss it.

Celebrities Night Club (1022 Davie St) is a popular dance spot for the gay crowd. For dining with buzz, drop into Bin 941 (941 Davie St, no reservations), where you can't go wrong trying the coconut-steamed mussels.

1-, 2-, and 3-Day Suggested Itineraries for Relaxing & Unwinding in Vancouver

You'll find plenty of ways to unwind in this naturally beautiful city. Here are some of the best bets:

1 day: Walk the Stanley Park seawall, and contemplate the horizon. A circumnavigation will take a couple of hours -- longer if you linger at Third Beach. Have lunch at a waterfront location, such as the Mobil Two-Star Sequoia Grill at the Teahouse in Stanley Park (7501 Stanley Park Rd) for a ricotta and spinach tortellini or the Watermark on Kits Beach (technically at 1306 Arbutus St) for pan-fried coastal oysters.

Explore Granville Island, then enjoy a quality brew at the Dockside Pub in the Granville Island Hotel (1253 Johnston St). If it's a nice evening, take the SkyRide up Grouse Mountain (6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver), and dine at the Altitudes Bistro (honey mussels) or fancier Observatory Restaurant (beef carpaccio). If it's raining, consider the Mobil Two-Star Cannery Seafood House on the East Van shoreline (2205 Commissioner St). Best bet: Any one of the day's wild salmon entrees.

©2006 Tom Ryan Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is just one of many great gardens in Vancouver.

2 days: Rent a kayak or two (or a kayak for two) on Granville Island, and paddle placid False Creek. Fly a kite in Vanier Park in Kitsilano, or walk or cycle to Kitsilano Beach Park. Swim in the Kitsilano pool, one of the world's best outdoor public pools.

Explore the city's great gardens: VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak St); the tropical Bloedel Floral Conservatory (Queen Elizabeth Park); UBC Botanical Garden and Japanese Nitobe Memorial Garden.

Revel in the tranquility of the UBC Museum of Anthropology, or roam the peaceable Vancouver Art Gallery. In the early evening, cozy up to the bar at the Mobil Three-Star Pan Pacific Hotel at Canada Place. Afterward (and if you're feeling flush), dine on prime Alberta beef at its Mobil Three-Star Five Sails Restaurant.

3 days: Even if you're not a serious cyclist, rent bikes (they, too, come tandem) and cycle around Stanley Park. If you're with a companion, walk the park's leafy interior trails (it's not a good idea to walk alone). Rent kayaks at Deep Cove in North Vancouver (Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak), and paddle across Indian Arm. Picnic on an island or take the Blue Bus from downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay.

Watch the fishing boats and ferries come and go, then have a beer or dinner at one of a dozen bars and restaurants along the beachfront.

Back in Vancouver, mellow out at a restaurant on False Creek, in Yaletown, or Coal Harbour, and watch the sun go down. On the north shore of False Creek, Mobil's Three-Star C Restaurant (2-1600 Howe St) will dazzle with the likes of its crisp rainbow trout.

No matter where your interests lie -- from native art to trendy shopping to kayaking -- Vancouver will deliver. This Canadian city has really come into its own, with a wonderful blend of culture, nature, food, and good old-fashioned fun awaiting its visitors.

©Publications International, Ltd.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alison Appelbe is a travel writer and photographer, based in her native city of Vancouver, B.C. While she's written extensively about the city, including her own guidebook Secret Vancouver, her travel articles on other parts of the Pacific Northwest are frequently published in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the United States. Beyond that, Europe, and particularly its smaller walkable cities, are a perennial attraction. She's visited Europe almost every year of her adult life.

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Architectural Institute of British Columbia

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