The Getaway
Discover Vancouver: A Guide for Every Kind of Traveler

Vancouver is a beautiful city in British Columbia, Canada. It has mountains, beaches, and many fun activities for everyone to enjoy. People from all over the world love to visit Vancouver.

If you like being outside, Vancouver has wonderful parks and trails. You can go hiking or ride your bike. Families can have a great time at the Vancouver Aquarium and Science World. If you love food, you'll be excited to find lots of delicious restaurants. They serve food from different countries.

Vancouver is also a perfect place to start a trip to other parts of British Columbia. You can take a day trip to Whistler, a famous ski town. Or you can visit the lovely city of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

If you like art and culture, Vancouver has many museums, galleries, and theaters for you to explore. And if you want to relax, there are plenty of spas and yoga studios.

No matter what kind of traveler you are, Vancouver has something special for you. Let's discover some of the best things to see and do in this amazing city!

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01 Exploring Vancouver's top attractions in one day

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Alexandre Deslongchamps / Getty Images

Start your day by visiting the famous Stanley Park, a huge 1,000-acre park with forests, walking trails, and the Vancouver Seawall. You can rent a bike and explore the park. Make sure to check out the totem poles at Brockton Point and the amazing views from Prospect Point.

After that, go to Granville Island. It's a lively place full of art, culture, and food. Look around the colorful stalls at the Public Market. Try some local foods like artisanal cheeses and fresh seafood. You can also watch street performers put on shows for the crowds.

In the afternoon, go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Here, you can walk across an exciting suspension bridge that's 230 feet above the Capilano River. Take in the stunning views of the forest around you. Explore other fun things in the park, like the Treetops Adventure and the Cliffwalk.

Finish your day by walking through Vancouver's historic Gastown neighborhood. It's known for its old Victorian buildings, steam clock, and cool boutiques. Have dinner at one of the many restaurants that serve local and international food. Enjoy the fun and lively atmosphere of this popular area.

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02 A perfect weekend getaway in Vancouver

A shot of several food trucks including the world famous Japadog street food vendor lining a street in the hip Olympic Village neighbourhood of Vancouver CineCam / Shutterstock.com

Start your weekend with a fun trip to Lynn Canyon Park. This park is a beautiful rainforest with hiking trails, waterfalls, and a cool suspension bridge. Take a nice hike through the park and enjoy the amazing views. Don't forget to take some photos of the stunning nature all around you!

In the afternoon, go on a food truck tour and try foods from all over the world. You can taste Korean tacos, Japanese hot dogs, and the famous Canadian dish called poutine. As the sun sets, go on a kayak tour of False Creek. You'll get to see the city skyline as the sun goes down. It's a beautiful sight!

On the second day, visit the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. You'll get to see an amazing collection of art and artifacts from the First Nations people. Learn about the fascinating history and traditions of the Indigenous peoples who live in the Pacific Northwest.

Later in the day, go to Queen Elizabeth Park, which is the highest point in the city. From there, you can see incredible views of the mountains and the city skyline. Explore the beautiful gardens in the park, including the Bloedel Conservatory. Inside, you'll find exotic birds and plants from different parts of the world.

To finish off your weekend, have dinner at one of Vancouver's best restaurants, like Hawksworth Restaurant or Blue Water Cafe. Enjoy the delicious flavors and the variety of foods that the city has to offer.

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03 Discovering the best of Vancouver and beyond in a week

Granville Island Public Market on May 17, 2007 in Vancouver, Canada. It's home to over 100 vendors offering fresh seafood, meats, sweets and European specialty foods. DeymosHR / Shutterstock.com

Start your week with a fun day trip to Whistler, a famous ski resort just two hours north of Vancouver. In the summer, you can go hiking, mountain biking, and sightseeing. In the winter, you can ski and snowboard on some of the best slopes in North America.

On the second day, check out the lovely town of Deep Cove, just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the calm waters of the cove, with beautiful mountains all around you. In the afternoon, hike the nearby Quarry Rock Trail for an amazing view of the Indian Arm fjord.

Spend the third day exploring Vancouver's North Shore, starting with a visit to Grouse Mountain. Take the gondola to the top of the mountain and enjoy the stunning views of the city and mountains. In the afternoon, visit the Lonsdale Quay Market, a lively marketplace with local artisans, fresh produce, and yummy food stalls.

On the fourth day, take a day trip to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. Visit the beautiful Butchart Gardens, explore the historic Craigdarroch Castle, and take a walk along the charming Inner Harbour.

Spend the fifth day exploring Vancouver's different neighborhoods, starting with a visit to Chinatown, the biggest in Canada. Browse the colorful shops and markets, and try some authentic Chinese food. In the afternoon, visit the nearby Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. If you have time, maybe check out the world-famous Granville Island Public Market.

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04 Embark on an unforgettable outdoor adventure in Vancouver's natural playground

bike riding on the sea wall of downtown Vancouver Stanley Park Sterling Lorence Photo / Getty Images

Vancouver's natural beauty and diverse landscapes offer endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Start your adventure at Grouse Mountain, just 15 minutes from downtown. Take the gondola to the summit, where you can hike trails, enjoy views of the city and mountains, and spot wildlife like bears and eagles. For a challenge, hike the steep 2.9-kilometer Grouse Grind trail.

Next, visit Lynn Canyon Park, a lush rainforest with hiking trails, waterfalls, and a free suspension bridge. Trek through the well-maintained trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes, and marvel at the towering trees. Don't miss the serene 30-foot pool swimming hole in the heart of the forest.

For a unique paddling experience, go to Deep Cove, a charming seaside village 30 minutes from the city center. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the calm waters of Indian Arm, a glacial fjord surrounded by mountains. Keep an eye out for seals, eagles, and other marine life as you paddle.

Spend a day exploring Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre urban oasis bordering downtown. Rent a bike and cycle along the 10-kilometer seawall, stopping to admire the totem poles, visit the Vancouver Aquarium, or relax on the beaches. For a more secluded adventure, hike the interior trails through old-growth forests and glimpse hidden lakes and streams.

Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, featuring a 450-foot-long suspension bridge that sways 230 feet above the Capilano River. Explore the park's other activities, like the Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges through the canopy of towering trees, and the Cliffwalk, a walkway that clings to the cliff face above the river canyon.

Throughout your outdoor adventures, practice responsible eco-tourism by staying on trails, properly disposing of waste, and respecting wildlife. Many local tour operators and rental shops prioritize sustainability and can provide guidance on minimizing your environmental impact while enjoying the city's natural wonders.

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05 Family-Friendly fun: Exploring Vancouver's top attractions

Vancouver, Canada - January 10 2016: Evening view of Science World at Telus World of Science, a popular attractions for tourists and families in Vancouver, B.C. Canada Stephen Bridger / Shutterstock.com

Are you ready for a fun family adventure in Vancouver? Start by visiting Science World, where you can explore cool exhibits and watch exciting shows. You'll learn about nature and the human body and even catch a movie in the IMAX theater. When you get hungry, you can eat at the cafe or have a picnic in the nearby park.

Next, check out the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. You'll see all sorts of amazing sea creatures, like playful otters and colorful jellyfish. Watch the dolphins, sea lions, and penguins put on a show, and learn how the aquarium helps protect them. Don't forget to visit the touch pools, where you can gently pet starfish and other sea animals.

In the afternoon, head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for a thrilling adventure in the rainforest. Walk across the wobbly bridge high above the river, explore the smaller bridges in the treetops, and brave the scary Cliffwalk along the rocky cliff.

Spend a day at Granville Island, a fun place full of art, culture, and yummy food. Check out the colorful market, where you can taste treats like maple syrup, fancy cheeses, and fresh seafood. Watch street performers, visit the Kids Market for toys and games, and even take an art class together.

For an unforgettable outdoor experience, go to Grouse Mountain, just a short ride from downtown. Take the gondola to the top, where you can hike, enjoy the beautiful views, and visit the two rescued grizzly bears. In the winter, you can ice skate, snowshoe, or ski, and in the summer, watch the lumberjack show or see the birds of prey in action.

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06 A culinary journey through Vancouver's diverse food scene

Sign of Lobster Man at public market on Granville island in Vancouver city ARTYOORAN / Shutterstock.com

Are you ready for a tasty adventure in Vancouver? First, head to Granville Island Public Market. This lively spot is perfect for trying local foods like artisan cheeses, fresh veggies, and seafood. Make sure to sample the famous candied salmon or a warm bowl of clam chowder.

Next, explore the city's different neighborhoods, each with its own special flavors. In Chinatown, treat yourself to yummy dim sum at places like Floata Seafood or Dinesty Dumpling House. Check out the Punjabi Market for spicy curries and freshly baked naan bread. If you love Vietnamese food, go to the Kingsway area for hot bowls of pho and crunchy banh mi sandwiches.

Vancouver also has lots of cool food trucks. Look for Japadog, which makes Japanese-style hot dogs, or Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck for a tasty twist on a classic. Craving something sweet? Get in line at Soft Peaks Ice Cream or Mister Artisan Ice Cream for unique flavors and toppings.

For a fancy meal, book a table at one of Vancouver's top restaurants. Hawksworth Restaurant serves modern Canadian dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Maenam puts a new spin on Thai food, while Kissa Tanto mixes Japanese and Italian flavors in a stylish space. Vegetarians and vegans will love the creative plant-based options at The Acorn.

No food trip to Vancouver is complete without trying the city's awesome craft beer and wine. Visit local breweries like Parallel 49, Strange Fellows, or 33 Acres to taste unique small-batch beers. If you prefer wine, take a day trip to the nearby Fraser Valley or Okanagan wine regions to sip on world-class wines while enjoying beautiful views.

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07 The ultimate Whistler day trip itinerary

Scenic street view with many tourists in Whistler Village. Whistler is a canadian resort town visited by over 2 million people annually. Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Start your day trip to Whistler early by driving up the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver. The drive takes about 2 hours and has amazing views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains. Stop at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish for a quick ride to the top and great views of the area.

When you get to Whistler, go straight to the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. In the winter, you can ski or snowboard on the slopes in the morning. Rent your gear ahead of time or at the base of the mountain. In the summer, ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for incredible views of the valley.

Have a quick lunch at one of the many cafes or restaurants in Whistler Village. Try Purebread Bakery for sandwiches and pastries or Peaked Pies for Australian-style meat pies.

In the afternoon, explore some of Whistler's other attractions. Hike on trails like the Lost Lake Trail or the Brandywine Falls Trail. Or try mountain biking on the exciting trails at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

On your way back to Vancouver, visit the Whistler Olympic Plaza, which was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the summer, there are often free concerts and events. Make sure to take a picture with the Olympic Rings!

If you have time, finish your day with a soak in the hot baths and cold pools at the Scandinave Spa, in a peaceful forest setting. It's a great way to relax after a busy day in Whistler.

With some planning and an early start, you can enjoy the best of Whistler's outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, all in a one-day trip from Vancouver.

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08 Victoria to Vancouver: A day trip packed with adventure

Victoria Harbour and British Columbia Parliament Buildings at sunset Marc Bruxelle / Shutterstock.com

Start your day trip from Victoria to Vancouver by catching an early morning ferry or seaplane. Enjoy a quick breakfast on board or pack a snack to save time for exploring. When you arrive in Vancouver, head straight to Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre urban oasis. Rent bikes and cycle along the famous Seawall. Stop to admire the totem poles at Brockton Point and take in the stunning views from Prospect Point.

Next, go to Granville Island, a vibrant hub of art, culture, and cuisine. Wander through the Public Market and sample local specialties like artisanal cheeses, fresh seafood, and colorful produce. Watch street performers entertain the crowds, and browse the unique shops and galleries that showcase local talent.

In the afternoon, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for a thrilling walk across the wobbly bridge. It's suspended 230 feet above the Capilano River. Explore the park's Treetops Adventure, a series of seven smaller suspension bridges high in the forest canopy. If you're feeling brave, step out onto the Cliffwalk, a heart-pounding walkway clinging to the granite cliff face above the river.

As the day winds down, head to Gastown, Vancouver's oldest neighborhood. Soak up the historic charm of Victorian buildings and cobblestone streets. Snap a photo of the famous steam clock, and enjoy dinner at one of the area's many acclaimed restaurants, such as L'Abattoir or Chambar. They're known for their innovative Canadian cuisine and cozy atmosphere.

Before catching your evening ferry or seaplane back to Victoria, stroll along the Canada Place promenade. Take in the twinkling city lights and reflect on your unforgettable day trip adventure in Vancouver.

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09 Immerse yourself in Vancouver's thriving arts scene

Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

Start your cultural journey at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is in a beautiful neoclassical building. Explore the gallery's large collection of contemporary and historical works, especially those by British Columbian and Canadian artists. Make sure to check out the gallery's special exhibitions, which feature works by famous artists from around the world.

Then, head to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. This world-famous museum has an amazing collection of Indigenous art and artifacts from the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the world. You'll be in awe of the detailed totem poles, carved masks, and woven textiles. You'll also learn about the rich cultural heritage of the First Nations peoples.

For a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, watch a performance at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. This modern venue hosts all kinds of events, from classical music concerts and ballets to world music and contemporary dance. See what's playing during your visit.

Explore the city's lively public art scene by checking out the colorful murals and installations in areas like Mount Pleasant and the Downtown Eastside. Take a guided mural tour to learn about the artists and stories behind these impressive works, or just wander around and see what you can discover.

Finish your day at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, which showcases the works of the famous Haida artist Bill Reid and other Indigenous artists from the region. Admire the intricately carved gold and silver jewelry, stunning sculptures, and beautiful prints that show off the creativity and skill of these talented artists.

As you explore the city's culture, take a break at some of Vancouver's artisanal cafes and boutiques, which are popular with the local creative community. Enjoy locally roasted coffee, browse unique handcrafted items, and chat with the city's artists and makers. If you're visiting during one of Vancouver's many cultural festivals, like the Vancouver International Film Festival or the Vancouver Fringe Festival, make sure to join in the festivities for an unforgettable arts and culture experience.

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10 Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, and Soul in Vancouver

people doing yoga outside

Start your wellness journey in Vancouver by visiting one of the city's many popular yoga studios. Take classes for all levels in a beautiful, peaceful setting at YYoga. Or try stand-up paddleboard yoga with Vancouver Water Adventures, where you'll do poses while floating on False Creek's calm waters.

Indulge in a relaxing spa day at the Fairmont Pacific Rim's luxurious Willow Stream Spa. Enjoy a signature treatment like the Van Active Deep Pressure Relief massage or the Coastal Mountain Retreat, which includes a sea salt exfoliation and nourishing massage with essential oils. Unwind on the spa's outdoor terrace and take in the stunning mountain and ocean views.

Eat healthy, delicious food at one of Vancouver's many plant-based restaurants. The Acorn has creative vegetarian dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Heirloom Vegetarian offers a menu of inventive salads, bowls, and sandwiches. For a quick, tasty meal, check out Kokomo, a vegan cafe with colorful smoothie bowls and filling macro bowls.

Get outside and get moving on one of Vancouver's many scenic hiking trails. The Grouse Grind is a tough but rewarding hike up Grouse Mountain, with amazing views of the city and mountains at the top. For an easier hike, try the Quarry Rock Trail in Deep Cove, which leads to a pretty lookout point over the water.

End your day with a calming meditation session at The Quiet Company, a modern downtown meditation studio. Pick from a variety of guided sessions, like mindfulness, visualization, and breath work. Or attend a special event like a sound bath or tea ceremony. You'll leave feeling peaceful, focused, and ready to take on the world.

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