Vancouver Top 10 Attractions
Taking a run or riding a bicycle along the Seawall is a great way to explore Vancouver. Should you wish to cycle, our properties have bikes available and there are several bicycle rental shops conveniently located at entrances to the world famous Stanley Park. The full Seawall is 8.8km featuring lovely beaches, photo-worthy views of English Bay, walking trails, historic totem poles, and an array of can’t-miss kid-friendly spots including a pool, water park, miniature railway and more. This 1,000 acre (400-hectare) park is recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world! It can take two to three hours to walk, or an hour to cycle the Seawall.
arts in the park
Vancouver is alive with creativity, from outdoor movies to cultural events and festivals located in beautiful parks and highlighted by spectacular waterfront vistas, there’s no better place to spend summer evenings. Stanley Park transforms into an outdoor cinema on Tuesday evenings during the Evo Summer Cinema Series or take in a musical with Theatre Under the Stars. Lovers of the bard can head to Bard on the Beach, to catch a Shakespearean play in magnificent Vanier Park.
The Grouse Grind trail takes you up steep and rugged terrain from the North Vancouver plateau to Grouse Mountain peak. It’s been called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” and after tackling this 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, it’s easy to see why. Less seasoned hikers can enjoy easier trails with sweeping views of the surrounding area. The Skyride departs every 15 minutes and travels above towering Douglas firs as the tramway takes you up to the summit.
carts and culture
Up until summer 2010, food cart vendors in Vancouver were only allowed to sell popcorn, chestnuts and hot dogs. Now, each summer new vendors hit the streets of Vancouver offering everything from Belgian waffles and Filipino fusion to gourmet grilled cheese and Japanese-inspired hot dogs. Currently, nearly 150 food trucks cruise around the city, with hot spots including Queen Elizabeth Theatre, outside local breweries and around the perimeter of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver has been named third-best street food city in North America by Travel + Escape magazine, just behind Portland and Austin. Locate the nearest food cart with the touch of a button using the free Vancouver Street Food App for iOS devices and on Android.
sushi in the city
Immerse yourself in the culinary diversity of Vancouver with the freshest sushi, Korean BBQ and Thai food in Canada. Add to that a farm-to-table ethos and incredible fresh local produce and you’re sure not to be disappointed. Freshly shucked oysters, seafood and classic sushi offerings are the staples of the Blue Water Café & Raw Bar. For a more traditional Japanese experience, try out the freshly prepared rolls and sashimi at Okada Sushi.
Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, bills itself as the historic heart of Vancouver thanks to unique options for fashion, food and flair. Among the many offerings, shoe lovers will want to check out Fluevog, with its workshop vibe and eclectic style. Old Faithful Shop is a gorgeous modern version of a traditional trading store, featuring beautifully designed home accessories, books and gifts. Roden Gray carries an impressive range of menswear offerings for urban chic gents.
Vancouver’s art scene is bursting and for art enthusiasts Vancouver Art Gallery, known for its works by Canadian artists, is a must. The gallery has an especially strong collection of regional artists. Just a few blocks away, you’ll find the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. Named after the acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid, this beautiful space is the only public gallery in Canada devoted to contemporary Aboriginal Art of the Northwest Coast. The striking Museum of Anthropology houses an impressive First Nations collection in addition to extensive ethnographic collections from around the world. For contemporary art, head to Catriona Jeffries Gallery to view works by such up-and-coming Canadian artists as Brian Jungen, Ron Terada and Myfanwy Macleod.
Granville Island is a vibrant urban oasis buzzing with life from dawn to dusk. Start at the Public Market, where you’ll find some of the city’s best local artisans. It’s also a favourite place for Vancouver’s top chefs to source local ingredients with an array of vendors selling fresh produce and gourmet goodies (needless to say, this is a great place to stop for lunch). Afterward, return to your childhood with a visit to the Kids Market – then head across the street to Granville Island Brewing Company to sample house-made beer. End the day by browsing the rest of Granville Island’s unique shops, restaurants and galleries.
For a completely different perspective on this stunning waterfront city, kayaking offers a wonderful way to see Vancouver. Downtown Vancouver is surrounded by inlets, estuaries and bays, which offer enticing views of the city and surrounding mountains. Even if you’ve not tried kayaking before, it’s easy to learn with lessons from an outfitter. Kayaks can be rented at Deep Cove or False Creek, which are popular places for exploring English Bay and nearby lakes.