Nestled between soaring snow-capped mountains and long sandy beaches, Vancouver is a city brimming with contrasts that are just waiting to be explored.
Discover Canada’s third-largest city and you’ll see how easily this sophisticated metropolis blends culture and class with rugged natural beauty.
Once a rough port town, Vancouver now oozes laid-back West Coast chic. The locals here are just as comfortable hiking a mountain as they are dressing in haute couture for dinner at a five-star restaurant.
Sound out Vancouver’s colourful history with a trip to its oldest neighbourhood, Gastown. The area’s historic buildings now house contemporary boutiques, while old-world taverns sell pre-prohibition cocktails with a contemporary twist.
In earlier times Vancouver was populated by rum runners. Today’s adventurers prefer to explore the pristine waters of the North Pacific for kayaking, swimming and sailing. Or there’s Grouse Mountain – a ski and snowboarding destination in winter and a hiker’s paradise in summer.
The jewel in Vancouver’s crown is Stanley Park. At 404 hectares, it’s blessed with evergreen forests, beaches and a seawall that offers 9km of uninterrupted sea views.
Vancouver is not just a place for adventure – it’s also a city that loves to eat. The world’s top chefs gravitate to this wonderland of fresh seafood – think wild salmon, tender halibut, plump Qualicum Bay scallops or buttery spot prawns.
For freshly shucked oysters and award-winning sushi, try Blue Water Café + Raw Bar. Or head to Chinatown to sample some of the finest Cantonese food outside of China and Hong Kong.
For a hip hangout that combines European styling with an ever-changing wine list, head to the popular Salt Tasting Room. Tucked away down an alley in the Gaslight district, the award-winning small bar serves up a choice of 10 fresh cheese and charcuterie plates daily.
Craft beers flow freely in the Northwest and there’s no shortage of breweries serving up a frothy mug of homegrown hops. The original standard setter is Granville Island Brewing. It sprang onto the scene back in 1984 and has been turning out its popular Island Lager ever since. Take a tour in the afternoon and sample the latest releases, topped off with some light food pairings at the Taproom.
Well-known brands and upscale designers are easy to find in the downtown Pacific Centre mall and Robson Street. Or trawl the streets of Yaletown and Gastown for stylish ateliers, studios and galleries.
Main Street is lined with independent and vintage shops, where dresses from decades past sell for just a few dollars. A short cruise from central downtown is Granville Island, boasting local artisans and the vast Public Market.
See and hear
Arts and culture abound in Vancouver, where there’s always a festival to attend, a sports team to barrack for, or a race to win. Favourites include the international Celebration of Light fireworks competition, which is held each year in July and August.
For live music, you can’t go past the Commodore Ballroom, which has played host to the likes of Nirvana, Talking Heads and The Clash. Or if it’s a warm summer evening, why not visit some of the many outdoor theatres and film screenings?
Ready to go? Adventure World features a range of packages tailored to visitors’ personal preferences. For more information, visit www.adventureworld.com
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