Vancouver travel information
Disarmingly pleasant and easygoing, Vancouver is well worth a stopover of a couple of days. It is definitely a destination that everyone would like to visit at least once in their lifetime and if they decide to visit it in 2010 when it hosts the Winter Olympic Games, the city will deliver its best.
If you can’t wait till then, you will still find a city that is a beautiful blend of The Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the North Shore as a setting and the city itself is a blend of culture, history and modernity since it is a relatively new city.
Start visiting the city with the peninsula that hosts Stanley Park, downtown and the West End. Other places on your itinerary should include the University of British Columbia, Stanley Park, Kitsilano Beach, Granville Island (packed with art studios and buskers), the city's working port called Burrard Inlet and Burrard Street (with its many buildings of architectural interest like the art deco Marine Building), Gastown and Chinatown which are the oldest parts of the city. Gastown is a pleasant place for a stroll just like Chinatown beautifully designed with gardens to resemble original places in China.
Another neighbourhood is the one around Kitsilano Beach which is very modern and it also has nice spots for relaxing in the middle of nature. Places for a relaxing walk along the seawall are also offered by the Prospect Point area that also offers great views.
Among the most visited attractions not far from the city centre is Stanley Park that hosts the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and many trails to bike on. It is not the only place to ride your bike as the whole city welcomes cycling, the Seaside Path being one of the most popular and scenic being car free. There are facilities for transporting it. For example you can take your bike on Trans Link buses, Aquabus Ferries, the Sea Bus and on the Sky Train. There are long-distance bike routes in the city and they are designed to be safe for the ones who use it so they are mostly next to quiet side streets.
Other outdoor activities include hiking in the North Shore Mountains that are close to the city. Here the trails are among wilderness and you need to be a bit experienced and not consider it as a no way possibility to get lost due to its proximity to the city as it is quite easy to get lost so it is a good idea to put warm clothes and extra food and water. If you don’t want to worry about the way there are plenty of easy forest walks in city.
Back in the city you may want to know which its famous buildings are. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver located on Hornby Street is a city landmark, then there’s The Cathedral Place office tower an attractive post modern building with the faux copper roof that mimics that of the hotel. The Gothic-style Christ Church Cathedral is another city’s landmark.
Vancouver Club is located on the waterside of the street and it in the old financial district. The former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has a 1907 cast-iron clock. Canada Place offers great ocean and mountain views as well as great tourist information as The Vancouver Tourist Info Centre is just across. There they might tell you that you must not miss visiting the Museum of Anthropology tracking the civilizations that flourished in the area.
As for entertainment the city offers a great arts scene. You can have the world of fun as there are plenty of venues featuring shows, plays, films, music, opera, ballet, and symphony. You can also spend your evening at one of the many restaurants that offer a diverse cuisine be it Chinese food or Pacific Northwest cooking.
Vancouver is a city rich in culture and diversity, a hot destination that everyone would want to visit at least once in their lifetime.