Top Five Things To Do In Vancouver British Columbia
FlyOver CanadaHave you ever experienced the glorious sensations of flying in a dream where you soar over ocean waves or scenic landscapes? Vancouver's new attraction FlyOver Canada just made that dream a reality for all ages. Located in downtown Vancouver at Canada Place, this amazing flight simulation ride provides a true flying experience. Once you're seated and securely bucked in with a seat belt, the ride ascends in front of a huge dome screen with the latest in projection and ride technology. The ride visually takes you across Canada's most breathtaking landscapes, waterways and mountains with gently blowing wind, scents (like fresh pine) and even mist to enhance your flight. If you have ever wanted to feel the exhilaration and freedom of soaring like a bird, visit FlyOver Canada for an amazing ride you'll never forget! If you go, make sure to arrive early, as FlyOver Canada is extremely popular and is situated adjacent to Coal Harbour where cruise ships dock; lines are often long during the summer season as well.
Capilano Suspension Bridge ParkVancouver, B.C. is renowned for its beautiful setting with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains, shimmering inlets, lakes, pristine forests and gorgeous parks. For a fun, outdoor adventure that also incorporates history and culture, visit one of the city's most popular attractions, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, located just 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver on Capilano Road. The park is comprised of 27-acres and it features an amazing range of walkways and suspension bridges. The main suspension bridge stretches 450-feet across and 250-feet above the Capilano River with incredible views. The bridge is fun to walk across, especially when it is filled with other visitors, as its springy suspension tends to throw you off balance; make sure to hang onto the rails. Moreover, the Treetops Adventure is another fantastic attraction that is series of suspension bridges winding their way through a West Coast Rainforest at 110-feet above the forest floor. And, for the ultimate in thrills and scenic views (if you're not afraid of heights), take a jaunt on a cantilevered suspended walkway that juts out from the cliff face high above the Capilano River.
Stanley ParkStanly Park is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated urban parks in Western Canada and is the largest in the city at over 988-acres. With an Aquarium, 37 points of interest and sublimely beautiful gardens, walking, rollerblade and biking trails, Stanley Park is a must-visit while in Vancouver. If you visit, consider a picnic in breath-taking scenic areas that overlook English Bay and Burrard Inlet or Coal Harbour for cityscape views. The park also features many activities that range from beach swimming pools to tennis, golf and basketball, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides. Of course, visitors can also just take a slow, meandering drive through the beautiful park or stop by several lookout points and gift shops. Moreover, there are several wonderful restaurants in Stanly Park, from the seasonal, Stanley's Park Bar and Grill to the Teahouse that features marvelous cuisine.
GastownIn 1867, Gastown was just a settlement in the wilderness with a lumber mill and a saloon; the same year Canada became a nation. The town grew into the third largest in Canada with a free spirit and independence that is still present in this distinctive and historic part of Vancouver. Today, visitors across the globe visit this lively area with its iconic, period street lamps and bohemian-upscale atmosphere. In fact, residents and visitors to Gastown love to stroll down these historic streets to leisurely browse and shop for fashion, unique boutiques and art galleries that offer superb local and native art. In the evening, Gastown changes gears and becomes the place to dine, dance and find some of the city's best music in an energetic atmosphere that is contagious.
Granville Island Public MarketThe Granville Island Market is a shopper and foodie's paradise for locals and visitors. Even though parking can be difficult on Saturdays and holidays, the bustling covered market offers a dizzying array of vendors in a sea of stalls. You can find everything in Granville Island Market from fresh produce, cheeses and meats to scrumptious pastries, teas and coffees, as well as fine jewelry, art and more. Naturally, with all of the delicious gourmet foods and aromas in the air, you'll want to sit, relax and sample some of the market's amazing fare and just people watch. When you're done exploring the covered market, take a stroll through the diverse shops outside that sell artisan fashions and unique gifts to hand-made brooms that look like they're straight from a Harry Potter movie. If chocolate is your passion, look for one of Western Canada's favorites, exquisite Roger's Chocolates. If you go, make sure to arrive at Granville early for good parking options and fewer crowds.
Vancouver, B.C. offers visitors a vast arena of fascinating museums, thrilling attractions, historical sites, tremendous dining, stunning gardens, chic hotels and so much more. Whether you have one day or a week to explore, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and engaging cities to discover on the West Coast.
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Patrice Raplee is an experienced travel photojournalist and editor of Travel Excursion and Seattle Spotlight for Positively Entertainment magazine. In addition, she writes a monthly travel column for the award-wining site OffbeatTravel.com and is a regular contributor on travel radio shows. She is a member of North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and the Recording Academy. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous international publications, as well as NW newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Stranger and Seattle Weekly. Patrice travels the globe to cover destinations that feature fascinating culture, art, culinary, history and soft adventure.
Photos courtesy of Tourism Vancouver and Patrice Raplee.