Vancouver is a typical Pacific Northwest city: liberal, diverse, cultivated and surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Its many public parks, mountains and waterways in and around the city make it an ideal playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the forward-looking hotels, bars, and galleries have turned this Northwest boomtown into a chic outdoor capital. From the glass buildings of downtown to the North Shore Mountains, Vancouver is one of the most enchanting cities in the world. It's a futuristic world of orcas, totem poles, and hockey-loving hipsters. Facing the Pacific Ocean and burgeoning with enormous cedar and spruce trees, the major city of more than 1,040 square miles promises countless adventures.
Museum of Anthropology: It's simple to be mesmerizedby Vancouver's geographical splendor, but to get involved with this cityproperly; you have to start from the beginning, from the very beginning.Vancouver and what is defined as the Lower Mainland were populated around10,000 years ago. Overlooking the Burrard Inlet, on campus at the University ofBritish Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology provides a mosaic of Native works,both ancient and modern, many of which combine a narrative that is scarcelyrevealed to visitors to this great region. If you'd like to learn about theroots of the city and its interaction with the global world, this is one of themost interesting things to do in Vancouver.
Grouse Grind Hiking: There's really no smart choiceto become an honorary Vancouverite (yep, that's what they're called) than towin your stripes on the Grouse Grind. Originally named "Mother Nature'sStairs," this is not a Sunday walk. Situated on the North Shore ofVancouver, at the foot of the Grouse Range, the Grind, as it is affectionatelycalled, brings hikers 850 m up the Alpine. As soon as you hit the summit, apanoramic chalet greets you with ice cold drinks and expansive views of thecity. And once you've recovered, spare those wobbly legs from more torment andtake a scenic trip down the Grouse Gondola Mountain.
Cycle around Stanley Park: Where else in the worldyou can bike through an old developing woodland, explore ancient Tribalsettlement sites, steal a tan at the beach, relax in a rose garden, or get upand down with sea lions and Pacific dolphins. There is a handful of cyclingrental spots at the base of Denman Lane, and it's the easiest way to get aroundthe park.
Window-shop in Gastown: Vancouver itself started inthe centre of what is now a hip neighborhood called Gastown, named for ahistoric character known as "Gassy Jack." Once Canada's third largestcity, Gastown, was the site of numerous lumber mills in 1867, Gastown is nowhome to chic loft studios, European food stores, cocktail lounges and flamboyantboutiques. There are a few notice galleries along Water Lane, and a number ofplaces to buy Canadiana.
While it's an outstanding year-round destination (and fromNovember to April, you can tack on a day of skiing or surfing on the nearby skihills), Vancouver shines best from April to October, with flowers in bloom,sunsets long and late, and patio bars spilling over. Summer festivals are toomany to be counted; however, the delightful January city-wide Dine Out Festivaland the prestigious International Wine Festival take place in February.
Temperatures are moderate with summer temperatures in themid-20s, and winters barely dip below freezing. But rain is normal all yearround, with most rainy days coming from October to April. Think of the layersand still get a fog.
Area: 115 kmÂ²
Population: 6.75 lakhs (2017) United Nations
Province: British Columbia