Vancouver is an exciting and dynamic West Coast city with a growing multicultural population – its Chinatown rivals San Francisco’s! It enjoys a spectacular natural setting, framed by mountains with the blue waters of Vancouver Harbour reflected off the shiny glass facades of its modern skyscrapers. Inside the city you’ll find remnants of its historic past in neighbourhoods like Gastown, along with sleek restaurants and fashionable boutiques. Abundant park spaces make it an exceedingly pleasant place to live, and visitors can appreciate its quirky museums and trendy art districts.
Vancover’s natural setting is one of its star attractions, and you can go kayaking or explore the surrounding wilderness of Grouse Mountain. Stanley Park features 1,000 acres of greenery, horseback riding, picnic benches and mile after mile of forested trails, bike paths and playing fields. Gastown is another must-see, being Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Cobblestone streets give way to the Steam Clock, which announces each quarter hour with a burst of steam! See First Nations works at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, or historic exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Granville Island features handmade products in its market, along with maritime merchandise and quirky stalls.
Most ships entering Vancouver dock at the Canada Place terminal, which offers a very convenient location in the heart of downtown. You’ll walk off the ship and be in the centre of Gastown, with all its restaurants, shops and hotels. However, some ships enter at Ballantyne Pier which is a bit further afield. If you enter here, you’ll need to take a 10-minute taxi ride into the city centre or make use of the ship’s shuttle service. Once you’re in town, it’s easy to get around this compact city using its TransLink system of ferries, SkyTrain light rail, and public buses.
Although you’ll find on-street parking fairly close to Canada Place, it’s recommended to use a secure parking facility instead. There’s a dedicate garage for cruise ship passengers at Canada Place Pier, just a few blocks away from the city centre. You’ll find this within the terminal’s 750 stall 2 level area, with elevator service to take you to the level of your ship. Parking facilities are open 24-7, with security personnel on hand to assist you as needed! Are you planning to be aware for more than a few days? Long term parking’s also available in this main garage.
The Capilano Suspension bridge and Grouse Mountain tour is so fantastic I’ve done it twice! I also recommend the lumberjack show and seeing the Grizzly bears – Grinder and Coola.
Vancouver is a beautiful city and there is a lot to see, including Stanley Park which overlooks at the bay with fantastic scenery and natural beauty.
Get a unique birds-eye view of Canada with the unique ‘FlyOver Canada’ attraction in Canada Place. You’ll be hooked up into a flight simulator with a big screen, experiencing the feel of ocean spray and wind in your face! For a panoramic view of Vancouver itself, you can take a glass lift up the Harbour Tower.
Vancouver boasts a sizeable Chinese population, and the city’s Chinatown is one of North America’s largest. Have a wander through the Classical Chinese Garden, enjoy a leisurely Sunday dim sum lunch, or go shopping for herbal medicines.
There are loads of green spaces in Vancouver, but one of the most exciting is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Start your tour of this lush rainforest space by walking across the slightly wobbly bridge, open to pedestrians only. There’s a Treetop Adventure if you have a craving for high-altitude adventure, as well as a glass-floored Cliffwalk!
Explore the trendier side of Vancouver in bohemian Kitsilano, with its vegetarian restaurants, or fashion-forward Yaletown, with its microbreweries, art galleries and designer boutiques. Both are great places to sit with a coffee and people watch.
Ready to hit the beach? There are plenty of choices in Vancouver, whether it’s Kitsilano’s beach park with its heated saltwater pool or English Beach with its bustling volleyball courts.