5 Reasons to Visit Vancouver
What do you get when you mix endless shopping, renowned cuisine, fresh ocean air and an incredible mountain backdrop? The city Condé Nast voted North America’s best: Vancouver. Herewith, five reasons we can’t get enough of Vancouver.
A Walk in the Park
Vancouver’s Stanley Park is a densely forested swath of peaceful beauty. And it’s huge: at 1,000 acres, it’s bigger than the mother of all urban oases, New York’s Central Park. Built in the 1800’s as a military reserve to protect Vancouver Harbour, the Stanley Park of today is the perfect place for strolling or biking. But there’s more to Stanley Park than a brisk walk. There are the world famous totem poles; the gorgeous Brockton Point Lighthouse, British Columbia’s first; and the Stanley Park Seawall, encircling the entire park with magnificent views of Vancouver’s waterfront.
Market to Market
Vancouver shopping is all about neighborhoods, from Yaletown, a hip, funky enclave of warehouses-turned-boutiques and cafes; to the place for strolling and browsing, Robson Street, with everything from Salvatore Ferragamo to local designers’ boutiques. In Chinatown, you can pick up fine silks or exotic fruits, and summer brings an amazing weekend street market. And Gastown is the place for all things Vancouver, from Indian Candy (traditional sweet smoked salmon jerky) to Canadian blend coffee from local favorite Murchies.
Where City Life Meets the Great Outdoors
Some cities have access to nearby pristine natural beauty, but unlike other places, Vancouver’s exquisite surroundings are at your fingertips. The city itself is surrounded by the Strait of Georgia, which makes things easy for boating and water sports. The Provincial parks that encircle the city are teeming with trails ranging from leisurely to exhilarating. Ski resorts like Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and nearby Whistler are perfect for early birds and procrastinators: their ski seasons lasts from October through March!
Food, Glorious Food
Vancouver cuisine is nothing if not diverse. From fresh-out-of-the-water seafood to authentic Asian fare, Vancouver has become a culinary scene to be indulged. Try Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant for Geoduck, gigantic clams that are a local favorite. Tojo’s serves authentic, traditional Japanese fare made of fresh, locally-grown organic ingredients. But if you only go to one restaurant in Vancouver, make sure it’s Lumiere. Chef Rob Feenie has become an international culinary golden boy in recent years, and his French-Asian fusion like golden beet carpaccio and seared Queen Charlotte halibut have won him extensive awards.
The Gateway City
Looking to strike out into the vast expanses outside the city? Well you’re certainly in the right place. Vancouver is one of the most popular starting points for cruises to Alaska—offering a great and easy way to bookend the excursion with a stopover. Or, head west to explore Vancouver Island, a vast sprawl of hiking trails and peaceful beaches tucked beneath a dense canopy of ancient Northwest rainforest. Or head east to the Okanagan Valley, one of the warmest regions in all of Canada and a perfect place for watersports, golf and winery tours in the country’s premiere wine valleys. In Vancouver, the four winds are at your fingertips.