Vancouver Attractions 1

There’s lots to do in Vancouver which may get lost in the shuffle of all the Winter Olympic Games excitement, but if you want to get off the merry-go-round, then consider some of the more usual experiences for visitors. You won’t be disappointed, as there’s lots of worthwhile and fun activities in and around the city. Here’s a first batch of sights to consider.

  • Stanley Park – This 1,000 acre park is the crown jewel of Vancouver. Its wonderful cedar, fir and hemlock trees, walks, grassy areas and man-made attractions like: the Vancouver Aquarium, seawall path, totem poles, horse-drawn tours and outdoor swimming pool offer nearly endless diversions in summer and peaceful scenes in winter.
  • Robson Street is Vancouver’s premier shopping district. Many of the hotels I mentioned are situated on this street or nearby. In summer, you can certainly people watch from cafe patios (keep an eye out for celebrities), and all year ’round you can dine deliciously at trendy restaurants, get pampered at a spa or shop-til-you-drop or simply stroll along with the crowds.
  • Granville Island has a charming public market overflowing with fresh produce, breads, seafood and a bounty of other goods. If you have stayed in one of the extended-stay suites I mentioned, then the market is reason enough to visit Granville Island. But also go exploring, be sure to stroll the narrow lanes of the island to see its unique shops and photo-worthy views of downtown across False Creek.
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – This is a sanctuary in the heart of the city, second only to Portland, Oregon’s Classic Chinese Garden. These incredibly manicured gardens were the first authentic classical Chinese gardens ever built outside of China. As you will see, a Chinese Garden is quite different from a Classic Japanese Garden. As Vancouver has always had a large Chinese population, this is a source of great pride, and the garden is named for the hero who was the first leader of Free China, Taiwan. Walk along the garden’s peaceful paths in any season and admire the harmonious elements designed in rock, water, plants and architecture.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery – This is a highly acclaimed collection of national and international contemporary art. It is worth spending at least an afternoon exploring, especially on any blustery winter day. Be sure to see the artwork of Emily Carr, the well-known British Columbian artist. Also, notice the Satellite Visitor Centre on the southwest side of the gallery where you can get great tourist information and tips.
  • I have oriented these more to downtown and paid attention to it being winter. Come dressed warmly, as occasionally, as is happening right now, Vancouver (and even southward to Oregon) can get a serious Arctic Blast. Most of the winter time is relatively mild, thanks to the warm Pacific current, but you should always be prepared for rain, too.

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