Vancouver, British Columbia skyline at night (PhotoDisc)

Olympic rings at night over Coal Harbour near Vancouver, British Columbia (Tourism Vancouver)

Cycling on the beach at Spanish Banks, Vancouver, British Columbia (Tourism Vancouver/John Sinal)

Dusk over Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia (Tourism Vancouver)

Sunset over a pier in Vancouver, British Columbi (Tourism Vancouver/John Sinal)

Skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia (Tourism Vancouver)

Marina at Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia (Tourism Vancouver/John Sinal)

Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada Place/Tourism Vancouver)

Olympic Rings at Coal Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Colombia (Tourism Vancouver)

Skyline and boats in Vancouver, British Columbia (PhotoDisc)

Vancouver, British Columbia at dusk (Justin Lightley/Photographer's Choice/Getty)

View of trees from Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canadian Tourism Commission)

Skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Tourism Vancouver)

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Vancouver

Vancouver’s skyline is stunning, but not in the conventional manner. There’s no central neighborhood where skyscrapers rise like a pod. Buildings are spaced chess pieces, allowing a view of mountains merging with the ocean to give this metropolis its signature look. One hour you can skip through the wildflowers atop the summit of 4,100-foot Grouse Mountain, and the next dine atop the 42-story Empire Landmark Hotel. Stanley Park provides an enchanted forest of tall firs, cedars, and hemlocks, and just a few blocks away is the second largest Chinatown in North America. At Granville Island Public Market, visitors nosh on the Pacific Northwest's famous fish and then sink their teeth into ripe gooseberries to cleanse their palates. There’s nothing conventional about it.

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Traveler Reviews of Vancouver


Alistair rates Vancouver
Some sections of Vancouver are a bit sketchy late at night, including downtown's Granville Street entertainment drag, which surprised me given Vancouver's overall wholesome, good-living rep. That aside, it's a fun city in a fantastic setting. Stanley Park lives up to its billing; rent bikes to cruise the trail that rings the peninsula and pack a picnic for lunch in the park. Granville Island is fun for coffee-fueled shopping and people-watching. I also rate the Museum of Anthropology, which is on the campus of the University of British Columbia (bit of a hike, but worth the trip; if you're feeling bold, there's a picturesque nude beach off the back of the museum!). UBC also offers summer accommodation if you're looking for something a bit more affordable than what you might find closer to town (www.ubcconferences.com/accommodations/).
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Lacy rates Vancouver
There is a reason why Vancouver frequently ranks right up near the top on the annual lists of the greatest places to live. The city seems so carefree and relaxed. Outdoorsy sports reign supreme around here, and you're likely to see just as many kayaks as cars. Definitely go check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It's very touristy but it's worth it. Granville Island is basically a large market with all of the freshest goods you could hope for. It's a great place to go and stroll for a taste of local culture.
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