Top Ten Things to Do in Vancouver

From skiing Whistler to touring a winery, Vancouver's city-outdoors juxtaposition offers a range of activities for any type of traveler.
By Jennifer Weatherhead
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Vancouver City, British Columbia, Canada
JUXTAPOSITION: Boats Dock on the Edge of Vancouver City  (courtesy, BC Tourism)
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With the 2010 Winter Olympics fast approaching, all eyes are set on Vancouver, British Columbia, with its nightlife, beauty, charm, and, of course, abundance of snowy activities. But even after the Olympics pass, Vancouver will still be hailed as one of the top vacation destinations for winter-sports junkies. Whether you're visiting the city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, or Whistler Village, there's something for every type of traveler. Here's our guide for the best things to do while in Vancouver—for the food-lover, the adventure-seeker, the shopper, and those who just want to relax.

10. Climb the Coast Mountains
Perfect for mountain climbing enthusiasts, Vancouver is the mother city of the Coast Mountains,where adventure-seekers flock for some one-on-one time with the rocks, located just minutes from the city. Hop over the water to Vancouver Island, home of the towns Victoria and Nanaimo, to find plenty of options for mountaineering with summits from 5,962 feet to 7,219 feet. Difficulties range from Class 3 to Class 5.

9. Dine Fine and Fresh
With fresh orchards nearby, nearly year-round gardening weather, and the Pacific Ocean at your doorstep, it's easy to see why Vancouver plates up amazing food. Whether you're fine dining or having a casual lunch, you'll delight in everything from vegan dishes to fresh seafood to hearty steaks and comfort foods. Acclaimed Vancouverian restaurants include FigMint, a great place to sample British Columbian wines with your meal; The Salmon House, with fresh, succulent British Columbia salmon variations; and Blue Water Café and Raw Bar, where you'll get fresh seafood-based West Coast dining.

8. Visit Punjabi Market
Step into a different world at the Punjabi Market. Located at Main and East 49th streets, this lively and colorful market will surround you with Indian-Canadian culture. Feel like you're strolling through a street in India with bright saris, scarves, and spices sold in small vendor shops. Here you can find smooth silks, Indian groceries, and 24-karat jewels that make a perfect souvenir.

7. Tour a Winery
The Vancouver wine scene has been relatively quiet—but sometimes the lesser-known wineries are the best places to visit for intimate tastings, pairings, and samples. Numerous wine tours are available to take you just outside of Vancouver to the lush vineyards where you can get a taste of all that British Columbia has to offer. Rent a party bus for larger groups, or drive it yourself by following burgundy and white "wine route" signs posted along the way.

6. Stroll through Kitsilano
In the 60s, Kitsilano became known as the place for hippies to chill and relax. Filled with ethnic restaurants, kitschy book stores, and funky cafes, and home to young professionals who enjoy a low-key lifestyle, Kitsilano is commonly compared to the laid-back vibe of San Francisco. For an afternoon stroll and to live like a true local, Kitsilano is a must.

Published: 28 Jan 2010 | Last Updated: 17 Jan 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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Best Hotels in Vancouver

$146-$177
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#1
L'Hermitage
$271-$315
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#2
Fairmont Pacific Rim
$238-$329
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#3
Pan Pacific Vancouver
$264-$378
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#4
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

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