The very best of Vancouver
Multicultural meets magnificent mountains in Canada’s biggest city to the west. Here are five compelling reasons to visit this happy and ever popular Hollywood of the North, where great quality of life is just the beginning.
The world in a Vancouver nutshell
One of the great things about Vancouver is its amazing diversity. This is nowhere more obvious than in the city’s many different neighbourhoods, each with its own characteristic and charm. Be sure to visit Vancouver’s unique Chinatown, North America’s third-largest after New York and San Francisco, complete with a classical Chinese garden, speciality stores, dim sum, and even a Jimi Hendrix shrine. The colourful Davie Village with its vibrant LGBT community is not to be missed and you haven’t seen Vancouver unless you’ve walked around in the historical and charming Gastown, the oldest part of the city.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the diverse ethnicity of this city means that there is incredible passion for food in these streets. Whatever your sophisticated palate might crave and however exotic your gastronomical dreams are, Vancouver will deliver. Bring your A-game and test the limits in this multicultural food mecca.
The Great Outdoors
Vancouver is a true outdoor paradise, for young, old, amateurs and athletes alike. Exhibit 1 is the immense, 405 acres Stanley Park, which is almost entirely surrounded by water – with trails, beaches, wildlife and adventure. It is an enormous and beautiful urban park and Stanley Park just beckons you to become, well, outdoorsy. Vancouver itself also sports numerous beaches, which between them offer any sort of imaginable water activity. Then there’s the endless hiking trails, not to mention the fact that Vancouver is one of North America’s bike-friendliest cities. Yes, this city raises pulses, in the best way possible.
Wherever you go in Vancouver, you’re always surrounded by majestic mountains that add a glorious scenery to your urban experience. But the mountain ranges here are more than just a pretty face. They’re also home to first class, world-renowned ski resorts. The Whistler and Blackcomb resorts are linked together, creating one of the largest ski areas in the world, only 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver. And they’re not just big and beautiful. They also boast pistes of incredible quality. Even closer to the city centre, you’ll find Grouse Mountain (20 min.) and Cypress Mountain (30 min.), if you need fast access to great slopes.
The Lovely Locals
They say Canadians are the friendliest of all folk and this is nowhere as true as in Vancouver. And they have good reason to be. Vancouver has repeatedly been listed among the best places to live with the quality of life being pretty much as good as it gets. This means happier locals which in turn means a friendly, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Be like Vancouver. Be happy.
Photos from iStock