Few places offer better access to both natural beauty and urban amenities than Vancouver. Western Canada’s largest city, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, continues to grow rapidly since hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Walk or bike around the Stanley Park Seawall, admiring the iconic Lions Gate Bridge and the “Girl in a Wet Suit” statue en route. For even more exhilaration, climb Grouse Mountain or take the SkyRide to the summit for a panorama of this British Columbia metropolis. You’ll be able to view grizzly bears in a sanctuary, go zip-lining, or enjoy a helicopter ride. The nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge provides a thrilling 450-foot-long crossing over the Capilano River. Whale-watching and kayaking tours launch from Granville Island, whose bustling public market, breweries, and artsy shops make it Canada’s second most-visited destination after Niagara Falls.
At the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, marvel at huge totem poles, and check out Bill Reid’s famous wooden sculpture, The Raven and the First Men. Home to a growing Asian population, Vancouver boasts a beautifully preserved Chinatown and some 400 Asian restaurants in the suburb of Richmond alone. Sushi and seafood are local culinary staples, and Yaletown’s trendy restaurants and Granville Street’s energized nightclubs keep your buzz going. From the spectacular rose garden at Queen Elizabeth Park to the roaring crowd at a Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey game, there are always new thrills to experience in Vancouver.