Vancouver, the most populous city in British Columbia and Canada's most westerly, is hailed not only for its natural beauty but for the laid-back charm of its residents. It just seems like everyone loves this coastal city, which is a top destination for domestic and international travelers and hailed as one of the world's most liveable cities.
Much of Vancouver's allure is the omnipresence of nature in a densely populated city. Nestled amidst ocean and mountains, it's hard not to feel exhilarated.
Vancouver in Pictures
Stanley Park, which can be seen in the above photo's foreground, is a downtown sanctuary that offers city dwellers and visitors a multitude of outdoor activities.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver has a huge number of hotels ranging from the budget to funky boutique to crazy luxury expensive.
Most every major hotel brand is represented in Vancouver. Fairmont Hotels, which once had just the vintage Hotel Vancouver, has an impressive four properties in this happening city: the Fairmont Waterfront, Fairmont Pacific Rim, and Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
Read more about where to stay in Vancouver.
Vancouver Aerial Views
Vancouver is located on the southwest corner of mainland British Columbia, Canada's most westerly province. The city is bounded on three sides by water, with a significant part of the downtown jutting out into the water with Stanley Park at its tip.
Vancouver in Early Spring
Vancouver weather is infamously wet, yet mild year-round. As writer Allan Fotheringham put it, "Vancouver is the Canadian city with the best climate and the worst weather." From high 70's Fahrenheit (low 20's Celsius) in summer to mid 40's Fahrenheit (0° to 5° Celsius) in winter, the climate is seldom unpleasant. Winters are wet, but snow is rare, except on local ski hills.
Waterproof items and lots of layers are the best advice for what to include when packing your bag.
Vancouver Cherry Blossoms
Spring comes early to Vancouver, compared to the rest of Canada. Come February, bulbs start to bust through the earth and the blossoms are coming out on the huge number of cherry trees that line the city streets and parks. Much like in Japan, these flowering trees send a message to residents that it's time to break out the beer and sake and gather under the pink and white petals to celebrate the changing seasons.
Read more about Cherry Blossom Festivals in Vancouver.
Granville Island, Vancouver
Granville Island is a success story of urban planning. Once a run-down industrial park, Granville Island is now a bustling destination for locals and visitors that features a children's market, public market, an art school, shops, restaurants, theatres, galleries, a hotel, brewery and more.
The Island is a foodie lover's dream, so go hungry. You'll discover lots of fresh, local produce and seafood with plenty of waterside locations to sit and enjoy it.
Don't miss getting there or back or both by the colorful and inexpensive Aquabus that will pick up and drop off visitors at various locations, including Yaletown and Science World.
Stanley Park Totem Poles
First Nations art, including the nine totem poles at Brockton Point, is an inspiring and colorful cultural highlight in Vancouver's Stanley Park. The collection began in 1920 when the park purchased four of the monumental wooden sculptures and grew to nine in 2009 with the addition of one by a Squamish Nation artist.
Totem poles are unique to the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, including British Columbia, Washington, and Alaska.
Vancouver Seawall, Stanley Park
Stanley Park features an 8.8 km (5.5 mile) seawall that runs the perimeter and provides a perfect flat, paved path for rollerblading, biking, jogging, and hiking.
Spokes Bike Rental at the corner of Georgia and Denman, across the street from Stanley Park, is a convenient place to rent a bike, including kids' bikes, tandems, trailers, and trail-a-bikes. Rentals are from an hour to full day.
Stanley Park is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Hours for activities for attractions within the park vary by season.