Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada…home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and home to some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world. Visitors from around the globe visit Vancouver every year for the gorgeous harbor, winter sports, famed Vancouver Aquarium, and summer outdoor adventures. Use this travel guide to find the best Vancouver attractions. Vancouver vacations are fun and exciting…you’re sure to have the time of your life on this vacation.

What to Do in Vancouver

vancouver travelThere is so much to do in Vancouver that you’ll have a difficult time deciding what to do first. Choose from one of the many outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, or boating. Or spend some time on the slopes skiing and snowboarding in the same place Olympic athletes compete. A favorite among visitors of all ages is the Vancouver Aquarium where you can observe some of nature’s most beautiful sea creatures.

The Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting, non-profit marine center. Here, you can observe over 70,000 sea creatures and animals including 300 species of fish, almost 30,000 invertebrates, 56 species of frogs and other amphibians, and 60 mammals and birds. One of the main attractions at the Vancouver Aquarium is the Ocre whale. Visitors for years have enjoyed watching these fascinating creatures. Watch as divers and other volunteers feed the sea life and take care of the animals. You and your children can take part in shows and experiences that put you up close and personal with the marine lifestyle. Learn, experience, and have fun all at the same time when you visit the Vancouver Aquarium.

In the summer time, you can swim in the bays, ride horses in the Southlands, and go kayaking. The natural scenery is so gorgeous in Vancouver that you’ll want to spend all your time here being in nature and doing outdoor activities. Go out for a hike in the mountains or go mountain biking on some great trails. Vancouver is a very active city where residents and visitors spend ample time in the forests, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Try your hand at sailing, paddle boating, swimming, or even running. The beauty of the surroundings and the fresh air will invigorate your senses.

In the winter, head to the mountains to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe. There are three main ski resorts within 30 minutes of Vancouver. Head to Ski Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain Ski Resort, and Mount Seymour Provincial Park for some of the best powder. In fact, Vancouver was home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. With this honor, it’s obvious that Vancouver is the place to be for all kinds of winter sports. The snow and powder is one of the best Vancouver attractions.

If you’re looking for some indoor entertainment, Vancouver has a very sophisticated arts scene. You can go to the opera, ballet, symphony, or even the opera when you’re in town. Take in a chamber concert and enjoy some baroque music, or enjoy a jazz concert. There are also wonderful dance studios, clubs, and bars where you can go to enjoy the Vancouver night life.

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What to See in Vancouver

Vancouver vacations offer a lot in area attractions. While you’re visiting, check out the harborside Convention Center with grass growing on the roof. Take a ride to the top of the Convention Center to take in the views. You can see Stanley Park in one direction and downtown Vancouver in the other. The sight is truly breathtaking.

Next, spend some time on the shore of Burrad Inlet where you can watch float planes take off and land, cruise ships coming into shore, and sailboats cruising the harbor. You can spend hours watching the beautiful colors and sails on the ocean.

Vancouver is home to some of the most gorgeous botanical gardens in North America. Spend some time in the VanDusen gardens in the spring when you’ll see new blooms and experience incredible fragrances. You’ll also want go to the Botanical Garden at the University of British Columbia to see the well-manicured Asian gardens.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Vancouver

vancouver vacationsVancouver is home to some interesting and eclectic shopping districts. You can quite literally enjoy some Chinese culture by shopping in Chinatown and then head to Commercial Drive for a more modern shopping excursion. There’s something here for every taste when it comes to shopping in Vancouver.

Chinatown offers a rich history to Vancouver. In this colorful neighborhood, you’ll experience wonderful Chinese creations that are true to the culture and beauty of China. You’ll find one-of-a-kind and unique items for sale in this community.

For a more modern shopping experience, head to Commercial Drive where you’ll find hip, modern, and sometimes funky gifts. The young and hip crowd hangs out on Commercial Drive for the fun merchandise. You won’t find this kind of shopping at home, so take some time to explore the shops.
On Fourth Avenue, you’ll find the primary shopping areas. Shopping here you’ll find spas, high-end restaurants, bookstores, and brand clothing stores. Fourth Street is the place for shopping in Vancouver where you’ll find just about everything you’ll ever need.

After you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, be sure to enjoy some of the Vancouver restaurants. Stay on Fourth Avenue and visit Vancouver’s best bakery where you’ll eat a delicious sandwich. This is a great place for a quick lunch while you’re shopping.

There is a wide variety of food choices in Vancouver. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the seafood is fresh and delicious. Try salmon, halibut, prawns, or even crab. You’ll come back for more fish after you have just one taste of the mouth-watering seafood found in Vancouver.

Vancouver also has delicious Indian restaurants. Some of the best Indian food in North America is found here. The food in the Indian restaurants is fresh and authentic. One of your nights in Vancouver should definitely be spent at an Indian restaurant.

For dessert, try one of the many chocolates available here. No matter where you go in Vancouver, you’re never very far from an excellent chocolate shop or chocolate buffet. In fact, you could go ahead and skip dinner all together and go straight for the chocolate!

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When to Visit Vancouver

If you come to Vancouver in the spring time, you’ll see first hand the beautiful blooms in the gardens. It’s damp in the spring time, but it’s the rain that brings the best blooms. Spring time is warm and lasts from late February to June.

The best time for most of the outdoor activities in Vancouver is the summer time. There is a lot of sunshine with mild temperatures. It isn’t too hot here and there’s no humidity. Summer in Vancouver goes from June to September.

During winter, it’s cold and rainy in town while the powder piles high in the mountains. If you’ve come to Vancouver for skiing and other winter sports, you’ll want to come during the winter season.

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What to Bring on a Vancouver Vacation

It does rain a lot in Vancouver, so you’ll want to bring an umbrella and a light jacket. Temperatures are mostly moderate, where you’ll have warmer time during the day time and chillier temperatures in the evenings.

Vancouver is an active city, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes and athletic clothing. You’ll want to pack a nice dress and a tie for fancy dinners in town and dancing in the clubs. You’ll be comfortable most times in casual clothing. Wear layers to accommodate for temperature ranges.

If you are traveling to Vancouver from the United States, be sure to bring your passport. You’ll need an official U.S. passport to cross the border into Canada. And, don’t forget your camera! You’ll see some of the most gorgeous scenery in Vancouver.

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Local Services in Vancouver

Vancouver is a larger city with public transportation. You won’t have much trouble getting around the city by using the buses and taxis. You’ll get around quicker if you use public transportation instead of renting a car.

You’ll also find the modern conveniences of home, like grocery stores, medical facilities, and retail stores. Check out the Vancouver Visitor’s Center for up-to-date information to make the most out of your vacation.

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What to Know About Vancouver

Vancouver is British Columbia’s largest city. It is 136 miles from Seattle and 575 miles from Calgary. Nearly 600,000 people live in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver also has mature, well-defined neighborhoods where you’ll find community directed activities. Vancouver is a city with incredible ethnic food, fun shops, and unique customs.

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Getting to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

You can fly to Vancouver via the Vancouver International Airport. The airport is one of the most highly rated airports in the world. You can also drive easily to Vancouver from any point in Canada or Seattle. If you do decide to drive to Vancouver, be sure to check the maps and directions to make sure you can navigate the eight bridges in Vancouver.

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Why Vancouver Vacation Rentals?

Try Vacations to find the best accommodations for your Vancouver vacations. You’ll find charming local homes, condos, and apartments for rent at great prices. By staying in a place form Vacation, you’ll save a lot of money while experiencing Vancouver’s culture first hand.

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