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Top 10 Things to do in Vancouver

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  • Autumn Run, Stanley Park Seawall

    Stanley Park and the Seawall

    Taking a run or riding a bicycle along the Seawall is a great way to explore Vancouver. Should you wish to cycle, our properties have bikes available and there are several bicycle rental shops conveniently located at entrances to the world famous Stanley Park. The full Seawall is 8.8km featuring lovely beaches, photo-worthy views of English Bay, walking trails, historic totem poles, and an array of can’t-miss kid-friendly spots including a pool, water park, miniature railway and more. This 1,000 acre (400-hectare) park is recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world! It can take two to three hours to walk, or an hour to cycle the Seawall.

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  • A festival

    Arts in the Parks

    Vancouver is alive with creativity, from outdoor movies to cultural events and festivals located in beautiful parks and highlighted by spectacular waterfront vistas, there’s no better place to spend summer evenings. Stanley Park transforms into an outdoor cinema on Tuesday evenings during the Evo Summer Cinema Series or take in a musical with Theatre Under the Stars. Lovers of the bard can head to Bard on the Beach, to catch a Shakespearean play in magnificent Vanier Park.

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  • Culture

    Carts and Culture

    Up until summer 2010, food cart vendors in Vancouver were only allowed to sell popcorn, chestnuts and hot dogs. Now, each summer new vendors hit the streets of Vancouver offering everything from Belgian waffles and Filipino fusion to gourmet grilled cheese and Japanese-inspired hot dogs. Currently, nearly 150 food trucks cruise around the city, with hot spots including Queen Elizabeth Theatre, outside local breweries and around the perimeter of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver has been named third-best street food city in North America by Travel + Escape magazine, just behind Portland and Austin. Locate the nearest food cart with the touch of a button using the free Vancouver Street Food App for iOS devices and on Android. Our top picks: • Japadog (Japanese-inspired hot dogs). Flagship location at 855 Burrard Street • Pig on the Street. Using only the highest-grade local bacon and a variety of local and organic ingredients, Pig On The Street makes even the strictest of vegetarians second guess their beliefs. To start, try The Porker which features double-smoked bacon, sausage and bacon stuffing with sage and apple, goat gouda, fresh greens and apple and cider chutney • Yolk’s Breakfast. The perfect way to start the day, Yolk’s dishes up delectable dishes like the English muffin sandwich (complete with a poached egg, double-smoked bacon and arugula), chicken and waffles, and truffle-lemon potato skewers. • Mom’s Grilled Cheese (gourmet grilled cheese). Howe and West Georgia • Tacofino: has two trucks – orange truck for tacos, blue truck for burritos. Featuring fresh fish (like tempura-battered ling cod or lightly seared sesame-soy albacore tuna) and other spicy braised proteins brightened with salsa fresca. Various locations. • Fresh Local Wild (West Coast eats like the Chicken Fried Oyster 'Po-Boy' and Tuna Melt – seasonal seafood sourced from local fishermen and ethical farms). West Hastings and Burrard streets.

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  • Shoppers explore a local farmers market in Vancouver

    Granville Island Market

    Granville Island is a vibrant urban oasis buzzing with life from dawn to dusk. Start at the Public Market, where you’ll find some of the city’s best local artisans. It’s also a favourite place for Vancouver’s top chefs to source local ingredients with an array of vendors selling fresh produce and gourmet goodies (needless to say, this is a great place to stop for lunch). Afterward, return to your childhood with a visit to the Kids Market – then head across the street to Granville Island Brewing Company to sample house-made beer. End the day by browsing the rest of Granville Island’s unique shops, restaurants and galleries. Transportation Suggestion: Cruise aboard one of the rainbow-coloured Aquabuses that crisscross False Creek, connecting Granville Island to Downtown. Granville Island highlights: • The Public Market for fresh produce, local butchers, gourmet ingredients, flowers and local artisans. Grab lunch at one of the incredible crafters and then have a nibble of something sweet with Lee’s Donuts or fresh fruit. • Edible Canada, a retail store and bistro that only sells and serves products made in Canada. • The Net Loft for local Canadian designers, and Railspur District for unique shopping (try The Hat Shop, Paper-Ya, Little Dream Apparel and the Granville Island Broom Company). • Granville Island Brewing Company (Canada’s first microbrewery) for beer sampling. • The Artisan Sake Maker where you can sample award-winning Japenese sake made with BC grown rice. Or Liberty Distillery making gin and vodka. • Fine dining restaurants like The Sandbar and Bridges. • The Arts Club Theatre for performance art. • The Vancouver Theatre Sports League, whose alum include Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie and Nancy Robertson, located at the Improv Centre at 1502 Duranleau Street.

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  • Gastown steam clock in Vancouver

    Gastown Shopping

    Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, bills itself as the historic heart of Vancouver thanks to unique options for fashion, food and flair. Among the many offerings, shoe lovers will want to check out Fluevog, with its workshop vibe and eclectic style. Old Faithful Shop is a gorgeous modern version of a traditional trading store, featuring beautifully designed home accessories, books and gifts. Roden Gray carries an impressive range of menswear offerings for urban chic gents.

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  • Skier and snowboarder waiting for sunrise

    Hike Grouse Mountain

    The Grouse Grind trail takes you up steep and rugged terrain from the North Vancouver plateau to Grouse Mountain peak. It’s been called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” and after tackling this 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, it’s easy to see why. Less seasoned hikers can enjoy easier trails with sweeping views of the surrounding area. The Skyride departs every 15 minutes and travels above towering Douglas firs as the tramway takes you up to the summit.

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  • Vancouver Art Gallery

    Canadian Art

    Vancouver’s art scene is bursting and for art enthusiasts Vancouver Art Gallery, known for its works by Canadian artists, is a must. The gallery has an especially strong collection of regional artists. Just a few blocks away, you’ll find the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. Named after the acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid (1920 – 1998), this beautiful space is the only public gallery in Canada devoted to contemporary Aboriginal Art of the Northwest Coast. Gallery highlights include: Reid’s gold and silver jewelry, his monumental sculptures in bronze and stone, and a full-scale totem pole, carved by James Hart of Haida Gwaii. The striking Museum of Anthropology houses an impressive First Nations collection in addition to extensive ethnographic collections from around the world. For contemporary art, head to Catriona Jeffries Gallery to view works by such up-and-coming Canadian artists as Brian Jungen, Ron Terada and Myfanwy Macleod. Discover the art and architectural detail at Fairmont Pacific Rim with their 35 minute self-guided podcast art tour which begins outside and gradually takes you throughout the hotel. The collection includes works by Neil Campbell, James Cheng, Liam Gillick, Fred Herzog, Ian Wallace, Omer Arbel for Bocci, Zhang Huan, Joseph Wu and Adad Hannah, and underlines a deep commitment to bringing art and artists into all aspects of the hotel’s design and development.

  • Deep cove, North Vancouver

    Water Adventure

    For a completely different perspective on this stunning waterfront city, kayaking offers a wonderful way to see Vancouver. Downtown Vancouver is surrounded by inlets, estuaries and bays, which offer enticing views of the city and surrounding mountains. Even if you've not tried kayaking before, it's easy to learn with lessons from an outfitter. Kayaks can be rented at Deep Cove or False Creek, which are popular places for exploring English Bay and nearby lakes.

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  • Butchart Gardens, Victoria British Columbia

    Victoria Day Trip

    It’s really worth taking a day to explore Victoria, BC, the provincial capital. Enjoy British-style Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress after you’ve explored the local walking trails or vineyards. World-renowned Butchart Gardens, a 25-minute drive from downtown Victoria, dazzles the eye with nearly one million blooming plants. During summer, BC Ferries run between Vancouver and Victoria every hour from morning to evening (the trip takes about 1.5 hours). To explore the rugged coastline route by air, take flight with scenic services by Helijet or Harbour Air seaplanes.

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