Things to Do When Traveling to Beautiful Vancouver, BC
Aug 1st, 2012 | By Olga Hermans | Category: Spa/Resort Destinations, Travel
By Olga Hermans –
To many people, Vancouver is one of the world’s most stunning cities. It welcomed the world as host city of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were held between February 12 and March 21, 2010. The Games may be over, but there are still plenty of things to do in and around Vancouver.
We arrived in 2004 from The Netherlands and have fallen in love with this city and its beautiful surroundings. We have made our home here in Vancouver since then. Vancouver offers travellers both outstanding opportunities for outdoor adventure and the sophisticated services of a world-class city.
Vancouver was named a Top 100 World Destination pick in Trip Advisor’s 2008 Travelers’ Choice awards, and one of ten Best Family Vacations in Canada in the 2011 Travelers’ Choice awards. Vancouver has been chosen as the world’s “Most Liveable City” in 2011 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a title it has been awarded eight times since 2002.
So, are you interested to know a little bit more about Vancouver? Some people say that Vancouver is the most astonishing city not only in Canada but in the world. Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city. Located in the beautiful North-West of Canada; it is surrounded by mountains and the great Pacific Ocean. When you come into the city of Vancouver; you will find it a very friendly city; people like to hang out in coffee shops and out on the streets. There is a lot to do in and around Vancouver.
We as a family love Granville Island because of the culture and the variety of shops. It is like an island in the middle of a city. Granville Island is so much fun. To me it feels a little European because of the most spectacular fresh food market, which we are so familiar with in The Netherlands. Then you have the cafes, the unique shops, the galleries and the waterfront restaurants which we love to visit especially the one with the biggest patio in the city: Bridges. Granville Island has a very unique atmosphere and it is always a pleasure to go there.
When we have visitors; we almost always visit Gastown; it is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, and it has a lot of history to it. Everybody needs a picture taken in front of the world’s first steam-powered clock …one of the city’s most photographed attractions. The main street in Gastown, Water Street, has lots of souvenir shops as well. But for the real shopping deal you have to go to Robson Street. We always stroll down Robson Street, wander about Pacific Centre Mall or we walk through Yaletown, which is Vancouver’s trendy and upscale neighbourhood. It is a renovated warehouse with lots of cool restaurants, and patios for the summer, as well.
What makes Vancouver such a great food city is its diversity. Right now it is probably one of the most exciting places to be in the world because everything is very fresh; the food scene is just exploding. You will notice right away that there are copious amounts of little independently owned sushi restaurants everywhere. I had never dared to eat sushi, but coming to Vancouver I thought I needed to try it. Now a few years later, I crave sushi regularly. I am proud to say the sushi is delicious, fresh and very affordable in Vancouver. I have heard people say that the sushi here is even better than in Japan.
Capilano Suspension bridge is a great place to go; it is a wonderful experience in the woods and up in the mountains. The bridge is a bit shaky though, but it is worth the walk across this swaying suspension bridge; right in the middle of a flourishing rainforest. You can enjoy breathtaking canyon views some 70m or 230ft below. Yep, I did a little research for you.
Stanley Park is a very popular place for a lot of the tourists. Many people go into Stanley Park just to see and experience it. But it is the seawall and biking, walking and cycling around the park that gives you the most unique experience. Our children cycled a lot along the Stanley Park seawall, a paved 10km/6mi loop with magnificent mountain, ocean, forest and city views. My husband and I also love to stroll around as well, just to enjoy the beautiful panorama.
While in Stanley Park, you could go and visit the international Vancouver Aquarium, one of North America’s five largest aquariums. I’m sorry to say that I have never been there. It’s about time, don’t you think? The fact is, in Vancouver you can be one minute in your home close to downtown if you like and you can be in the mountains in 35 minutes skiing. You can jump into the sea in ten minutes; you can be on a sailing boat or a cruise.
Vancouver has it all.
There is one person in my family that loves to go to the beach and that is our daughter. She enjoys going to Kitsilano beach to meet up with friends just to enjoy the day. It definitely is a happening place with a beautiful outlook on Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. My husband and I rather go to more quiet places; we love to go a lake of which we have plenty around. Like the beautiful Alouette Lake; in Golden Ears Park. This lake is popular for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing. I told you, we have it all. We love to go there in spring and fall when it is not that busy; one year we celebrated mother’s day at the lake with a nice picnic.
Last year we hiked up to Lindeman Lake; it was quite a trip. We thought it would be a nice easy trail, but ten minutes into the hike the trail got very, very steep. It was a climb of 650 meters in elevation in the first kilometre. But it was worth the view; it was absolutely gorgeous! Among the lakes around Vancouver, it probably has the most beautiful aqua blue water and definitely makes it worth the trip.
Then we traveled to Mount Baker just across the border; also one of those places that just takes your breath away. It actually is a volcano. It is just such a majestic mountain that always overwhelms us of beauty and strength. When we drive through the area and we pass a view on Mount Baker, we are always in awe of how beautiful this mountain really is. So, we traveled almost to the top and hiked the last part of it. And of course we enjoy visiting Whistler; 120km north of Vancouver, it is without a doubt one of the top finest year-round resorts there are.
Whistler is famous for being the “Number One Ski Resort in North America,” and “One of the best golf resorts in the world.” My husband and I so enjoyed going up to Whistler/Blackcomb Mountain and go on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola – (A one of a kind mountain to mountain journey that has set world records for length and height). On that particular day while we were in the gondola we witnessed a man asking his girlfriend to marry him. It was beautiful and so fun to be a part of that. I’ll never forget it.
Getting back to Vancouver I want to finish with telling you about Grouse Mountain. Located in North Vancouver, you can either climb up this mountain or take the SkyRide. I love going up here to enjoy the view and a meal in the restaurant. In the winter there are plenty of Christmas activities that will put you in the Christmas mood like nothing else. It rightfully so is one of Vancouver’s most visited attractions.
I really think people that haven`t been here, will find out how beautiful it actually is here. Welcome to Vancouver!
Olga Hermans is the visionary behind The Choice Driven Life. She likes to help people experience their God-given right to choose their Destiny. God has given everybody the gift of a FREE will; it is up to us to make the right choices to live the good life that has been preordained for us. She has graduated from VBI Tulsa together with her husband to found Destiny Bible school in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Websiste: www.thechoicedrivenlife.com.