VANCOUVER & VANCOUVER ISLAND TOURING
Canada’s third most populous city, Vancouver sits in the south-western corner of the vast country, just north of the Canada-United States border, and has grown significantly since it was first established in 1867, when it was originally called Gastown, then Granville, before finally settling on Vancouver.
Much of its prosperity has come down to its territory, which endows Vancouver with versatility that other cities around the world struggle to match. Indeed, where else can you ski in the mountains, stroll along the beach and play a round of golf all in one day? It’s an experience that makes a Vancouver tour all the more engaging.
By adopting a position on one of Vancouver’s hilly vantage points and looking out over the cityscape, it isn’t hard to recognise why it is much loved amongst those who live and visit here. Such natural splendour is best represented by Vancouver’s key tourist attraction at Stanley Park which, at more than 1000 acres in size, is one of the largest parks in North America.
A fine place to enjoy a moment of solace, as well as appreciate a concentrated taster of Canada’s wider landscape, Stanley Park has forests, walkways and cycle paths to enjoy. In fact, green spaces can be found across Vancouver, including Queen Elizabeth Park and VanDusen Botanical Gardens, home to some stunning flora that epitomises the city’s quest for outward attractiveness.
Promoting the tagline of being able to ski in the mountains in the morning and go sailing in the afternoon, Vancouver is within useful proximity to several ski resorts, including Whistler, where much of the 2010 Winter Olympics were based. With excellent facilities at Blackcomb resort for skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, the Whistler slopes are a fun winter-based diversion from the bustle of the city centre less than two hours away.
For those less keen to venture so far afield, Cypress Mountain is also a popular haunt for those lured by the prospect of snow and ice-based sports.
If you’d rather not have to get your winter warmers on, but want to indulge in Vancouver’s favourite pastime – exploring the great outdoors – then walking, running, cycling and roller-blading trails can be found across the city, with the ‘Seawall’ trail that wraps around Stanley Park is a particularly enjoyable way to admire the surrounding scenery.
Vancouver even has a handful of beaches on which to enjoy the pleasant climate, which is consistently warmer than any other city in Canada, averaging around 25°C during the summer months.
As with other of Canada’s cities, Vancouver is home to a cosmopolitan community of many diverse cultures, the most interesting of which is based in ‘Chinatown’. One of the largest of its kind in North America, Chinatown’s distinctive oriental architecture represents a fine juxtaposition to Vancouver’s otherwise fairly modern surroundings.
For those that do go ahead and sample Vancouver, instead of – or in addition to – its counterparts, they will be rewarded with a visit to one of North America’s most accomplished and fulfilling cities.
VANCOUVER & VANCOUVER ISLAND - IMAGES
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