Vancouver has it all: a bustling downtown, shopping, five-star dining, quiet scenic areas, waterfront views, tourist attractions and more. With so many options, it's hard to decide what to see and where to go. Be sure to check out these activities next time you visit.
Once an industrial area, Granville Island is now a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Adjacent to downtown Vancouver across the Granville Bridge, you can feel the activity and excitement as soon as you enter. Check out the buskers, or street performers, playing music, juggling and entertaining in the squares and courtyards. A visit to the Granville Island Public Market is a must, whether you plan on buying groceries or not. All kinds of produce, baked goods, sweets, fish, meat and handmade crafts await you. It truly is a feast for the eyes. Next, head to the Granville Island Brewing Co. to try some local beer and tour the brewery. As you wander down the streets, you'll find art galleries, craft studios, shops and restaurants. If you're traveling with children, check out the Kid's Market, complete with an indoor adventure zone.
If you're scared of heights, this attraction will likely get crossed off your agenda. But if you can handle walking 450 feet across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, 230 feet above Capilano River, it should go to the top of your must-do list. Originally built in 1889, the suspension bridge is just one of the attractions within the 27-acre park. Other attractions include Treetops Adventure, which takes you through the treetops on smaller suspension bridges, and Cliffwalk, which features suspended walkways coming out from the side of a granite cliff above the river. This is one day you won't forget!
You might not expect such a scenic park located so close to downtown, but Stanley Park covers 1000 acres, bringing nature's beauty very close to the city. To cover more ground in this enormous park, rent bicycles at the waterfront and cycle the coastal bike path. Once you've worked up an appetite, stop at any of the several restaurants along the way that provide great food and incredible views of the water and mountains. There's plenty more to do in Stanley Park, especially for families. Be sure to check out the Vancouver Aquarium, train rides, numerous playgrounds and beaches.
Take in lots of history (and maybe a beer or two) in one of the oldest parts of Vancouver. Gastown was Vancouver's first downtown and named for Gassy Jack, a seaman who opened the area's first saloon. It's now home to galleries, shops, restaurants and plenty of bars. It's also the place to go if you're looking for nightlife. Make sure to check out Gastown's famous landmark, the steam clock, which steams and whistles on the quarter hour.
Now that you've seen Vancouver from the ground, go up in a float plane and discover it from the air. While these planes usually operate as charters to nearby cities, they also give scenic tours that can't be beat. Although the price tag is a bit high, you do get a lot of bang for your buck with this activity. Leaving from the waters of Coal Harbour, you'll take in views of the city, the Sunshine Coast, Deep Cove, Howe Sound and more breathtaking scenery than you can imagine. Times, prices and sights vary depending on the tour you choose.
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