Visit breathtaking Vancouver

Posted on: 03 February 2010 by Mark O'haire

Superlative shopping, exceptional dining, great entertainment and breathtaking scenery\; it must be world class Vancouver.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, Vancouver, British Columbia is sassy, sophisticated and outdoorsy. Frequently voted one of the best cities in the world to live, Vancouver is home to two million inhabitants who enjoy a mild climate, breathtaking scenery and a wealth of recreational activities.

Enjoy all the very best of world class destinations: superlative shopping, exceptional dining, great entertainment and galleries – all perched on nature’s edge.

Must See: The Granville Island Markets

Granville Island marketEarly in the morning, the first Aquabus of the day putters across False Creek, heading towards Granville Island. The morning sun might just have barely risen, still blinking sleepily down through the clouds. The sounds of the island, too, are likely beginning to stir. Fruit-filled crates destined for the Public Market clap against the ground and the cries of resident seagulls echo against the water. Somewhere in all of this is the mysterious secret of Granville Island, which draws some 10.5 million people each year. Rumours have it that there's some magic recipe that makes visitors long to return to the island.

The Public Market is arguably the epicentre for Vancouver's culinary enthusiasm. The goods tell their own stories: strawberries straight from Fraser Valley, Okanagan cherries, fresh Coho salmon and live Dungeness crabs. It's small wonder that Vancouver top chefs are often spotted shopping here for high-quality and rare ingredients for their menus. Luckily, even the casual visitor can partake in the abundance. Several delis and restaurants feature a variety of cuisines. Slurp Japanese noodles. Nosh on Greek gyros. Grab a slice of Italian pizza. Could the vast quantity and array of food be Granville Island's secret? After all, that's certainly one way to win over fans.

This video take a trip around the Granville Island Market so you can taste what makes it so special.

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Other activity suggestions -

Explore Granville Island:

For Vancouverites, Granville Island is to weekends what ham is to eggs.  Take the Aquabus over to the Island and explore the Granville Island Public Market (where the city’s top chefs find great local ingredients), as well as the quaint shops, restaurants, and galleries (from blown glass to local artists) - a great lunch stop.

Watch the street performers and artisans, wander along beside the houseboats, or visit the micro-brewery and choose from one of 7 ales and lagers made on site.

Hang out in Yaletown:

Yaletown, Vancouver’s former warehouse district, is now the city’s coolest neighbourhood.  Visit the one of the many specialty boutiques including Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, Blings, Honeycomb Interiors and Bottega Roost.  Urban Fare is a unique food destination selling a wide array of specialty foods – loaves of bread costing $100, flown in daily from France, and square watermelons, ergonomically designed to fit into your fridge!

The Opus Hotel, one of Vancouver's coolest properties, is aimed at both leisure and business travellers and rooms are decked out in a choice of five different colour schemes. The Opus Bar and Elixir restaurant are two of the hottest tickets in town. Blue Water Café is a 100 year-old brick and beam converted warehouse, featuring a private wine cellar and sushi bar.

Walk the Seawall:

The seawall wraps around most of downtown Vancouver - follow it to Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America (404 hectares - 1,000 acres).  Stanley Park is criss-crossed with paths, woodlands, gardens, trails, lakes and benches, so exploring it is filled with a sense of adventure.  Circumnavigate the park via The Seawall, a brisk two-hour jaunt, or take a more leisurely stroll on one of the parks’ many trails.

Gastown -

Gastown is home to Inform, Vancouver's largest showroom of modern furniture, lighting and accessories offering designs from around the world. Exclusive collections from leading designers & architects. A large selection of architectural books. www.informinteriors.com

Chinatown -

Soak up the scents and sounds of North America's third largest Chinatown in downtown Vancouver, or find your zen at Dr Sun Yat Sen's Classical Gardens.

For more details on visiting Vancouver, please visit the official Vancouver tourist board here.

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