Without a doubt anyone wishing to build a new life or simply visit the west coast of Canada has to take Vancouver into consideration as from cultural diversity to no end of things to do, it’s no surprise that this is one of the world’s most liveable locations.
As a coastal city, Vancouver is blessed with plenty of potential for beach time and as one of the warmest settings in the whole of Canada, catching a tan is always on the cards no matter where you find yourself outdoors.
I’m heading off to Vancouver in May and below are just a few of the reasons that have tempted me to return to the largest and finest city in British Columbia.
If you’re hoping to catch sight of a spurt of water or a dripping tail appearing above the waves then whale watching off the coast of Vancouver is a simply breathtaking option. Usual season applies from spring right the way through to the autumn and alongside whales you’re bound to be treated to no end of other examples of marine life, including: sea lions, seals and porpoises as well as the odd free-wheeling eagle high overhead.
Back on dry land and the Gastown district of Vancouver is well-known as being the epicentre for many of the city’s most significant historical events, with: strikes, riots and the great fire of June 1886, all pertaining to this important part of downtown. These days you’re more likely to find clubs, bars and boutique shopping to keep you amused however, just a tiny bit of research will no doubt help you to put the cobbled streets of Gastown into context with modern times.
An Awesome Aquarium
If you don’t fancy exploring the marine animals and birds offshore then definitely the next best thing is to check out Vancouver’s amazing aquarium. Over 100,00 sq ft in size and featuring some 70,000 different creatures, this is a splendid place to come to especially if it’s raining which can be pretty likely in Vancouver. Penguins, dolphins, sea otters and even some breeding beluga whales all add up to a whole heap of fascinating fun for all the family.
A Gateway to the Rockies
If you’re planning on trekking or camping amongst the Canadian Rockies then getting prepared in Vancouver is a great idea. Buses and trains are the best mode of transport to get you in although, in the summer months, hiring a car gives you lots more flexibility. One of the best places to experience the Rockies has to be the realm of Jasper National Park and if you’re looking for winter sports then check out the slopes of Whistler and Banff for complete and utter snow-covered awesomeness.
Summer time in Vancouver is all about taking your time and getting into the laid-back Canadian lifestyle and if you’re planning your grand American adventures north of the border then you’ll be pleased to know that Vancouver has got outdoor recreational activities sewn up. Stanley Park, in particular, is an ideal spot to watch the world go by or let loose and if you fancy strolling along the sea wall, checking out the totem poles or getting involved in some Ultimate Frisbee then Stanley is totally the place to be.
There are a couple of suspension bridges in Vancouver that really have to be experienced to be believed and if you’ve got the time and a head for heights then Capilano and Lynn Canyon are definitely worth crossing. With loads of hiking trails either side of both bridges as well as no end of beautifully preserved forests and fast-flowing rivers, undertaking a stroll across a suspension bridge in Vancouver has to be high up on your list of things to do.
All about the Art
Rainy days and Vancouver go together like a triple stack of pancakes and Maple syrup so if the heavens open on your holiday then don’t despair just head over to the art gallery on Hornby St and all your prayers will be answered. As one of the largest art galleries in Canada, you’ll find around 10,000 exhibits that are permanently on display by European and North American artists including the likes of: Emily Carr, Charles Edenshaw and Canadian painter Alexander Young Jackson.