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Vancouver see + do

Activities in Vancouver reflect the city's vigorous outdoor spirit. Set on the wild Pacific Ocean and embraced by the Coast Mountains, Vancouver has a temperate year-round climate and attractions that exploit its geographic advantages. Visitors come to Vancouver to climb mountains, comb beaches, hunt and peck through the farmers markets, and enjoy pristine local seafood. Downtown Vancouver gently contours into the blue of English Bay, with the monumental rain forest of Stanley Park at its head. Cycling and walking trails weave through groves of fir, cedar, and hemlock, connecting inland lakes with ocean beaches, a variety of sports facilities, and the Vancouver Aquarium.

Hop a ferry to Granville Island for lunch in the Public Market before heading to the Museum of Anthropology for a jaw-dropping impression of First Nations artifacts. Close to the museum, down a winding cliffside staircase, is the clothing-optional Wreck Beach. Take a half-day to discover the North Shore: Start with a drive across the stunning Lions Gate Bridge to traverse two death-defying canyons on suspended bridges. About 15 minutes away is Grouse Mountain, where you can climb or ride a gondola to the top for superb vistas of the city and Washington State's San Juan Islands to the south. In the winter, you can night ski on Grouse, snowboard at Cypress Mountain, or take the kids for lessons at Mount Seymour.

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Yaletown, Vancouver

This downtown district, once a maze of railyards and dilapidated warehouses, has been getting trendier ever since it was cleaned up for the 1986 World's Fair....more

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Wreck Beach, Vancouver

Canada's largest nude beach has become a mecca for an estimated 100,000 sun worshippers determined to avoid tan lines each summer. Officially, the 3.6-mile...more

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Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver

Visitors with kids should plan to spend at least half a day at the aquarium—it's chock-full of activities and interactive exhibits designed just for...more

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Stanley Park, Vancouver

Described as a "1,000-acre therapeutic couch" of majestic evergreens, formal gardens, hiking trails, and kids' activities, Stanley Park is the third largest...more

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Skiing and Snowboarding around Vancouver, Vancouver

If you don't have time for a side trip to Whistler, Vancouver has a handful of terrific little ski areas (and summer hiking destinations) just a quick drive...more

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Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

You'll see a whole lot of totem poles while you're in Vancouver; they're the most striking evidence of the First Nations Indian population living in the area....more

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Kitsilano, Vancouver

The Vancouver equivalent of Haight-Ashbury, this '60s hippie community across False Creek from downtown Vancouver is now a laid-back family neighborhood of...more

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Granville Island, Vancouver

Mini-ferries called "aquabuses" take you from one of several downtown stops (including Yaletown at Davie Street and the southern end of Hornby Street) to this...more

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Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver

This 450-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge, which gently (terrifyingly?) sways 230 feet above the tree-lined Capilano River Canyon, is the world's longest....more

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Bard on the Beach, Vancouver

This annual June-September festival of Shakespeare en plein air—or in open tents, anyhow—has a backdrop no set designer could compete with: a...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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