Vancouver is located in British Columbia and is the largest city in Western Canada and the third largest in Canada. Vancouver’s proximity to the sea and the mountains make it an excellent location: within minutes, you can reach the mountains or the beach from the city center.
Vancouver is a dream for city dwellers who need fresh air but can not quite move into a rural area. Vancouver is just over 100 years old and its namesake, Captain George Vancouver, sailed through the First Narrows in 1792. The first settlement on the peninsula in the city center was Granville, on the site of today’s Gastown.
Stanley Park is located in the city center. It is a huge park and offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown. There are some beautiful hiking trails and a path along the waterfront for walking and cycling. Stanley Park is a lush peninsula park with huge trees next to downtown Vancouver. Inland, the park offers many activities.
Spectacular views are a standard throughout the park. Many visitors choose the seawall as the fastest way to circle the large and beautiful park. It’s a 10-kilometer loop that starts in Coal Harbor and surrounds the peninsula via Brockton Point, the Lions Gate Bridge, Third Beach, Second Beach and Lost Lagoon.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
This bridge extends over the river Capilano. The bridge is located just outside the city and there are many hiking trails and nature nearby. Making this a great way to spend a day outside the city itself. Vancouver’s first tourist attraction opened in 1889 and has since thrilled with its swaying bridge over a crashing canyon.
The jetty spans a 70-meter-deep river canyon that leads to an activity park with forest trails and a treetop trail through ancient giants. Also along the Capilano Road, Capilano Salmon Hatchery is worth a visit, especially in the fall, to see flashing salmon as they try to swim upstream.
Granville offers a full day of shopping and dining and is also home to a market for the purchase of delicious and fresh food. You will also find the island’s oldest brewery, the Granville Island Brewing Company. Once mainly industrial, Granville Island today is a thriving center of activity with a relaxed and distinctive atmosphere.
The Granville Island Public Market is one of the most popular attractions that sells fruits and vegetables. Not really an island, the arts center is connected to residential areas by a road and pedestrian bridges to the south and to the Downtown Peninsula, via False Creek, by ferry.
In winter, you can take the SkyRide gondola up the hill, where you can enjoy the views before skiing or snowboarding. In summer, you can hike along one of the forest trails. Both in winter and in summer, the mountain Grouse offers in clear weather an unsurpassed panorama.
Especially for families, the Grouse Mountain is a winter wonderland with outdoor skating, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. In summer, Grouse Mountain is a hiking paradise with hiking trails, including the famous Grouse Grind – affectionately called Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.
Queen Elizabeth Park
The center of Queen Elizabeth Park, Little Mountain. Marks the highest point in Vancouver and its elevated position offers excellent views of the city center and mountains to the north. The park offers pitch and putt golf, tennis, disc golf, the Seasons in the Park Restaurant. The gardens are stunning and with panoramic views of the city.
It was great to see some food vans and market stall owners in the park when we visited them. The Queen Elizabeth Park is a 52-acre park, 152 m above sea level. It is the highest point in Vancouver and offers spectacular views of the park, city and mountains on the North Shore.