Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver
Ambleside Park and Beach is the most popular recreational area in West Vancouver. It is situated at the eastern end of West Vancouver beginning at the point where the Capilano River flows into Burrard Inlet. The park and beach provide access to activities and facilities for all ages. Picnic areas, playgrounds, outdoor pool, pitch and putt golf course, jogging trails and tracks, playing fields, sailing facilities, concession stand, and a long stretch of beach almost in the shadow of the Lions Gate Bridge make up this popular spot. Easily accessible from Marine Drive and 13th Avenue there is lots of parking most of the time. More information is available at www.seethenorthshore.com/amble/amble.htm.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, British Columbia. The reason is simple, there are so many things to see and do! Just minutes from the bustle of downtown Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a unique mix of adventure, history and culture making this Vancouver tourist attraction a complete British Columbia experience and an essential on your list of things to do in Vancouver, BC. Adult admission fee is $29.95 plus tax. Visit www.capbridge.com/ for more information.
Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore Mountains of the Pacific Ranges in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Exceeding 1200 m (4000 feet) in altitude at its peak, is the site of an alpine ski area in the winter season overlooking Greater Vancouver with four chairlifts facilitating 26 runs. In the summer, the mountain features lumberjack shows and a 2.9 km (1.8 mi.) hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind. Year-round operations include a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge. Public access to the mountain top is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, or the Grouse Grind hiking trail. Adult admission fee for the tram ride is $39.95. For more information visit: www.grousemountain.com.
Lonsdale Quay Market in North Vancouver
Lonsdale Quay is the hub for North Vancouver. It is situated at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue con the waterfront with the City of North Vancouver rising behind it. It is a market of many products, a place to eat, drink, and be merry, a hotel, a transportation exchange servicing buses on the Northshore and the terminal for the SeaBus which travels across the inlet to Vancouver.
The layout of the building is upbeat with much use of colour and lots of open spaces. The plaza on Burrard Inlet has one of the best views of Vancouver from dawn to dusk. The viewing tower is fabulous for composing wonderful images especially if there are cruise ships passing by.
More information is available at www.lonsdalequay.com.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park, North Vancouver
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is one of Lynn Valley’s best kept secrets. The 50 meter high bridge stretches across a beautiful canyon boasting raging waters, waterfall, and deep pools below. The bridge is a popular attraction among tourists and locals alike. Crossing the bridge is always an exciting experience. It bounces up and down and sways from side to side with every step. There are excellent hiking trails and the environment is beautiful.
Lynn Canyon Park is located in the east of North Vancouver in Lynn Valley. The park is easy to find and accessible by car and bus. There is no admission fee. For more information and a virtual tour visit: http://lynncanyon.ca.
Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, North Vancouver
Located at the entrance to Lynn Canyon Park the Ecology Centre is a natural history museum with a twist! All the exhibits are hands-on and interactive. Visitors can learn about the plants and animals of the coastal temperate rainforest and about local and global environmental concerns. Visit at www.dnv.org/ecology.
Murdo Fraser Pitch and Putt, North Vancouver
Located at 2699 Pemberton Avenue in North Vancouver, the 9-hole Murdo Frazer Par 3 Golf Course features all the hallmarks of British Columbia golf. Check out www.golflink.com for more information about this golf facility.
One of Vancouver’s best attractions is its rich mosaic of neighbourhoods. Ethnically and culturally diverse, each Vancouver neighbourhood has a distinct, yet always welcoming, personality.
Sample dim sum and authentic Asian cuisine in Chinatown. Wander the bustling cosmopolitan shops on Robson Street. Relax on the patio at a Yaletown micro-brewery. Saunter the cobblestone streets of Gastown, a National Historic Site, or marvel at the array of market vendors at Granville Island.
Vancouver has been home to a vibrant Chinese community since the mid-19th century. Today, Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of the largest in North America and provides an authentic Asian encounter complete with unique architecture, exotic culinary aromas and an array of imported goods. No visit to Chinatown is complete without a trip to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. A tranquil Ming Dynasty-style garden, it is the first authentic classical Chinese garden to have been built outside of China. The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives presents an impressive collection of Chinese memorabilia. It also houses the Chinese Canadian Military Museum. Make sure to see the Sam Kee Building. At just 1.5m/6ft wide, it is the world’s narrowest office building – and easy to miss!
On weekend evenings from late May through to September, thousands of visitors pour into the closed streets for the popular Chinatown Night Market. The Asian-style flea market offers a host of great finds. Chinatown can be found just east of downtown Vancouver. Be mindful of the fact that Chinatown, while very safe, is located in a more graphic part of the city.
Energetic Robson Street is the place to see and be seen in Vancouver, and boasts more than 200 shops, cafés and services. Spend a day on the strip – try on outfits at trend-setting fashion boutiques or sip a latté while people-watching from a sidewalk café. With a weekend average of some 80,000 street goers, there are plenty of people to watch!
Prefer less jostling among crowds? Head to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Housed in a former early-20th-century courthouse, the VAG is a haven for art lovers. Finish the day with dinner at one of Robson Street’s many fine restaurants. Robson Street runs east-west through downtown Vancouver, from Yaletown to the West End. Parking on Robson Street can be a challenge because of its popularity; there are several parkades located within easy walking distance.
Once a gritty area of loading bays and brick warehouses, Yaletown has undergone a facelift and is now a stylish mix of the fashion-savvy, dot-commers and celebrities. It is the neighbourhood of choice for urban trendsetters, both as a night-time destination and a New-York-loft-like place to call home. Yaletown’s streets are surrounded by condominium buildings towering over renovated brick-warehouse lofts. Some of the city’s hippest destinations are here: high-end galleries, chic fashion and furnishings, boutiques, swanky restaurants, brew pubs, trendy salons, and even movie sets share its narrow streets. Yaletown sits at the south-eastern tip of downtown Vancouver; parkades and meter parking are available.
The historic district of Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Still as colourful as ever, it is a favourite destination of tourists. A daytime stroll down Gastown’s cobblestone streets reveals artist studios, designers’ shops, First Nations’ galleries and antique stores in refurbished heritage buildings. Gastown is also home to the world’s first steam-powered clock, now one of the city’s most photographed attractions. Gastown’s structures share a common Late Victorian and Edwardian look that harkens back to the region’s development in the late 19th century.
Check out the old Canadian Pacific Railway Station of 1912 for a tangible example of the decorative tastes of the time. Gastown is within easy walking distance of downtown Vancouver. Be mindful of the fact that Gastown, while very safe, is partially located in a more graphic part of the city.
Hop on a water taxi, salute the view of the downtown skyline and get ready to spend an enjoyable day at Granville Island. An eclectic mix of shops, boutiques and galleries, Granville Island is perhaps most famous for its large and bustling Public Market, where local food vendors and artisans peddle their wares. Browse the charming shops of the Net Loft, where retailers offer everything from exotic stationary to beads of every shape and kind, funky hats, First Nations gifts, books, and locally-made fashions. The Maritime Market clusters together retailers who specialize in all things ocean related: kayaks, boat rentals, marine souvenirs and of course, seafood. Kids adore the Kids Market. Here, independent sellers of atypical toys, books, games, clothing, candy, and adventure offer a refreshing alternative to the usual fare. Granville Island is also dotted with an array of arts-and-crafts studios and galleries dedicated to local and regional work.
Granville Island is located across from downtown Vancouver, under the Granville Bridge. Parking can be difficult to find; consider coming by foot, public transit, bike, taxi or water taxi.
Much more information about the city of Vancouver and its neighbourhoods is available at www.hellobc.com. On the home page, click on Vancouver and you will be connected to a page devoted to the city that contains information about its culture and history, dining, neighbourhoods, transportation and maps, etc.
Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia
The Museum of Anthropology is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, twenty minutes from downtown Vancouver. The MOA is world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs, and community connections. It is also acclaimed for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey.
The Museum of Anthropology building was designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, who based his award-winning design on traditional northern Northwest Coast post and beam structures. The original facility opened in 1976, and in 1990 a new wing was added, including a resource library, teaching laboratory, office, and exhibition gallery featuring 600 European ceramic pieces collected and donated by the late Dr. Walter Koerner.
A building highlight is a set of massive doors carved in 1976 by four master Gitxsan artists, Walter Harris, Earl Muldoe, Art Sterritt, and Vernon Stephens. Once located at the entrance to the Museum, these doors now frame the opening to the Museum Shop. Other highlights include the 15-metre glass walls of the Great Hall, beneath which stand towering totem poles from the Haida, Gitxsan, Nisga’a, Oweekeno and other First Nations; the Rotunda, where Bill Reid’s massive sculpture, “The Raven and the First Men” is displayed; and the Koerner Ceramics Gallery, home to 600 pieces of 15-19th c. pottery.
The Museum grounds, designed by landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, feature indigenous plants and grasses amongst two outdoor Haida Houses and ten full-scale totem poles (one inside the larger of the two Haida Houses), and two carved house-posts and a Welcome Figure. Recent commissions include two outdoor sculptures by Musqueam artists, one by Joe Becker, and the other by Susan Point. Since MOA is built on traditional Musqueam First Nations land, it is appropriate that works by artists from this area are the first to greet visitors when they arrive on site. Cost of admission is $14.00 plus tax. For more information: www.moa.ubc.ca.
Stanley Park is recognized around the globe as one of the great parks of the world! Vancouver’s first park and one of the city’s main tourist attractions, Stanley Park is an evergreen oasis of 400 hectares (1,000 acres) close to the downtown core. Its natural west coast atmosphere offering a back drop of majestic cedar, hemlock, and fir trees embraces visitors and transports them to an environment rich in tranquility. The park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in beautiful surroundings. There is always something happening in the park – check the Events Calendar for listings. Visit http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley/ for more information.
Vancouver Art Gallery
Located at 750 Hornby Street, the Vancouver Art Gallery occupies an entire city block in the heart of downtown Vancouver, bounded by Georgia Street, Hornby Street, Robson Street and Howe Street.
This summer, the Gallery will present a landmark exhibition of one of the most influential art movements of the twentieth century: The Colour of My Dreams: the Surrealist Revolution in Art. This major, Gallery-organized exhibition traces the developments of the movement from its origins in the 1920s and includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, René Magritte, Joan Miró and many other luminaries. Admission is $19.95 per adult.