With its world-class scenery and outdoorsy culture, Vancouver is paradise for adventurers and sportspeople offering a wealth of sports and scenic outdoor pursuits.
However, those with other interests won’t be disappointed, as there’s a flourishing cultural life too, with plenty of art, history, music and theater to explore and enjoy. And when evening comes around Vancouver’s reputation as one of North America’s hippest destinations comes to the fore, as elegant bars and chic jet-set clubs light up the city, promising smart cocktails and stylish after-hours fun.
Grouse Mountain is a majestic alpine delight with a host of adventures and experiences for keen outdoorsmen and women, nature-lovers, and those who simply enjoy a magnificent view.
The mountain is also a Hollywood-magnet, luring Owen Wilson, Michael Bublé and Justin Timberlake among others to its 4,100-foot summit. You can take the long way up and participate in the Grouse Grind – Vancouver’s most popular trail – scaling 2,800 feet of what is mostly wooden stairway, taking in fresh alpine air and mountain scenery as you go. Then, once you reach the mountaintop, you can dine in style at five-star restaurant The Observatory. Alternatively choose the Skyride, an eight-minute cable journey to the peak, which offers heart-stopping aerial vistas of the city, the mountains, the Gulf Islands and the gleaming Pacific. Once at the summit there is something for everyone, from grizzly-bear-watching and eco-walks, to talks from Grouse Mountain rangers and a ride on the Eye of the Wind – a wind turbine with a 360- degree viewing pod (a world first). You can also visit a reconstruction of a First Nations longhouse, and enjoy spectacular flying displays from birds of prey.
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Kevin Smith, Guest Services Manager
+1 604 980 9311
CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Follow in the footsteps of Billy Baldwin, Nicole Kidman and Kevin Costner, and cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge that lies 230 feet above the river.
Take on the Treetops Adventure as a family and walk 100 feet above the forest floor while traversing seven bridges. A rainforest encounter and a guided nature tour is next, followed by the Rainforest Explorer program for children. For the grand finale, try the brand new Cliffwalk, a heart-stopping trek at 300 feet above the Capilano River with fixed handrails, bridges, stairs and platforms along the cliff edge. Your kids will talk about this forever.
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
A cultural experience like no other, the Vancouver Art Gallery also happens to be a celebrity hotspot – Reese Witherspoon is just one of the many stars to be spotted here recently.
The space is one of Canada’s largest art museums and showcases the country’s most comprehensive collection of work by Emily Carr, as well as varied and ever-changing exhibitions of international works. Featured painters, both leaders of contemporary art and native Vancouverites, include Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham. The four-story gallery is housed in a stunning neo-classical heritage building located in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
Jennifer Wheeler, Tourism Marketing Specialist
+1 604 662 4700
750 Hornby Street, V6Z 2H7
HARBOUR AIR SEAPLANE TOUR
Book a scenic charter air flight from Vancouver Harbor to romantic locations that are only accessible by air.
Get up close to snow-covered glaciers at 2,600- meter Mount Mamquam and glacier lakes with melting crystal blue waters. The trip lasts just over two hours.
MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC
This newly renovated and expanded museum at the University of British Columbia houses 37,000 objects, including some of the world’s finest Northwest Coast First Nations art.
Visitors to the soaring Great Hall are greeted with massive totem poles, feast dishes, canoes and unique bentwood boxes, which have been created by Musqueam, Haida, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a and other indigenous artists. Other collections showcase art from around the world, such as European ceramics, Asian textiles, Greek and Roman pottery and African masks. MOA is also known for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey.
Anthony Shelton, Director
+1 604 822 5087
6393 North West Marine Drive, V6T 1Z2