With its mountain backdrop and urban beaches, Vancouver has the rightly earned reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Tourists flock this city to be able to access some of the world’s renowned destinations. It gets even better when one visits the city with a drone to capture aerial videos.
Stanley Park is a lush peninsula park of huge trees adjacent to Downtown Vancouver. A paved seawall path encircles the green space, and most visitors take the time to explore on foot or by bicycle. Inland, the park offers many things to do, and visitors can spend a full day exploring attractions ranging from the totem poles at Brockton Point to the west coast sea life at the Vancouver Aquarium. Spectacular views are a standard throughout the park.
Once mainly industrial, Granville Island is now a thriving center of activity with a relaxed and distinctive atmosphere. Artists and retailers have moved into converted warehouses alongside houseboats, theaters, galleries, and restaurants. The Granville Island Public Market is one of the most popular attractions selling fruit and vegetables, seafood, and a great variety of other specialties as well as ready-to-eat items.
In both winter and summer, Grouse Mountain offers an unmatched panorama in clear weather. That’s especially so in the evenings when the city lights are on. A gondola operates daily running from street level to the summit, where dining, activities, and wildlife await mountaintop explorers year-round.
The sandy shoreline of Kitsilano Beach defines the laid-back, fun-loving Vancouver lifestyle. It’s a place locals hang out with friends or take a dip in the outdoor heated seawater swimming pool, and visitors come to admire the mountain backdrop. Views from Kitsilano over the city center are wonderful. In addition to the beach and oceanfront, the area has a number of cafĂ©s and walking trails, and a vibrant shopping strip lies a few blocks south on West Fourth Avenue.
For many Vancouver visitors, Canada Place is where a trip begins. The unusual roof creates the impression of a huge sailing vessel. The architecturally remarkable structure is part cruise ship terminal, part convention center and hotel, and part hub for sightseeing bus tours. At the end of the pier, there are panoramic views and the Flyover Canada attraction – a fun flight simulator and Canadian geography lesson.
Beyond the ornate Millennium Gate marking its entrance, Vancouver’s exotic and interesting Chinatown features modern buildings amid many older ones dating from Victorian times. Signs at shops and restaurants are often written in Chinese characters, particularly along East Pender, Keefer, and Main streets – the main shopping areas.
Oceanfront English Bay centers on one of the city’s loveliest and busiest beaches. Part of the West End neighborhood, English Bay offers shopping and high-end restaurants, but is also a popular outdoor area where people come to walk, bike, rollerblade, or hang out with the public art installations. The biggest event comes in summer when thousands crowd the shores to watch three nights of fireworks set to music.
Vancouver’s first tourist attraction opened in 1889 and has been thrilling visitors with its swaying bridge over a plummeting canyon ever since. The footbridge spans a 70-meter deep river canyon leading to an activity park filled with forest trails and a treetop walk through old-growth giants. There’s also a collection of totem poles and a transparent suspended platform known as the Cliffwalk.
The center of Queen Elizabeth Park, Little Mountain, marks the highest point in Vancouver and its elevated position affords excellent views of the city center and the mountains to the north. Park recreational offerings include pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, dining (at Seasons in the Park Restaurant), an extensive outdoor arboretum, and the lovely enclosed tropical environment of Bloedel Conservatory. The sunken Quarry Garden makes a lovely spot to stroll on a warm summer day.
The futuristic sphere-like building of Science World is home to a kid-friendly exploration center that explains phenomena through hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. Themes include water, air, motion, and invention. There is a theater on-site, as well as a massive IMAX screen. Visiting exhibits are often impressive and part of world tours.