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Vancouver travel guide (source taken from Expedia’s YouTube channel)

April 28, 2017

All rights belong to Expedia.

Vancouver is British Columbia’s biggest city. It’s the gateway to the glaciers of Alaska, the wilderness of western Canada, and the slopes of Whistler. And it’s also one of the world’s most desirable places to live.

Wherever you roam in Vancouver, the salty sea breezes carries the fresh scents of the forest, and the promise of adventure. Its welcoming neighborhoods are filled with the aromas of incredible cuisines, roasting coffee beans, brewer’s hops, and all the urban delights you’d expect from a city, which is regularly voted “the world’s most livable”.

The secret to Vancouver’s success, is that it is always been developed with livability in mind. Ever since European settlement only 150 years ago, the people of Vancouver have protected the rivers, coastline and forest, maintaining the perfect balance with nature, and the built environment. And there’s no finer example than the city’s pride and joy, Stanley Park, which dates all the way back to 1886.

Because Stanley Park stands more than a thousand acres, you can return over and over again, and always discover something new.

To get to the park, simply cycle or walk along the century-old Seawall from the nearby downtown area. The wall not only keeps the sea at bay, but ensures Vancouver’s waterfront is accessible to everyone.

Water has always played a major role on this port and river city. Watch ships come and go from Brockton Point, where a lighthouse marks the easternmost tip of Stanley Park, or from the viewing platform at Prospect Point on the park’s northern tip.

The coastal First Nations people are seafarers too, having paddled to these misty shores over 17,000 years ago.

In the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, totems and sculptures depict the rich mythologies of the Haida people, and the other indigenous tribes of the northwest coast.

The modern city takes its name from the British navigator George Vancouver, who landed here in 1792. The oldest settlement however was called Gastown. In 1897, Gassy Jack, a sailor and renowned storyteller, convinced local timber cutters to build him a saloon, in exchange for all the whiskey they could drink in one sitting. No one knows who got the best end of the deal, but a tavern was quickly erected, and a town was born.

Gassy Jack and his makeshift pub may be long gone, but in the historic neighborhood of Gastown, his spirit lingers on. In the good company, the hearty food, and in the vapors that rise from the city’s iconic Steam Clock.

Vancouver’s early history continues at nearby Waterfront Station, the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The railway’s construction brought Chinese workers by the thousands, whose descendants have enriched Vancouver ever since.

Experience this interweaving of cultures at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Park and Classical Chinese Garden, the first garden of its kind created outside of China. And in Vancouver’s Chinatown, where the fusing of oriental flavors with fresh local seafood, has helped earned the city the title, “the culinary capital of Canada”.

Back in downtown, admire yet another of the city’s iconic landmarks, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Opening in 1939, this castle in the city became a reflection of the city’s prestige and confidence.

Just a short stroll away is Canada Place, where cruise ship travelers from all over the globe arrive to explore the city, or embark on epic voyages to Alaska.

If you’re visiting Vancouver with younger adventurers, they’ll find plenty to discover at Science World. And in the Vancouver Aquarium, little Jacques Cousteaus can meet the cold-water creatures of the British Columbia coast, or simply watch in awe as tropical species glide on by.

After visiting Vancouver’s central highlights, explore the city’s south side. Ride the ferry or aqua bus across False Creek to Granville Island. Stock upon provisions and delicious treats at the famous Granville Island Public Market, then sample a few craft ales at Granville Island Brewery.

From Granville Island head south to Queen Elizabeth Park on Little Mountain, the city’s highest peak. Once scarred by quarries, the city transformed these former gravel pits into a stunning network of gardens, creating a peaceful oasis high above the city.

After you’ve breathed in the views, check out the Bloedel Conservatory, a lush greenhouse filled with some of Vancouver’s most colorful residents.

When it’s time to answer the call of the wild, cross the Lions Gate Bridge, named after the nearby twin peaks which loom over the city. The North Shore Mountain Range is dissected by three deep valleys. It’s a wilderness where bears roam and salmon-filled rivers flow through old-grown forests.

Cross the 450-foot long Capilano Suspension Bridge, which has been testing the nerves of visitors for over 125 years. Then, take a treetops adventure high above the rainforest floor.

For a bird’s-eye view of Vancouver, head to the top of Grouse Mountain. Or to go even higher, climb into the viewing pod of the Eye of the Wind, the mountain’s landmark wind turbine.

Vancouver offers extraordinary outdoor experiences, and mind-blowing vistas all within its city limits. But venture a little further, and you’ll arrive at a whole other level of awesomeness.

Less than a two-hour drive from the city, is the world-renowned mountain village of Whistler. This adventure playground is simply magic all year round. But when the season’s first snows come whirling down, it transforms into a wonderland.

Hit the slopes of the Whistler Blackcomb Resort, the largest ski resort in North America. The beautifully connected runs here cater to all skill levels and attract elite skiers and beginners from all over the globe.

And while you could drive back to Vancouver the same day, why not put the world on hold for a few nights, warm yourself by a fire, and enjoy some of Canada’s finest hospitality.

Vancouver is and always has been, a city connected with nature and adventure. It beckons from the breeze, the waters, the mountains, her very street corners. So whether your idea of living is testing yourself in the wilds, or adventures of a more urban kind, you’ll feel perfectly at home and alive, in Vancouver.

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