Fun fact: I live in Atlanta now, but I was born and raised in Canada, and I still consider myself a Canuck (Hence the “Maple” in Maple and Maps).
Mine was a typical Canadian childhood, steeped in such delights as Timbits, tobogganing, April snowstorms, and poutine (French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Disgusting, but quintessentially Canadian). And though not all the stereotypes about Canadians are true, the one about our cumpulsive apologizing might be. Last week I bumped into a mannequin in the store, and then apologized to it.
But that’s a digression.
Sorry about that…
Most of my extended family still lives in Canada, so I was delighted when we were invited to attend my cousin Erin’s summer wedding in Vancouver, Canada.
Vancouver is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the country, so Sam and I decided to fly up a day early to give us time for sightseeing before the wedding. With such limited time, we wanted to be sure we hit all the highlights, especially since it was Sam’s first time to visit the city.
This is our list the best things to see in Vancouver, BC:
Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, and it is a great blend of old and new. The cobbled streets and Victorian architecture give the neighborhood a quaint, historic feel. But it is also home to trendy restaurants and shops. Gastown is best explored on foot.
Don’t miss the massive steam clock.
Granville Island is a must when visiting Vancouver. Be sure to check out the Granville Island Public Market, and be prepared to EAT. The fact that Vancouver is a multi-ethnic city lends a special flair to its cuisine, and you will find vendors selling a wide array of culinary delights at the Market. This is a foodie’s paradise.
Granville Island also offers a gorgeous view of the harbor.
For a special Canadian treat, try a nanimo bar (a delicious three layer bar that magically dissolves will-power. Seriously, life changing).
While we were there, Granville Island was hosting the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival, an international boat festival held every August. So the harbor was full of these beauties!
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest urban park, and it offers a great respite from the bustle of the city. Take a walk or jog along the forested paths, or rent a bike and cycle along the seawall, a paved walking/cycling trail with a stunning view of the harbor and downtown Vancouver.
It’s no wonder Stanley park is considered one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Another great park in Vancouver is Queen Elizabeth Park. Though smaller than Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park is home to a dazzling array of flowers and greenery. We spent several hours strolling along the path simply soaking in the beauty of the gardens.
Climb to the top for a great view of the city, with the mountains in the background.
Vancouver is truly one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited. It is also a hip, trendy city with a great coffee scene, excellent food, world-class shopping, and lots of options for outdoor activities.
Our time there was much too brief, but we enjoyed our whirlwind tour of the must-see places in Vancouver, BC.