The 2010 Olympic Games introduced millions to what many savvy travellers already knew: Vancouver, BC is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world.
The mountains and verdant surroundings continue to bring lovers of the outdoors, adventure tourists, and skiers from around the globe to Vancouver. However, even if you have no desire whatsoever to carve it up on the slopes, you can still find plenty of reasons to vacation in Vancouver.
One thing is certain when you visit Vancouver: Your itinerary options are endless!
Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is home to a permanent collection of over 9,000 pieces. While you can expect to find works from masters throughout the ages, you'll also find modern and contemporary pieces inspired by Vancouver's history and surroundings.
You can venture into the gallery on your own, getting lost among your favorite pieces, or you can take part in one of the many gallery art tours that are offered. Along with its permanent collection and traveling exhibits, the Vancouver Art Gallery also hosts artist talks and an array of live performances.
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Speaking of live performances...
Vancouver is home to the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, which allows you to enjoy Shakespeare the way it should be enjoyed - outside with a fine glass of wine and stunning views of the mountains in the background.
Each year, the Bard on the Beach Festival features multiple shows, which are performed in Vanier Park. Even if you're not a theatre lover, the Festival is worth a trip.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden
If you're looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, Vancouver's Classical Chinese Garden is the place for you. It offers a glimpse into a storied culture, as well as a place to simply reflect and relax. For most, a stroll through the grounds is enough, but you can clear your mind even further with Yoga in the Garden.
The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden is also the perfect spot to experience live performances and festivals throughout the year, such as the Chinese New Year Festival and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
Dining and Shopping in Vancouver
Metropolis at Metrotown
With over 450 stores, Metropolis at Metrotown reigns as the largest shopping center in British Columbia. You can find just about anything you're looking for from high-end fashion to low-cost gadgets. Along with retail shops, Metropolis also offers an array of dining options, sand sculptures, theatres, and a Grand Court that features performances by world-renowned acts.
Home to converted warehouse lofts, countless bars, and a solid hipster contingent, Yaletown has become one of the most popular destinations in Vancouver. The options for dining and drinking are almost endless (especially on Hamilton St.). You can make a whole day of it in Yaletown, visiting the various boutiques and galleries that line the streets.
If you want a sampling of all that Yaletown has to offer, head to Taste of Yaletown. Restaurants feature special menus, and there are other events that coincide with the Taste.
Foods to Try
Vancouver's food scene is comparable to that of Toronto, which is Canada's gastronomic capital. There are so many types of restaurants and cultures that come together in Vancouver, what foods to try vary from fish and chips to ramen, tacos, ceviche, and paella! Start one day with waffles or also eggs benedict. Take a break in the afternoon and sit at one of the many famous coffee shops and roasteries (Vancouver is a top city worldwide for coffee). Of course, don't miss desserts at one of their famous bakeries!
Flights to Vancouver
Vancouver International Airport ranks as the second busiest airport in Canada, which makes finding cheap flights to Vancouver easy. It serves a wide array of domestic and international carriers including a range of U.S. airlines. The airport has plans for continued growth and hopes to position itself as the "gateway connecting the Asia-Pacific Region, North America, Europe and Latin America."