Photo by JamesZ_Flickr
If you're visiting Vancouver for the first time, fair warning - you may not want to leave. One of the most spectacular cities in the world, it's surrounded by water and mountains and home to picturesque parks and beaches, along with countless restaurants, shopping venues, art galleries and museums.
As The Star reports, millennials have been moving here in droves, making up a significant percentage of the city's population growth. But no matter what generation you're from, odds are, you'll fall head over heels too and find yourself looking through the houses for sale in Vancouver.
Of course, before making your own move, if it happens, you'll want to make the most of the time you have while you're here by putting these top things to do on your itinerary.
Take in the Stunning View from Above at the Vancouver Lookout
Standing at over 550 feet above Harbour Centre, the Vancouver Lookout may be the best place to start your explorations of the city. Whiz up to the top in a glass elevator and you'll get an unobstructed view of the layout of the streets, the harbour, beautiful Stanley Park and the mountains. There's a revolving restaurant here too, the Top of Vancouver, where you can enjoy a delicious menu with everything from pasta and salads to seafood and steaks, complemented by sweeping, ever-changing views.
Explore the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is located right downtown and showcases over 10,000 works as the largest public art museum in Western Canada. It features the most extensive collection of paintings by renowned British Columbia artist Emily Carr and one of the most important photographic collections on the continent, which includes Ansel Adams' work, along with pieces created by historic masters to contemporary artists.
Check Out the Unique First Nations and Coast Salish Collections at MOA
MOA, the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology, hosts a remarkable collection of First Nations and Coast Salish artefacts and works of art that are unique to the region. Marvel at Aboriginal art, including totem poles, feast dishes, bentwood boxes and canoes from the Coast Salish and Haida people, as well as works from Haida artist Bill Reid, which includes the huge Raven and the First Men. Made from laminated yellow cedar, it's the image on the back of Canadian $20 bills.
Join a Harbor Cruise
For another beautiful perspective of the city, including the skyline and soaring surrounding mountains, join a harbour cruise. You'll find multiple options day or night, including trips on an authentic paddle wheeler that sails through Burrard Inlet. There are sunset dinner cruises too - you'll glide under famous Lions Gate Bridge and pass Stanley Park and the Lookout Tower, all while feasting on fresh-caught seafood.
Go to the Park
There are many parks in Vancouver, but Stanley Park is the most popular, located at the northwestern edge of the city. Ideal for a scenic walk, with a 8.8-km-long seawall winding along the waterfront, enjoy views of Lions Gate Bridge, downtown, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains along the way.
There are over 17 miles of forested trails inland too, along with several popular attractions, including a heated outdoor pool and the Vancouver Aquarium. Canada's largest aquarium houses over 70,000 creatures, including three-toed sloths, sea otters, dolphins and anacondas.
Stroll Through VanDusen Botanical Garden
One of the city's hidden treasures, VanDusen Botanical Garden features 40 themed gardens that edge ponds and lakes, cross bridges and wind through stands of bamboo and giant redwoods. In the spring, the Rhododendron Walk bursts with colour, while the Christmas holidays bring the Festival of Lights, which illuminates it all with more than a million twinkling lights.
Visit Granville Island
One of the most beloved neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Granville Island was once an industrial site, but the factories were transformed into trendy eateries, galleries, and theatres. The highlight, however, is the public market, often named among the top open-air markets in all of North America.
Just some of the sellers include butchers, chefs, bakers, fishmongers, gardeners and importers. You can pick up everything here from homemade charcuterie, artisanal cheese, rare mushrooms and fresh fish to handcrafted items and unique gifts.