- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
If you view this gleaming mountain- and sea-dominated city for the first time on a beautiful sunny day, you’re bound to fall for it in a big way. After cohosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, a worldwide audience was charmed by Vancouver’s vibrant, outdoorsy atmosphere.
By day, the active visitor can enjoy boating right from downtown, or perhaps venture out to one of the nearby provincial parks for hiking in summer or skiing and snowboarding in winter. More urban-oriented visitors can savor the aromas of just-brewed coffee and freshly baked bread wafting from cosmopolitan sidewalk cafés, join in the bustle at seaside markets, bake on a local beach, or simply relax and do some people-watching in one of the city’s tree-shaded squares.
Once you’ve reluctantly decided to drag yourself away from Vancouver, you’ll be confronted by a variety of things to see and do within a day’s drive of the city. Although British Columbia is best known for its mountains, the Sunshine Coast, northwest of Vancouver, is a watery playground perfect for swimming, sunbathing on sandy beaches, canoeing and kayaking, beachcombing, scuba diving, boating, and fishing.
Spectacular Highway 99, the aptly named Sea to Sky Highway, leads you northeast out of Vancouver along the edge of island-dotted Howe Sound to the resort town of Whistler, cohost of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
From Vancouver, two routes head east—you can zip along the TransCanada Highway on the south side of the wide Fraser River or meander along slower Highway 7 on the north side of the river. Both highways take you through the lush, fertile, and obviously agricultural Fraser Valley, converging at Hope.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition