This charismatic harbor city is equal parts natural wonder and cosmopolitan gem.
When it comes to city planning, you can’t do much better than Vancouver. This western city is surrounded on all sides by earthly delights. Snowy mountains tower in the distance, beaches perch along the Strait of Georgia, and verdant parks dot the central districts. If you’ve spent hours flipping through a travel guide in search of Vancouver trip ideas, this treasure trove of scenery is a relatively effortless place to start.
Despite the area’s natural beauty, however, Vancouver vacation packages can be decidedly cosmopolitan. Because the thriving downtown area is bordered by an ocean, developers have had to be creative with how they plan and build. The result is skyscraper-studded central district that’s easy to navigate by foot and pretty enough to support hours of leisurely strolling.
Kick off your Vancouver vacations at the Harbor Center Lookout. This retro spot offers panoramic views of the entire city, and it’s the best way to catch a glimpse of the area before you start exploring. Then, head to the Vancouver Art Gallery to browse the collections, or snap a few photos of architectural marvels like Canada Place and the Marine Building.
Dive a little deeper into Vancouver’s culture with a trip to the West End. This locally loved district is near both historic Gastown and Chinatown, and you’ll discover charming cafes, hip eateries, and eclectic boutiques located on its residential streets. The neighborhood’s primary draw, however, is Stanley Park. Vancouver travel aficionados often consider this seaside space to be the city’s heart and soul thanks to its network of beaches and attractions. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium, take your family to the Miniature Railway, or soak up the sun on Sunset Beach. You’ll even find cheap Vancouver deals and discounts on bike rentals and kayaking amenities.
Once you’ve had your fill of Stanley, make your way to Yaletown for some of the city’s best boutiques. Pacific Center is another top spot for shopping holidays, but budget a little time to explore Granville Island. This artsy district is home to a marina, public market, and brewing company, and you’ll find several galleries and craft studios just waiting to inspire your creative side.