Vancouver’s mix of city life and outdoor recreation makes it known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s so picture perfect that it’s also known as the “Hollywood of the North” because several films and TV shows are filmed there. Whether you’re visiting Vancouver for the day or taking one of our Canadian train tours through the city, Vancouver is a can’t miss stop on your Canadian travels. Explore Vancouver with our top things to see and do.
Walk the trails at Stanley Park
Stanley Park is larger than Central Park in New York at just over 1,000 acres. The park borders downtown Vancouver and is almost entirely surrounded by water. There are two beaches you can access from the park for swimming or picnicking. The main attraction in the park is the 17 miles of hiking and walking trails and the Seawall scenic waterfront path. You can also tour the park by horse-drawn carriage, trolley, tour bus, or the Stanley Park train.
Admire the flowers at VanDusen Botanical Gardens
The VanDusen Botanical Gardens showcase some of the best blooms in the world. Some of the most notable features include the Elizabethan Maze made of 3,000 cedar trees, the Stone Garden, and the Korean Pavilion, which was gifted to Vancouver from the Government of Korea. You’re sure to see a variety of native birds throughout the park and some tropical birds in the Bloedel Conservatory.
Visit a museum
There are several museums in Vancouver with unique collections. The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is known for its world-renowned collections focusing on cultures around the world. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art showcases sculptures and totem pole carvings done by Bill Reid and other Northwest artists. The Vancouver Police Museum is an excellent museum to visit if you’re interested in the history of Vancouver’s police and crime scene investigation.
Go shopping on Granville Island
Although it’s not technically an island, Granville Island is a peninsula in downtown Vancouver’s False Creek. This is the place to go shopping and taste an array of culinary treats. The Public Market is an indoor market that is the center of the shopping district. It’s open seven days a week and you can find anything from produce to handcrafted jewelry. There are also several art galleries where you can buy unique Aboriginal art and even watch the artists create their pieces. If you’re more into artisan foods, the area is known for its gourmet cheesemakers, gelato shops, and global restaurants.
Have a spot of tea
As a former British Colony, afternoon tea is essential in Vancouver. After a day of exploring the city, sit down at one of the many cafes for a traditional high tea. VanDusen Botanical Gardens has their own afternoon tea café called Truffles where you can sip tea with a view of the beautiful Woodland Garden. Have tea and macaroons in a Victorian-era house at Patisserie Fur Elise. If you’re looking for a modern twist on afternoon tea, Neverland Tea Salon offers cocktails along with your tea and pastries.
A trip to Canada isn’t complete without a stop in Vancouver. America By Rail offers Canadian train tours that stop along Canada’s most notable cities including Vancouver.