On recent travels to Canada I had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time staying in the heart of the city and trying to see all of the sites it had to offer. Having done a lot of research before hand on what I should see, I set out to accomplish all of it plus whatever else I stumbled upon. Here is a list of the top five things that I saw on my trip and why you should make it a point to visit them if you are in Vancouver as well.
1. Capilano Suspension Bridge
The capilano suspension bridge is located 5 miles outside of the city center and offers a unique experience that makes you believe that you are out in the wilderness and not in close to a large metropolitain area. At a cost of 30 dollars a person you can see all of the sites including the afformentioned bridge. The bridge itself is around 450 feet across and sits about 230 feet off the ground. It sways with people and the wind and is a really interesting experience.
On top of that they have treetop adventures, which is a series of bridges that connect various trees and the Cliffwalk. The Cliffwalk is a truely unique time as it is a walkway that is built into the side of a large canyon. You can walk along the walkway and get a full view of both the canyon and the bridge. It also has parts that are clear so you can see right through to the ground. I highly recommend this as well and it is included in the price.
2. Steam Clock
Another part of Vancouver I literally tripped over was the steam clock. This clock was fully powered by a steam engine and it emits steam 24 hours a day while it is running. The clock has been around for 30 years and stands about 15 feet tall. It is always busy with many people surrounding it and taking photos and it reminds me of an episode of Dr. Who. There are a couple other steam clocks around Canada and in London and I would recommend going to check it out. Outer populair destinations for daytrips in this region are Montreal and Calgary.
Gastown is the beautiful area right on the water front of Vancouver that is both teeming with people and with history. Its buildings tell of a time that has been lost when the city was becoming its own admist the landscape of Canada. It has all sorts of shops and restaurants for you to peruse or eat to your hearts content at. It is also where the Steam Clock is located and is close to Olymic Area and Convention Center. When visting I would recommend the Rougue restaurant as it is both beautiful and a good example of the tastes and drinks Canada has to offer.
4. Olympic Area
Located near the convention center, the Olympic area of Vancouver has different statues to check out commemorating when the Olympics were hosted in Vancouver in 2010. Amoung this is its center point, the Enternal Flame Statue that was lit at the start of the games. This statue has three poles coming up from the sides and one in the middle. It was lit from the three sides in order to light the middle during the games. Also of note is the Digital Orca piece of art that looks like a 8 bit rendering of a whale jumping out of the water and is quite impressive.
5. Stanely Park
No trip to Vancouver would be complete without a trip to Stanely Park. Stanely Park is a beautiful piece of nature that is located right in the heart of the city. It has a path that you can either walk or drive around to check out all of the views. It is about 8 miles, so it would be a long walk, but if you are taking a car it is also going to take you a while as you will constantly want to get out and see the sights. Amoung the things you can see, other then beautiful nature, are the totem pole park, lighthouse, Prospect Point and the Nine O’Clock Gun. Prepare to spend at least a half day here, but you can easily spend more if you are into nature like me.
Summary: All in all Vancouver is a beautiful place to tour. It has a little bit of everything and you can easily spend anywhere from a week to a year here and not see all it has to offer. These are my top five favorite things I did, but if you have more make sure to leave them in the comments for others to check out.