As one flies over Vancouver during the decent into the Canadian
city’s airport, the surrounding beautiful natural scenery
is already noticed with mountains on one side and the sea on the
other. Once inside the baggage claim area of the international airport,
visitors are greeted with large Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art
carvings. This adds to the overall flavor of nature and the environment
that makes Vancouver so different from other major cities. When
driving along Granville Street towards the city center, one can’t
help but notice that the trees and hedges in the residential areas
are so much larger and taller than the ones we normally see elsewhere.
One of the locals claims that the superior growth of the area’s
plant life is due to the huge amount of rainfall. Vancouver is close
to both the ocean and the mountain range so lots of rain is expected.
In fact, the rain here can actually be a problem as grey skies,
especially during the winter months, are one of the few negatives
of living in Vancouver. Fortunately, there is very little snowfall
within the city so for Vancouverites, it is a trade off of some
sort to have to deal with rain rather than shoveling snow during
their winters. As for tourists, the best time to visit Vancouver
is the least wet season which is during the summer months. I’ve
been told by another local that September is one of the best months
to visit. When the sun is shining in Vancouver with both the ocean
and mountains as the background, it really doesn’t get any
Stanley Park on the west side of downtown Vancouver is the most
visited attraction. A drive around the island will reveal great
photo spots of both the city and the ocean. Vancouver’s Aquarium
is also on site in Stanley Park as well as a magnificent collection
of Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian art totem poles. Of course,
one can always marvel at the tall trees which seem to touch the
skies here. The Lion’s Gate Suspension Bridge connects Stanley
Park with North Vancouver on the other side of the harbor. On the
north side is Grouse Mountain, the area’s closest ski resort
to the city that has turned into an all year round attraction. During
the non-winter months, one can take the gondola up Grouse mountain
for some wonderful hiking and views of the Vancouver skyline. The
Capilano Suspension Bridge which visitors walk across to a nice
nature area is another must see nearby. One of the cuisine highlights
in the British Columbia province is the salmon and one of the best
restaurants to sample it is the Salmon House in adjacent West Vancouver.
Dinner there with the Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art décor
and spectacular nighttime views of the city is one of the best ways
to finish off a day of sightseeing.
Back in downtown Vancouver, the Gastown district is one of the
top tourist areas for boutique shopping and souvenirs. Don’t
miss the steam clock that rings on the hour. Vancouver has one of
the largest Asian communities in North America so the Chinatown
nearby as expected has some of the best dim sum luncheons outside
of Hong Kong. Further boutique shopping can be found in the Yaletown
and Granville Island districts.
If time permits, one of the recommended day trips to do out of
Vancouver is to drive up the Sea & Sky highway to Whistler,
one of North America’s largest ski resorts. During the off
ski season, Whistler is all season resort with many activities such
as hiking, biking, festivities and shopping in the village. A ride
up the gondola here will enable visitors to get a bird’s eye
view of the majestic Canadian Rockies mountain range. The drive
itself to Whistler, about two and a half hours along the coastline,
offers many wonderful scenic points as well.
Vancouver is a great city to visit as one can really see how a
major city can still be in very scenic surroundings. For those coming
to Vancouver as the departure port of a cruise to either Hawaii
or Alaska, it is highly recommended to allocate at least a full
day before or after the cruise to see what the city has to offer.
As I mentioned before, on a sunny day with the sea on one side and
the mountains on the other, Vancouver is really hard to beat.
About the Author:
Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery http://www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca
, an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native
American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit
Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of
authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.
Read more articles by: Clint Leung
Article Source: www.iSnare.com
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