Vancouver is one of those places that speaks to me. I think so many people can relate to that. Everyone has a place that makes them feel alive and energized: Vancouver is that place for me. It's on the coast, has amazing cuisine from all over the world, and has much warmer weather than Toronto (most of the time). I've been to Vancouver twice now, and I plan on returning as soon as possible once lockdown restrictions are a little bit more relaxed. Between my two visits, I've done a lot of things I really enjoyed in this west coast city, and I'm here to let everyone know some of the many things you shouldn't miss during a visit to Vancouver. 1) Stanley Park This isn't just a park. It's the largest urban park in North America, and one of the largest in the world. It has pavilions, beaches, and a full blown aquarium right in the park. It's just a
short walk from downtown Vancouver, and boasts some of the most incredible views of the city as well as the ocean. It's so easy to get lost in the best way possible. There are tons of walking and bike paths spread out all over the park. It's so huge that you actually don't even feel like you're in a big city. If you plopped me right in the middle of Stanley Park and told me I was in the wilderness, I would believe you. In the middle of the park, you can't even hear the boats or cars that are just a few miles away. The towering trees and lush vegetation give the feel of being on a hike, while not having to actually drive out to a national park. If you want the chance to get a taste of nature without leaving downtown, this is the best place to do so. 2) Granville Island
This is the place to be if you want to eat. Seriously, bring your appetite for this one. The Granville Island market hosts hundreds of stalls and shops that sell food from all over the world. Chinese food, cheese, meat, seafood, pizza, burritos, desserts, sushi, fresh veggies, and more await you there. On top of that, local artists sell picture frames, paintings, souvenirs, and all kinds if interesting items. It's tons of fun to browse the market for an hour or two and then finish off with an amazing meal. Make sure to check out all the stalls before choosing what to eat! The market is huge, and you don't want to make the mistake of eating at the first place you come across. Parking and public transit connections are available, but I took the water taxi, which was a fun experience and only cost a few dollars. Whether you're a die hard foodie or just looking for a way to spend a few hours, I would highly recommend making the time to head over. 3) Explore Gastown Gastown is pretty infamous for it's steamclock, which makes for a good photo op. However, gastown is also a trendy neighborhood with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. I highly recommend the Cambie bar for some amazing food; not expensive and huge portions! If you're staying at the hostel attached to the pub, they'll even give you a discount for the restaurant. And if you're not staying there, at least make a trip to the bar, as the food there is worth the money and it's right in a central part of gastown! Something worth noting is that gastown is located close to Downtown Eastside, a part of the city that is known for being rather seedy and unsafe. This should not be a huge concern for visitors, but it is something to make note of. 4) Walk around downtown Downtown Vancouver is a bustling city with great public transit, as well as plenty to do. Emery Barnes Park, CF Pacific centre, the Vancouver art gallery, cathedral square, and many more attractions are located really close to each other. Vancouver is a highly walkable city, and in the summer, there are plenty of beaches which is a great way to relax. There are also plenty of parks and sushi places! If you're like me, hearing about an abundance of sushi will be music to your ears. I highly recommend walking along Granville Street and checking out all the amazing eateries and stores. It's a lively part of town located right in the city centre. If you're looking for a pizza place along Granville Street, Megabite is where you want to go. Trust me, they have the best pizza. You'll thank me later. Vanier park, Kitsilano beach, and the Vancouver museum are all located right next to each other as well, if you're up for a little more walking. No matter where you go in the city, there's always something to discover. Vancouver has street art, museums, shops, nature, and plenty more.
5) Capilano Suspension Bridge If you're looking to get just out of the city (which I would highly recommend), the capilano suspension bridge is an iconic place that many people visit all year round. It's just a short drive or bus ride from the downtown core, and boasts views that are breathtaking. While I have personally never been, I know dozens of people have, and every single one has said that it was highly worth the trip. It's not at all far from downtown, and it's a great way to see some things you otherwise might miss. There is an animal sanctuary as well as the 140 meter (450 ft) long suspension bridge that serves as an attraction that needs to be visited. My biggest regret when visiting Vancouver has to be not going to this place. It's absolutely worth a visit, and I vow to go there the next time I'm in the area. Vancouver is known for being fun to visit, having amazing cuisine, and boasting dramatic, picturesque landscapes. No matter what you choose to see, eat, or do, there's something for everyone there. As far as Canadian cities go, this one needs to be at the top of your bucket list. It was hard to narrow it down to 5 of the best things to do, as the list goes on and on. No matter what you like to do, Vancouver is a city everyone should visit!