Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (credit: Thinkstock)
Vancouver is a very diverse city and is home to a thriving arts, music and culinary scene. This city, which is located in British Columbia, Canada, offers plenty of things to do that are all centrally located. That makes this destination perfect for a weekend getaway, which is why, if you have a few days to get away, you should make your plans to escape to Vancouver.
There are many different things to see and do when in Vancouver. However, if you only have 48 hours you may have to cut down on your must-see list. With so much to see, do and experience, that might be a bit more difficult than it sounds. When visiting Vancouver, you must at least take the time to visit the Vancouver Aquarium and see more than 50,000 fascinating sea creatures from regions around the world, including those from the Arctic and the Amazon. Other must-see attractions and sites in Vancouver include FlyOver Canada, Vancouver Lookout, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Grouse Mountain and Science World. If time allows you will also want to make time to explore Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park and Granville Island.
Vancouver has quickly become the gourmet capital of Canada and is where many foodies plan their Canadian getaways. You will find an assortment of places to dine, including everything from quick service to fine dining and coffee shops to ethnic restaurants. There is something for everyone in Vancouver, no matter what your taste buds prefer. Some popular places to grab a bite to eat in Vancouver include 49th Parallel Coffee, Timbertrain Coffee Roaster, Japadog, The Flying Pig, Richmond Night Market and Nelson the Seagull. Other popular places to dine include the Espana Restaurant, Tavola, Miku Restaurant, Les Faux Bourgeois and YEW Seafood and Bar. All of these locations offer great food options and wuick service to help you get back to your exploring.
You will find many hidden gems scattered throughout the city. Many of these gems will take you on an adventure into the arts and culture of Vancouver. Take a stroll through the Vancouver Art Museum, where you will see some of the oddest and most exciting exhibits ever. This museum will take you through a maze of history where you will see some amazing works of art and learn more about Canadian and world history. There are several different museums and galleries in the area, including the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. You can also enjoy a guided tour offered by Vancouver Photowalks, which offers outdoor photography classes through the different Vancouver neighborhoods and parks.
In addition to the Vancouver Photowalks tour, you can enjoy many other tours that will take you throughout the city. You will find tours that take on a journey by land, water and air. All of these tours offer you an insight into life in the city and a look into Vancouver’s history. Some popular tours in Vancouver include Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours, Harbour Cruises and Events, Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres, Vancouver Foodie Tours, The Vancouver Trolley Company, BC Water Bikes and Mountain Discovery Tour.
Explore Gastown, where you can stroll down the street and see a variety of coffee shops, fusion food restaurants and historic buildings. This is the place to visit if you want to dive deep into the fashion, design and culture of Vancouver. You will also want to make time to explore Stanley Park. This park is just over 1,000 acres and offers a fun place to walk or ride a bike. You will love the view of the city this public park gives you. Bikes can be rented from Spokes for $10 (USD) an hour. If you are not too exhausted from all of your exploring, stop by the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which will take you more than 50 meters over the canyon as you cross. On the other side you will have access to many parks and swimming holes.
When visiting Vancouver you can stay in a luxury resort or you can stay in a more budget-friendly hotel. The wide range in options makes it possible to enjoy your vacation no matter what your budget. Some of the more popular hotels and resorts in Vancouver include The Rosewood Hotel and Georgia (high-end), The Opus Hotel (mid-range) and The Burrard (budget-friendly).
When visiting Vancouver you will want to make time to see and do as much as you can in the short time you have in the city. Knowing how to get around before you arrive will help you get on the road and exploring as soon as possible. Many of the Vancouver sites can be reached by walking, driving or taking a quick ferry boat ride. Taxis and public transportation are also available for those who do not want to rent a car. The Translink is a very efficient means of public transportation in Vancouver and operates the buses, the SeaBus Ferry and the SkyTrain.
Vancouver is a very walkable city and many of the attractions and sites in the downtown area can be easily accessed by foot. You can also rent a bike to get around the city. This should cost you around $30 to $40 CAD per day of rental. Just make sure you wear your helmet because it is mandatory for all bike riders, and stay off of the sidewalks. Popular companies in Vancouver offering bike rentals include Spokes Bicycle Rentals, Vancouver Bike Rental and English Bay Bike Rentals.