Vancouver Island / Victoria
Off Canada’s west coast, Vancouver Island is the largest Island on the Pacific Coast of North America. The mild coastal climate draws visitors here year round, being one of the warmest places in Canada in winter.
Most visitors begin their trip to Vancouver Island in Victoria, a small city with a friendly small town atmosphere known internationally as the City of Gardens.
Stanley Park – Vancouver’s Gem!
Stanley Park is a 400 hectare green oasis all on its own. Hike the many trails and enjoy all the beautiful majestic trees. Walk along the seawall and stop on a bench and see all the ship’s in the harbor. Stanley Park has many historical landmarks such as: Lost Lagoon, Siwash Rock, the Hollow Tree, Beaver Lake and Prospect Point.
The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are BC’s most visited tourist attraction.
Discover the secrets carved in wood that tell the stories of the land and people who first lived, worked and thrived on the shores of B.C.
Enjoy the breathtaking view overlooking the Lions Gate Bridge and the Burrard Inlet. The menu is casual yet elegant!
Stanley Park Pavilion
Stanley Park Pavilion is located inside a rustic heritage building from the turn of the last century. The restaurant features a 200-seat patio and a 50-seat bar. It’s open June to September and is available for private functions such as weddings and banquets during the rest of the year.
The Teahouse Restaurant
The Teahouse Restaurant is a dining experience one will never forget! With its beautiful landscaping and spectacular view of English Bay, relax and enjoy the wonderful West Coast cuisine and exceptional service!
This wonderful dining experience is just minutes from the Stanley Park info booth. Its spectacular patio offers sunshine and views of many landmarks throughout the park. To name a view are the Vancouver Aquarium, the 300 year old Western Red Cedar tree and Bill Reid’s Chief of the Undersea World sculpture.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
The stunning Garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition and the first of its kind outside China. Be enchanted by the Garden’s winding paths, rocks, plants, and beautiful vistas.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world! Spot and photograph local wildlife, find your way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, unwind in a serene setting, dine on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Vancouver’s horticultural jewel, is a major draw for floral display enthusiasts and view-seekers, and as a popular backdrop for wedding photos. At 125 m above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore.
The 52-hectare park is home to the stunning Bloedel Conservatory. There is also a gorgeously landscaped quarry garden, the arboretum with its collection of exotic and native trees, sculptures including one by internationally renowned artist Henry Moore, and diverse recreational offerings such as tennis, lawn bowling and pitch & putt. The park is also the perfect setting for fine dining at Seasons in the Park, a picnic or stargazing.
Bloedel Conservatory is a domed lush paradise located in Queen Elizabeth Park atop the City of Vancouver’s highest point. More than 120 free-flying exotic birds, 500 exotic plants and flowers thrive within its temperature-controlled environment.
Ride the Stanley Park Train
Welcoming over 200,000 visitors annually, the Stanley Park Railway is popular with locals and tourists alike. The 20 gauge, 2 km track winds through the forest over ground cleared by Typhoon Freda, the most devastating storm in Vancouver history which blew through in 1962. Passengers can get a close-up look at a vintage engine and a quick photo before boarding for the 15-minute ride.
The jewel of the Stanley Park Railway’s collection of old locomotives is a locally-built replica of Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.
Stanley Park Railway is adjacent to other popular destinations such as Lumberman’s Arch, Malkin Bowl, and the Rose Garden.
Commercial Drive – Vancouver’s “Little Italy”
It is also referred to as “The Drive”. It offers incredible shopping and dining. For 8 blocks, you can pretend you are walking down a quaint Italian village and stop into Café Calabria or Lombardo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant for that authentic Italian flavor. Crave spaghetti? A must stop is Pepino’s Spaghetti House.
The Drive offers 22 full blocks to explore with over 300 distinct merchants, including quaint boutiques, an eclectic collection of restaurants, a vibrant live music and bar scene, dinner and dancing, theatres, coffee houses, specialty food stores and bakeries. An experience you will never forget!
Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. It began with a single tavern founded by John “Grassy Jack’ Deighton in 1867. The Victorian architecture gives Gastown its distinct character. It offers fabulous fashion stores, décor boutiques, art galleries, and of course exquisite dining! A must see while visiting Vancouver!
Vancouver’s Chinatown was established in the 1890’s. Rich in history, authentic cuisine, and incredible architecture, Chinatown is east of downtown Vancouver. It is North America’s third largest Chinatown after New York and San Francisco.
It is fun to walk down the streets and enjoy all the Asian specialty stores. The cuisine is second to none! If you like Dim Sum there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy this unique taste. You will certainly walk away with bags of awesome vegetables and unique items.
A must see is Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Not only are the gardens beautiful, but it offers fabulous information on the Chinese culture.
It is located on a sand spit underneath the Granville Island bridge.
The Granville Island Public Market is a chef’s paradise. You will find the most unique ingredients here for that special recipe.
The area also offers theatres, Emily Carr Studio, many craft studios and art galleries. If you are looking for a special gift or perhaps just a nice piece of art for your home, you will be sure to find it here!
The public market is a great place to buy smoked salmon, unique teas and gourmet foods. A must see is the First Nations artworks in the Net Loft building. Here you will also find B.C.wines and other unique gifts.
Robson Street is a must for most visitors to Vancouver. This is one of Vancouver’s oldest commercial streets and was once known as Robsonstrasse, for the number of German and European stores that opened up after the Second World War.
Robson Street is known for its elegant shopping and restaurants. It is the Rodeo Drive of Vancouver!
Along your stroll you can visit BC Place Stadium. This is the home of the BC Lions Canadian Football League and the Vancouver Whitecaps– Vancouver’s North American professional soccer league. Take some time to investigate the BC Sports Hall of Fame inside the stadium.
Coal Harbour is a lovely area right downtown Vancouver, bordered by Burrard Inlet.
It has a wonderful mix of business and residential. Take a walk along the Seawall, or stop into one of the many neighbourhood cafes and restaurants. You may even be fortunate to see the odd harbour seal. Visit the Vancouver Convention Centre and enjoy the public art and the surrounding section of the seawall which includes many interpretive white sails of Canada Place. Be sure to visit Jack Poole Plaza, home of the Olympic flame from the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games!
Places to Stay in Vancouver
No matter what your budget is, Vancouver has many beautiful lodgings to offer. Whether your travelling with your family, your pet, friends or on business, you will find the perfect place to stay. Some to mention are:
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fairmont Pacific Rim is a resort in the Vancouver downtown core. They offer many value-enhanced packages to ensure that your visit will be a memorable experience. If it is a beautiful dinner you desire, a fine glass of wine or relaxation in the fabulous spa, you will certainly find it here.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, B.C.
Ramada by Wyndham
Ramada Inn & Suites is located in the Granville Entertainment District. This is a 100% non-smoking hotel and has been fully remodeled. Guests enjoy complimentary access to Steve Nash Fitness World. Enjoy relaxing in Morrissey’s Public House and Twelve West Ultra Lounge.
Ramada by Wyndham Vancouver Downtown
1221 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C.
Granville Island Hotel
The Granville Island Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel located on the waterfront of Granville Island. The guest rooms offer spectacular views of the ocean and city. The service is excellent and it is a short walk to fabulous art galleries, theatres, shops and restaurants.
Granville Island Hotel
1253 Johnston St., Vancouver, B.C.
The Sutton Place Hotel
This 5-star Vancouver hotel offers a gourmet restaurant and elegant rooms. The full service Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar offers a wide selection of wines from British Columbia, USA, Australia and many other popular wine regions throughout the world.
Vida Spa offers various massage treatments, facials and body wraps. Guests may also use the state of the art fitness centre.
This hotel is very centrally located to enjoy all the attractions in the downtown that Vancouver has to offer.
The Sutton Place Hotel
845 Burrard St., Vancouver, B.C.
Pan Pacific Vancouver
Experience the comforts of Vancouver’s waterfront Pan Pacific Vancouver on your urban getaway. Enjoy your stay with sweeping mountain vistas and the city’s best attractions just minutes away at one of the finest hotels in Downtown Vancouver. Dine in Oceans 999 restaurant and have an unforgettable Vancouver dining experience.
This is a perfect fall getaway. Bring the family and enjoy the wonderful pool and spa.
999 Canada Pl #300, Vancouver, B.C.
The Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel
This all suite Vancouver hotel is located downtown Vancouver minutes from fabulous shopping, restaurants, and B.C. Place Stadium. Original Joes’s restaurant is available on-site. Guests may also work out in the gym or relax in the sauna. For a quiet time, enjoy the 2nd floor garden terrace. Rosedale on Robson is 3 km from English Bay beach. Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Vancouver Center for Performing Arts are a 5 minute walk.
The Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel
838 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, B.C.