Vancouver: Where The Mountains Meet The Sea
Vancouver, the city where the mountains meet the sea. A land of towering mountains, vibrant city life, and breathtaking scenery. Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most popular destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year. Whether you’re a foodie, outdoor enthusiast, or culture buff, this city offers something for everyone and I have to be honest, it is one of my favorite destinations on earth.
Vancouver, known as the “Hollywood North,”due to it being the place where dozens of hit blockbuster movies like the Twilight series, Deadpool, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the supernatural TV series, the Once Upon A Time TV series and so much was filmed. It attracts film and TV fans from all over the world for this reason. It is a bustling metropolitan city that blends modern skyscrapers with natural beauty. The city boasts a diverse cultural scene, with that thriving arts and music scene, world-class museums, and galleries. And let’s not forget about the food scene. Vancouver is a food lover’s paradise, with a variety of international cuisines, food trucks galore, and trendy cafes.
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Just a short drive from Vancouver lies Whistler, a picturesque alpine village nestled in the Coast Mountains. Known as one of the top ski resorts in the world, Whistler is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. During the winter months, visitors flock to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, while summer offers a plethora of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Vancouver and Whistler are also home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. From the annual Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, there’s always something going on.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Canada, make sure to put Vancouver at the top of your list. With stunning natural beauty, world-class dining, and endless outdoor activities, this city is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
Vancouver is a city that never fails to impress. From the stunning waterfront to the towering skyscrapers, this city is a hub of activity and excitement. Let’s dive into what makes Vancouver so special.
First off, the food scene in Vancouver is out of this world. Whether you’re craving sushi, dim sum, or poutine, Vancouver has it all. The city is known for its diverse culinary offerings, with restaurants and food trucks serving up everything from farm-to-table cuisine to fusion dishes. And don’t forget to check out the city’s many craft breweries and distilleries – there’s always something new to try!
History buffs listen up, Vancouver is home to some of the best museums, galleries, and theaters in the world. The Museum of Anthropology, for example, showcases the rich history and cultures of British Columbia’s First Nations peoples. And the Vancouver Art Gallery is a must-visit for any art lover, with a collection that spans contemporary and historical works.
But that’s not all – Vancouver is also a city that loves to have fun. From the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival as I mentioned above, there’s always something going on in this city. And if you’re into sports, Vancouver is home to the Canucks (hockey), the Whitecaps (soccer), and the Lions (football), so there’s never a dull moment.
Food Trucks Galore
Calling all foodies, Vancouver’s food truck scene is not to be missed. In recent years, the city has become a hub for food trucks, offering everything from gourmet grilled cheese to Korean BBQ tacos. The trend started back in 2010 when the city began issuing licenses for food trucks, and it has only grown in popularity since then.
One of the great things about Vancouver’s food truck scene is the variety. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s likely a food truck serving it up. Some of the most popular trucks include Vij’s Railway Express (serving Indian cuisine), Japadog (hot dogs with a Japanese twist), and Tacofino (Mexican-inspired dishes). And don’t forget about the sweet treats – there are plenty of dessert trucks to satisfy your sweet tooth.
As for pricing, food trucks are generally quite affordable, with most dishes ranging from $5 to $15. And the quality of the food is often on par with some of Vancouver’s top restaurants.
So where can you find these food trucks? They can be found all over the city, but there are certain spots where they tend to congregate. One of the most popular spots is the Vancouver Art Gallery, where a rotating selection of food trucks can be found on most days. Another great spot is the lot at Howe and Dunsmuir, which features a variety of trucks throughout the week.
So if you’re looking for a fun and tasty way to explore Vancouver, be sure to check out the city’s food trucks. With so much variety and so many options, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your cravings.
Now that you have your fill of tasty food, it’s time to explore Stanley Park. Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s easy to see why. This 1,000-acre park is located just minutes from downtown Vancouver and offers a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
One of the best ways to explore Stanley Park is on foot. The seawall walk is a 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) path that circles the park and offers stunning views of the city skyline, Burrard Inlet, and the North Shore Mountains. It’s a popular spot for jogging, cycling, or simply taking a leisurely stroll as you are offered stunning views of the city while at the same time feeling like you are out in nature.
Girl In The Wetsuit
As you walk along the seawall, keep an eye out for the Girl in a Wetsuit statue. This bronze statue, which depicts a woman in a wetsuit sitting on a rock, was created by local artist Elek Imredy in 1972. It’s become one of the park’s most beloved landmarks and is often used as a symbol of Vancouver’s connection to the ocean.
Another must-see attraction in Stanley Park is the collection of totem poles. These towering carvings are a tribute to the First Nations peoples of British Columbia and represent various animals, legends, and family crests. The totem poles were first erected in the park in the 1920s and have been an important part of the park’s cultural heritage ever since.
The Inukshuk Monument in English Bay is an impressive stone structure that stands over 30 feet tall and is made up of several large stones stacked on top of each other.
The Inukshuk has long been an important symbol in Inuit culture, representing safety, direction, and guidance. It has become an important symbol of Canada’s cultural heritage and is often used as a symbol of the country’s connection to the natural world.
English Bay is a beautiful spot in Vancouver, with stunning views of the city skyline and the North Shore Mountains. The beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, with plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, or simply taking a stroll along the shore.
English Bay is located just a few miles from Stanley Park, making it a popular destination for those exploring the park. In fact, you can easily walk or bike from Stanley Park to English Bay along the seawall, which is about a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) journey.
Digital Orca Statue
Another famous statue in Vancouver is the “Digital Orca” created by artist Douglas Coupland in 2009. It is located in Jack Poole Plaza, which overlooks Coal Harbour and is adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The “Digital Orca” is a stunning sculpture that stands at 9 meters (28 feet) tall and is made entirely out of pixelated blocks, giving it a LEGO-like appearance. The statue is a tribute to the orcas that are often seen in the waters off the coast of British Columbia, and its unique design has made it a popular destination for visitors to Vancouver.
Unlike traditional sculptures, the “Digital Orca” features a bold and playful design that represents the city’s innovative and creative spirit. It’s a testament to the city’s love of art and culture, and has become an iconic symbol of Vancouver. It’s a great spot for photos and for taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene.
Next up, you have to explore the Granville Island Public Market. One of the best ways to get to the Granville Island Public Market is by hopping on an AquaBus. These charming, colorful water taxis operate daily and provide an easy and fun way to travel between various destinations in False Creek, including Granville Island.
Once you arrive at Granville Island, the Public Market is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vancouver. This bustling indoor market is filled with local artisans, farmers, and food vendors, all offering a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, baked goods, and more.
You can sample a diverse range of local flavors and cuisines, including freshly caught seafood, artisan cheeses, and local wines and beers. The market is also home to many unique shops and boutiques, selling everything from handmade soaps and jewelry to art and textiles.
In addition to the market, Granville Island is also home to many other attractions, including theaters, art galleries, and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Visitors can easily spend a full day exploring this vibrant and lively neighborhood.
Whether you’re a foodie, an art lover, or just looking for a fun day out, Granville Island has something for everyone. So be sure to add this lively and charming neighborhood to your Vancouver itinerary and experience all that it has to offer.
Another must-visit neighborhood in Vancouver is Gastown, which is my personal favorite spot in town. It is known for its charming Victorian architecture, trendy shops, and thriving restaurant and bar scene. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time here with their cobblestone streets and their famous Steam Clock.
This unique clock, which was built in 1977, is powered by steam and features a series of ornate gears and pipes that create a distinctive sound.
Every hour, on the hour, the Steam Clock whistles and shoots out steam, much to the delight of onlookers. You can watch the clock in action and snap photos of this unique and iconic landmark.
Beyond the Steam Clock, Gastown is also home to many other attractions, including art galleries, boutique shops, and some of Vancouver’s best restaurants and bars. The neighborhood has a lively and vibrant atmosphere, making it a great place to explore.
Lions Gate Bridge
The Lions Gate Bridge, also known as the First Narrows Bridge, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Vancouver. It was built in 1938 and spans over 5,000 feet across Burrard Inlet, connecting downtown Vancouver with the North Shore.
One of the most unique features of the Lions Gate Bridge is its changeable lane system, which allows for reversible lanes during peak traffic times. This feature has helped to alleviate congestion during rush hour and has made the bridge a vital transportation link between the two sides of the city. You can walk or cycle across this iconic bridge.
In addition to its practical uses, the Lions Gate Bridge has also played a starring role in many blockbuster movies. It is often used as a stand-in for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, appearing in films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes which is “set” in San Francisco. The bridge’s stunning views of the city, mountains, and ocean also make it a popular destination as you can walk or bike across the bridge to take in the panoramic views.
Crossing the Lions Gate Bridge is a popular way to get to Grouse Mountain, one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver. Located on the North Shore, Grouse Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages.
To reach the top of the mountain, you can take the Skyride, a cable car that offers breathtaking views of the city and mountains during the ascent.
Grouse Mountain In Summer
During the summer months, Grouse Mountain is transformed into a hub of outdoor activities. You can go mountain biking, hiking, or take part in one of the famous Lumberjack shows. The mountain also features a zipline and a scenic chairlift ride that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and city below.
Grinder And Coola Resident Bears
At the top of the mountain, you can meet the two resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, who live in a natural habitat on the mountain. Grinder and Coola were both orphaned as cubs and were found in different parts of British Columbia. They were rescued and brought to Grouse Mountain where they have been living since 2001. The two bears have become popular attractions at the mountain and you can watch them from a safe distance as they play, swim, and explore their habitat.
Grouse Mountain has also partnered with the Grizzly Bear Foundation to help support conservation efforts and protect grizzly bears in the wild. Grinder and Coola are not only beloved residents of Grouse Mountain, but also important ambassadors for grizzly bear conservation.
Grouse Mountain In Winter
During the winter months, Grouse Mountain is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. The resort offers a variety of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from beginner to expert. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, you can also enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and sleigh rides. As you can see, Grouse Mountain is a hub of activity and a destination not to be missed.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Another must-see attraction near Grouse Mountain is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a 450-foot-long suspension bridge that spans the Capilano River. To get to the bridge, you can take a short drive from Grouse Mountain or take a shuttle bus from downtown Vancouver.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is more than just a bridge – it’s a full park that includes a variety of activities and attractions. In addition to the bridge itself, you can explore the Treetops Adventure, a series of suspension bridges that wind through the trees and offer a bird’s-eye view of the forest below. The park also features the Cliffwalk, a suspended walkway that hugs the cliffside and offers stunning views of the canyon below.
In addition to the main attractions, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park also includes a variety of cultural and historical exhibits that showcase the history and traditions of the region’s Indigenous people.
Seaplane Capital Of The World
An exciting way to experience Vancouver’s beauty is by taking a seaplane tour. Vancouver is known as the “Seaplane Capital of the World,” with over 300,000 seaplane takeoffs and landings each year.
Seaplane tours offer a unique perspective on the city and surrounding areas, with panoramic views of the mountains, ocean, and city skyline. There are several tour operators in Vancouver that offer seaplane tours, ranging from short sightseeing trips to longer tours that take you to remote locations.
Next up we have my favorite place in the region, Whistler. One popular way to visit Whistler from Vancouver is by driving the Sea-to-Sky Highway, which offers breathtaking views of the ocean, mountains, and forests. The drive takes approximately two hours and covers a distance of about 75 miles.
Once you arrive in Whistler, there’s plenty to see and do. The pedestrian-only Whistler Village is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries, and there are numerous accommodations available to suit every budget and taste.
Peak To Peak Gondola
One of the most popular attractions in Whistler is the Peak-to-Peak Gondola ride, which takes you on a 2.7 mile journey between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Along the way, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the mountains, forests, and glaciers below.
In addition to the Peak-to-Peak Gondola, there are also several chairlifts and smaller gondolas that provide access to a variety of trails and scenic viewpoints in the area.
Biking In Summer
During the summer months, Whistler is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities like hiking, biking, ziplining, and golfing available. You can also enjoy scenic walks and picnics in the beautiful alpine meadows. There are even international rider competitions that you can enjoy spectating.
Skiing In Winter
In the winter, Whistler is a world-renowned destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. The resort boasts over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, and there are trails and runs available for all skill levels.
Marmots On Whistler
Whistler is also home to a variety of wildlife, including marmots, black bears, and eagles, which can often be seen in their natural habitats. Look at this cute guy just staring down the lens of the camera. Be sure to remember to be cautious around wild animals and do not just approach them especially if they have babies with them as they can turn aggressive.
Whistler At Christmas
Finally, visiting Whistler during the Christmas season is a truly magical experience, with festive events and activities taking place throughout the village. From the twinkling lights to the holiday markets and ice-skating rinks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
A visit to Whistler is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and adventure of British Columbia.
Whistler Glacier Joffre Lakes
Green Lake is the largest lake in Whistler, located just north of the village. It’s a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding, and offers stunning views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
Alta Lake is located just south of the village and is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and windsurfing. The lake is surrounded by parks and trails, making it an ideal location for a relaxing picnic or a leisurely stroll.
Lost Lake is a hidden gem nestled in the forest, just a short walk from Whistler Village. The lake is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, and the surrounding trails offer excellent hiking and mountain biking opportunities.
Whistler Garibaldi Lake
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, Garibaldi Lake, located about 20 miles (32 km) from Whistler, is a must-see destination. The hike to Garibaldi Lake is about 9 miles (14.5 km) round trip and is intense. The stunning turquoise-colored lake is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glaciers, making it an unforgettable experience.
All of these lakes are easily accessible by car from Whistler, with most of them being less than an hour’s drive away. They are also within a reasonable driving distance from Vancouver, making them ideal day trip destinations.
Whistler Brandywine Falls
Finally Brandywine Falls is a stunning waterfall located just a short drive from Whistler. The falls drop from a height of 230 feet and cascade down a volcanic rock face, creating a picturesque scene that is truly breathtaking. You can enjoy a short hike through the forest to reach the falls, and there are several viewing platforms that offer stunning views of the waterfall and the surrounding scenery.
Brandywine Falls is a great place to wrap up your adventure in Vancouver and Whistler. It perfectly encapsulates the natural beauty and majesty of the area, with its towering falls and lush forest surroundings. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, Brandywine Falls is a must-see destination that will leave you awestruck.
With so much to see and do in Vancouver and Whistler, it’s no wonder that these destinations continue to be a popular choice for travelers from around the world. From the stunning parks and lakes to the bustling city streets and cultural attractions, there is truly something for everyone in this part of British Columbia. So why wait? Start planning your own adventure to Vancouver and Whistler today with the Tripio app!
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on Vancouver: Where The Mountain Meets The Sea. Download the Tripio app now and start creating your very own custom itinerary for your dream vacation. Travel has never been so easy. Get Tripio to generate a custom top 10 just for you. Your dream vacation awaits and it’s as easy as downloading the Tripio app. Our travel experts have spent countless hours researching destinations so you don’t have to. What are you waiting for? I will see you in our next destination, till then keep traveling!
Interested in more of Canada, check out: Alberta: Home To The World’s Most Beautiful Lakes
–Written by Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru
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