Creating an itinerary of all the things you want to do while in a new city can be slightly overwhelming, especially if it’s a city like Vancouver, where the options are endless. However, don’t let the abundance of fun things to do, places to see, and titillating culinary adventures engulf your planning capabilities. If you’re playing tourguide to your out of town guests, it’s best to start off by sussing out whether they’re the outdoors type, shopaholic extraordinaire, or ravenous foodie. Once you’ve got priorities straightened out, it’s easy to plan your trip around this vivacious city.
For the nature lovers, Lighthouse Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, and Lynn Canyon are places that will please their passions. If you’re on a budget, Lynn Canyon’s suspension bridge is both impressive, and free! Not to mention, you can get in a pretty good hike while you’re at it. All are located outside of the downtown core, so it’s best if you have a car to use, but it is possible to get to all of the above, excluding Lynn Canyon, by public transportation. For the thrill seekers, there’s also zip-lining and paragliding at Grouse Mountain. Not to mention, Whistler is only about a two hour drive from downtown Vancouver. And there, the options are endless for outdoor fun.
Should your shopping savvy friend want to get in some retail therapy while they’re in town, the Pacific Centre is a great mall to spend a rainy day in. Holt Renfrew, a luxury department store, is attached to the same building and is where you will find your high-end labels like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, D&G and plenty of other labels that will highjack your wallet. If the weather is nice outside, South Granville, West 4th, Gastown and Robson Street are all fabulous places where your visitor can find a treat to take home.
The best place to take your foodie friend is definitely Granville Island. It’s a one-stop-shop where you can find the most tasty cheeses, fresh meat, just-caught seafood, artisan baked goods, and everything in between.
For the inquisitive mind, there are some local favorites that will surely fit the bill. Telus World of Science has standard exhibitions that are there year round, along with exhibitions that call Science World home for a few months at a time. There’s also an IMAX theater that is the perfect way to spend a chilly day indoors. Test your the power of your mind, play drums with the beating of your heart and watch pyro shows that will fascinate all ages. The Police Museum is a very interesting place, quite unlike any other museum you have likely been to. Located in Vancouver’s old morgue, it certainly sets the stage for some ghoulish tales. Get a tour of Vancouver’s policing history and then step inside the world that they protect us from and be amazed by the confiscated weapons they have found, observe crime scene evidence and take a tour of the actual morgue. Parental discretion is advised. Another very cool place to spend an afternoon is at the Vancouver Aquarium. Learn about the underwater life that calls the shores of British Columbia home, and then step inside a rainforest and feel the warmth as you watch sloths sleep, butterflies flutter, fish swim and birds fly. It’s a spectacular exhibition!
From mountains, to beaches, world class restaurants, high end shopping, fun museums and an equally fabulous aquarium, Vancouver is a city that will keep your out of town guests on their feet and planning their next visit back.