Locals usually give directions that indicate North, South, West and East and an easy way to figure out where North is, is to look for the mountains. North of Downtown Vancouver is North Vancouver and West Vancouver, or as locals call them, "North Van" and "West Van". North and West Van are both lovely residential and commercial areas.
Taking a trip up the mountain to go hiking or skiing is a breeze when you're on this side of town. Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain are a short drive away, and a very scenic one at that. Some of the best hikes and biking trails are in North Vancouver. Capilano Suspension Bridge and Lynn Canyon are both popular choices amongst locals and tourists when they want to get their heart rate up and enjoy some fresh air. Lonsdale Quay is like North Van's Granville Island. It's a busy market filled with many different counters that range from fresh fish, creamy cheeses and tasty baked treats. To get away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown, the Lonsdale Quay Hotel is a great place to stay because you're only a Seabus trip away from the city's core. If you're going to Whistler, you can take the Sea-to-Sky Highway from West Vancouver up to Whistler.