I spent roughly 7 years in Vancouver and I have always thought that this was "the best on earth" just like every other Vancouverite will tell you. It has been known as the supermodel of the cities and many of Hollywood movies are being filmed here. Although after travelling out of it, I personally thought that statement became less than the truth, yet, Vancouver is still a beautiful place to be.
Whenever people ask me what are things to-do in Vancouver, I have so much to tell them. First of, it really depends in what time of the year they are planning to visit the city. Then, I tell them that Vancouver is in the Wet Coast, I mean West Coast Canada - meaning lots of rain! In fact, Canada Place in the city has a 65 feet (20 meters) statue of a raindrop called The Drop. This quintessential piece of Vancouver serves as a "big" inside joke for the locals. Get it? So it's my obligation to tell you to be prepared of the gloomy rain. It does not rain all the time, there are still good sunny days.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that you can do in Vancouver in no particular order (part 1):
1. The Beaches
Vancouver in known for it's spectacular beaches. It even made in National Geographic's top ten City Beaches. Summer is the best time to enjoy the beaches but other cold seasons are not opt-out. Just like many Vancouverites do, I enjoyed taking a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate while going for a walk along the waters in cold days.
My favorite beach is Sunset Beach because after work, this is one place to watch where I watch the out-of-the world sunset scenery. Other beaches to see are English Bay (not First Beach), Second Beach, Third Beach, Kitsilano, Jericho, Spanish Banks and the controversial Wreck Beach.
Wreck beach is just by University of British Columbia. There's a stair trail going down hill off the woods and half way the trail there's a sign that says: "clothing optional at this point". That's where real party gets started - lots of naked people! The rest is history.
2. Granville Island
Granville Island is actually a sandspit and not a real island. It is one of the art districts in the city. They host artisan dining, contemporary and native art gallery, the infamous Emily Carr University of Arts and Designs, and my favorite spot here is the Vancouver TheatreSports™ League, where they hold improv hows to satisfy your craving for some live comedy.
3. Grouse Mountain/Grouse Grind
In Vancouver, locals use the mountains to refer directions. The mountains are the index which are in north of the city. Even at night, you will see the lights from the top of the ski slope of Grouse Mountain. You can tell where is north because of the lights that's lit up year-long. (Sometimes, drunk people at night think that it's a shooting star).
If you are into hiking, then the Grouse Grind is one challenge for you. The trail is open in the summer (usually from Springtime to Fall). Hiking down is not allowed and you will be required to take the Gondola down. On top of the mountain, you will have a panoramic view of the city and you may also see the United Stated. There is a building there that has a cafe, restaurant, shops and theater.
In the outdoor, they host the World-Famous Lumberjack Show where the actors compete who is the best Lumberjack. The fee is inclusive upon taking the Gondola on top or basically, it is free if you hiked up the mountain.
A bear sanctuary is also located on top. The bears have their den and they are monitored all year long. Other events up there are trainerd birds demontsrations (eagles, owls, etc), Ziplining, and many more!
GROUSE IN WINTER:
Since Vancouver has only mild winter, snow happens just a few days a year. If you are looking for snow in the winter then you should hit the slopes up in Grouse Mountain. An outdoor skating rink is there. You can either bring your own ice skates or rent it there. Snowshoeing is also a thing!
That's what I can tell you for now in this post. Next time, there will be Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park and The Seawall, Skytrain and Seabus, The Festival of Lights and many more to come! It will be coming up in the next posts.