With majestic mountains and forested hillsides as its backdrop as well as a beautiful shoreline to explore, Vancouver, Canada is a great place to visit if you like outdoor sports and activities. But you’ll also find that it’s an interesting city with great restaurants, nightlife, and a selection of tourist attractions such as The Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Here are just a few suggestions of how to spend time in Vancouver where you can mix cultural enrichment, entertainment and alfresco activities.
Discover More About Vancouver’s Multi-Cultural Make-up
You may be in Vancouver, where the majority religion is Christianity, but while you’re there you can get a flavor of some of the world’s different religions by driving along the so-called “Highway to Heaven”. Along this section of No.5 road you’ll find more than 20 religious schools and institutions, many of which open up their doors to visitors. You can explore the International Buddhist Temple, the Thrangu Monastery, and the Nanaksar Gurdwara Gursikh Temple to find out more about the different religions practised in Vancouver.
Splash Out at River Rock
Spend a decadent night out at the River Rock Casino, western Canada’s largest gaming resort. With a superb location on the banks of the River Fraser, in Richmond, you can try your luck at table games such as blackjack or roulette or sit down to play a game of Texas Hold’em in the poker room. For any games you don’t know how to play, be sure to get some practice online before you play at River Rock. Onlinecasinos.ca offers in-depth reviews of different gaming sites in Canada and is a useful place to start when you’re deciding which site to join.
When you join a site, you should also make sure you secure a generous welcome bonus, so take a look at casinobonusonline.ca where you can find info on the best bonuses on offer. If you don’t fancy table games when you get to River Rock, you can always keep it simple and play slots – there are 900 slot machines to choose from there.
Aside from the casino gaming at River Rock, there are different places to eat, including the Racetrack – where you can dine while you indulge in a bit off-track betting. You could also catch a show at the River Rock Show Theatre or in Lulu’s Lounge.
Be at One with Nature
From the top of Grouse Mountain you’ll find awesome views of Vancouver City. This is a great place for city-dwellers to escape at the weekends and is a popular ski resort in winter. But there’s stuff to do here year-round. The Grouse Grind is the two-mile trail to the top – known locally as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. Alternatively, you can take the Skyway Gondola instead. At the summit there are always activities going on. For instance, there’s a lumberjack show, where skills such as log rolling, tree climbing, and axe throwing are demonstrated. There are also wildlife talks at the grizzly bear habitat area. It’s best to check the weather conditions at grousemountain.com before heading out there for the day.
Alternatively, take yourself for a dizzying walk across Vancouver’s oldest tourist attraction – the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was first constructed in 1889. It’s 230-feet high and 450-feet long – not a good choice for someone who has vertigo, but thrilling for everyone else. If you enjoy the crossing, increase the thrill factor by continuing along the Cliff Hanger Walk, which follows the canyon’s edge.
Enjoy the Trendy Bars of Yaletown
For the best mix of nightlife in Vancouver, head to Yaletown. Formerly a warehouse district, it’s now a trendy quarter full of bistro restaurants, boutique hotels, and some great bars. It’s Vancouver’s equivalent to New York’s SoHo. Popular bars in Yaletown include Raw Canvas and Bar None. Bar None has been open for more than 20 years and features a Hapa sushi and sake bar, a wall that’s covered in neon lighting and punk wall art. There are often live acts and visiting international DJs and the dance floor is always packed.
Raw Canvas has a completely different vibe, with a dining room that serves gourmet charcuterie. Just next to the dining area is a “painting pit”, where customers can put on a smock and get creative with paint on canvas. No-one’s expecting a masterpiece – it’s all about fun and self-expression. There are also regular poetry readings and live music sessions, so there’s something for everyone in this quirky venue.
Of course, your time in Vancouver might be a part of a bigger trip to British Columbia. If so, check out some of the other sights to see in BC here at a newlifewandering.com.
Featured image: “View of vancouver” (CC BY 2.0) by brianfagan