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10 Amazing Things To Do In Vancouver

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Canada’s big-hitting city has international
flavours, left-field culture and incredible scenery. Here’s our
essential guide to the west-coast wonderland

iStock

The Seawall in
Vancouver, Canada

1. Walk all along the waterfront

Winding for 13 miles along Vancouver’s waterfront, the Seawall creates a natural walking tour of
the city. The path passes beaches such as Jericho
(chilled out), Kits (sporty) and English Bay (lively), as well as
Granville Island, with its food stalls and
street performers, and the former Olympic Village, where good pit
stops include Earnest Ice Cream and Terra Breads. There’s also the chance to lose
yourself amidst the 400-year-old trees of Stanley Park (designed by Central Park’s
architect), and take in views of the mighty North Shore Mountains
from Coal Harbour.

Find it: tourismvancouver.com

2. Go back to the drawing board

Art class meets comedy at the monthly Come Draw With Me nights at the Hot Art Wet
City gallery. Participants are encouraged to draw with marker
pens, and the results judged by funnywoman Alicia Tobin. It’s
silly, intimate and a magnet for the city’s creative crowd.

Find it: hotartwetcity.com

Drinks at 33 Acres
brewery

3. Bike-hop around the breweries

With its recent boom in microbreweries, Vancouver is fast becoming known as the Portland of the north. Take advantage of the
city’s new bikeshare scheme to tour the craft brewers
on wheels. Create your own artisan-ale route with this handy map, stopping by 33 Acres, Doan’s, Off the
Rail, Parallel 49, Powell
Street and Strange
Fellows.

Find it: mobibikes.ca

4. Walk through a forest in mid-air

Although many visitors find their way to the Capilano Suspension
Bridge, few know the quieter, equally stunning alternative. The
60ft-high TreeWalk winds between century-old cedars,
firs and pines, and is next door to 800 hectares of old-growth
forest in Pacific Spirit Park. The pure air smells of
fallen rain and moss, and you could spend hours combing the 20-odd
trails.

Find it: botanicalgarden.ubc.ca (Open March through
October).

5. Sleep on the water in a hip
houseboat

Wake up to mountains on one side and ocean on the other by
staying in one of North Vancouver’s spacious and modern floating homes. The area also has the best
Persian restaurants in town; and your commute to the city is a
10-minute Seabus across the harbour. Check Airbnb for listings.

Find it: airbnb.co.in

6. Do naked yoga on the beach

A Vancouver institution, the clothing-optional Wreck
Beach combines a freewheeling hippie vibe with dramatic
natural scenery. To get there you’ll need to navigate 400-plus
steps on the edge of the University of British Columbia campus;
down below is a lively, constantly evolving scene of food and
clothing stalls, drum circles, nude yoga and skinny-dippers. Take
your own towel.

Find it: wreckbeach.org

7. Chill out on one of Canada’s coolest
streets

Once the city’s Little Italy, Commercial Drive has become its hippest
street, with chock-a-block indie outposts. Start at the top of The
Drive with Mexican brunch at Bandidas, then make your way down to browse the
counter-cultural racks at the People’s Co-op Bookstore, try the craft brews
at St Augustine’s (the website has live
updates of everything on tap) and catch a new play at The
Cultch.

Find it: thedrive.ca

8. Get face to face with a totem pole

Experiencing First Nations cultures is a crucial part of any
visit to Vancouver. The downtown Bill Reid Gallery showcases finely handcrafted
jewellery and sculptures by an acclaimed Haida artist, who died in
1998, plus totem poles, painted masks and other works from
west-coast First Nations artists. When you’re passing through the
airport, look out for Reid’s famed ‘Jade Canoe’, which featured on
the Canadian $20 note.

Find it: billreidgallery.ca

Meet on Main

9. Hang out with the creative crowd

Spend a day meandering through Main Street’s 30 blocks of hip
eateries, bars and shops, the pulsing heart of Vancouver’s artistic
community. The drip coffee and inventive doughnuts at 49th
Parallel are second-to-none, as is the vegan comfort food
at Meet on Main (try the deep-fried apple pie
if you dare, and prepare to queue). Head to Front and
Company for its quirky collection of household designs and
gifts (from denim patches to cookie cutters) and, if you’re lucky,
catch an evening gig at Red Cat Records.

Find it: frontandcompany.com and redcat.ca

10. Catch the hottest tuna in town

Sushi is the must-eat food on Canada’s west coast right now, and
the hottest restaurants are currently the oceanfront Miku and
its sister restaurant Minami in Yaletown. The two have made aburi sushi a hit, serving it part
flame-seared, part raw. Try the salmon oshi and the daily goma-ae,
a kale and sesame dish.

Find it: mikurestaurant.com and minamirestaurant.com

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Canada

Published 21 February 2017

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