This tour is meant to show off Vancouver as a whole, giving you an overview of what makes it so uniquely appealing. There are some places where you'll be exploring on foot, others where you'll drive to reach your destination. Nature, art, culture, and coffee are all part of today's itinerary. Start: Tourism Vancouver Touristinfo Centre, Burrard and Cordova streets.
1. Canada Place
Start your day outside, on the upper (deck) level of the city's giant convention center and cruise-ship terminal, which juts out into Burrard Inlet across from the Touristinfo Centre. From here you'll get a good sense of Vancouver's natural and urban topography, with the North Coast Mountains rising up before you; low-rise, historic Gastown to the east; Stanley Park to the west; and a forest of glass residential towers in between. Canada Place is busiest in summer, when up to four giant cruise ships may dock in 1 day.
2. Stanley Park
You can't really appreciate Stanley Park by driving through it in a car, so park your vehicle and head in on foot via Lagoon Drive. Surrounded by a famed pedestrian seawall, this giant peninsular park invites hours of exploration. A 1-hour carriage ride is the perfect way to see the highlights, including an amazing collection of totem poles, giant trees, and landscaped areas.
3. Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
One of the best aquariums in North America is located right in Stanley Park. Have a look especially at the Arctic Canada exhibit with its beluga whales, and the Marine Mammal Deck, where you can see Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea otters, and other denizens of Pacific Northwest waters.
4. Take a Break -- English Bay Beach
If the weather is warm, take off your shoes and enjoy the grass, sand, and sunshine at English Bay Beach, an all-season gathering spot on the south side of Stanley Park. You can pick up picnic eats or find takeout food on nearby Denman Street.
5. Robson Street & the West End
How you explore the West End is up to you. You can walk from English Bay Beach down Denman Street and then turn south on Robson Street, taking in as much of the throbbing shopping and cafe scene as you want. It's also fun to explore the West End as a living neighborhood -- the most densely populated in North America!
6. Take a Break -- Caffè Artigiano
For the best latte in town, as well as grilled Italian sandwiches and snacks, stop in at this busy cafe right across from the Vancouver Art Gallery. There's a perfect people-watching patio in front.
7. UBC Anthropology Museum
Hop in your car for the 20-minute drive to the outstanding Anthropology Museum at the University of British Columbia. Here, in one of North America's preeminent collections of First Nations Art, you'll encounter powerful totem poles, spirit masks, and totemic objects, all richly carved and profoundly mysterious.
In the last decade, Vancouver has become one of the top dining cities in the world, filled with superb restaurants of all kinds. For a romantic dinner that will introduce you to the best of Vancouver's "eat local" food philosophy, reserve a table at Raincity Grill, where the windows overlook English Bay, and the regional cuisine is a perfect excuse to linger.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.