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Totem Poles in Vancouver

Discover the Top Things to Do in Vancouver, the World’s One of the Most Beautiful Cities (2024)

Vancouver is a bustling metropolis boasting its fair share of natural beauty. Nestled on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver has earned the reputation of being the world’s one of the most beautiful cities. And why not? It has everything from urban beaches to mountain backdrops, snow-covered ranges, sandy beaches, thriving art scenes, greenery, and much more. In addition, the mild year-round climate, population diversity, and rich cultural heritage make Vancouver a must-visit place for travelers and tourists worldwide.

Vancouver is absolutely full of love, life, and laughter, and it has so much to do. Whether you want to cover the must-visit tourist attraction of Vancouver or check out the hidden gems, you will never fall short of options. This magical seaport boasts a range of indoor and outdoor tourist destinations that cater to all ages and interests.

Discover the Top Things to Do in Vancouver, the World’s One of the Most Beautiful Cities

So, are you ready to take a virtual trip to Vancouver? If yes, then sit back, relax, and join us to discover the Top Things to do in Vancouver. Brace yourself since you are in for a treat.

1. Stanley Park

Stanley Park is an urban park spread over 1000 acres in the heart of Vancouver city. It is one of the largest urban parks in North America and a popular one in Canada. What adds to Stanley Park’s popularity is the fact that the Pacific Ocean surrounds it on three sides. In addition, the mountains in the distance add to its backdrop, making it a wonderful landscape for nature lovers. Stanley Park is home to a range of attractions and a number of things to do. From cultural landmarks to natural wonders and unending outdoor activities, even an entire day is less to experience them all.

The most popular feature of Stanley Park in Vancouver is undoubtedly the Seawall. This paved pathway is quite popular amongst cyclists, and they gather here from different parts of Canada. If not on cycles, individuals can explore this route on rollerblades or via walking while enjoying the best view of nature and Vancouver around. Seawall also boasts a range of beaches to swim, soak and relax. Some other popular tourist attractions in Stanley Park include Vancouver Aquarium and the Iconic Totem Poles. The park also boasts a number of hiking trails, several gardens, and green spaces to explore. When here, do not miss the famous Rose Garden, Japanese garden, and Shakespeare garden. Make sure you bring your camera along to capture the beautiful memories of this iconic place.

2. Totem Poles

Totem poles are monumental carvings and important cultural artifacts. These carvings belong to indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, and some of their impressive examples can be seen in and around Vancouver. However, there are quite a few in Stanley Park, Vancouver, that visitors must check out. The collection here started in 1920, and some of them were carved back in the 1800s.

Stanley Park’s two different locations boast a number of Totem Poles. Visitors must check out a beautiful meadow setting at Brockton Point and witness 3 of the totem poles along with 3 Welcome Gateways. 2 other totem poles are on the Miniature Train route, but they are visible only during a train ride. In contrast, 1 amongst the lot is right where the Miniature train operates at the Children of the World. The totem poles at Stanley Park are undoubtedly some of the most impressive in the world. Each of them has its unique design and story featuring intricate details and beautiful colors.

3. Granville Island

Visiting Granville Island is one of the top things to do in Vancouver. This peninsula and shopping district in the Fairview neighborhood is quite a hit between locals and tourists alike. Individuals from all across the world visit here to immerse themselves in the diverse and lively atmosphere here. The Island boasts several picturesque waterfront views, world-class dining, and shopping, along with a vibrant arts and culture scene.

Some of the popular features of Granville Island include the Public Market and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The Granville Island Public Market is a happening landmark that boasts 50+ vendors offering everything from locally made artisanal crafts to fresh seafood and other snacking options. Visitors can sample anything from international cuisine, local delicacies, coffee, baked goods, and much more. The Public Market is also a great place to shop for souvenirs and unique gifts. The latter destination is known for exhibiting the work of talented artists through events and displays. Granville Island also offers kayaking, cycling, hiking, and more such outdoor recreation opportunities. The Island is home to the best restaurants and cafes in Vancouver, and you cannot miss checking them out.

4. Capilano Suspension Bridge

Nearly 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is for every single individual who visits the city. This popular tourist attraction is nestled within the namesake park and is 140 meters long and 70 meters above the river. The Capilano River flows below, and views of the same and the surrounding rainforest from the bridge are truly breathtaking. Taking a walk across the bridge is undoubtedly a fulfilling and rewarding experience; however, one must do that with precautions.

In addition, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers a range of other things to enjoy as well. The highlight here is Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges connecting to eight 30-meter-tall trees. An individual can walk through the canopy of the rainforest, and as the bridges sway with the wind, it gives a thrilling experience. Another highlight of the park is Cliffwalk, a narrow walkway 300 feet above the Capilano River, but it isn’t for faint hearts. The walkway is made of glass and steel, and even the thought of walking here can scare many. The park also allows visitors to learn about the history and traditions of the indigenous people or indulge in nature walking. There are also a variety of dining options, including cafes and restaurants in the park.

5. Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is another popular tourist attraction, and visiting here is the top thing to do in Vancouver. The aquarium is nestled inside Stanley Park and was established back in 1956. It is dedicated to the conservation of marine life and is home to more than 50,000 aquatic animals from over 600 species. A visit here can introduce you to dolphins, sea otters, beluga whales, sea turtles, and more such marine wonders. Currently, it houses 30,000 invertebrates, 56 species of amphibians and reptiles, 60 mammals and birds, and about 300 species of fish.

The most exciting feature of the Vancouver Aquarium is the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. This section aims to rescue and rehabilitate. Once done with the job, they release marine mammals back into the wild. A visit here allows individuals to learn about the threats facing marine mammals and the rehabilitation process. Other popular exhibits here include Canada’s Arctic exhibit, Sea Monsters Revealed exhibit, and AquaVan, a mobile aquarium. The facility also hosts a number of educational programs to engage visitors. In addition, it also organizes events like sleepovers at the aquarium, behind-the-scenes tours, and multiple holiday-themed activities.

6. Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) was established back in 1947 and today is a world-renowned museum. The museum facility is nestled at the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is a top-rated tourist attraction in the city. A visit here is an absolute must if you are interested in exploring the cultures of different Indigenous peoples worldwide. The museum hosts a massive collection of more than 50,000 objects. These objects are gathered from diverse Indigenous cultures like those of Asia, Africa, and, delicately Pacific Northwest. The displays and exhibits here are meant to showcase the diversity and richness of Indigenous cultures.

Every single exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology is interactive and engaging. Visitors can find artifacts, multimedia displays, and immersive installations to engage in. Besides that, MOA also keeps on organizing a range of special exhibitions, events, and programs, including lectures, workshops, and performances. It, in fact, is also a center for research and scholarship and supports fields like anthropology, archaeology, and more.

7. Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is a cultural institution, and visiting here is the top thing to do in Vancouver. It aims to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Vancouver through its wide range of exhibits. The displays at the museum cover topics like contemporary culture, early settlers, urban development, and Vancouver’s First Nations communities more precisely. It is home to over 70,000 artifacts and objects that relates to the history and heritage of Vancouver.

The most highlighted exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver is the Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver. This exhibit explores the history of neon signage and its controversial impact on Vancouver’s landscape. Apart from exploring the exhibits, visitors can also involve in a range of events and programs organized here annually. The lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities ensure engaging visitors in the best possible way. Whether you are a museum lover, a history enthusiast, or a traveler open to an experience, do visit the Museum of Vancouver whenever you are in the city.

8. VanDusen Botanical Garden

Vancouver is home to some very beautiful and refreshing outdoor landmarks, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden is one of them. This 55-acre oasis is nestled in the heart of Vancouver and is quite popular amongst both locals and tourists. The botanical garden displays plants from all over the world and in very diverse forms. An extensive collection of native and exotic flora from around the world and some diverse landscapes here leave no chance to impress visitors.

A visit to the VanDusen Botanical Garden allows individuals to explore different themes of gardens. Some of the must checkouts amongst them include the Asian Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Canadian Heritage Garden. Another popular feature here is the Elizabethan Maze. This hedge maze challenges visitors to find their way to the center, and getting into it is an experience on its own. The botanical garden is popular for its sustainability and environmental stewardship. It by composting, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and other eco-friendly practices make every claim possible.

9. Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a range in one of the North Shore Mountains of the Pacific Ranges. It is, in fact, a popular outdoor recreation destination and ski resort in North Vancouver, British Columbia. A visit to Grouse Mountain offers individuals the to enjoy year-round adventure activities like hiking, wildlife viewing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more. In addition, during the summer months, visitors can also enjoy activities like ziplining and mountain biking. Grouse Mountain is just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, and it attracts locals and tourists alike. No matter what age you are, there’s something adventurous and interesting at this outdoor wonderland.

In addition to adventure, Grouse Mountain is also home to a Grizzly Bear Refuge. The refuge is home to rescued grizzly bears who are cared for here before they are again fit to live in the wild. The ones that cannot make it in the wild call it their permanent home. Visitors can pay a visit to the facility, observe Grizzly Bears and learn a lot about them. The Mountain is also home to different dining venues, including restaurants and cafes. In addition, it is also home to shops and a theatre. Individuals can access the Mountain either via hiking or via a scenic gondola ride enjoying breathtaking views of the surroundings.

10. Gastown

Gastown is a historic neighborhood in Vancouver, and it is a must-visit for both locals and visitors. It is nestled east of downtown Vancouver and is a prime spot to spend an evening with friends and family. The landmark got its name after ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton. Gassy was a Yorkshire seaman and also the first individual to open a saloon in the neighborhood in 1867.

Currently, Gastown is a popular tourist destination and hosts thousands of individuals year-round. The neighborhood is known for its cobblestone streets, Victorian architecture, trendy restaurants, and boutique shops. A visit here allows individuals to explore some popular landmarks, including the famous Steam Clock. The clock chimes every 15 minutes. Or check out other historic structures, including the Dominion Building, the Sun Tower, and the Hotel Europe. The neighborhood also houses a number of art studios and galleries exhibiting the work of local artists. Besides that, it hosts a range of outdoor events and festivals during the summer season.

11. Kitsilano Beach

Last but not least is Kitsilano Beach, a top-rated tourist attraction in Vancouver. This beautiful urban beach is nestled along the shores of English Bay. While here, individuals can enjoy breathtaking views of the North Shore Mountains along with a range of recreational opportunities. Kitsilano Beach is known for its long sandy stretch and refreshing seawater. Locals and tourists often gather here to enjoy activities like sunbathing, swimming, paddle boarding, or playing beach volleyball. The beach has quite a family-friendly atmosphere and is loved by all.

Kitsilano Beach is surrounded by a public park featuring tennis courts, playgrounds, and a few barbeque facilities. It also hosts one of the largest saltwater swimming pools in the world, the Kitsilano Pool. The beach is easily accessible via public transport and is a great spot to spend a sunny afternoon.

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