The Herald Magazine - - ETC TRAVEL -

Check out Odd So­ci­ety, a small-batch dis­tillery in East Van­cou­ver where founder Gor­don Glanz – who trained at He­riot-Watt Univer­sity and honed his skills at Spring­bank Dis­tillers in Camp­bel­town – cre­ates spir­its in­clud­ing whisky, vodka and gin. One of Bri­tish Columbia’s best-kept se­crets is that it is home to some de­cent wine coun­try, stretch­ing from Van­cou­ver to the Okana­gan Val­ley (although com­plex al­co­hol reg­u­la­tions mean lit­tle of the ex­cel­lent vino leaves the prov­ince).

While the re­gion’s icewine is per­haps the best known, fa­mil­iar va­ri­eties of grapes, in­clud­ing chardon­nay, mer­lot, caber­net sauvi­gnon, pinot noir and ries­ling, are all grown here.

Even if you can’t make it to the vine­yards, there are shops across Van­cou­ver that of­fer tast­ings, not to men­tion restau­rant wine lists filled with bot­tles from across the prov­ince. New York’s Cen­tral Park and ar­guably even pret­tier with its swathes of coastal tem­per­ate rain­for­est.

Stan­ley Park has five breed­ing pairs of ea­gles, their eyries perched high in the conifers. Other wildlife in­cludes coy­otes, rac­coons, bats, beavers and squir­rels.

You can jump aboard the Stan­ley Park Train (a replica of a Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way en­gine No374 used in the late 1800s), take a horse-drawn car­riage ride or join the Van­cou­ver Trol­ley Com­pany for a 45-minute hop-on, hop-off tour. One of the most pop­u­lar walk­ing and cy­cling routes is to cir­cle around the park’s sea­wall, which takes roughly an hour by bike or three hours on foot.

And don’t leave with­out see­ing the First Na­tions Art and Totem Poles at Brock­ton Point. There is a good rea­son it’s one of Bri­tish Columbia’s most vis­ited places: it is truly breath­tak­ing.

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