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.