As a classic Pacific Northwest city, Vancouver is a playground for hiking, kayaking, cycling, and other outdoor activities with all of the natural beauty in the city, and the surrounding area. Locals and visitors will agree that the warm months of the spring and summer are ideal to explore the destination. Unlike the east, the summers are not generally muggy or humid; but instead, crisp and clear. Stanley Park is a must for the views; it is a 988-acre (400-hectare) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver, and is almost completely surrounded by the Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. Enjoy scenic views of the water, mountains, and majestic trees along the famous Seawall. To help capture the magic of Stanley Park, take a guided bike ride with Cycle City Tours for even more details about the biodiversity of the temperate rainforest, the history of the coastal first nations, as well as an abundance of hidden treasures that the park has accumulated over its 125-year history.
Staying in downtown will keep you close to Stanley Park and central Vancouver. For a sense of peace, Coal Harbour is a relaxing part of downtown that is on the water’s edge in the north of the city. The world-class Fairmont Pacific Rim is located here, which features 377 luxurious guest rooms and suites with naturally inspired materials, comfortable furnishings and amazing views of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park and the entire neighborhood (Tip: inquire about The Owner’s Suite Collection for an even more amazing experience). When looking for a more active nightlife, head to the West End of downtown. Yaletown is a formerly run-down warehouse district that now has a thriving nightlife scene, and Davie Village is at the heart of the West End. Known for its LGBT community, come here for people watching during the day, and lively clubs, pubs and street life at night. For the best of both worlds, stay at the Opus Vancouver in Yaletown on Davie Street. With a contemporary design and tech-forward amenities, the guest rooms feature vibrant colors, spa-style bathrooms and five lifestyle-inspired décor schemes. Enjoy rustic Northern Italian inspired cuisine (such as handmade pasta and traditional nose-to-tail meat and fish dishes) at the award-winning La Pentola
della Quercia inside the hotel.
Known for its seafood and Asian dining, one of Vancouver’s top restaurants to visit is Miku
Restaurant, which offers sushi and sustainable seafood dishes in a sophisticated setting – complete with a patio and water views. From its signature Aburi-style sushi (lightly seared and infused with savory sauces), to its tantalizing meats (tenderized by Sumiyaki grilling), and to its desserts (created by a Kyoto-trained pastry chef), enjoy Miku’s innovative menu. Do as the local Vancouverites have done since 2008, have brunch at Café Medina, which is a quaint, bistro-styled restaurant that serves up its signature brand of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine (along with the city’s best Belgian-style waffles).
For an escape outside of Vancouver, book some time at the Sonora Resort, a Relais & Chateaux outdoor retreat in the Discovery Islands. After a 50-minute private helicopter ride from Vancouver, arrive in the secluded resort on Sonora Island, where there is an abundance of wildlife. Sonora welcomes guests from May to October for saltwater and freshwater fishing, relaxation and wilderness viewing with guided grizzly bear tours at nearby Orford River offered in partnership with the Homalco First Nation from August to October. Other Sonora Resort amenities include a tennis court, kayaking, helicopter tours and the Island Currents Spa with five treatment rooms, outdoor hot and cold mineral pools, a fitness facility and a relaxation room. Sonora is also celebrating Canada's 150th with a special travel package that includes an exclusive Canada 150 menu with new executive chef, Lukas Gurtner. With great shopping, amazing views and endless activities, Vancouver and the surrounding areas are a must-visit this year!
Photography: Vancouver Tourism
Vancouver and the surrounding areas are a must-visit this year!