The diversity of this large region astounds, ranking Greater Vancouver is one of the best places to live in the world, year after year.
Japanese cherry blossoms line city streets as early as February. Old growth pine trees: nature’s skyscrapers, lie just beyond those of man. In Vancouver, groomed parks give way to forest wilderness and sidewalks give way to sandy beaches. Trek through art galleries in the morning and within minutes you can be on trails through pristine rainforests. Famously, Vancouver is one of the few places in the world where you can kayak in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
Downtown, unique historical sites comingle with galleries and world-class cuisine serving up both locally-inspired offerings to flavours from throughout the world, reflecting the international nature of this young city.
Just on the edges of the city are the delights of the Sunshine Coast where picturesque fishing villages and artist communities dot the coastline to the quaint farming communities of the broad Fraser Valley, both within an hour’s drive or ferry ride from downtown. Then of course there is Sea to Sky Country, the corridor that leads to Whistler/Blackcomb, host of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With towering rock faces on one side and the sparkling waters of Howe Sound on the other, this drive is one you won’t soon forget. Once you reach Whistler, you’ll discover a year-round playground dotted with art galleries and a vibrant community of artists creating amongst the splendours of this high alpine region.
The jewel of the region is the newly opened Audain Art Museum which boasts one of the world’s finest collections of old First Nations masks, as well as an exceptional collection of Emily Carr paintings, works by Jack Shadbolt, E.J. Hughes and Gordon Smith, along with internationally famous contemporary artists.
While this sea-level port city is known for its temperate climate, the surrounding snow-covered slopes are perfect for winter sports and breathtaking views of the city twinkling below. Be sure to walk, cycle or relax along the city’s miles of public oceanfront and, after a busy day, linger over a glass of award-winning British Columbia wine and a locally inspired meal, or unwind at one of the city’s unique spas.