06 Feb Fill your Heart with Vancouver’s Sights & Sounds
Author: Ronnie Greenberg
Photos by: Joe Hilbers
5310 Dubois Ave
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Fill your Heart with Vancouver’s Sights & Sounds
By: Ronnie Greenberg
Photos: Joe Hilbers
Vancouver, spectacular by nature, and Canada’s portal to the Pacific Rim, is often touted as earth’s nearest approach to Paradise. A bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia it is a vibrant, multicultural sophisticated city dramatically nestled between the scenic wonders of majestic fjord-cut mountains and the sea.
Here at a leisurely pace in this mild and gentle climate, you can easily enjoy the sights and attractions that are Vancouver.
Places to go
Gastown the birthplace of the city, is where Vancouver’s history is written. Along the cobblestone streets and late Victorian architecture, are upscale restaurants, funky shops, and the famous two-ton steam clock that whistles Westminster chimes on the hour.
Chinatown, adjacent to Gastown, boasts the third-largest Chinese Community in North America. A bustling, colorful neighborhood with ornamental curved roof tiles, and shapes, it was settled by Chinese railway workers in the 1880’s. Among the area’s many attractions is the buzzing food scene, and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a recreated Ming Dynasty garden, the first of its kind to be built outside China. The quirky Sam Kee office building, just six and a half feet wide, is the thinnest in the world.
Join in with seasoned Vancouverites as well as visitors enjoying Granville Island a peninsula that juts into an inlet called False Creek, and is a unique waterfront development known as the people’s place. Walking the historic bustling and fragrant Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s finest pleasures. Indulge in the eateries, browse in the shops, and boutiques that were once corrugated metal buildings that housed the ironworks. Marvel at the Public Markets laden with fresh farm picked produce, maple syrup, exotic coffee and teas, rich chocolates, creamy ice-cream and yogurt, and home of the celebrated smoked salmon.
On to Lonsdale Quay by SeaBus or Sky Train for a trip across Vancouver’s inner harbor. Feast your eyes on the bustling public market, sidewalk cafes, chic boutiques and art galleries in this spectacular waterfront setting.
Enjoy a long stroll around Stanley Park a breathtaking 1,000 acre evergreen peninsula of woodlands, hiking and biking trails, beaches, lakes and gardens, with views of English Bay, Coal Harbour, the Vancouver Harbour, Howe Sound and the North Shore mountains. Hop onto an old-fashioned horse-drawn tram for a leisurely Park tour taking in Deadman’s Island, the Girl in a Wetsuit sculpture, the Rose Gardens, landmark totem poles, and the Vancouver Aquarium, tennis courts and the locals themselves enjoying their games of lawn bowling.
Museums and culture
The Vancouver Art Gallery highlighting paintings by the British Columbia artists as well as traveling exhibits; The Canadian Craft Museum that showcases craftsmanship designs from across Canada; Museum of Anthropology displaying one of the world’s finest exhibits of First Nation’s art and cultural heritage; Vancouver Museum and Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Queen Elizabeth Park houses the Bloedel Conservatory with surrounding plazas, lighted fountains, covered walkways, exotic plants and flowers, and is inhabited by a multitude of birds from parrots to quails who live in this paradise, adding to the enjoyment of your visit here. FlyOverCanada located downtown is a half-hour ride where guests are strapped in and lifted in front of a gigantic screen “soaring” coast to coast across Canada on a breathtaking aerial journey using the latest in virtual flight technology. The fully immersive experience includes wind, mist, and even scents. www.flyovercanada.com
Get to stroll Robson Street, stretching from Denman and Hornby as Vancouver’s answer to a combination of Los Angeles’s Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue
Drive out a short distance to see Grouse Mountain the peak of Vancouver, where a Gondola Skyride aerial tram glides you to the top of the mountain for breathtaking panoramic views and fine dining. A spectacular ski area in winter.
Venture across the world renowned Capilano Suspension Bridge in the district of North Vancouver. It is Vancouver’s most popular tourist attraction built in 1889 and sits 230 feet above the raging Capilano River. It’s fun to walking across its 450 foot span even though it is only four feet wide. One of the newest attractions is the Cantilevered walkway clinging to the granite cliff high above the Capilano Canyon. There are also views of the rain forest, and history chronicling artifacts and photo murals.
Unpack your bags at the:
Sutton Place Hotel is a boutique hotel with European elegance, charm and hospitality that brings a taste of the fine life to the heart of Vancouver. Showcasing luxurious rooms and 1 bedroom suites featuring traditional high-end furnishings and decor and some suites offering retro mid-century modern decor, furnished balconies, fireplaces, espresso machines and full kitchens. Its prime location in the heart of downtown Vancouver is just steps from Canada’s most fashionable shopping areas, and the city’s art and entertainment districts. Personalized attention reaches its peak at the spa, offering full aesthetic services, an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, outdoor sundeck, sauna, steam room, and workout area.
A passion for food and wine is exemplified in the award-winning on-site International Boulevard Oyster Bar Kitchen offering playful approaches to cuisine fashioned from the finest seasonal Pacific Northwest products, service and style. The Gerard Lounge in the setting of an old English Club, with tapestries, leather chairs and fireplaces, offers light bistro cuisine and is a popular meeting place for the film and entertainment industry. A wine bar is also offered.
For reservations: www.suttonplace.com
Four Seasons Hotel, an elegant, residential ambience, at the hub of the city, with spacious guest rooms and suites, and world famous Four Season amenities. For your indulgence there is a health club with an expansive all season pool and sunning terrace.
Enjoy the premier dining experience at the Yew Seafood, featuring sustainable menus with seasonal twists. Enjoy the ambience under the high lofty ceilings above the warm wood paneling. Communal tables are available for socializing.
Metropolitan Hotel, is an intimate refuge at the very heart of downtown, built with elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites. Wind down at the hotel’s health club, pool, and squash court. A stay at the hotel guarantees you a reservation in its award-winning restaurant Diva at the Met, one of Vancouver’s best restaurants featuring inventive international cuisine firmly rooted in the bounty of the Northwest, and a superlative wine cellar including their incredible ice wine. Signature dishes include: hazelnut seared halibut cheeks with risotto.
For reservations contact: www.metropolitan.com/Vancouver
Vancouver, flavored with the city’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity, is a haven for great food.
CinCin, meaning a toast to the pleasure of fine food and wine, is the place for classic Italian dishes prepared in their wood fired open oven, rotisserie and grill, all accompanied by a great selection of wine. For reservations www.cincin.net
The” In” places also include: Century Grill, Alibi Room, and Japanese-Kamei Royal. Vancouver has it all.
For additional information contact: Vancouver Tourism at www.tourismvancouver.com