by G. Eliot,
Explore some of Vancouver’s top attractions, restaurants and night spots while spending the perfect 24 hours in the city. The “green lung” of Vancouver is its 1,000 acres of Stanley Park. Start the day exploring the 6.5 miles of sea wall along the perimeter of the park,with exquisite views of the city; catch a horse-drawn carriage tour to the famous Totem Poles, and wander through the rain forest to Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake. For kids there is The Children’s Farmyard, a miniature railway, playgrounds, a water-park, outdoor pool and the Vancouver Aquarium to enjoy.
Exploring the Granville Island Market
From Stanley Park, head to one of the Aquabus Ferry docks and hop on board to Granville Island. The Island, tucked under the Granville Street Bridge, boasts a vibrant public market with arts and crafts, souvenirs, clothing, First Nations craftwork and plenty of fresh foods and tasty treats, perfect for a lunch stop. The Island is also home to the Granville Island Brewing Company and while adults enjoy a beer tasting, kids can explore the sights, sounds and colors of the Kid’s Market. There are restaurants, a theater and various art studios and galleries to visit, including those at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.
Strolling Through Historic Chinatown and Gastown
From Granville Island, it is easy to get to downtown Vancouver. The best way to explore the area is on foot. Visit historic Chinatown with its fascinating shops selling anything from bubble tea to dried seahorses, and the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens and Chinese Cultural Center. Stroll into Gastown, one of the oldest areas of Vancouver that mixes cobbled streets, gas lights, historic buildings and the world’s first steam clock, with trendy shops, bars and restaurants. It is a short walk from there up to the Five Sails of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center for beautiful views and to catch a show at the IMAX Theater. For some up-scale shopping and perhaps some celebrity spotting, head to Robson Street. Close by is the Vancouver Art Gallery that has a permanent collection of local and international artists, as well as traveling exhibitions.
Fine Dining with a View of Vancouver
Before it gets dark, head to the iconic Harbor Center Tower. Take the glass Sky-lift Elevator 130 meters up to the Observation Deck where visitors can enjoy 360° views of Metro Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and depending on the weather, even Vancouver Island. Finish off a day in Vancouver at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. Enjoy delicious food and drink while the restaurant completes one revolution every hour.
Hitting the Hotspots After Dark
The Vancouver nightlife is rich and varied and ranges from karaoke bars and sports bars to dance clubs, comedy clubs and live music venues. The Granville Street strip downtown has plenty of choice, from casual Irish pubs such as Doolins, to chic cocktail bars like The Granville Room, or dance clubs like Caprice and Crush. On Davie Street in the Westend, you can dance the night away at gay clubs like Celebrities or Numbers, or relax in a casual lounge setting. There is also gambling at the Edgewater Casino, live music venues like The Cellar, The Media Club and The Plaza Club, live theater, big concerts, live sports, and comedy clubs such as Yuk Yuks. There is definitely something for everyone, regardless of age or taste.
There is so much to see and do in 24 hours in Vancouver, no matter the season. However, this is just a small assortment of the types of attractions this world-class city has to offer, so make sure to come back for more.