I visited Vancouver only once, but it was enough to fall in love with this bustling city in British Columbia.
10 Irresistible Reasons Why I Love Vancouver
I came to the realization that Vancouver could be quite an interesting city to visit, moreover, fall in love with a little bit over two years ago. One day a casual chat with my former manager lead to sharing our travel experiences. We touched bases on everything from our favorite places to the most dreadful journeys. But one statement stuck in my head: “You should visit Vancouver. It’s absolutely beautiful! It feels very much like the U.S. You will love Vancouver.” He was right. I did fall in love with Vancouver. It took just one weekend to start thinking about coming back again. Usually I need a bit longer, but this city was too beautiful not to notice. And here are 10 things that made me fall in love with Vancouver.
10 THINGS TO LOVE IN VANCOUVER:
1. One of the Most Beautiful Cities in the World
Vancouver is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a place that you fall in love with the moment you lay your eyes on it. Any objections are simply inappropriate here. This stunning pearl in British Columbia spreads all over the western half of the Burrard Peninsula. To the south, the Fraser River establishes the boundaries of the city. The North Shore Mountains don’t shy away from interrupting this water idyll and creating a dramatic backdrop for the city. Vancouver is sunning in fall and winter when it rains and snows. But it’s especially delightful in spring and summer when bright sunrays reflect in big windows of Vancouver’s skyscrapers.
2. Panoramic Vancouver Views
Vancouver is awe-inspiring from above. I was first introduce to its numerous islands from the window of an airplane. The slightly bigger isles with some signs of human presence followed their little siblings. Soon large pieces of land surrounded by water and finally the peninsular with Vancouver’s skyscrapers showed on the horizon. I already fell in love with Vancouver as I saw from above.
But Vancouver is more than the beautiful vistas from the airplane windows. The views from Vancouver Lookout are completely different, yet as incredible as the previous ones. They enable you to become an insider, an undivided part of the city, slowly rising over the magnificent buildings all the way to the top. From the viewing platform at the upper level, the whole city unfolds in front of you. Here are the Lions Gate Bridge, Canada Place, incredibly huge Stanley Park… Do you need any other reasons to love Vancouver?
Helicopter ride is yet another unique opportunity to admire Vancouver from above. Not far behind stay the magnificent vistas from the SkyRide, taking its passengers to Grouse Mountain and presenting the panoramic images of Vancouver along the way. “Wow, I love Vancouver!” flew out of my mouth probably dozen times in six minutes while the tram was slowly moving up. If you have time for only one thing to do in Vancouver, make sure to see this coastal city in western Canada from above.
3. Change of Seasons
You probably think that a change of seasons is not a valid reason to love Vancouver. But for someone who lives in Southern California, it really is of great importance. Such simple, common thing as the change of the seasons feels so intimate and special and looks so good in Vancouver.
We visited the city in fall and fell in love with Vancouver’s fall colors ranging from bright red to yellow and orange hues. City’s parks, numerous suburban alleys and streets presented themselves in a new way this time of the year. I couldn’t help but fall deeply in love with Vancouver every single day.
4. Stanley Park
Stanley Park, North America’s third largest park, is a place you can’t miss in Vancouver. The 400-hectare public area is located near downtown and is almost entirely surrounded by Vancouver Harbor and English Bay. Every year millions of visitors come here to explore the natural West Coast rainforest, enjoy the scenic views over the city and the mountains, and discover parks’ ample hiking trails. Local wildlife, cultural and historical landmarks, picturesque beaches, festivals and pumpkin patches, and even Canada’s largest aquarium – Stanley Park is another great reason to fall in love with Vancouver.
5. Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a place the world, at least its northern part, is raving about. One of Vancouver’s most popular attractions is perhaps the first stop most of the visitors make during their stay in the city. I became obsessed with the Capilano Suspension Bridge about a year ago. On my quest for places to see in Vancouver, next to Stanley Park, Google showed a picture of a footbridge that seemed to try to escape all the attention and hide in the depths of the dense forest. I knew right there that I had to see it. And indeed it was one of the first places we visited and fell in love with in Vancouver.
6. North Vancouver
As its famous attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the District of North Vancouver captivates with its natural beauty. About 20 minutes drive from the center of Vancouver takes you from the bustling city to a place full of the mountains, tall evergreen trees, waterfalls, tranquility, and feeling of love and appreciation to Vancouver. North Vancouver is not just one more stop in your itinerary. It’s a place that leaves a mark on you, a destination that is better to be seen once than to be heard about hundred times.
7. Vancouver Accommodates Any Dietary Restrictions
Vancouver has no problems in accommodating any dietary restrictions. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or potato-and-meat-eater, you can always find multiple restaurants, cafés, and food stands serving delicious meals that suit your taste buds. Remember those puzzled faces of waiters and cashiers looking oddly or in sympathy every time you ask for veggie sushi or soup cooked with water or vegetarian broth as opposed to chicken or beef broth? In Vancouver you can surely bid farewell to all of them. During our visit, I never had to compromise with what I wanted to eat and what was served. And it was more than enough reasons for me to fall in love with Vancouver.
8. The Best Vegan Street Food
I’m not a big fan of street food. On the contrary, it always comes as my last choice. In Vancouver though, the old preferences were placed aside. “What will you eat?” – asked my husband as we were driving in the downtown area. “Anything vegan,” – my answer was quicker than I could think. Yelp came in handy. One option got my attention right away. Vegan sandwiches from Loving Hut Express with one $ next to them looked very appealing on the picture. Reviews also suggested that those were the best vegan goodies in Vancouver.
Little did we know that Loving Hut Express was a street food vendor located near dock in Yaletown. Great (or not so great)… But the parking was paid, and we were hungry. Thus, this vegan spot received our orders in no time. Approximately 15 minutes later, we finally got our hands on the food. I could swear it was the best vegan street food I had ever tried up to that point. I loved this street treat in Vancouver, and so did my husband who, by the way, is very picky when it comes to food. His theory is: “When you pay for the food, it’s gotta to be good.” The guy is definitely right. And Vancouver got everything right with the best vegan street food.
9. Cold Weather and Hot Drinks
Despite common sense, I fell in love with overcast weather in Vancouver. Its chilly mornings and windy evenings were so lovely. I enjoyed sitting outside, breathing in fresh air, and sipping hot chocolate. Even a cup of hotel’s black tea, accompanied by the sound of the heavy rain outside, tasted so much better. In Vancouver, the cold weather and the hot beverages are inseparable. They complement each other. This is what you call, a match made in heaven.
10. Maple Syrup
When in Canada, you ought to try its maple syrup. Even though Quebec is a primary producer of this signature liquid that goes so well with warm pancakes, Vancouver is also ahead of the game. Like any true Canadian cities, it has more than enough maple syrup to satisfy tons of its devoted fans. One serving of the warm pancakes with the maple syrup makes you forever fall in love with Vancouver. It’s, what you call it, the love from the first spoon.
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