Erica Lam took a few moments away from her glamorous gig as a Vancouver fashion and style blogger (www.thestylespy.com) to share with us a few of the reasons she's smitten with Vancouver. Take these cues from Erica, and you'll get the inside scoop on the top things to see and do in Vancouver. Also check out her posts at our blog, insidevancouver.ca.
1. Summer Bike Rides
On a sunny day, ride around beautiful Stanley Park. Pack a picnic lunch of fruits, cheese and of course, a fine bottle of wine. Don't forget the corkscrew!
2. The Film Scene
Known as Hollywood North, it's not unlikely to spot the cast of Twilight wandering around Gastown, Halle Berry sitting next to you at the spa or Hugh Jackman working out on the treadmill next to yours. Paparazzi not included.
Known as a popular tourist destination, the cobblestone walkways of Gastown are also home to the city's hipsters - independent boutiques, hip restaurants and nightclubs make this the spot for local trendsetters.
4. Riding the Slopes
During the winter months, carve down the slopes of Whistler, Cypress Mountain or Seymour Mountain on your skis or snowboard. Finish off with a cup of warm cocoa complete with marshmallows.
5. Hockey Culture
Hockey isn't just a pastime - it's a culture. Find a seat at the local watering hole, or better yet, get tickets to a game at Rogers Arena and cheer on the home team, the Vancouver Canucks.
6. Chic Restaurants
Known for our multiculturalism, your tongue will be delighted by the tastes of the city. Spend an afternoon in India, be whisked away for a night in Paris or escape for a late night trip to China.
7. Dance Clubs
Put on your party shoes. Local and international DJs keep the dance floors packed till the wee hours of the morn'.
8. Sweet Sushi Spots
Find delicious and fresh sushi on almost every corner of the city. For those seeking even more Japanese decadence, try Izakaya - Japanese tapas food.
9. The Beach
Pack the sunnies and hit up the beaches of English Bay, Kitsilano and Ambleside. Make sure to stay late to catch the beautiful sunset.
10. Yoga Nation
Practice your downward dog and find your inner peace at one the city's many yoga studios. Or hit up the yearly Camp Moomba Yogathon and Blissfest, where over 2,000 enthusiasts practice yoga and raise funds for children impacted by HIV/AIDS.
View some of the city's best architectural buildings including the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver Library Square, Christ Church Cathedral and the city's tallest building, the Shangri-La.
12. The Public Market at Granville Island
Dynamic and vibrant, locals love Granville Island's market for the fresh flowers, produce, seafood and baked goods - I can smell the croissants already.
13. The Green Scene. Known for its scenic landscape, Vancouver is a city that is filled with parks, trees and greenery. See Vancouver at its prettiest when the cherry blossom trees bloom during the spring months.
14. Farmers' Markets
Check out the diverse neighbourhoods of Main Street, Commercial Drive and the West End for fresh and locally produced goods. Pack your rain boots, they're open rain or shine.
15. Luxurious Spas
The city boasts a series of celeb-worthy spas. Whether it's a mani and pedi combo, a Swedish massage or a deep cleansing facial, you will walk away relaxed and refreshed.
16. Charming Chinatown
Vancouver boasts North America's second largest Chinatown. Start your day with dim sum, visit a traditional tea herbalist and finish off with a stroll through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
17. Art Galleries
From the Vancouver Art Gallery to the UBC Museum of Anthropology to the Contemporary Art Gallery, there's no shortage of cultural inspiration.
18. Shop Till You Drop
Whether it's a whimsical boutique filled with locally designed gems or a mega shopping mall with brands you know and love, the city is filled with wonderful finds to please any die-hard shopper.
Historic Steveston Village was once a boisterous frontier seaport. We love the charming character of the area. Catch the Salmon Festival in the summer, eat fish and chips by the pier or visit the local vintage shops and bakeries.
20. The Weather
We love the diverse weather in the city. Bundle up with a scarf during winters, put on your flip flops during the summer and don't forget the umbrella.
By Erica Lam, www.thestylespy.com