Attraction Stories

The Vancouver region is home to dozens of well-known visitor attractions, activities and landmarks as well as hundreds of smaller sites that only the locals seem to know about. Here are some distinct recommendations for your stories, along with suggested angles for coverage.

 


 

Capilano Suspension Bridge
(www.capbridge.com)
One of Western Canada’s top visitor magnets, the 140-metre (460-feet) suspension bridge wobbles 70 metres (230-feet) above the roiling Capilano River Canyon. But although the bridge has been a celebrated attraction since the Victorian era – when crinolined ladies sashayed across its length – the attraction has never rested on its laurels. Treetops Adventure – a series of seven suspended walkways between some of its towering trees – was added in 2004, while in 2011 Cliffwalk was opened. A steel and glass walkway clinging to the side of the steep rock face, it offers a dramatic, eagle-eye view of the rainforest.

Story idea
Interview the engineers behind Capilano’s newest additions – and compare their work to the original hemp rope bridge (now replaced with steel cables).

Vancouver Aquarium
(www.vanaqua.com)
The Stanley Park home of 9,000 aquatic animals – from friendly beluga whales to mesmerizing tanks of glowing jellyfish – the aquarium is one of the city’s most popular family attractions. But it’s not all about salty shenanigans: there’s a stroll-through rainforest with birds, butterflies and caymans and a 4-D Experience movie theatre. Most visitors coordinate time here around the animal feedings and exhibitions. And if you really want to treat the kids, consider a behind-the-scenes trainer tour or a sleepover beside the beluga tanks.

Story idea
Create a day-in-the-life piece – perhaps with video accompaniment – on the aquarium, including talks with trainers and close-up visits with celebrated animals in the collection. Keep in mind that there’s a strong focus on conserva-tion here and perhaps make that a leading theme of your story.

Grouse Mountain
(www.grousemountain.com)
Just 20 minutes from downtown and the self-anointed “Peak of Vancouver”, Grouse is among the most popular four-season outdoor attractions on the West Coast. Its summit complex includes casual and high-end dining, gift shops and a movie theatre – it’s also the access point for a host of activities. In winter, this can mean skiing, snowboarding snowshoeing and ice-skating, while in summer there are alpine meadow hikes and viewings of two orphaned grizzly bears in their expansive enclosure. Recent additions to Grouse include a ziptrek course and the Eye of the Wind turbine viewing tower. This 65-metre (215-foot) working turbine generates electricity and is the only one in the world that has a public viewing pod accessed via an elevator. The highest man-made structure in the Lower Mainland, it offers spectacular clear-day views across the region.

Story idea
There’s a guaranteed white Christmas every year at Grouse and this is one of the best times to visit. Check out the month-long celebration, ranging from sleigh rides to Santa visits. Follow it with a snowshoe fondue tour. And don’t forget to end your story with a warming libation at the bar – if it’s clear, you’ll have a great view of the twinkling city below.

Vancouver Art Gallery
(www.vanartgallery.bc.ca)
The ever-popular VAG reflects the city’s position as a nationally renowned art capital. The gallery offers changing exhibitions of historical and contemporary art by regional, national, and international artists, plus a permanent collection of Emily Carr masterworks. Look out for shows by local photo conceptualists like Jeff Wall and the iconic vintage shots of old Vancouver by Fred Herzog. And if people-watching is more your scene, check out the gallery’s upstairs café – it’s one of downtown’s best summer patios.

Story idea
Check out one of Vancouver’s best alternative nightlife options: the quarterly FUSE event when the gallery opens late for live music and performance, cash bars and a nightclub vibe. Consider making this part of a wider story on Vancouver’s lesser-known – but locally popular – nightlife options.

Photo Story
Pick up a copy of the new Fred Herzog Photographs book and choose some vintage images of iconic Vancouver buildings, businesses, attractions and streetscapes. Re-photograph these as they appear today.

UBC Museum of Anthropology
(www.moa.ubc.ca)
During the first three weeks of December, around 80 Vancouver boat owners and charter companies decorate their vessels with colourful lights, switch on the Christmas soundtracks, crank-up the Yuletide cheer and parade around the waterfront. Visitors can watch the boats from shore-side restaurants or enjoy an evening aboard one of the ships. Some vessels offer gourmet dinners, while others serve-up professional carollers for passenger sing-a-longs. Either way, it's a unique Vancouver maritime tradition.

Photo Story
Consider an immersive story on the region’s First Nations culture for your readers, including interviews with museum curators and local artists. Create a slideshow of museum artefacts to accompany your story.

Science World at Telus World of Science
(www.scienceworld.ca)
Built for the Expo ’86 world’s fair, this landmark attraction under the silver geo-desic dome near the site of the 2010 Olympic Village has been attracting families ever since day one. Recently upgraded with new galleries and facilities, it includes hands-on exhibits, an Omnimax large-screen theatre and plenty of popular displays for kids of all ages. And if you manage to shake off the children, there are also regular adult nights when the facility takes on a nightclub ambiance.

Photo Story
Make Science World a foundation of your story on Vancouver for visiting families, including as many of the city’s top – and lesser-known – kidtastic attractions, dining options and shopping ideas as you can find.

Vanier Park Museums
Museum of Vancouver)
H.R. Macmillan Space Centre
Vancouver Maritime Museum
Vanier Park, a short seawall stroll from Granville Island, is home to three popular attractions for Vancouver visitors. The Museum of Vancouver covers the city’s social history and also runs fascinating temporary exhibitions; the Space Centre is a kid-friendly attraction dedicated to exploring the universe – with plenty of interactive action; and the Maritime Museum illuminates the region’s salty nautical heritage.

Photo Story
Start on Granville Island, stroll to Vanier Park’s three attractions and continue along the seawall to Kitsilano Beach for a colourful day out story on Van-couver’s West Side. Chat with the locals you meet along the way and ask them for dining, coffee and shopping tips.