Photo credit: Michael Whyte | Flickr
One Perfect Day in Vancouver
If you're short on time and want to get a taste of Vancouver in just one delightful day, this easy-to- follow, one-day Vancouver itinerary offers a fun mix of some of Vancouver's top sights and things to do.
1. Your day begins with a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 400 hectare (1,000 acre) green jewel right at the end of the downtown peninsula. If you want a more up-close introduction to the park, rent a bike and ride the 9-kilometre seawall path. The drive should take about 30 minutes; by bike it will take a couple of hours, depending on your fitness level.
2. While you're in Stanley Park, make sure that you stop at Brockton Point to see the collection of totem poles. Snap a few pictures, read through the interpretive signage to learn about First Nations culture, or step into the gift shop.
3. Also in Stanley Park is Prospect Point, a scenic overlook where you can get out of the car and check out the spectacular views of the Lions Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver. From here you can see the peaks on the North Shore, including Cypress and Grouse mountains.
4. Complete your tour of Stanley Park at English Bay, driving out onto Beach Avenue. Stop and check out the relaxing English Bay beach. When you're ready to continue, turn left to go down Denman Street, a bustling and eclectic neighbourhood avenue that is worth a stop to stroll, shop and people watch at the cafés. From here, take a left onto Georgia Street to go over the Lions Gate Bridge. You will see more breathtaking views of the North Shore and get a glimpse of downtown as you head over the bridge.
5. Leaving the bridge, veer to the right to head into North Vancouver. Take a left at Capilano Road, go all the way up, until you reach the base of Grouse Mountain. Take the Skyride to the peak where the views are travel-magazine worthy. Plan to spend a couple of hours here, and make sure you visit the grizzly bears at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. If you're ready for lunch, you'll find a number of great places to eat at the top, from a grab-and-go café through to fine dining.
6. On your way back to downtown Vancouver, be sure to stop at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (which you will have passed on your way to Grouse Mountain). Make your way across the swaying bridge and explore the park's Treetops Adventure—a series of interconnected platforms and bridges linking giant trees. Next up, take the thrilling Cliffwalk, a cantilevered walkway that juts out over the canyon and river below.
7. Retrace your steps across Lions Gate Bridge and through Stanley Park. Stay on Georgia Street until you reach Bute Street. Take a right and you’ll come to Robson Street, downtown Vancouver's ultimate shopping destination. Spend the rest of the afternoon browsing the many boutiques and designer clothing shops along Robson, or take a break at a sidewalk café and enjoy the people-watching.