Ringed by mountains, its glittering glass skyscrapers reflecting the ocean, Vancouver is a natural draw for urban nature lovers with 200 parks and more than 18 miles of waterfront. The city is rife with green activities through which to experience its bestselling feature: a lush, must-be-seen-to-be-believed backyard. Let’s dive in.
- Sea to Sky Gondola
If it’s pouring puddles in the city, it’s likely snowing at the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Crisp mountain air, lush forest and high alpine peaks overlooking some of the most beautiful terrain in British Columbia – why wouldn’t you spend the day here? After taking the 10-minute gondola ride 885m above sea level, embark on one of the mountain’s trail hikes (mountain biking trails are set to open in 2016), venture across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, tackle rock climbing on the mountain’s well-formed granite crags and faces, or soak up the views over a glass of beer from the 9,000-square-foot Summit Lodge. Day tickets for adults cost $33.95 ($24.66 USD)
- Bowen Island Forest Bath Tours
Picture immersing yourself in a “forest bath” and allowing nature to soothe and revitalize tired muscles and an overworked mind – sounds like heaven, right? Bowen Island Tours offers a variety of forest walks informed by the healthful Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, a term that loosely translates to “forest bathing”. Under the island’s lush green rainforest canopy – surrounded by woodsy fragrances, fresh air and the quiet sounds of nature –these wanderings in the woods are a great opportunity to unwind, unplug and just be… something we all crave, but have a hard time doing in our fast-paced urban environments. For those new to Bowen Island, the company’s collection of experiences equally showcase the island’s popular highlights and lesser-known gems.
- Rockwood Adventures
Marvel at giant cedars, towering douglas firs and hemlocks as you explore one of the world’s most primitive ecosystems on a guided walking tour of Vancouver’s rainforests. Rockwood Adventures is a pioneer of bespoke West Coast urban and wilderness tours in the greater Vancouver area with an emphasis on eco-tourism, wine and food. Guests have the opportunity to choose from three distinct tours encompassing nature explorations, urban strolls, and floatplane adventures.