50 Shades of Green

Vancouver

If you haven't been you are missing one of Canada's most beautiful cities.

Nestled at the foot of Grouse and Seymour mountains, snow-capped in winter, with world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb an hours drive north, this is a skiers dream. In the center, the always emerald green Stanely park with float planes buzzing in and out of the harbor, whisking tourists and fishermen alike to remote west coast destinations. Then there is the bustling Alaska cruise season (April-October) with glistening white hulled ships departing under the majestic Lions Gate Bridge.

I was actually born here and have lived on and off the grid, once on a remote island in the sound with no electricity and a wolf for company. So yes I am naturally biased, but anyone who has visited here will tell you, it's depth of culture, breathtaking scenery and international cuisine relevance, well it's well worth a trip to beautiful British Columbia.

My recommendations of must-sees: Granville Island is a must stop for foodies dotted with fresh produce vendors, restaurants and crafts shops, this outdoor market will fill all the senses. The 450 foot Capilano Suspension Bridge surrounded by 250-year-old Douglas Firs makes for a true northwest forest experience. For those wanting to see the marine life, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to over 50,000 creatures. From friendly sea otters to bright jellyfish, get up close and personal with wildlife from across the globe. The Museum of Anthropology contains one of the finest displays of First Nations art in the world, all in a breathtaking setting overlooking the water and mountains. Located on ancestral Musqueam land, the museum strives to showcase the incredible culture and traditions of these First Nations hosts. Their artwork is the first thing to greet you as you walk through the front doors, and as you enter the Great Hall, you’ll be awed by massive, intricate totem poles. Over 10,000 culturally significant objects from around the world are on display in the museum’s galleries, and temporary exhibits help bring fresh perspectives to the rich permanent collection. If you want to immerse yourself in the origins of Canada’s West Coast, this is the place you might feel like you are going back in time and even running with the wolves.

But wait wait, what about the restaurant scene? You have landed in foodie heaven. With a tremendous ethnic variety, Vancouver offers some of the best authentic cultural food experiences in one place, something for everyone. Tastes range from the best Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek and Seafood offerings period. You can get first-hand reviews of some of my favorite restaurants at  Il Gardino - Lumiere - Terrazza - Carderos - Coco Pazzo - SeaWall - Crime Lab - Zin - Imperial - Bacchus (here).

There is so much more to see if you have the time. A Ferry ride over to Vancouver Island, English High Tea at the iconic Empress Hotel, a stroll through Butchart Gardens, a 100 years in the making and one of the worlds top botanical gardens. If you want to see all of Vancouver, and you genuinely mean ALL of Vancouver, your best option is to book a flightseeing tour with Harbour Air Seaplanes. Try the Alpine Lakes and Glacier tour for an unbelievable flight over the peaks of Mount Mamquam and a remote alpine lake.

A visit to Vancouver any time of year will reveal this cosmopolitan cities deep cultural connection to the past, extraordinary cuisine, rich vistas and fifty shades of green in all its well-manicured beauty.

References

Charles Woollett

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