Things to See and Do
If you’ve never been to Vancouver before and are feeling touristy, there are a few things you must see or do.
Capilano Suspension Bridge & Grouse Mountain: Get on the Seabus from downtown and head to Lonsdale Quay (the only stop) and from there take the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain. Get off at Capilano Supsension Bridge and wander round there for a little while, then carry on up to Grouse Mountain where you take a cable car to the top. Up to the end of April you can still ski and snowboard (rental shops on site) , but for the less adventurous there are some great views of the city which you can take in whilst eating or drinking at the top of the mountain. In the Summer, if you’re feeling adventurous you can actually climb the path called the Grouse Grind to the top of the mountain, and take the cable car down. Lynn Canyon Park also has a suspension bridge, in addition to many swimming holes, and has the added benefit of being free.
Granville Island: Take one of the little Aqua buses over from the bottom of Hornby St or Marinaside and explore the market. There are numerous restaurants and bars which offer a relaxing view of Vancouver.
Stanley Park: walk, skate or ride a bike (rental shops on Denman St, which is the entrance to the park) The Totem Poles are a top 10 tourist attraction, as is the Aquarium. At weekends you may even stroll across a game of cricket, which harks back to our English heritage.
Gastown: This was Vancouver’s first downtown core. It has seen a revival of late, transitioning from the place of public executions, flop houses, gambling parlours and sketchy bars, to an uber trendy neighbourhood with some of the city’s hotest restaurants, brew pubs and bars.
Commercial Drive: What originally served as the home of the city’s Italian population, “The Drive” has changed in recent years. Still dotted with Italian bakeries, cafes and bars, The Drive now hosts a plethora of other culinary options in addition to funky shops and boutiques.
Shopping: Pacific Centre, Robson Street, West 4th Avenue, and South Granville are all great for shopping. If you like giant malls, Metrotown, located in Burnaby, is a short Skytrain ride away.
Wreck Beach: Wreck Beach is Vancouvers world famous clothing optional beach located a short walk from UBC (see Reserve & Youth section above for transit info).
Other Beaches: If the weather is good why not visit one of Vancouver’s other beaches. Be warned, cops do patrol beaches regularly, although “smoking and drinking” does definitely take place. Kits Beach is where the beautiful people like to be seen.
Brandis Show Lounge: Brandis is Vancouver’s premier strip club. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the best in North America! 5th Floor, 595 Hornby Street, in the heart of downtown.
Other Sports Teams: The Vancouver Canucks are one of the premier NHL teams in the league and play at Rogers Arena; however, tickets are extremely hard to get and cost an arm and a leg. A less expensive option is the Vancouver Giants of the WHL (junior hockey) who play out of The Pacific Coliseum. The BC Lions play in the the Canadian Football League (CFL) and share BC Place with the Whitecaps. Baseball fans might want to go and watch our minor league (single A) team the Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium.