It's easy to become biased about Vancouver BC. For a big urban center with plenty of cultural diversity and home-town feel, this city's it. Wrapped in lush greenery and offset by the sparkling blue of wide watery stretches, from bay to river and back, Vancouver has seascapes and a skyline that is both colorful and very sophisticated.
Summer brings in-line skaters, joggers, picnickers and volleyball players to the beaches padding the south side of English Bay. This sporty city also boasts superb and strenuous hiking options just outside of city limits (like infamous Grouse Grind), but Stanley Park won't leave you feeling slighted if you're only after an easy walk in the park, either.
If you're looking for the best of BC fashion, Robson Street should set you right. Those after an artsy afternoon can tack straight on for the Vancouver Art Gallery and then find inspiration in the sights and sounds of Chinatown, Gastown or amongst the bustle of Granville Island.
Should you have a burning desire to learn more about local history, a number of museums cover most facets of Vancouver's development. Stay dry on rainy days with a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center, or brush up your game at the BC Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.
Flora and fauna are never far away, despite the city's very civilized facade. Visit UBC Botanical Garden, Queen Elizabeth Park or do some hiking at one of the trail-laced regions close to the city, such as Mt Seymour Provincial Park.
Having thus worked up an appetite, don't leave without sampling some of Vancouver's finest eats. If you like sushi, in fact, you may never want to leave for the stellar selection.
Vancouver is about 150 miles north of Seattle, Washington and 78 miles south of Whistler.