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The first thing you notice when you fly into Vancouver, Canada’s third-largest city, is the way the Pacific Ocean stretches out on the Burrard Inlet. As you walk through the deep forests of Stanley Park or climb the Grouse Mountain, you’ll realise that nature is at every corner of this breezy city on the coast. There’s a reason why Vancouver continues to be heralded as one of the world’s most liveable cities: few other metropolises in North America provide the thrill of the urban and the natural in equal measure.
The waters of Vancouver Harbour and the English bay enclose the Stanley Park, Vancouver’s first and largest natural park. Explore the 400-hectares of natural West Coast rainforest as you take in views of snow-peaked mountains from the Seawall—the limitless trails in this park make it hard to believe you’re in the middle of Vancouver.
The thriving Granville Island, located in downtown Vancouver, is home to a farmer’s market, craft breweries, hip restaurants, and quaint little shops. Before sipping a pint of some of the city’s finest ale, or snacking on some of the farmer’s market’s delights, take a walk across the Granville Bridge and feel the breeze on the dock.
It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter: whether on ski or on foot, the views from Grouse Mountain are second to none. Located 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, this soaring highland—perfect for hiking in the summer or watching a lumberjack show in the evening—is reachable through the Grouse Mountain Skyride, an aerial tram which connects city and nature in stunning fashion.
One of the world’s most renowned exhibitions of Northwest Coast First Nations arts is on display at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. Weavings, carvings, and more than 9,000 objects from around the world also decorate the ornate interior of the space—though a stroll on the museum grounds will remind you that Vancouver’s nature is unavoidable.
Hanging 460 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River, this suspension bridge is more than the sum of its parts. The park features rain forest ecotours, gardens, nature trails, North America's largest private collection of First Nations totem poles, period decor and costumes, and exhibits highlighting the park's history and the surrounding temperate rain forest.
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