Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Value for Money:
Personality Types that Like it Best
High ratings from all personalities with a leaning towards Centric-Venturers and Centric-Authentics
Did You Know … ?
- Vancouver has about 135 parks encompassing 2,700 acres.
- In its earliest days, the city was called Gastown, named for a talkative pioneer.
- The Capilano Bridge is the world’s longest (450 feet) and highest (230 feet) suspension footbridge.
- Vancouver is south of Frankfurt, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic.
- The Sam Kee Building is described as the world’s thinnest office building.
From slow strolls to bungee jumping
Vancouver is noted as the place in Canada where the winters are relatively mild — so mild it does not snow in the city and the port is open year-round. It also boasts rain forests, a comely harbor and shoreline, all with mountains as a backdrop, in other words, a beautiful natural setting.
These variations in terrain and forgiving weather, combined with access to the world’s largest ocean, add up to a place where visitors have many choices, ranging from hikes, theater and the like to vigorous activities on land, at sea or in the local mountains.
The city is relatively young, founded only in 1865 as a loggers’ town. Today, it is one of the world’s most popular cities. Visitors comment at length about what a lovely city Vancouver is. They talk about the harbor and the nearby mountains, but the flattery isn’t just about beauty. They find the city safe and clean.
One also could say it is Canada’s San Francisco, set prettily on North America’s West Coast and warmed by Pacific currents. Very importantly, because of these factors — ocean, harbor, mountains, mild weather — there are lots of things to do, enough to satisfy each personality type and address many special interests.
All personality types give the city high marks. The water invites the adventurous onto kayaks, rafts and zodiacs; to a bungee jump, or even into scuba gear despite the cold ocean water. And the mountains invite visitors to climb the rocks — or to take a plunge, on skis. At the other end of the personality spectrum, visitors find many pleasures, whether on a paddle wheeler, in a casino, on the golf course or elsewhere.
And, for all visitors, Gastown, the original center of Vancouver with its old brick buildings and cobblestone streets, lets them connect with the city’s earliest days. Today, the area has antique shops and art galleries.
Except when winter sports are a consideration, visitors tend to come in summer. The city also is the embarkation port for many Alaska cruises May through October. It rains fairly frequently in Vancouver (hence, the rain forests), but less often in summer.
Things to do for Venturers
- Sign on for a sea safari by zodiac for viewing sea birds and harbor seals. Or, experience cold-water scuba diving to see brilliant red coral, plus marine species like the wolf eel and octopus.
- Don a helmet (required by law), and sightsee by bike. Take an overnight bike trip around the Gulf Islands. Or, choose the Coast Range rain forest where mountain bike trails have been cut into Grouse Mountain.
- Take to the sea in a kayak; head to the placid False Creek or explore Indian Arm, a fjord that extends well into the Coast Range mountains.
- Windsurf on the Squamish (this river benefits, in summer, from strong winds that blow down the river valley). Or, take windsurfing lessons at the English Bay or Jericho beaches.
- Try bungee jumping. Or, go rock climbing in the local mountains.
- Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge (450 feet above the Capilano River), then walk from one Douglas fir to another using a series of seven additional suspension bridges.
Things to do for Centrics
- Experience a virtual voyage aboard a 30-seat spacecraft at the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre. Tip: Do this before lunch.
- Go skiing (downhill or cross-country), snowboarding or snowshoeing on the local Cypress, Grouse or Mount Seymour mountains. You can ski at night, too, on Grouse Mountain.
- Charter a boat for a half or full day of salmon fishing.
- Attend the summertime Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.
- Go whale watching on a 62-foot cruiser. Or, look for the world’s largest mammals from a perch in a zodiac-style boat.
- Take a sightseeing trip to Vancouver Island. Time the trip right, and you can attend a wildlife festival there, celebrating either salmon or the whale.
Things to do for Authentics
- Have your photo taken reaching for both sides of the Sam Kee Building in Chinatown. It is six feet wide on the outside, four feet 11 inches on the inside.
- Take the kids tubing or tobogganing at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver.
- Take a narrated tour of the inner harbor on an authentic paddle wheeler.
- Get a few kicks at the Giggle Dam Dinner Theater. The ticket price includes a four-course dinner plus music and humor described as outrageous.
- Take an audio walking tour of Vancouver narrated by the “wacky” local guides retained by Wired Wox Tours.
- Take a tour of the city’s North Shore, taking in mountains, rain forest and the sea, while traveling in a van powered on vegetable oil recycled from local restaurants.
For more information, consult Tourism Vancouver at www.tourismvancouver.com