No matter how many countries and cities visited, no matter how many continents and oceans traversed, I say with a degree of certainty that no city will be as beautiful in my mind as Vancouver, Canada. Once my childhood home for a few years, I still visit relatively often. As such, I'll be updating this page from time to time with some of my favorite spots from the city, in addition to the New York page that's also continuously updated.
Grouse Mountain is one of the three mountains in the city that offers skiing during the winter time. Regardless of season, however, visitors can ride the Skyride gondola to the summit and take in the city in its entirety.
Activities on the mountaintop include a grizzly bear enclosure, and a lumberjack show, in true Canadian fashion.
Whale watching is offered year-round in Vancouver, and typically departs from the city of Richmond in Vancouver. Due to the relative abundance of killer whales in the area, its quite likely that one will see a few whales on the roughy 3 hour journey. Don't worry if you didn't spot any killer whales, however, as most tour operators in the city will offer you another complimentary trip, just in case.
My trip in mid-june was a resounding success, and we were able to follow a family of killer whales for several hours.
Incidentally, Fisherman's Wharf also happens to be in the city of Richmond, and offers up some great seafood options for lunch or dinner. A longtime favorite of mine has been Sockeye City, which gets my stamp of approval because I've been going there since I was 7. To this day, their calamari and seafood chowder hasn't changed in taste. Talk about nostalgia.
In the area, the Stevenson Pizza Company serves up some of the most lavishly outrageous pizzas I've ever seen. The pie pictured below is known as the Dragon, which features Alaskan king crab legs, tiger prawns and Chilean smoked salmon.
A relatively recent addition to the city is an attraction known as Fly Over Canada, located in downtown Vancouver. Essentially a 4-D simulator that takes one on a journey across the country, at times the 'flight' can seem alarmingly real. The attraction also offers themed Christmas and Chinese New Year showings. Though I'm technically not a tourist here, I must admit I've been more than a few times just for the sake of it.
Ambleside Park in West Vancouver is one of my favorite beaches/scenic stops in the city. Depending on the weather and time of day, every visit yields a different scene of the bay, with Stanley Park and the Lion's Gate Bridge to the left.
One of the best things about Vancouver is the wide variety of proximate activities it offers residents, no matter the time of year. During the winter, skiing is just a half hour drive, up one of the mountains flanking the city. During the summer, there are no shortage of beaches. One popular tanning destination for Vancouverites is Kitslano Beach, which also offers panoramic views of the bay and the city.
On a side note, a great option for food nearby is The Boathouse, which also offers an outdoor patio area upstairs for a great view of the beach, and daily happy hour.