True, Vancouver can be the departure or arrival point for three of Rocky Mountaineer’s getaways. Whether you’re considering Vancouver to Banff or Lake Louise, Vancouver to Jasper by way of Kamloops, or Vancouver to Jasper by way of Whistler and Quesnel, you’ll still have this curious town of unique identities nestled between coastal mountains, temperate rainforests and the Pacific Ocean. That’s an opportunity worth celebrating! So, here are a few of the top things to do in Vancouver before or after your rail vacation.
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Vancouver is a city that compels you to explore it. You could rent a bike and cycle around Stanley Park, considered the “World’s Best Park” by the travel website Trip Advisor. Peddle past an old growth forest, visit ancient First Nation village sites or meet a few sea lions and dolphins, shoreside. You could also take a hike on the Grouse Grind, “Mother Nature’s Staircase,” which leads hikers some 2,788 feet up into the alpine region. At the top, enjoy a cold beverage in a panorama chalet. Or you can take a kayak into Deep Cove, where majestic fjords vanish into dark blue waters.
A Foodie's Town
From access to a bounty of seafood to restaurants established by immigrant communities, the city’s wide variety of dining options delight novice and seasoned travelers alike — cementing the culinary scene as one of the top things to do in Vancouver. Arrive hungry at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar to take on their Seafood Tower Royale: a multi-level assembly of platters featuring wild shrimp, albacore tuna tataki, Read Island mussels, Crab Louie, snow crab legs, local oysters and lobster. This would be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, if people weren’t going to eat it first!
Perhaps you’re into Asian cuisine? With residents of Asian descent representing 43 percent of its population, Vancouver offers authentic Omakase bars with dishes that are as tasty as they are visually sublime. Omakase, a Japanese term, translates as, “I’ll leave it up to you,” meaning the chef meticulously chooses and creates the meal for you. There are also dim sum and noodle shops within Vancouver’s Chinatown neighborhood, one of the oldest and largest in Canada.
Or maybe you’re in the mood for savory rotisserie chicken? Then head down to Homer Street Café and Bar, where classic cocktails and a fire-red rotisserie adds a dash of style to familiar comfort foods and drinks.
Museums & Galleries Aplenty
Museums and galleries engage, entertain and educate us, providing an array of exhibits, from scientific principles to the visual arts. While in Vancouver, enlighten yourself with a visit to several prominent museums and galleries. The HR MacMillian Space Centre will teach you about space via live demonstrations, exhibitions and shows. The Museum of Anthropology, located at the University of British Columbia’s campus, houses one of the area’s finest collections of indigenous art, with 535,000 archaeological objects. As for fine art, the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is the largest of its kind in western Canada. Visitors can observe a collection of more than 9,000 pieces of art and contemporary photo-based works. VAG also presents two or three international exhibits annually, featuring gems from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt.
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Are enthralled by the idea of discovering some of the top things to do in Vancouver for your next vacation? Contact one of our travel agents to learn more. Their years of experience with industry-leading rail lines, such as Rocky Mountaineer, provide you with insight for your adventure in the Pacific Northwest.