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Hello, Raincouver! What's the weather like today?Sunday 1 September 2013 00:01 CEST
If you are an outdoor type then you should visit Vancouver, a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada, and the third largest centre for the film industry in the North America.
Because, whether you want to spend time in nature, whether studying and enjoying the city’s architecture; whether you are interested in attending various cultural events or you want to spend your day enjoying delicious foods from all over the world, you wanna go on a shopping spree, or you want to do something adventurous - Vancouver offers all of it, and then some more.
After all, the city serves as one of the film industry's favourite destination and a substitute location for other cities. Three films of the Twilight Saga are filmed there, X-Man: The Last Stand too, and many, many more.
But if we would obsessively search for the best time of the year to visit it, then the summer offers a bewildering array of wonderful things to see and do, from skiing to playing golf to climbing and walking over Capilano Suspension Bridge - one of the world's longest and highest suspension bridges - to enjoying beautiful sunsets from one of the most popular downtown beaches - English Bay, all that on the same day.
Yes, a beach in the middle of the town, sand, palm trees and a popular stone landmark Inukshuk, everything included. Grab a pina colada and get tan.
Downtown Vancouver is a fusion of just about everything. The city centre is a place for shopping, sightseeing, clubbing, eating, pretty much enjoying yourself in whatever you find most convenient. However, sightseeing in Vancouver always begins at the Vancouver Lookout. Its 360-degree viewing deck provides a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, the North Shore Mountains, the Olympic Peninsula Mountains, Metro Vancouver's downtown, historic Gastown, bustling Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. Of course, the complex is home to the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.
Vancouver is home to more than 200 parks, the largest being the Stanley Park, a park bigger than New York's Central Park and almost entirely surrounded by waters of the Strait of Georgia, and the first thing you will notice when you touch the ground is the city's very clean air. Take a walk through its beautiful gardens or visit the Vancouver Aquarium and enjoy the wildlife.
If you want to see something different, there's Chinatown. Try Oriental cuisine, browse various small shops that actually look like small public markets, buy something you never had before in local bakeries. Do not miss Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, relax in the pleasant atmosphere, take a cup of tea and have probably the best sushi outside Asia, which can be attributed to the fact that Asians make up more than 30 percent of the population.
Vancouver has many nicknames such as Raincouver (our favourite), Hollywood North and City of Neighbourhoods, but back in 1950s the city was called Neon Town and almost every restaurant, coffee shop and hotel was emblazoned with neon and its Granville Street became known as the Street of Lights. In not such a distant history, Vancouver invented cosmetic botox. If you were burning of desire to know that, now you know.
Get the local look in Gastown, the city's oldest neighbourhood, stroll through its cobbled streets and take a look at its restored Victorian buildings and still functional Steam Clock and Gassy Jack, a statue made in memory of Captain John Deighton, the first settler who has built the first saloon there in 1867. Complete the atmosphere by visiting Granville Island and its famous Public Market, a kind of foodie's paradise.
Be a part of its relaxed but lively atmosphere, go to some free concerts, listen to the live music on the streets, watch shows or even go clubbing.
If you want to enjoy the wilderness, and beautiful views of the city - Grouse, Seymour and Cypress Mountain are the places for you. Walk the paths of Lynn Canyon Park enjoy exploring Whytecliff Park, Lighthouse Park; go for a hike in Deep Cove and climb on Quarry Rock for a magnificent view of Indian Arm. Visit Belcarra, Buntzen and Sasamat Lake for a swim, walk, hike or enjoy the beauty of Shannon Falls.
Shop until you drop or whatever you decide to do in Robson Street, Main Street, Granville Street, West End... Visit restaurants, museums, and try not to miss Symphony of Fire, one of the Vancouver's largest and most well known annual musical fireworks competition. So much to do, so little time, but we learned quite a lot about the city. Still, one thing we don't know... What's the weather like today?