Welcome to Vancouver BC Vancouver British Columbia
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As the largest city in Western Canada, Vancouver BC is the ideal place to visit. There are very few places in the world that offer the same kind of grown-up playground as Vancouver BC. For one, where else can you sunbathe on an ocean beach in the morning, go skiing in the afternoon and play a round of golf after a 5 star dinner at one of the many exquisite restaurants, then catch an NHL game, go see a broadway quality show and stop by one of the cities excellent live venues to catch some music and dance, all in one day? Vancouver BC, all this is possible and more.
Vancouver lies in a region of more than 2 million people which makes it the largest city in the province of British Columbia and is currently the third largest city in Canada. Vancouver is framed by ocean on three sides and nestled inside white peaked Coastal Range mountains that rise behind the city to more than 1,500 m. Vancouver has one of the mildest climates in Canada where temperatures average 3 C in January and 18 C in July. It does rain quite a bit in Vancouver in winter but this also adds to the high quality skiing in the surrounding mountains, some as close as a 20 minute drive from downtown.
Vast archaeological finds show that coastal Indians have been active in the Vancouver area by 500 B.C. but most likely the area was home to some of the earliest humans as they crossed the land bridge from Russia and made their way down the coast to South America. The British first arrived in this area with the help of their naval captain George Vancouver in 1792. What is now known as the City of Vancouver was first founded as a sawmill settlement called Granville in the 1870's. The city became incorporated in 1886 and was officially named after the English Captain who "found" her, Captain Vancouver. During these times the city was fast becoming known as a good place to do business with the discovery of coal, which attracted many of the white settlers to the area. Soon Vancouver was a veritable thriving metropolis thanks to the Canadian Pacific Railway which allowed for safe passage across the Rocky Mountains and permitted settlers from the east to travel here to colonize the area.
Today's Vancouver is a playground for children and adults alike. Indulge in the award-winning restaurants and eateries. Stroll down the streets of one of the many trendy fashionable clothing areas of the city. Visit some of the best antique stores, museums, art galleries and theatres in the world. Some of Vancouver's most popular destinations are its public parks like the world famous Stanley Park, sandy beaches like Kitsilano beach, and natural splendour like the grouse mountain or Capilano Suspension Bridge that are all easily accessible from Vancouver.
Stanley Park, surrounded by ocean and sandy beaches and spanning 1,000 acres, is one of North America's largest urban parks. Preserved from the turn of the century, the park contains many spectacular old growth trees and sprawling gardens. Surrounding the park is the Stanley Park Seawall, where joggers, walkers, cyclists and people on roller-blades can travel to and from downtown without having to travel with car traffic. When you are in the park you can take a stroll down a lush wooded trail, admire the vast gardens or enjoy a picnic in one of the park's many open areas. While you are enjoying the park, you can also visit the Vancouver Aquarium which features an amazing array of ocean creatures including but not limited to whales, sharks, sea otters and dolphins.
When passing through Stanley Park and over one of Vancouver's world famous bridges, the Lion's Gate bridge, look to the Fraser River inlet to see windsurfers, kayakers, boaters and fishermen playing and working in and around the waters of English Bay with luxurious sailboats and massive cruise ships creating the perfect backdrop.
As Vancouver is also known as LA of the North, it is not just because of the thriving film industry which boasts Vancouver as the third largest film production center in the world but certainly because of the amazing selection of shopping. There is a shopping district in Vancouver to suit every style taste and desire. To name a few, Granville Island and it's toy stores and art galleries, Robson Street and it's cafes and Haute Couture boutiques, Kitsilano and the most trendy of fashions, Chinatown and everything Asian, Gastown's cobblestone streets and bric a brac shops, Metrotown mall shopping at it's best and many many more.
If arts music and entertainment is what you seek, spend an evening listening to the Vancouver Symphony, as musical director Bramwell Tovey brings greats like Pinchas Zukerman, Holly Cole and locals like John Pizzarelli to the stage. Plan your visit around the Vancouver Folk Festival or the Vancouver International Jazz Festival where you can enjoy literally hundreds of live shows. many of them free. Or come at any time of the year to experience live venues of every kind from top quality Jazz and Blues to more modern styles of music to an excellent club scene, Vancouver lives at night.
For an indoor cultural experience, check out some of Vancouver's many museums. This fabulous Museum of Anthropology houses the best collection of Northwest Coast First Peoples artifacts in the world. The Vancouver Museum is Canada's largest civic museum is full of unique events, programs and exhibits. The Vancouver Maritime Museum features Pirates Cove, a self guided tour of the RCMP schooner St. Roch and many rotating exhibits. The M.Y Williams Geological Museum is the only museum of its kind in BC, exhibits include an 80 million year old Lambeosaurus found in Alberta in 1913, spectacular rocks, minerals and fossils. The Granville Island Museum is actually three remarkable museums in one building. You'll find model ships, information about Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific including memorabilia, model trains, and fishing equipment including hundreds of reels, creels, tackle cases, bait boxes, flies, lures, fly tying equipment and bobbers. And last but not least the Vancouver Art Gallery, housed in the old court house on the corner of West Georgia and Hornby, the Vancouver Art Gallery is not a gallery at all but the city's art museum.
With the myriad of things to do, places to go and items to see in Vancouver, its no wonder people come here not only for a vacation, not only for an experience, they are also moving here in greater and greater numbers because it truly is an incredible place to visit, live and play.
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