Vancouver is an incredibly dynamic multicultural city that is experiencing enormous growth in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Considered one of the most pleasant and best-located cities in the world, Vancouver offers a wealth of interesting experiences for the curious visitor. Here we present some old favorites for travelers, as well as one or two places off the beaten track for the curious adventurer.
(1) Place du Canada
The first stop for anyone coming to Vancouver should be to walk along the spectacular Canada Place boardwalk at Waterfront Station. Built as a Canadian pavilion for the 1986 World Fair and now housing the city’s convention center, a walk around Canada Place allows visitors to enter the magnificent port of Burrard Inlet, with its view of the snow-capped mountains. , Stanley Park, and modern glass towers near Coal Harbor.
Canada Place also highlights the dynamism of Vancouver’s economic strength and its place in the world market. The entry is teeming with container ships bound for China and parts beyond. In summer, cruise lines from the world’s major lines dock along the pier en route to Alaska. Seaplanes taking off for the wild natural coves of the interior passage and helicopters departing from Vancouver Island increase the energy scene.
It was here that the Canadian Pacific Railway completed the transcontinental railway in 1889, giving Vancouver the nickname “Terminal City”. Since then, Vancouver has changed from being the “end of the line” and is now considered the “gateway to Asia” and the Far North. It is a perfect introduction to the city of Vancouver and should not be missed by the curious traveler.
(2) Spanish banks
For another perspective on the city, take out the beaches of Spanish Banks, on the north shore of Point Gray. In summer, at low tide, the golden sand of the beautiful beaches seems to extend endlessly. The water stays shallow and warm with the tide during the warm months, but at any time of the year, the view remains breathtaking, with the tall modern condominium towers of Vancouver sparkling in the distance like flashes of light in the bowl of green jade from the mountains beyond.
Treat yourself to a visit to the Jericho Sailing Association and share a huge platter of nachos served on the charming terrace. From your dominant perch, you can watch boating enthusiasts and windsurfers play on the water or see majestic boats from the nearby Royal Vancouver Yacht Club setting sail. Further inland, Ultimate Frisbee players sprawl across the green fields, and the tennis courts attract some of the best players in the city.
The park area was once a seaplane base and a military camp during World War II and now contains a youth hostel, with a local community center and a theater. It is a perfect place for a picnic or just to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and is well worth the visit.
(3) Sushi in the West End
Vancouver is world-famous for its venerable Chinatown and the hundreds of restaurants there. The city has been home to Asian immigrants since the railway was built in the 19th century. Those who braved the journey to the “Gold Mountain” brought with them culinary traditions that have animated the palaces of generations of Vancouverites. In addition to Chinatown, Vietnamese and Korean, Vancouver once had a thriving Japantown along with East Hastings, now unfortunately in decline.
These days, thousands of English-speaking students from Japan and Korea have transformed the area along West Robson Street and Denman into a miniature Tokyo or Seoul. One of the best ways to sample some of the city’s delights is to visit some of the many restaurants offering affordable and delicious all-you-can-eat sushi and sashimi buffets.
The Shabusen restaurant on the corner of Burrard and Robson is a great place to start, with its wide selection and wonderful Korean barbecue specialties on weekends when you can cook spicy marinated chicken, beef, and pork in your brazier. Another great stop is the Tanpopo restaurant near the corner of Denman and Davie streets, with its wealth of fresh wild salmon, delicious gyoza dumplings, an ohitashi salad with salted spinach, and a wonderful outdoor patio where you can watch the world go by. near the English bay.
Be ready to leave the two perfectly satisfied restaurants while continuing your exploration of the multicultural celebration that is Vancouver.
(4) Nightlife in Gastown
For a night on the town, Vancouver has a lot to offer adventurers. The Granville Street Strip is where revelers head out to dance and drink all night under the flashing neon signs of historic Orpheum and Vogue theaters in lively nightclubs such as Republic, Tonic, and Ginger 68, for n ” name just a few.
Gastown along Water Street is where the first European settlement was established during the days of the old lumber camps and the place saw one of the first salons in Vancouver opened by the legendary “ Gassy ” Jack Deighton in the late 1800s. In the cobblestone streets, you can find excellent water sources that continue the tradition established by the Vancouver pioneers.
Next to the original site of the Jack’s Deighton Hotel “Gassy” is the charming Irish Heather Bistro, home to the best pints of Guinness in town. At the back, built within the comfortable walls of the old city jail, is a comfortable glass patio that hosts Irish and Scottish music almost every night. The “Heather” offers a progressive menu that combines old pub standards with a modern twist.
For a more raucous scene, try the Blarney Stone pub across the street. A veritable Irish dance hall packed with college students on weekends, the Blarney Stone is known throughout the city as a wild and rowdy place to make new friends and have a good time. There are free foosball tables on the upper level and get ready to scream and howl with violins and drums all night.
These are just a few of the many active hotspots in Vancouver. Recommendations for music venues, concerts, and movies can be found in the entertainment section of the free weekly cultural newspaper “The Georgia Straight”, which can be found all over downtown. Pick one and you are sure to find something for everyone.
(5) Sports in the city
Vancouver has several professional sports franchises and a history of excellence. In 1915, the Vancouver Millionaires hoisted the famous Stanley Cup on the ice at the old Denman Arena, the first indoor artificial ice hockey rink in North America.
Since then, city teams have included the beloved National Hockey League Vancouver Canucks and the late NBA Vancouver Grizzlies. The British Columbia Lions, Gray Cup champions in 1994 and 2000, play at BC Place Stadium, the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Throughout the year, there is always a game somewhere for fans of all sports and all budgets.
Some of the best entertainment can be had with teams from the Vancouver minor leagues. The Oakland Athletics-affiliated Vancouver Canadians of the North West Single ‘A’ baseball league play in a ball court jewel at Nat Bailey Stadium near Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s a fun afternoon of baseball in a charming pastoral setting for young and old, which will often end with music and fireworks, or a visit from the mayor.
If the Canucks tickets are too expensive or hard to find a great alternative in winter, they are the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. This young team plays at the historic Pacific Coliseum on the P.N.E. fairground and out of a 2006 championship season.
Vancouver is also experiencing a renewed interest in soccer, especially with the resurrected Vancouver Whitecaps. The team was champion of the North American Football League in 1979 at the height of “Soccernania” in Canada and the United States, winning the Soccer Bowl in New York that year. They are currently playing at Swangard Stadium near a Skytrain station in Burnaby and there is talk of a new downtown stadium in preparation for Vancouver to host the 2007 U-20 World Cup.