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Built on the lumber and shipping industries, Vancouver has emerged from what was once a tiny, rough-and-tumble coastal town named Gastown into one of the world’s great cities. A vital link from Eastern Asia to Canada, the United States, and beyond, its importance as an international hub of shipping and culture is rivaled only by its mesmerizing natural beauty. Adorned with mountains, dappled with rainforest, and draped along the Pacific, Vancouver is quite the looker—and that’s just on the surface.
Once you dive a little deeper, you’ll discover a city rich with heritage, charm, and its own breed of quirk. While you can always visit Gastown, Chinatown, and Granville Island, you’ll discover local haunts dotting both Commercial Drive and Main Street that could lure you away from the city’s core. And while its natural beauty is plain to see, it’s also close at hand: Stanley Park, the Seawall, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and staggering amounts of hiking, skiing and kayaking are all just minutes from the city center. Who knows, they all may draw out a wild side you didn’t know you had, or at least feed the one you knew was there all along.
All this adventure waiting to be had means that you’ll need some great places to grab a bite to eat, and Vancouver delivers in spades—tasty, tasty spades. Richmond is saturated with dim sum and other Chinese cuisine, and you’ll be able to sample everything from classic Pacific Northwest Seafood to Malaysian, Mexican, and even hip German food. And you’ll probably want to try the Frisant and sample some of the primo coffee the city has to offer too, or at least hole up for some tea.
Have a hike in the morning and huck a few darts at a members-only dive at night. Or maybe check out the Anthropology Museum and then play a round of archery tag. Mix it up. Hang out with some local in a steam room or just kick back and read through an old book. There are piles of places that have something for everyone, but in Vancouver you might just unlock a new facet of yourself you never knew existed.