So what else will you experience in Vancouver other than great science?
The Natural Beauty
It's not often you can recommend an urban environment for people who want to get back to nature, but Vancouver is truly the best of both worlds. You can spend the morning at the Vancouver Art Gallery or wandering the shops, then go hiking all afternoon, whether it's a short walk through Stanley Park or a longer hike along any of the trails surrounding the city, such as on Burnaby Mountain or on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Or for a lazier couple of hours, relax at Kitsilano Beach.
While Vancouver has the reputation of being chic, it’s fine to get a little dirty during your visit. There are a number of outdoor adventures perfect for anyone who lives in their hiking boots. Make your way to Lions Binkert Hike, a 16 km trail with a 1,280 m elevation gain. It’s no easy stroll in the park, but that’s a good thing. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is worth a visit. The 1889 bridge stretches 137 m across and 70 m above the Capilano River. You might want to hold your breath as you look over the rails to the rushing waters below.
Vancouver foodies have started to make quite a lot of noise in recent years. For exceptional fare, try out hot spots like Blue Water Café and Coast Restaurant. Blue Water Café is one of the top seafood restaurants in the city, and spotlights raw food and overlooked fish, as well as expertly crafted shell fish. Coast is another favourite hangout. The cocktails are always on-point and pair well with their fresh oysters, crab, and lobster. Or book the Gastronomic Gastown Tour! Check out the Vancouver magazine dining guide here.
Stanley Park's Miles of Trails
One of the focal points for Vancouver locals is Stanley Park, which is the equivalent of Central Park or Hyde Park. Located on the edge of Vancouver’s city center, Stanley Park covers over 1,000 acres and is unique in the respect that it is surrounded for the most part by the Pacific Ocean. Of course, these surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for stunning scenery and offer a flawless hub of relaxation for visitors.
Life is better with a bag of hazelnuts in one hand and a box of sweets in the other. Granville Island Market is one of the best-known markets on the West Coast. With over 50 permanent booths and about 100 day vendors, you can find a wide array of fruits, nuts, sweets, and meats. Prefer to do some night shopping after your day in the city? Head south to the Richmond Night Market. It’s the largest night market in North America, and is known for its street cart kabobs.
Vancouver has great coffee. Vancouver's coffee scene is great, with chains and one-offs for every taste. High quality Italian-style espresso with the blend heavy on Brazilian beans and fairly darkly roasted -- available at many shops. Locally roasted beans that are fresh. There are grungy traditional Italian places on Commercial, hipster bohemian places and places with blaring music. There are coffee shops that are devoted to feeding ESL students pieces of cheesecake the size of their heads and coffee shops devoted to being the literal antithesis of Starbucks. And there are lots of Starbucks too for those that like that sort of thing.
Green and Clean
Vancouver is green and clean. The climate and the winter rains mean that Vancouver is green year round, and dust and grime just doesn't build up that much. The air is clean, the streets are clean, the beaches are clean. British Columbia gets 93% of its electricity from hydroelectric because it has such stunning resources for that form of generation, which means that there is virtually no fossil fuel-related pollution from the electrical grid.
Whether you want to gaze upon art inside of a gallery or out in the crisp air, you can see it all in Vancouver. Check out Gallery Row in South Granville, an area full of artist studios and open galleries. In fact, there are 17 art galleries and antique dealers open for business. Featuring one-of-a-kind pieces, you can take home a souvenir you can’t find anywhere else. For public art, make a stop in Stanley Park and keep an eye out for the totem poles. There are nine sculptures, which celebrate the First Nations people of British Columbia.
Stand on Robson Street for a few minutes, and you’ll understand why Vancouver is regarded as one of the most stylish cities in the country. Leather boots, designer purses, pea coats, slacks, nice watches—it’s all here. Treat yourself to a shopping spree and shift in and out of the various boutiques. West 4th Avenue is also worth a visit. The street is full of fashionable stores, outdoorsy supply shops, and home goods centres.
Running and Walking
Access the Stanley Park Seawall Destination Walk and Run close to your hotel.
The 10 km or 13,123 step seawall loop around Stanley Park is Vancouver’s most popular fresh air attraction. Stanley Park is Vancouver's first park and one of the city's most beloved tourist attractions. This vast evergreen oasis, covering 400 hectares, embraces visitors and transports them to an atmosphere rich in tranquility. Since this paths completion both visitors and locals have enjoyed exercising on this world famous pathway.
The leadership team at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel offers guided runs at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Or try the 'Run Go' App that provides run options in the city.
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