Beginners Guide to Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful place. Named after Dutch explorer George Vancouver (who had a hand in discovering major parts of the Pacific North West). Mountains, oceans, wildlife and the big city all wrapped into one. Being living in Vancouver is such a privilege but it’s hard to see how good it is here. With the growing population, expensive cost of living and the homeless problem downtown it can sometimes seem like Vancouver has more problems than it does hands to fix it but if you look at some of the incredible things around us, it is really something to behold. Take Stanley Park, it  is a 405-hectare park that borders downtown Vancouver. The park has a vast history and is one of the first areas visitors come to explore in the city. the park was named Vancouver first park in 1866 and was named after the then recently appointed Governor General Lord Stanley. This park was not created by man at all, but rather the evolution of nature and the landscape over the years was the only thing that progressed this park. Talk about a natural process. Attached to the park is the Vancouver aquarium which is one of the most interesting aquariums on earth. There is a seawall in which you can walk around the perimeter of the entire park right on the water, the best part is taking a bike out there. Nothing beats and bike ride by the water on a hot summer day. Stanley park is just the beginning though there is also the Telus World of Science, a magical place where any kid will an absolute blast (the adults have fun too). With events and shows changing seasonal and tons of little mini games it’s a kids paradise. The only downside is it’s another hot spot for tourists and day camps, you have to go on a chill day so you get to experience all the cool science and less of the screaming children, unless you like that sort of thing

Another unique thing about Vancouver is the people. Sure you sometimes get your run of the mill douche business man who thinks he is better and doesn’t have time for anyone, but mostly you get some of the most caring, hardworking and charismatic people in the world. Vancouver is a place of beauty and opportunity so you find a lot of people here who are trying to make a life for themselves and they really try to take advantage of all the good stuff we have going for us here. Something like the weather is something that sometimes goes really well for Vancouver and sometimes… not so much. Yes, we do have the nickname “Raincouver” however, compared to the rest of Canada Vancouver has it pretty good. Vancouver gets significantly less snow than other provinces and our summers are much hotter than most. Vancouver is also a small city compared to big city standards. It has a population of around 600,000 people and it is in a rather compact area so it’s easy to get around the city. There is “Greater Vancouver” which is just a bunch of smaller cities that no one has ever heard of. If you take that into account then maybe Vancouver is not THAT small. As far as downtown goes thought, it’s pretty small. It’s easy to get from place to place because of a beautiful thing i like to call… The Skytrain, which is just a monorail or subway but it’s much nicer. It feels cleaner, safer and can get you around the city real quick. 

 

The top 4 streets you want to know are Robson Street, Denman Street, Davie Street and Granville Street. Robson is the trendy Street where you will find all the high priced shopping stores, a lot of big American Cruise line passengers spend their afternoon here when they dock. Robson connects to Denman where you have a lot of cool restaurants and English bay. English Bay is a scenic beach that is very popular in the summer. It has a lot of volleyball and drum circles so if that what you’re into have at er. Denman connects to Davie, which is best known for being the “gay” street as its very rainbows and full of pride, its very lively and has good sushi restauraunts. Lastly Granville Street is where all the bars, clubs and hostels are. It is very entertaining to just walk down the street at night because no matter what the time there is always something happening on Granville Street.

Now that we know our streets let’s talk about some more tourist traps like Gastown. Which is a poor depiction of what some developers in the 70’s thought Vancouver would look like in the late 19th Century. Unfortunately nowadays it’s about 70% souvenir shops and 30% overpriced boutiques. But the one thing that trumps all in Gastown is the Gastown Clock, which is a clock that looks like it runs on steam but it does not, it also looks very old but it was made in 1977. Next up is the Granville Island Market where you can get fresh food and all sorts of knick knacks, no harm in this place just a nice place to get some food and cool tokens (just don’t let the seagull get the food). Vancouver also has a few iconic buildings. We have the weird sailboat roof on Canada Place, the Ball roof on the Telus World of Science, we also have a knock off Space Needle. Grouse Mountain will wrap up our Vancouver tour where you have the option to torture yourself and climb 860m upstairs to the top… or just take the gondola. Once your up there, if it’s winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding as it is the closest mountain to Vancouver. If it’s a warmer season there are lumberjack shows, bird shows and bike trails to go on. We are just scratching the surface when it comes to what Vancouver has to offer but hopeful this gave you a better look at what a lot of us call home.

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