Blogger: Stephanie Lynch
The #OnTheQTcrew recently took a trip to Vancouver. We instantly fell in love with the vibrant, adventurous city so we decided to put together some of our top tips to save time for you and your friends next time you take a trip to this wonderful spot.
- Drive from Vancouver to Whistler. A drive of a lifetime along the Sea to Sky Highway. It’s a short 120 km drive (75 mile) from Vancouver, and one of the most scenic routes in the world. Be prepared for a experience driving on a mountain highway – spectacular.
- Experience the adventure capital of the world – Whistler. Whistler is north of Vancouver and home to the world of ski enthusiasts. With more than 8,000 acres over 2 mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, it is the largest ski area in North America.
- Go to Granville Island – A place full of history, shops, restaurants and buzzing with a colourful artistic community. A place full of waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops, cafes and the most spectacular fresh food market you’ve ever seen. Walking through the market you are met with the delicious smells and displays, along with colourful stalls, showcasing unique homemade products and delicious delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field.
- Make your way to the top peak in Vancouver, up Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain exceeds 4,000 feet in altitude at its peak and is a major ski area in the winter months. It overlooks greater Vancouver and in the summer is home to lumberjack shows, birds of prey wildlife demonstrations, a scenic chairlift, mountaintop theatre, hiking trail, helicopter sightseeing and much more. You can go further up the mountain on a chair lift(similar to the ski lifts). The views were getting better and better as we went further up. At the top, we went up into a wind turbine with 360 degree views all around. Unbelievable. What an experience. A once in a lifetime opportunity. There are lots of other activities to do up on Grouse mountain; zip lining, helicopter rides, The Bee Hive Centre, Mountain Disc Golf , Paragliding, Eco Walks, and much more. There is so much to do up there, you will want the full day!!
- Explore the Botanical Gardens & Canopy Walkway – The botanical gardens have two locations, the main botanical gardens and also the memorial gardens. Both are within a few minutes of each other and both capture a different style and beauty. The VanDusen Botanical Garden’s has 22 hectares of elegant landscapes with plant species representing ecosystems ranging from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean, from Louisiana swamps to the Pacific Northwest. It gives a much more natural, forest setting which I loved. The highlight of the trip was by far the Canopy Walkway as it gave you views from a height of the beauty of the Botanical Gardens. It wasn’t crowded so you could take your time to admire the views and have fun. Walking above the forest allows you to admire the the beautiful scenery and trails all around. The memorial garden is a Japanese garden right in the heart of UBC campus. This is a much smaller garden but full of perfection.
- Go on the Squamish Sea To Sky Gondola – full of amazing treks, trails and a suspension bridge with amazing views all around. The spectacular Coastal Mountain scenery, glaciers, huge granite monoliths, and sub-alpine meadows that surround Squamish make it one of the best places on earth to explore. You can go up on the Gondola and go for a walk or even go hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering, and much more.
- Go on an adventure in Whistler – it is the adventure capital of the world. There is so much to do in both summer and winter. If it’s winter, why not head skiing? For us, it was summer so we went on ATVs up the mountain with Canadian Wilderness Adventures. Discover Blackcomb Mountain the ‘Canadian’ way on this adventure. As the adrenaline set in, we went up the mountain and enjoyed breathtaking views of the Whistler Valley and snowcapped peaks of the Coast Mountain Range. We explored wide mountain trails ascending to the Backcomb’s beautiful alpine and we even saw a bear or two in the wild. Enchanting forested trails and flowering meadows as we climbed up into the alpine on Blackcomb Mountain.
- Explore the Chinese Garden – Dr. Sun Yat-Zen Chinese Garden. This garden takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the breathtaking gardens. A chance to switch off and let your heart and mind relax and renew your energy The garden takes you on a journey back in time to 15th Century China.
- Go up to the Vancouver lookout which gives you 360 degree views all around the city. This is a must while in the city. Your adventure starts with a 40 second glass elevator ride up 553.16 ft to the panoramic observation deck. What I loved about this gem was the fact you could explore at your own pace and read the information displays at your own pace. The perfect place to relax and take in the breathtaking views. (Note: You can actually buy a ticket and use it as many times that day as you like. So you could go up in the morning and back there at sunset if you like to capture the city in sunset).
- Explore the wonderful Lynn Valley Canyon. Lynn Valley Canyon is a great location for picnics, hikes or even a refreshing swim in the summer months in one of the many popular swimming holes. It has grown from 12 acres to 617 acres today. Lynn Canyon Park contains second growth forest with most of the trees aged approximately 80 to 100 years old. Free of charge to explore and enjoy. Lynn Canyon Park features a suspension bridge that sways 50 meters above the canyon. Explore twin falls, 30 foot pool, pipe bridge and baden powell trail. There is so much to do here and it is definitely worth a full day. It is great to enjoy a more hidden gem in Vancouver.
- Explore Stanley Park. It is the largest and most beloved urban park. A wonderland built within the busy city of Vancouver. Throughout Stanley Park, you can explore 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park’s famous Seawall. A very popular spot for cycling and roller blading. You can discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, cultural and historical landmarks.
- Pay a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium – a not-for-profit marine science centre, connecting people to our natural world. It is a self-supporting, non-profit association. The Aquarium is dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research and direct action. What I loved about this aquarium was the knowledge, dedication and interest each member of staff had. You could see how much they loved working with the animals.
- Go to an ice skating game – It is ice hockey season when we were there, be sure to go experience a game. We went to Langley Stadium to get a pre season game. It was a great game with a buzzing atmosphere. Such a fun night and a great way to end a great day.
Hope these tips help you on your adventure! Here at OnTheQT we LOVE to hear from our followers. if you wish to share your adventure with us simply e-mail us at: OnTheQT.email@example.com!
Happy Travels 🙂