Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Canada's monolithic Coastal Mountains, Vancouver is Western Canada's largest city. Mountains, ocean, parks, beaches: Vancouver has it all. Vancouver is home to an impressive number of museums, galleries, parks, and gardens. Vancouver Lookout offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the top of downtown Vancouver's tallest building, which is a great place for visitors to start their visit to Vancouver and orient themselves with the city.
Other major Vancouver attractions include, among others, Christ Church Cathedral; the International Buddhist Temple; the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first one of its kind outside China; the UBC Botanical Garden; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the West Coast Railway Heritage Park; and the BC Museum of Mining, where visitors can tour an authentic copper mine.
Nature-lovers will feel right at home in Vancouver, which boasts some of North America's most impressive scenery. Popular outdoor activities include camping, hiking, boating, and fishing. The area's many rivers make excellent spots for white water rafting. Whale-watching is another favorite activity, attracting visitors who want to see an orca in its natural habitat. For a less intense, but no less exciting, experience, a harbor cruise is a great way to see the city and surrounding areas.
Vancouver has a surprising number of beaches, all within easy reach of downtown. Kitsilano Beach is Vancouver's answer to Vancouver Beach - the place to be... and be seen. Kitsilano Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming, and beach goers can choose between the Atlantic Ocean or the massive outdoor, heated salt-water pool for a refreshing dip. Jericho Beach is a great spot for water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and beach volleyball, while the Spanish Banks is the city's least crowded beach and a popular spot for picnics and general relaxation. Wreck Beach is famous as Canada's first clothing-optional beach, attracting more than 14,000 visitors who are ready to bare it all on a summer weekend.
For those who consider shopping a sport in itself, Vancouver doesn't disappoint. From high-end boutiques selling the latest in designer labels to mega-malls, Vancouver caters to every style and budget. The city's restaurants are just as diverse. Visitors can find nearly any type of cuisine - from Canadian to Mediterranean, Belgian to Pan Asian.
Vancouver is well-equipped with several forms of public transportation, so visiting its many sites and attractions is easy and affordable.