For my second trip, in September, I concentrated on hiking possibilities in and around Vancouver that did not require long distance travel.

Overall Impression Vancouver, the host of the 2010 winter Olympics, is the largest city in the province of British Columbia with over half a million residents and one of the mildest climates in Canada. Vancouver is also home to one of North America’s largest ports. It is a beautiful city that offers much to see and do for adults and for families. Ie had visited and enjoyed Vancouver on a family holiday many years ago. This past year, my husband and I had occasion to return twice and we rediscovered the wonders of this location.

The city of Vancouver is located on the Pacific coast of Canada. It must not be confused with Vancouver Island, another lovely destination on the west coast. Bordered by the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the location is spectacular. There is much to do for the urban sightseer and for those who are interested in nature. Knowing that we would be returning in the fall, this past June I decided to concentrate on visiting the city highlights. For my second trip, in September, I concentrated on hiking possibilities in and around Vancouver that did not require long distance travel.

Connectivity My cell phone signal within the city was strong and WiFi connections were available in our hotel rooms.

Cost Of Visiting Reasonable

Currency The Canadian dollar

Location West coast of Canada

Measures The metric system is used throughout Canada. This means 100 kilometers equals 60 miles, and -18 Centigrade equals 0 Fahrenheit.

Transportation Vancouver is serviced by many major airlines. I got around town easily with public transportation: bus and Skytrain (subway), and also by taxi and rental car. Vancouver is also the terminal for some cruise ship lines. This terminal is centrally located downtown, allowing visitors access to the North Shore and its many tourist attractions.

Food And Dining Some people consider Vancouver a fine dining area. We enjoyed pleasant meals that varied in price from reasonable to expensive.

Shopping I visited many wonderful boutiques in Vancouver ; many of them and some major stores were centrally located on Robson Street.

Tourism Highlights There are many attractions in and around the city of Vancouver. One of the major attractions is Stanley Park. I spent one half day meandering through this park. Various tours of the park were also available. The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Roedde House Museum, Science World, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Chinatown are within the city. Further afield there are several worthwhile attractions just a short taxi ride or a longer bus commute from the center of town. The Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Vancouver Space center are near each other on English Bay. We thought the Capilano Suspension Bridge, on the North Shore, was worth the trip. Somewhat further away, but still accessible by public transportation or a taxi, is the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. Located on the campus grounds are the Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Anthropology, home to an impressive collection of West Coast Art. We devoted a half day to each and found them well worth the visit.

Day Hikes

On our second trip to Vancouver, I decided to explore the possibility of day hikes within an easy commute from downtown Vancouver. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could hike everyday without having to travel long distances.

Grouse Mountain was the furthest destination, from the Seabus Terminal on the North Coast; it took me about 20 minutes by local bus. Once I arrived, I had two options: the Skyride to the top or The Grind. This is a hiking trail to the top of the mountain also commonly known as “nature’s Stairmaster.” It took me one hour and 27 minutes to reach the top, with stops on the way up. This hike is not for the faint of heart! The hike took me, up to the end destination of the Skyride, to breathtaking views. There are some pleasant trails on the top of the mountain as well as a restaurant and snack bar. Since it was not possible to yoke back down tThe Grind, I reated myself to a one way return ride down the ‘Skyride’ wich costme $5 CanadiancdI dedicated a full day to enjoying the beauty of this location. This trail is considered moderate to challenging.

Closer to the city, but on the same bus route, is the Capilano Regional Park . The park has an extensive network of trails that go past giant cedar trees, a fish hatchery, through Capilano Canyon to the Cleveland Dam and the beautiful Capilano River. These trails are considered easy to moderate. As no restaurants were nearby when I was there, I was happy that I had packed a light lunch.

Burnaby Lake is situated in the suburb of Burnaby with easy access by Skytrain from downtown Vancouver. The largest lake in the lower mainland, Burnaby Lake, has a rich ecology and is home to many species including ducks, geese and beavers. The lake also has a 10 kilometer hiking path that loops around the entire park area. This is an easy hike with little to no elevation.

Stanley Park, adjacent to downtown Vancouver near the harbour front, this park has many hiking and cycling paths. Trail maps were available at several tourist points in the park, and.bBcycle rentals were available at the entrance of the park for a nominal fee. There was also a chip and putt 9 hole golf course. A walk along the sea wall offered many scenic views of English Bby and the inner harbour.

Day trip north of Vancouver We rented a car to visit the British Columbia Museum of Mining. This indoor and outdoor museum is located at Britannia Beach on Highway 99 towards Whistler, 45 minutes from Vancouver and, 52kilometers (32 miles) on the Sea-to-Sky’ oute. We chose a sunny morning and drove along the coast. The Britannia copper mine was used continuously from 1904 to 1974. After it’s closure, the mine was named a historical landmark and haened to the public. Our tour took us through an underground tunnel dating from 1912 where, we were ble to pan for gold and we saw watdemoations on the various mining techniques. The mill wasis still in t proceed and so we had to hard hats. On our return drive to Vancouver we stopped at Shannon Falls. Located along the sSea to sSky highwy near Squamish, BC., SBritish Columbia, Shannon alslare the third highest waterfs in therovince. This park is directly adjacent to Highway 99, making it a popular day-use park. The park provides picnicking, hiking and access to the trail in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park . Thanks to the We had a warm sunny day and syed hiking some ohorter and, easyier t rails.

Date Of Last Visit September 2008

Reviewers Article by Andrea de Gosztonyi-McRae and Doug McRae

Photos by Andrea de Gosztonyi-McRae

Would You Visit Again? Yes