snow-capped, forested mountains dropping down to miles of sandy beaches, Vancouver is a city where you can snowboard and sail on the same day. Against the stunning scenic backdrop, you'll
find a medley of sophisticated restaurants, leafy parks, and lively, earthy brewpubs. As
Vancouver pulsates with a smug and sassy youthfulness, Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, is
more seasoned—like an elder sister whose English beauty is more than skin deep.
Things to Do
colorfully carved totem poles tower above an impressive collection of First
Nations masks and sculptures at the Museum of
Anthropology. Visit the
belugas, otters, and dolphins at the Vancouver
Aquarium in Stanley Park before seeing historic and modern art at the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery. To reach Granville Island's plentiful Public Market, hop on a tiny ferry to cross False
Creek. In Victoria, stroll the cobblestone streets of Old Town before
taking traditional afternoon tea at the Fairmont
sun is shining, you'll join a stampede of Vancouverites heading to the city's
beaches, hiking trails,
and mountain slopes. Biking, running, or walking the Stanley Park Seawall rates
highly for its at-your-own-pace vibe and panoramic views. In Victoria, you can
take a jeep-safari through
farms and vineyards, or spot harbor seals, whales, and dolphins on a whale-watching tour.
Eating & Drinking
rich culinary region, seafood is king in Vancouver and Victoria. Try a
six-course seafood medley, paired with a glass of wine from an Okanagan winery,
at five-star Yaletown dining rooms. Dining options are plentiful and often cheap, be it
delectable Thai in Kitsilano, a raw food menu near Main
Street, or inventive Chinese tapas in Chinatown. In Victoria, you'll find a variety of culinary styles downtown.
Nightlife & Entertainment
In Vancouver, you can rub shoulders
with the nightclub crowd on funky Granville Street downtown.
Hip Yaletown offers up swanky cocktail bars and
clubs. For more
laid-back surrounds, join the relaxed beach crowd at a variety of watering
holes in Kitsilano. In summer, picnic in Stanley Park and watch Theatre Under the Stars. In Victoria, stop for a pint at a
brewpub, or visit the cool bar in the Fairmont Empress for blue
martinis with hot jazz.