It’s no secret that Vancouver is renowned for its beautiful outdoors, lush greenery and stunning mountains. But did you know it’s also rich with culture, art and history? Here are 5 museums (popular by world-travelers and residents alike) worth checking out – a perfect activity for those not-so sunny days!
Vancouver is situated in a prime coastal location of British Columbia that boasts a remarkable number of neighbouring, tourist-friendly municipalities. From mountainous Squamish and Whistler to the relaxed seaside town of White Rock, day trip destinations are aplenty and can easily be reached by car. Here’s a round-up of some of our top picks:
Sea to Sky Gondola
A cruise along the breathtaking Sea to Sky Highway – renowned as one of the most beautiful drives on the planet – is an awe-inspiring attraction in and of itself. But this legendary route from Vancouver to Whistler is also filled with exciting stops at just about every turn. After an approximate one-hour drive from the city, pull over at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and take the scenic 10-minute ride up the mountain to the Summit Lodge. Here, you’ll find yourself at 2,900 feet above sea level, where visitors can opt to take in the astonishing panoramic views with a glass of wine in hand, explore the many hiking trails or take a walk along the suspension bridge.
Conveniently situated next door to the Sea to Sky Gondola lays the base of the towering Stawamus Chief Mountain, known locally as The Chief. This enormous cliff face spans 702 metres above Squamish and is recognized as one of the largest granite monoliths on the continent. The Chief is home to a wildly popular hiking route that is split into three distinct summits, providing an intermediate-level trek complete with chains and ladders to help get climbers to the top. Also offering many rock climbing options, The Chief is the perfect day trip destination for lovers of outdoor adventure.
West Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain is only a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and serves as a year-round hot spot for family-friendly activities. When blanketed in snow during wintertime, it’s a skier’s paradise – and once the sun starts shining, visitors flock to the mountain for hiking, cycling, picnics and wildlife watching. Whether you opt for a challenging hike or bike ride in the rugged wilderness, a quiet afternoon perusing low-key trails or a peaceful setting to have a bite to eat and take in sweeping views of the city, Cypress has something for everyone.
For those searching for a leisurely day trip to kick back and relax, the Greater Vancouver suburb of White Rock provides just that. The area enjoys a welcoming beach town atmosphere and blissfully mild climate as a distinct part of the Lower Mainland that consistently sees sunshine, and offers a variety of activities for all ages. White Rock hosts an array of waterfront restaurants and local boutiques, making it ideal for a day of shopping and dining. After dinner, grab an ice cream cone for a stroll down the seawall and accompanying pier, taking time to breathe in the fresh salt air and appreciate the striking ocean scene.
Ready to hit the road? Visitors who stay at one of Stay Vancouver Hotels exclusive properties will receive an Esso Gas Card valued at $25, and those who book a three-night stay will receive a $50 gas card. To learn more, click here.
Spring has sprung, and Vancouver’s 40,000-plus cherry trees are now blossoming throughout the city – brightening up the streets, attractions and parks with the vibrant hues of more than 35 varieties of cherry trees. From exploring the city’s array of majestic gardens to checking out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy the best of spring.
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from April 3 to 29. Attendees can soak up the beautiful blossoms, lively musical performances, colourful artist demonstrations, guided cherry walks and more. Highlights include the Sakura Night Gala, where Vancouver’s top restaurants come together for an evening of Asian-fusion flavours and Sakura-inspired cocktails; musical performances at the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert; and hands-on workshops on calligraphy, origami and other Japanese arts and crafts at the Sakura Days Japan Fair.
Bike and Walk the Blossoms
Locals and visitors can decide whether they want to picnic, walk or bike under a pink canopy using the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Bloom Map. This interactive map allows viewers to find out what’s currently in bloom, where to spot their favourite blossom variety, and which of the 2,680-plus locations to choose from. For those who want to join a group bike tour, check out the Bike the Blossomsevent – a free, cherry blossom bike ride taking place on April 28.
Explore Vancouver’s Gardens
Considered one of the top Japanese gardens outside of Japan, Nitobe Memorial Garden boasts cherry trees, streams, a reflecting pond and rare authentic tea garden with a ceremonial teahouse. VanDusen Botanical Garden’s tree-lined paths, vibrant flower gardens, peaceful lakes and colourful birdlife are worth a visit alone, and in spring months visitors can view a variety of cherry trees, flowering bulbs, early rhododendrons and more. Next, make your way to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown neighbourhood for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Built by 52 master craftsmen from Suzhou China, this is the first garden of its kind outside of China, and features delicate blossoms intertwined in a landscape of weathered rocks, peaceful paths and a jade-green pond.
Ready to plan your trip to Vancouver? Check-in to one of our 36 downtown Vancouver hotels, and take advantage of the unique hotel offers only available here.