The perfect gift book for Olympic visitors: John Lee’s Walking Vancouver

Walking Vancouver, by Vancouver travel writer John Lee

I’ve been enjoying Christina Wallaert’s Olympic Diary on this site and it occurred to me that she–and the gazillion other people who are planning to descend on Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games–would do well to add local boy John Lee’s new book, Walking Vancouver, to their holiday wishlist.

John’s an internationally published travel writer–a transplanted Brit with a sharp eye, quick wit and good shoes.

His newest guidebook, subtitled “36 strolls to dynamic neighborhoods, hip hangouts, and spectacular waterfronts” covers plenty of ground in Metro Vancouver–all the way from the North Shore to New Westminster (and not forgetting the Downtown Eastside).

The maps and directions are clear and easy-to-follow, and for those who already know where they want to go, the index is comprehensive.

As a long-time Vancouverite with a penchant for pedestrian travel, I was delighted to find surprises in these pages: “back story” pullouts that explain the history of taken-for-granted landmarks and vistas, as well as wining, dining and shopping recommendations for each themed stroll.

(The chapter about pub-crawling through Gastown is alone worth the book’s price–a reasonable $19.95, by the way).

If you’ve got Olympic visitors in February, plan to leave this book on the bedside table in your guest room–after you’ve thumbed through it yourself of course.

Want to win a free copy of Walking Vancouver? I’m running a contest on my personal blog,, until Dec. 13

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