5 Reasons to Visit Vancouver This Year (And Why You May Never Want to Leave)

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The following is a guest post by Expedia Canada.

Vancouver is one of the best cities in North America, and proudly so. Here at Expedia Canada, we have a soft spot for the glittering city by the shore, which is why we’ve partnered with Inside Vancouver to present you the top five reasons to visit Vancouver this year (and why you’ll never want to leave).

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5 Reasons to Visit Vancouver This Year (And Why You May Never Want to Leave)

Top 5 Easy Summer Hikes in Vancouver

Photo credit: Raul P | Flickr

Photo credit: Raul P | Flickr

Summer is here and the North Shore mountains are calling.

One of the privileges of living in Vancouver is that mother nature is right on your doorstep.  Old growth forests, rivers and waterfalls, and stunning mountaintop vistas are all within easy reach from downtown.

Of course, not everyone is up for an wild trek into the B.C. backcountry.  For armchair adventurers out there – who like a little nature but want to be home in time for dinner – these five hikes should fit the bill.  They all take less than three hours (roundtrip), follow well marked trails and – most importantly – reward with great views and natural features.

Lighthouse Park TrailsThis seaside park in West Vancouver includes one of the last sections of old growth forest in the Lower Mainland.  A network of easy trails winds from the parking lot to the rocky coastline, converging on a nearly century-old lighthouse.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the great views of downtown Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet. Details

Cypress Falls Trail: Overlooked even by seasoned Vancouver hikers, this short trail starts in the posh Caufield neighbourhood of West Vancouver.  Almost immediately, you’re greeted by an impressive set of waterfalls surrounded by Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.  Hike a bit farther and there’s an even larger waterfall plunging into a deep canyon.  Terrain is a bit steep and might not be suitable for young children.  Details Continue reading:
Top 5 Easy Summer Hikes in Vancouver

North Shore Ski Hills Enjoy Snow Bonanza

Photo Credit: Remy Scalza

What a difference a year makes!  Remember last winter, when snowfall on the North Shore was so paltry that Cypress Mountain had to truck in snow just to keep the slopes covered for Olympic snowboarders and freestyle skiers?

This year the situation on Cypress, as well as on Vancouver’s other local slopes – Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour – is exactly the opposite.   Plentiful snow and cold temperatures have created exceptional skiing conditions.   In place of last year’s slush, meters of dry and powdery snow have fallen.  Runs are packed with skiiers and snowboarders enjoying conditions rarely seen outside the Interior.

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North Shore Ski Hills Enjoy Snow Bonanza

Lonsdale Quay: Vancouver’s other public market

Photo: colliersmn.com

Pretty much anyone who has been to Vancouver knows about the Granville Island Public Market.  The giant marketplace on the False Creek waterfront is a can’t-miss destination, with row after row of fresh produce, meat and fish, as well as gourmet delicacies ranging from homemade soups to hand-rolled doughnuts.   In fact, more than 10 million people visit Granville Island every year – more than twice as many visitors as the Coliseum in Rome gets!

But, many travelers (and even some Vancouverites) are surprised to find out that there’s another public market in Vancouver, and it’s jam-packed with nearly as much fresh meat and produce, as well as shops and ethnic restaurants.  Situated on the city’s North Shore, along the Burrard Inlet, Lonsdale Quay is like a mini Granville Island.   There’s the same rustic charm, waterfront views and great eats, but it’s a whole lot less crowded than its more famous counterpart.

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Lonsdale Quay: Vancouver’s other public market

An Insiders Guide to the Perfect Vancouver Day

Andrea Caesar, Sales Associate Eastern USA at Tourism Vancouver, has been a member of the Meetings & Conventions team since 2009. Andrea, like many locals, makes the most of her time and our beautiful city. Whether it’s an evening after work or a weekend, you’ll find this former competitive swimmer racing to the great outdoors.

Read how Andrea describes her perfect day in the city.

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An Insiders Guide to the Perfect Vancouver Day

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.

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

A Hike through Lighthouse Park

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For anyone who appreciates nature and the natural world, living in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is a dream come true. For busy families whose weekends are often spent driving between swimming lessons, soccer and hockey games all over town, the opportunities to appreciate and enjoy that natural world don’t come along as often as we might hope.

How fortunate then, that one of the best places to get away from the weekly – and weekend – routine is so close at hand. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver offers easy access to the beauty of our own backyard, complete with old growth trees and an ocean playground.