Vancouver, Canada

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Cruising to Vancouver

Canada's outdoor city

In most places, the boundary between untamed nature and urban civilisation is pretty well defined, with major cities being strictly wilderness-free zones. However, Vancouver does things a little differently, and is a great place to come if you like your cities intertwined with the great outdoors.

While most commonly associated with winter sports thanks to the close proximity of the Coast Mountains and the many ski resorts therein, Vancouver is in fact a great place to get active all year round, with the beautiful Stanley Park being the city's number one attraction. Flanked by the seafront, this huge green space is where locals practise their favourite pastimes, with sprawling cycle and walking lanes running through the open parkland, while kayaking and other water sports are popular at the beaches that can be found here.

Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, which houses almost 10,000 marine animals, and a wealth of other interesting features such as totem poles. These beautifully carved structures provide an insight into the British Columbia's ancient heritage, with several First Nations communities having lived in harmony with the local environment since well before the white man settled in America. To learn more about this, follow the popular Seawall trail through Stanley Park, all the way to the University of British Columbia campus at Point Grey, which lies to the extreme east of the city. Here is where you'll find the excellent Museum of Anthropology, where visitors can view a huge number of artefacts relating to the pre-Columbian period.

Vancouver also boasts a number of excellent art museums, with the best of these – such as the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery – being located just south of Stanley Park in the downtown area.

In terms of food, Vancouver offers a fantastic array of global cuisines, although if you want to try Canadian produce such as Alberta beef or local oysters and lobsters then seek out restaurants like Edible Canada at the Market in Granville Island, or Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown.

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