Some travelers when they head on vacation are looking for the great outdoors; peace and quite and a little time in nature. Other crave the urban scene– hot restaurants, night clubs and hip venues. I must say, I love a little bit of both, and Vancouver is the perfect city to get it! In an earlier post, I talked about the great urban vibe of Vancouver, now I’m going to focus on the incredible surrounding nature!
Vancouver is a gorgeous city with a mountainous backdrop that’s straight out of a movie. The first time I visited , clouds covered our view for nearly 2 days, and on the last day I saw the mountains. I couldn’t believe the site. This past trip with my family, we were lucky to have blue skies the entire time. What a treat.
Vancouver is surrounded by water and mountains, and it’s a city that knows how to take advantage of this. Boats, kayaks, sea planes, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and more are all within minutes of urban life. Peaking out from the skyscrapers of downtown, you are continually reminded nature is not far. When facing North and looking towards the end of the street, you can see the mountains calling.
As we hung out at Canada Place (Convention Center) and watched Vancouver Harbor within 10 minutes we had seen at least 3 sea planes land. My kids were quite entertained by seeing the gas station in the middle of the water. A first for each of them. But sea planes and endless water sports is not the only outdoorsy element to Vancouver… there’s also a plenty of forests too.
For a morning outing, we headed to North Vancouver and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This park, although touristy, is pretty amazing being that it’s so close to downtown. One minute you are grabbing a Starbucks coffee on Robson Street, and the next you are hovering a hundred feet in the air on a suspension bridge in the forest!
Totem poles greeted us upon entering the park. These icons of the Northwest are always better to see in person to get a sense of their size.
The totem poles were dwarfed next to the surrounding trees. The setting of Capilano Suspension Bridge is reminiscent of the Star Wars movie set of the Ewok village— high redwood trees, and lots of bridges connecting them at various heights.
The kids loved exploring the bridges and paths, while my husband and I took in the nature. Even with the crowd that morning (we were blessed with gorgeous weather, like I mentioned), the location still felt peaceful.
Back in Vancouver, we spent the afternoon walking around Stanley Park. Another natural gem in the center of the city. There’s a bike/walking path that goes around the entire park. Folks were out in droves walking, jogging, roller blading, biking, kayaking, canoeing, flying a kite, picnicing and more. Vancouverites sure know how to enjoy their gorgeous city and we were lucky to be a part of it.