Vancouver is a show-stopper kind of town. Surrounded by the mountains and ocean, she shines bright for visitors from around the world. Vancouver is quite simply – if Vancouver was a person of course – the Top Super Model in the world. But she is far more than just a pretty face. The Greater Vancouver Area has so much culture, attractions and things to do that we as locals can kind of forget and get caught up in the day to day. When I was traveling a few years ago I made a pact with myself to treat my own city as if I was a tourist. So many times I would find myself in foreign towns enjoying museums, tours, galleries…..things I quite honestly don’t think to do at home. When you treat your own city like you are a tourist you get to re-connect to its roots, discover new cool activities and participate in the culture and buzz of the tourist season. We all host folks from out of town when the summer comes and there is way more to do than just go to the beach or walk the sea-wall! Let’s take a peek at what the tourists will be up to this summer and tag along!
The Vancouver Art Gallery or The VAG – as it is affectionately known.This iconic building is truly the center of the downtown. It is home to every possible outdoor event from legendary 4:20, the Food Truck Festival, and protests of every kind. We can often forget that it houses some amazing Art as well! Known for its touring exhibits, local art exhibitions and photo collection there is something for all tastes. While there, make sure to check out one of the most fabulous patios ever. Set on the second level and attached to a wonderful licensed café you can relax amongst the birds in a lovely atmosphere of tables and benches. On the weekends and early evening’s mid-week enjoy the live music, which ranges from classical to folk and even hipster. It really is a gem of a spot, and should not just be enjoyed by our tourist friends! To find the summer schedule of events and summer hours check out their website.
Website: Vancouver Art Gallery
A Boat Tour Anyone??The False Creek Ferry Company – with docks conveniently located throughout the city allows you to get around and see the sights from the water. You can hop on one of these adorable boats and snap great photos of the Granville Street Bridge, Granville Island, house boats and of course the amazing inner harbour itself. There are several sight-seeing options, a couple being Mini Cruises for 25 minutes or 40 minutes that will take you all over the False Creek inner harbour. Though my favorite option for when friends are in town is the Hop-On, Hop Off Day pass. Use the ferries as your taxi service and pop on and off at all the stops and take in the sights. It is one of the best ways to visit all the attractions located along False Creek. You can explore all nine stops at your own pace. Hop back on the ferry whenever you feel like taking a break and continue on to the next stop of your choice. With ferries every 5-15 minutes you won't wait for long. Science World, the Maritime Museum, as well as many fantastic restaurants & brewpubs are just steps away from the ferry docks. And at 15$ for Adults and 11$ for Seniors & Children it is a way cheaper and far more interesting than a regular taxi. For locations, prices and more check out their web-site.
Web-site - False Creek Ferries
MOV - The Museum of VancouverThe next spot I recommend is the Museum of Vancouver – I didn’t even know this existed until a tourist stopped me on the street and asked for directions! Did I ever feel out of touch! The Museum is focused on city issues & history, with a strong collection of First Nations art & artifacts. Located in Vanier Park, The MOV is the largest civic museum in Canada and the oldest in Vancouver. Who knew!?! The museum was founded in 1894 and recently went through a major re-visioning process in 2008. It creates Vancouver-focused exhibitions and programs that encourage conversations about what was, is, and can be Vancouver. Permanent exhibitions tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s to the late 1970s and are complemented by contemporary, ground-breaking feature exhibits. (Thank you Wikipedia!) It shares facilities with the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre as well so you can do both on the same day if you don’t get caught up with all the Museum offers. I had an amazing day here and the grounds are pretty spectacular as well. It is a great way to re-connect and learn more about our great city.
This post could be pages long as there is simply SO much to see and do here. From Food Tours, Biking Tours, Renting a Segway, to simply heading out to a neighbouring neighbourhood – we can enjoy our city like we are tourists and see it like it is the first time. Go on – get out there and try something different. You will be amazed at everything you can learn that will allow for you to be an even better host and tour guide when friends and family come to ohh and ahh over our Super Model of a home-town. Wonder if we will ever make the cover of Vogue?!