With the mountain resorts of Whistler and Squamish to the north, the Rockies to the east and some of the world’s ultimate watersports venues right on its doorstep, BC’s biggest city is the stuff of outdoor lovers’ fantasies. Experience a unique blend of adventure and culture on a holiday to Vancouver from Glasgow Airport.
Coffee and cocktails
Vancouver’s residents spend as much time chilling in coffee shops and partying in the hipster hangouts of SoMa as they do climbing mountains and riding waves. In a city packed with independent cafés, Coo Coo Coffee in Yaletown (477 Davie Street) and Kafka’s Coffee and Tea (2525 Main Street) stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to atmosphere, people-watching opportunities and outstanding brews. Later in the day, follow the trendy crowd to cocktail bar George Ultralounge (1137 Hamilton Street) or sample the steampunk scene at the kooky Storm Crow Tavern (1305 Commercial Drive).
Action and adventure
It’s impossible to describe Vancouver’s outdoor adventure scene without resorting to a barrel-load of superlatives. The city has easy access to many best-in-the-world venues – from downhill mountain biking at Squamish to skiing at Whistler, climbing at the Stawamus Chief and surfing at Tofino on the far side of Vancouver Island. For something a little more local, explore the wilderness of Stanley Park, play a round of golf at the Fraserview Golf Course (7800 Vivian Drive) or hit the pistes at the city’s very own ski venue, Cypress Mountain.
Whether it’s discovering the totem poles of Stanley Park or stumbling on an Aboriginal performance at Klahowya Village, Vancouver’s history will jump out at you when you least expect it. Explore one of the city’s oldest quarters with a ramble around Barclay Heritage Square, a leafy green space flanked by buildings such as Barclay Manor (1447 Barclay Street), Weeks House (1459 Barclay Street) and the Roedde House Museum (1415 Barclay Street). The Museum of Anthropology (6393 NW Marine Drive) also makes for fascinating browsing.