Vancouver, in British Columbia Canada, is a city that offers all the facets of modern Canadian life situated in a lush and spectacular natural setting. Nature and modernity go hand-hand in Vancouver: the easy access to outdoor sports, art galleries, film festivals, parks and top-class dining all form a big part of this beautifully integrated city. Catch the views from Grouse Mountain or the Vancouver lookout, and for a new perspective on the city, try the unforgettable harbour cruise.
A Musical Community: The Vancouver Folk Festival
With crowds of 38,000, the Vancouver Folk Festival, a cultural phenomenon since 1978, is a much loved and important event for the community. Gathering the world’s best traditional and contemporary folk musicians, the festival takes place annually at Jericho Beach on the 3rd weekend of July. Watch traditional musicians from North Africa share the stage with bluegrass bands from Norway and bask in the atmosphere of openness and good times. This is a very family-friendly festival with plenty of activities for kids so bring everybody down to watch performances of music and dance, and enjoy the good food on offer.
Green and Serene: Vancouver Lighthouse Park
On Vancouver’s west side lies the Lighthouse Park, featuring stunning trails, treks and outstanding views of the lighthouse and ocean. Most of the well-marked trails lead through trees, some of which are 1,000 years old, with regular viewpoints along the way where you can take a breather and admire the magnificent surroundings. The park isn’t exactly a secret, but if you visit during the week, you’ll feel as if you have the whole place to yourself. Pack a picnic, put on comfortable shoes and explore the rocky beaches and forest tracks. Keep an eye out for the local sea otters!
A Local Legend: The Gastown Steam Clock
This historical steam clock is one of the very few still working in the world and the perfect place to start exploring Vancouver’s Gastown and Chinatown districts. Under Vancouver’s streets, a system of steam pipes supplies downtown with heat, and the Gastown Clock with its famous steam-powered whistle. The clock marks every quarter hour by trumpeting steam into the air and on the hour settles for a modest toot from each of its 5 whistles. With only 6 other working steam clocks in existence, it’s worth starting here before eating supper in one of Gastowns many and varied restaurants.