Plane at Floatplane Trip, Vancouver, Canada - Courtesy Harbour Air

Floatplane Trip

One of the most exciting ways to see Vancouver and its diverse landscapes of city, mountain and sea is by floatplane, a single-prop, six-seater plane that takes off and lands on water. There are a variety of tours available from the passenger docks in Burrard Inlet below the Vancouver Convention Center. Harbour Air ( operates daily floatplane flights over Stanley Park and all around the metro region, giving you an unparalleled bird’s-eye view of the magnificent terrain; other tours will take you to Whistler, Victoria, glacial lakes, and prime fly-fishing and whale-watching spots.

Editors' Picks
Aerial View - Flyover Canada,Vancouver, Canada

Flyover Canada

With so many real outdoor adventures and activities to be had in Vancouver it might seem strange that I would recommend a simulated flight over Canada, but it is so well done and so visually exciting (for all ages), that I think you might want to consider it. Housed in the former IMAX theater at Canada Place, the Disneyesque ride-adventure is an easy way for thrill-seekers to get a breathtaking tour of Canada in nine minutes. You’re ushered to “plane” seats, buckle up, the lights go down, the seats move forward into space, and the show begins. Filmed from a helicopter (the seats mimic the copter’s twists and turns) in super high-definition projected on a huge curving screen, this aerial tour from Newfoundland to British Columbia, along the St. Lawrence River, across the plains, over the Rockies to the Pacific, is an experience that’s both hair-raising and exhilarating—and completely safe.

Aerial View - Granville Island & Granville Island Public Market,Vancouver, Canada  - Courtesy of Dominic Schaefer

Granville Island & Granville Island Public Market

Part crafts fair, part farmers market, part artist’s workshop, part mall, and part industrial site, Granville Island is hard to describe. But everything you could name is here: theaters, pubs, restaurants, artists’ studios, bookstores, crafts shops, an art school, a hotel, a cement plant, and lots and lots of people. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Granville Island is to take a water taxi from False Creek over to the huge Granville Island Public Market with its stalls and booths selling produce, meats, fish, wines, local specialties, cheeses, and arts and crafts. The market is open daily 9am to 6pm. Order a latte and an enticing snack from one of the unique food counters and then stroll around the lively streets around the market, enjoying the view of the boats on False Creek, the buskers, the galleries and shops, and the kids chasing flocks of squawking seagulls. It’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

Cyclling at Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada - Courtesy Coast Mountain Photography

Stanley Park

Vancouver’s green jewel, Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre temperate rainforest jutting out into the ocean from the edge of the busy West End. Exploring the second-largest urban forest in Canada is one of Vancouver’s quintessential experiences. The park, created in 1888, is filled with towering western red cedars and Douglas firs, manicured lawns, flower gardens, placid lagoons, and countless shaded walking trails that meander through it all. The famed seawall runs along the waterside edge of the park, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to experience the magical interface of forest, sea, and sky. One of the most popular free attractions in the park is the collection of totem poles at Brockton Point, most of them carved in the 1980s to replace the original ones that were placed in the park in the 1920s and 1930s. The hour-long horse-drawn carriage ride operated from mid-March through October by AAA Horse & Carriage Ltd. is one of the most enjoyable ways to tour the park.

Editors' Picks
Sea View - Victoria Day Trip, Vancouver, Canada

Victoria Day Trip

Victoria is a very different city from Vancouver, and its contrasting nature and easy accessibility offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to explore more of British Columbia’s magnificent west coast. Located on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island, a 90-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, the capital of British Columbia is quieter and quainter than Vancouver, but it offers all the amenities you need for a great day trip or a longer holiday. BC Ferries ( offers several daily car-ferry departures from Tsawwassen, about a half-hour drive from Vancouver, to Swartz Bay, the closest ferry terminal toVictoria. A day trip to Victoria is easier if you have a car, but reserve a place in advance if you’re going to be traveling on a weekend in July or August. The ferry ride itself is a scenic experience. Once you’re on Vancouver Island, head directly to the Butchart Gardens (, Vancouver Island’s primary tourist attraction and one of the great gardens of the Pacific Northwest. After you’ve enjoyed the garden, drive to Victoria for a stroll along the capital’s picturesque harbor and waterfront and enjoy a sumptuous high tea at the venerable Fairmont Empress Hotel (, a Victoria landmark on the waterfront. If you have time, pay a visit to the Royal BC Museum ( to have a look at their impressive collection of totem poles and First Nations art from the Pacific Northwest. One travel option to consider: instead of returning to Vancouver, you can take the Coho ferry ( from downtown Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington, gateway to Olympic National Park.

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