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Discovering Vancouver
30 March 2012

The city of Vancouver is being rated as one of the top locations in the world when it comes to quality of life, and holidays to Vancouver can let holidaymakers experience the wide range of attractions that are available to both locals and visitors within the city. These attractions are diverse, from the various quarters of the city itself, to the mountains, beaches and forests that lie outside the city limits that stretch out into the vast Canadian countryside.

There are a number of quarters within Vancouver that have distinctive qualities of their own, making the city into a varied and interesting holiday destination even without the possibility of excursions to places such as Victoria and the rest of British Columbia. The downtown area itself is the location for a good number of shops, hotels and landmarks, but a ride on one of the city’s sightseeing buses is enough to show visitors that there is plenty more to the city that is just a short distance away from the immediate downtown area.

The area of Gastown is a historic district that lies close to the downtown area and is popular with visitors to the city, due to the picturesque buildings and shops that line the streets. There are also other spots of interest to the travelling photographer, such as the steam clock, the monument and the history of Gassy Jack, who is said to have been the founder of a tavern that proved to be the seed from which the rest of Gastown sprang in the late nineteenth century. Shops in the neighbourhood include outlets for First Nation memorabilia and souvenirs, reflecting another large theme in the city, which is the culture and history of Canada’s indigenous population.

Granville Island is another area of Vancouver that is frequently a hit with visitors. It is a thriving centre for market produce, original art work, dining out and the performing arts. A number of attractions on these themes are concentrated on a relatively small waterfront district below Granville Street Bridge. No holiday to Vancouver is complete without a stroll around the Granville Island public market. Visitors can sample a taste of the locally brewed beer, some of the plentiful local produce, or eat at a café or restaurant.

Stanley Park is another area of Vancouver that is popular with holidaymakers, with a flavour that leans more towards nature and the environment. Stanley Park is easily accessible from the downtown area. Stanley Park is home to the Vancouver Aquarium, which is a big pull for visitors, with its display tanks featuring sharks, dolphins and many other creatures. The park area is much larger and also provides plenty of space for walking, jogging and other outdoor pursuits. The sea wall marks a well used trail around the park. There are a number of First Nation artefacts to discover within the park itself, most notably the totem poles that are situated at Brocton Point and considered the most popular attraction of the park.

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