Downtown Vancouver, Vancouver
I am sure there is an environmentalist somewhere that will disagree with my comments here but I think relative to other cities they would have to agree.
I felt after doing a lot of walking in Vancouver that the city has done an exceptional job providing green space all over the downtown area. One minute your on a typical city scene, then the next you can be in the crown jewel of Stanley Park.
But Stanley Park aside there were plenty of other areas on corners, etcetera that made walking Vancouver a lot easier on the eyes and provided nice places to take a break!
Need a rest from museums and sundry sightseeing? Then pop down to Robson Square on Sunday Afternoon at 3pm for the Salsa classes, beginners from 3pm and Latin Dance from 5 pm.
We came across it by accident and took a half hour to obseve the action, many styles , all shapes and some real talent!!! Anyone can join in and it is totally free, the show goes on to 7:30pm and everyone has a good time.
When we were there it was a summer activity, however I suggest you check on their web page: wwwSundayafternoonSalsa.com
One great thing about downtown Vancouver is that it very intricately planned. Few people know that the downtown core has been planned in such a way that all tall buildings have line of sight of either Mountains or the Ocean (or both) so each new building that goes up cannot block the view of other buildings. This is a great idea more cities should do it (maybe they do?). This way vancouver's beauty is showcased from a fantastic perspective high above the city. Spectacular.
Fondest memory: Sitting at the top if the Coast Plaza hotel (they have a view of both the mountains and the ocean) I realized how spoiled we Vancouverites are. If you're in town, even if your not staying at a nice high-rise hotel, find your way to the top of one of Vancouver's skyscrapers (Wall centre, Harbour Centre Tower etc.) and enjoy ther view.
Favorite thing: Downtown Vancouver is a forest of high skyscrapers but some of them are very interesting. A not so high new building is the public library, it's round and sort of shaped like a spiral or an @ sign almost. There is an office tower to the side of it, also curved to reflect the library. Between the two buildings is a glass roofed atrium lined with shops.
We usually try to visit the Tourist Info Centre the first day of arrival and have a browse through the displays to see what the city and surrounding districts offer.
Normally I complete plenty of research over the months before we travel using the internet travel sites and travel guides from our local librarary, however I have found a short discussion with the Information Centre staff always produces some good local attractions that I had missed.
If you are checking for day trips, particularly using local public transport their advice is invaluable usually providing bus, ferry and train timetables , brochures etc etc. We found the staff at the Vancouver centre to be very helpful.
Tourist Information Centre Location: Plaza Level, 200 Burrard St, Downtown, Vancouver. It is just over the road fron Canada Place and the Cruise Boat Terminal. Open 8:30 am -6:00 pm daily. Phone 604 683 2000 Web: Tourismvancouver.com
Favorite thing: Many of the office and apartment buildings in the downtown core have fountains outside their buildings. At first you only notice the larger ones but over the weeks you realize that this has become an art form in Vancouver. At night, they’re illuminated and look completely different, so you have to make to the rounds to see them again.
Of course, visit the downtown area! I was so enthralled with the aura that I didn't take many photos in downtown. Rather, I was enjoying myself just walking around.
In any case, downtown Vancouver is quite small. A peninsula cut off from the rest of the city by False Creek. Robson Square & some 3-blocks complex of offices, shops & theatres made up the whole downtown area.
Most residents stay in the Greater Vancouver area of Burnaby, Coquitlam & Richmond.
Fondest memory: QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK: A 52-hectare park between Cambie & Ontario Streets. Vancouver's 2nd largest park. This is it's well designed sunken garden.
If weather permits, I highly recommend a walk through the city, including Stanley Park (a great natural diversion), the West End (has some great highrises and homes and is a lovely neighborhood), the Waterfront (has great views of the city and north Vancouver), Gastown (the historic area of town), Chinatown (has great markets and is colorful and lively), Granville, Robson and Davie Streets (good shopping and restaurants). This would be quite a long walk, so if you don't have the energy for a long trek, you can always park and walk through each neighborhood.
Fondest memory: The view of the city and marina from Sutcliffe Park, across False Creek. It's a very picturesque spot, and a popular place to take photos for postcards of the city.
When I first arrived in Vancouver I searched endlessly for a good hairstylist but just couldn't find one. I went to several in the downtown area and I kept getting very disappointed (and I won't name names). They either didn't listen to what I wanted (cut more than I asked, or did I style I wasn't into), weren't friendly, or the pricing just wasn't right.
Finally, a friend of mine recommended Vancouver Hairstylist Emily over on Hornby street, and I haven't gone anywhere else since! She is a total perfectionist and never lets me out of her chair until everything is perfect. She always listens to what I want, is friendly and just all around awesome!
The salon is called New Mondo for Hair and Spa and it is at 857 Hornby Street between Robson and Smithe street in downtown Vancouver.
You can check out her Website for pricing and location information at www.emilyroop.com or call her at 604-315-1588 to book an appointment.
Fondest memory: Robson street for sure is my fondest memory. Great shopping, restaurants and nightlife!
Favorite thing: This is major thoroughfare, and almost all public transport routes and subway pass by it. This street and other streets parrallel to it offer views of mountains behind the city. And the whole downtown is lined with trees and little parks.
I had very little time to see Vancouver, however I was booked on the Trolley Tour which gave an excellent introduction to the city.
This picture was taken on the way to Stanley Park and show the many sky scrappers of Downtown Vancouver.
Fondest memory: Click on the picture to see the full panoramic view.
Coming from the Midwest, I miss diversity and culture and that is what Vancouver has. The downtown is alive after working hours and people live in the city and they all don't head out to the suburbs.
The city does have its fair share of vagabonds and only a few of my encounters with them were unpleasant . For example, one Lost Sole had AIDS and wanted to massage my feet. Hmmmm. I passed on the offer. Most just want what we all want, money and for free.
The city is surrounded with natural beauty and we were fortunate to have no rain.
Fondest memory: Seeing a city that is full of people living life. Coming from the Midwest, I am so used to cities emptying out by 5:30pm with the minivans and SUVs heading to the suburbs. Fabulous restaraunts variety and quality.
Burrard Inlet is pretty impressive. The whole waterfront area in Vancouver is amazing - the cruise ships getting ready to go to Alaska, the mountains across the water, the downtown core - it's all very cool.
The nightlife in Vancouver is second to none in western Canada, as well.
Fondest memory: All of my memories of Vancouver were destroyed by Canadian beer. No, not really - the entire trip was enjoyable except for trying to get back into the United States - the guy in the booth at the border was a real dick - make sure that you have the correct paperwork to get back into the States. They're much more lax about it on the east coast versus the west coast.
Favorite thing: Here's a view of downtown Vancouver, looking West along Georgia Street. Along with Howe Street, it constitutes one major part of the business area of the city.
Favorite thing: A view of the city near the movie houses. They have above-ground cable lines for their bus system. It's a network of lines criss-crossing all over the city.