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The oldest bridge crossing False Creek, the Burrard Bridge was opened in 1932. This bridge has an unobstructed view of English Bay to the west. To the east you can see several marinas and the Granville Bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists share the raised pathways on the outer edges of the bridge. The pathways are quite narrow so foot and cycle traffic is requested to use the west side of the bridge when going south and the right side of the bridge when heading north. Always check for someone coming up behind you when you attempt to pass someone else on the pathway.
- Hiking and Walking
Davie Street's in the heart of downtown Vancouver within close walking proximity to a lot of the downtown attractions.
Davie Street itself isn't really a shopping "district" - it's more like a main road in the heart of the residential "West End" neighbourhood that just happens to be commercial. Davie Street itself has many casual restaurants, cafes, regular-every-day grocery/hardware/drug stores, a few pubs, and a few boutiques... but they tend to cater more to locals who frequent them day to day. It's unlike Robson Street a few blocks up, which is a major retail shopping area in which tourists and locals come to go shopping for shoes and new clothes.
However, Davie's cool in that way because it's not flashy or overly populated with crowds - it has a very local vibe going on. It's also the home of Vancouver's gay community, and that much will be evident if you stroll Davie between Burrard and Denman.
If you walk all the way to the western end of Davie, to where it intersects with Denman Street, you'll be at English Bay. Half of Vancouver's attraction is its scenery, and its close proximity to the beach/mountains. English Bay is a cool area to soak up that scenery... assuming it's not pouring rain (as the view of the mountains will be blocked). Even if it is pouring, take an umbrella, and go for a stroll. Stanley Park (the most famous Vancouver "attraction") is just a short stroll up the sea wall from English Bay - and I'd highly recommend a walk around the park if you can. It'll take a good hour to walk the entire perimiter of the park, but certainly worth it if you want to get a feel for the city.
There are a few hotels on Davie (the Sandman Suites, the Best Western Sands), and the Hostelling International Vancouver - Downtown hostel is one block south. All in all, Davie's an excellent area to get a local's perspective of Vancouver's West End living.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Food and Dining
Denman Street is essentially the main retail and restaurant corridor in downtown Vancouver's West End community. It's here where you can stroll on a warm summer evening and tempt yourself with the many ethnic restaurants. Of course, you can stroll down here at any time of year and find yourself with a large selection of eateries within a close walking proximity, but Denman on a warm sunny evening has a certain vibrant atmosphere that can't be found at other times.
Sushi? Falafels? Greek? Malaysian? Mexican? Thai? Ukrainian? Gelato? Espresso? Fish 'n Chips? Poutine? African? Korean? Martinis? Beer? Subway? Chinese? French? Pizza? Steak? Cupcakes?
(Yep, you heard me right. There's even a cupcake shop on Denman Street.)
Chances are you'll find something to feed your craving on Denman.
Denman Street is a great place to explore if you're looking for a non-touristy but busy pedestrian street in downtown Vancouver. Because the side streets off Denman Street are mostly older apartment complexes and home to Vancouver's densest residential population, you have a lot of locals hanging out here. It definitely has more of a local community feeling than say, Robson Street or Gastown.
In between the restaurants and cafes, you'll find your typical evidence that people live their everyday life here. Among the green grocers, barber shops, and video rentals places, there's even the West End Community Centre, home to a tiny ice arena and the public Joe Fortes Library.
The southern part of Denman Street is home to Vancouver's gay community, and most locals are quite open about it. However, the area is tolerant of all cultures here - everybody's welcome!
The greatest aspect of Denman Street and Coal Harbour is that Stanley Park is at its northern end, and that English Bay and the beach is at its southern end.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Food and Dining
The West End
The nicest residential part of downtown, with modern apartment buildings full of little parks and trees. Located between the downtown proper and Stanley Park.
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