A 25-year-old couple and 57-year-old solo traveller are planning visits to Vancouver, but can’t decide which time of year to choose. TTG hears their musings for each season
With delicate cherry blossoms in full bloom at this time of year, we imagine it’s a wonderful time to be enjoying the great outdoors in Vancouver. We’ve found two epicurean walking tours that would allow us to eat our way through the cosmopolitan city; one with Vancouver Foodie Tours, another with Off the Eaten Track. Of course we couldn’t help but spot the beer and wine itineraries with Canadian Craft Tours too. Plus, the Rugby Sevens tournament would be a must-catch.
If we wanted to get moving a little more, we could visit in June or September to go hiking in Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains. We’ve heard that the Skyline Trail follows the old chairlift route, passing several dilapidated cabins and the site of a 1954 US Air Force jet crash. Or, we could try something a little different, such as the Sky Helicopters sunset flight to the Coast Mountains, or getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari on a Scenic Rush driving experience.
Or “fall”, as the Canadians call it. With the city’s parks turning striking shades of rusty red and marmalade orange, autumn would be the perfect time to admire its artistic merits. We’d love to hop along to Granville Island – home to Vancouver’s contemporary creators – and spend hours browsing the jewellery, textiles and pottery. Not too far from the “island” is Mount Pleasant, so we could stroll Main Street to see the epic murals artists have painted on the streets too.
Wonders of winter
A winter cityscape makes a sublime setting to get into the sporting spirit at a Vancouver Canucks ice-hockey game. As well as spectating sports, we could get active ourselves at the Grouse Mountain ski slopes or go downtown for iceskating. We’re even considering spending Christmas abroad this year, and Vancouver has some enticing festive options: karaoke Christmas tours, simulated flights over Canada and the North Pole with FlyOver Canada, and a New Year’s Eve fireworks display!
Vancouver becomes a feast for the eyes outside the museums and galleries – as well as inside – this season, as springtime blooms abound in the city’s botanical gardens and parks. The Vancouver Art Gallery and Museum of Vancouver are on my bucket list, but if I have time I’ll also pop in to Bill Reid Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology. I’m also thinking of adding a short post-trip cruise to my itinerary and signing up for an outdoor yoga class – to experience the city’s laidback vibe.
If I choose a summer break, I’d be sure to make my stay coincide with Skookum Festival in September. As well as live art, sculpture, and multimedia installations, the wild weekend features culinary treats from Vancouver’s notable chefs and music performances from the likes of Florence and the Machine. I could also catch a Bard on the Beach performance. My only question would be: should I see “As You Like It” or “Macbeth?”
As I’m a foodie, an autumn break would have me wrapped up in woollies and perusing the farmers markets in no time at all – artisan breads and cheeses have always been my guilty pleasure. I also love to see things from a bird’s eye view, so I’d make a beeline for the Vancouver Lookout tower, which offers 360-degree views of the city. Maybe a trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and its surrounding rainforest would be in order too.
I’ve always wanted to try showshoeing, so a winter break in Vancouver would allow me to fulfil that fantasy. I’ve heard that the new Hollyburn Lodge on Cypress Mountain is a great place to cut your teeth. Then, when I’ve worked up an appetite, I could indulge in the Dine Out Vancouver Festival that runs for 17 days. It would certainly give me a chance to rub shoulders with the locals, as it spans more than 300 restaurants! If I was to spend Christmas in Canada, Vancouver would be the place to go – it’s got a fabulously festive Christmas market, and I just love the sound of its light festivals.