A shimmering Canadian metropolis, only minutes away from ski slopes, woos visitors with stunning scenery, creative cuisine, and art from Northwest Coast First Nations.
Area code is 604.
To Do and See Granville Island Shops and galleries carry everything from handmade brooms to ceramic animal-head sculptures. A vibrant public market showcases the best of British Columbia. 666-5784, granvilleisland.com . Grouse Mountain This resort close to town offers skiing, hiking, zip lines, a lumberjack show, and breathtaking aerial tram rides. 980-9311, grousemountain.com . Museum of Anthropology View spectacular totem poles and other art from Northwest Coast nations. University of British Columbia, 822-5087, moa.ubc.ca . Stanley Park Take in some 1,000 acres of trees, beaches, and spring blooms, a top-notch aquarium, and a 5.5-mile walk-or-bike seawall path with mountain, water, and city vistas. 873-7000, vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley . Vancouver Art Gallery Works range from historical Canadian paintings to contemporary art. Join the late-night art parties on select Fridays. 750 Hornby St., 662-4719, vanartgallery.bc.ca .
Shopping Arc’teryx Get deals at the factory outlet for Vancouver’s popular homegrown brand of outdoor gear. 2155 Dollarton Hwy., North Vancouver, 960-3001, arcteryx.com . Dream Flowery camisoles, a medieval biker necklace, and other fashions demonstrate the creativity of B.C. designers. 311 W. Cordova St., 683-7326, dreamvancouver.com . Salmagundi West Antiques and curios like Shriner fezzes, vintage postcards, and silver napkin rings. 321 W. Cordova St., 681-4648. Zulu Records An indie music store with a selection of CDs from such local bands as Five Alarm Funk, Sun Wizard, and Destroyer. 1972 W. Fourth Ave., 738-3232, zulurecords.com .
Sips Alibi Room Quench your thirst with some 45 craft beers on tap and try creative pub grub such as the bison cheesesteak sandwich. 157 Alexander St., 623-3383, alibi.ca . Artisan Sake Maker at Granville Island Warm up on a cold day with at-the-source sake tastings. 1339 Railspur Alley, 685-7253, artisansakemaker.com . Salt Tasting Room Indulge in 35 wines by the glass, including outstanding B.C. vintages, paired with cheeses, cured meats, and condiments. 45 Blood Alley, 633-1912, salttastingroom.com .
Eats Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Inventive dishes such as mushroom and duck wontons in duck consommé, and crisp sesame seed flatbread with Asian pear and braised pork. 163 Keefer St., 688-0876, bao-bei.ca . Café Medina Dig into spicy Moroccan meatballs, Belgian waffles with fig-orange marmalade, and other eclectic breakfast, lunch, and brunch fare. 556 Beatty St., 879-3114, medinacafe.com . Edible Canada at the Market A bistro with a changing menu, driven by the adjacent Granville Island Public Market, that might include birch syrup–glazed roasted sablefish and a chocolate tartlet with seasonal berries. Shop for Canadian culinary treasures or take a guided market tour. 1596 Johnston St., 682-6675, ediblecanada.com . Go Fish Wild Ocean Emporium A waterside joint serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, and fish-and-chips made with sustainably harvested seafood. 1505 W. First Ave., 730-5040. Maenam Enjoy refined Thai cooking in an elegant, modern space. 1938 W. Fourth Ave., 730-5579, maenam.ca .
Photography by Leoboudv/Wikipedia (native Arctic American shirt); Rr parker/Wikipedia (UBC Museum of Anthropology); (2) courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain
Photography (bicyclists, totem); courtesy Edible Canada (fish)
This article was first published in March 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.