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Insiders Guide to Vancouver

Vancouver Seaplane
Whale Watching
Vancouver Aquarium
Granville Island
Rocky Mountaineer
Grouse Mountain
Victoria
Alaska Cruise

Insiders Guide to Vancouver

story by: Tom Ricketts

1. SOAR ABOVE THE CITY IN A SEAPLANE
Vancouver is home to a surprisingly huge fleet of seaplanes which service remote communities up the coast, most of which are only accessible from the sea. They have great sightseeing trips around the city, Vancouver Island and remote coastal communities up the coast.
HOT Tip: Have your House of Travel consultant book you on the Mail Run flight to get a small idea on what life is like in the remote coastal towns.


2. ​KAYAK WITH THE KILLERS
New Zealanders are no strangers to whales, however Orca’s certainly aren’t abundant here as they are in Canada. And just off the coast of Vancouver, you can go kayaking with these majestic beasts, a once in a lifetime experience.
HOT Tip: Orca’s visit from April to October, but July to September is the best time to see them.


3. ​CYCLE STANLEY PARK
Dominating the northern tip of downtown Vancouver is the city’s playground, Stanley Park. It’s the perfect place for your morning run, or grab a bike and spend a day exploring the parks many attractions such as the city aquarium which has beluga whales!
HOT Tip: This is the best place for views of the city skyline.


4. GET GRUNGY ON GRANVILLE ISLAND
Hidden away under the Granville Bridge is a spot called Granville Island. Once a seedy industrial area, Granville Island has been subject to an excellent urban renewal and is now one of the top entertainment, tourism and shopping precincts in the city. 
HOT Tip: The Granville Island Brewing Company has a great brewery tour and plenty of beer to sample.


5. TRAVERSE THE ROCKIES BY LUXURY TRAIN
The Rocky Mountaineer is known around the world for its luxurious service and jaw dropping scenery. The two day journey takes place between Vancouver and the Rocky Mountain resort towns of Banff or Jasper
HOT Tip: There’s three different routes, so talk to your House of Travel consultant to find which one suits you best.


6. ​GO SKIING IN WHISTLER
Whistler is a favourite skiing spot for Canadians, Kiwis and people from around the world, and it’s less than two hours up the road! Having hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler has a full range of world class facilities. 
HOT Tip: Don’t have wheels? No problem. Take the aptly named Sea to Sky Climb, an incredibly scenic journey by train.


7. ​CONQUER THE GROUSE GRIND
Nearby Grouse Mountain is a popular tourist attraction and thought to be the most hiked mountain in the world. The Grouse Grind is a series of stairs that take you 850 metres up the mountain. Or for a more leisurely option, take the gondola! 
HOT Tip: Atop the mountain is a wildlife sanctuary where you can have breakfast with Grinder and Coola, the resident grizzly bears!


8. ​VISIT VICTORIA AND THE BUTCHART GARDENS
Across the harbour on Vancouver Island lies Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Explore the cute town centre and visit Butchart Gardens, famed for being amongst the most beautiful flowering gardens in the world.
HOT Tip: Stop by the luxurious Fairmont Empress Hotel for its famous tea and scones.


9. ​DISCOVER ALASKA
Vancouver is a major departure point for cruises up the Pacific Coast to Alaska. Cruise through beautiful fiords, see pristine glaciers and icebergs, and stop in the charming seaside communities on the way. 
HOT Tip: See your House of Travel consultant for more information on the plethora of cruising options available.

 

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