Friday, December 13, 2013

Vancouver

8:02 AM

Nestled on British Columbia's coast, Canada's third largest city is known for its rich cultural offerings and easy access to the sea and mountains Just a 20 minute drive takes you to landscapes seemingly untouched by humankind says local award winning designer and archirect Omer Arbel. Here you can snowboard, kayak and play beach volleyball all within the same day than head to a chic restaurant to dine on sustainable seafood dishes paired with a top notch local bottle of wine. At once sharming and edy Vancouver is constantly reinventing itself. Granville island a one time industrial wasteland is a pedestrian friendly oasis of artisan shops and bars where there were once dilapidated storefronts. A few blocks away in one of North America's oldest Chinatowns old-world customs and flavors mingle with edgy all to 21 st century aestherics.

When to go: In summer there are outdoor concerts, markets and fesivals throught the city. From June to September, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is staged in waterfront Vanier Park Mid-June to early July, the Vancouver Internationa Jazz Festival features 300 concerts, including a free opening Downstown Jazz Weekend. Gastown celebrates the first day of summer with Make music Vancouver a free live music event and community dance party with 150 bands performing on sidewalk stages. In Chinatown the summer open-air night market Takes over the streets with classic film screenings, ping-pong tournaments, mahjong and stalls selling everything from sewn goods to handcrafted honey infused with herbs or flowers. The Granville Island Farmers Market runs every Thursday from early June into October. Shop the stalls on Triangle Square For local artichokes, sugar carrots, maple syruo, blueberries and baked treats like Sweet Thea's raspberry rhubarb pie.

 How to Get Around: Most everything is within walking distance and the neighborhoods of Gastown and Chinatown are just blocks from one another. To get to Granville island board the Aquabus at the Olumpic Village or take a taxi.

Where to Stay: A 15-minute walk away from Gastown is the Fairmount Pacific Rim, a waterfront hotel that affords panoramic views of Burrand lnlet and the snowcapped North Shore Mountains. From the Granville Island Hotel on False Creek you can ride a bike (season rentals available on site) along the seawall to the 2010 Olimpic Village, take an Aquabus downtown or eat in the Dockside Restaurant and watch the ferries and boats pass by. Some of the standard rooms have water views or private balconies, so ask what;s available when booking.




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