Tourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific RimTourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific Rim

In what is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities, Vancouver lures in visitors with its cosmopolitan flair, multicultural vitality, and the incredible abundance of natural beauty that surrounds the city. Vancouver has so many things to do; with world class shopping opportunities, some of the freshest locally-sourced produce and seafood in North America and endless ways to enjoy your time in the city, Vancouver offers the perfect juxtaposition of urban sophistication and wilderness adventure...

 

Vancouver's Best Luxury Shopping

van 2creativecommons.org/ Maya-Anaïs Yataghène

If there was ever a right time to use the word 'eclectic', it would be to describe the shopping in Vancouver. From art galleries to ethnic markets, gourmet food shops to high fashion boutiques and arts and crafts with both Asian and First Nations influences, there is a lot of shopping to be done.

Pedestrian shoppers flock to Robson Street which hosts popular labels like Club Monaco, Artizia and J Crew. However, those looking for the high fashion houses should walk one block over to Alberni Street. Here you'll find Tiffany & Co., Hermès, Escada, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, De Beers, Brooks Brothers, Versace, Burberry and more. 

NordstromGoToVan via Flickr/gotovan

Department store shoppers will be pleased to learn Nordstrom opened its doors in Vancouver in late 2015. Alternatively, luxury retailer Holt Renfrew has been a staple for premium labels in the city. Lastly, housed in a handsome heritage building on West Georgia is Canadian retailer The Bay. Their second floor is home to The Room, a curated boutique for top fashion labels. 

Those looking for local designers and vintage finds should turn to hipper neighbourhoods  Gastown and the Main Street/Mount Pleasant area. And for those who want to wander outside of Vancouver, Richmond offers numerous retailers which cater to the upscale Asian community. It's the next best thing on the Pacific Coast beyond Beijing, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

For those interested in shopping Vancouver's First Nations artisan community there are a host of options. The best places to buy from are the galleries. They are a bit more expensive, but they are authentic. For First Nations artwork and trinkets, the galleries in Gastown are the place to go. Alternatively, local artists have also permeated the galleries in Granville Island.

One last little thing to shop for in Vancouver is food. While shipping some of the fresh produce or seafood back home may be a challenge, there is another way - a better way even. The local seafood, especially salmon, makes for a tasty treat back home when smoked, candied or packed for travel. There are also cheeses from all across Canada and locally made chocolates, jams and other little treats like ice wine cider.

 

Vancouver's Fine Wines & Craft Brews

local wine vancouverTourism Vancouver / vsaranphoto

Vancouver has a rapidly-maturing wine industry and a stable age-old beer brewing industry. This makes for some exciting tours around the city's wine bars and breweries.

Swallow Tail Tours offers numerous food and wine tours. Aside from their Edible Rainforest tours and the Crab Catch and Cook tours, their British Columbia Wine Tour is a big favourite. This tour meets in Vancouver then spends a lovely day out and about at the wineries and vineyards in the Fraser Valley.

Tourism Vancouver/Craft Beer Market RestaurantTourism Vancouver/Craft Beer Market Restaurant

Those who are more brewery-minded, they will find no shortage within Vancouver city limits. From touring young microbreweries like the Yaletown Brewing Company or Granville Island Brewing, to sampling them all at Craft Beer Market, Vancouver is a certainly a city of beer.

 

Get into Vancouver's Great Outdoors

grouse grindMichael Brown, Flickr/nworbleahcim

Vancouver is surrounded by wilderness. Grouse Mountain is the most popular hiking destination. Many choose to try to tackle the infamous Grouse Mountain Grind, otherwise known as 'Mother Nature's Stair Master'. This seemingly innocent trail is only 2.9 kilometers long, but hikers travel the entire way uphill climbing 2,830 steps along the way to the peak of the mountain. Those who choose to accept the challenge are sure to feel the burn in their legs.

Tourism Vancouver / Patrick Kuschfeld /Harbour Air SeaplanesTourism Vancouver / Patrick Kuschfeld /Harbour Air Seaplanes

Those who don't want to take to the mountains can take to the water. There are a number of charters, tours and rentals that can get visitors out and about onto the rivers, lakes and the straits outside of Vancouver. It is recommended to charter one of the many whale watching tours between March and October, when thousands of whales migrate through the waters. It is an even better idea to charter through one of the companies that allow for sea kayaks for an even bigger rush.

 

Get Lost in Vancouver's Diverse Gastronomy

van 6Creativecommons.org/ kslee

From inventive local bistros to glamorous Asian restaurants, there is no shortage of diverse eating options within Vancouver.

Hidekazu Tojo's sushi-making is a thing of legend at his namesake restaurant, Tojo's.  Visitors who want to truly experience this sushi restaurant at its best should try to get a ringside seat at the bar watching the chef create their meal. The adventurous sort should consider ordering the omakase, or the "Chef's Choice", which introduces diners to daring creations both raw and cooked. However, because this is such a staple within Vancouver, reservations are a must.

sushi raw barTourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific Rim

For more contemporary regional cuisine, visitors should try and get a table at the simply named West restaurant. This chic, modern dining room is among one of the most innovative within the city. Diners can sample some of executive chef Quang Dang's creations, like grilled quail with chanterelle tortellini, milk-poached sablefish and herb-crusted lamb with sweetbreads - and those that just cannot decide can opt for one of the multi-course tasting menus or the chef's daring tapas-style "Elements" menu.

 

Vancouver's Most Luxurious Accommodation

Tourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific RimTourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific Rim

There are a few Fairmont hotels within the city, but nothing beats the location of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. This 47-story tower hotel overlooks the waterfront in downtown Vancouver. With exciting views through tall windows, elegant design and luxurious amenities including the signature Willow Stream Spa, use of a private yacht and a chauffeur service, this hotel is a favourite not just discerning visitors to the city, but for celebrities as well.

Tourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific RimTourism Vancouver / Fairmont Pacific Rim

 

The Wedgewood Hotel and Spa is a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux Group. This hotel is elegant in design with a lobby that showcases old-world Italian style through the use of antiques and original artwork from the owner's European travels. The guest rooms each come with their own private balcony that looks over the downtown area and the penthouse suites come equipped with fireplaces, luxury spa bathrooms and private garden terraces. For those who desire pampering, there is a luxurious spa on-site.

 

 

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