The unspoiled natural beauty of Vancouver frequently ends up permanently seducing unsuspecting visitors to this coastal city in British Columbia. Home to the busiest and largest port in Canada, the city is just behind Toronto in diversity. And, at 1,100 square miles with a population of over 600,000, it is the most densely populated Canadian municipality.
While contemporary architecture calls the shots on this city's skyline, the former downtown retains historical charm with Edwardian buildings erected in the early 20th century as some of the tallest buildings of their time. Ethnic diversity combined with proximity to the Pacific makes for a food lover's paradise, and more than 5,000 restaurants dish up an eclectic mix of international cuisine. This spring, the city gave nearly 600 restaurants permission to keep outside patios open until midnight-allowing an extra hour to enjoy warm-weather nights. Besides striking natural beauty, world-class cuisine, and rich cultural offerings, here are a few more reasons to love the city:
This boutique hotel profits from both the ocean promenade and mountain views in the trendy Coal Harbour neighborhood. Complementary bikes make exploring the Vancouver Seawall-the 14-mile path on the city's water- front-a breeze.
Foodies book months in advance at star chef David Hawksworth's downtown restaurant.
Some 17 miles of trails wind through North America's third-largest park, founded in 1888.
Canada's only custom handmade frame maker creates spectacles from materials such as gold, silver, antique tortoiseshell, water buffalo horn, and wood.
A curated selection of home goods and fashion fi reflect the taste of owner Jonathon Litchfield, who is heavily influenced by a childhood spent in Japan.
Legend has it Marlene Dietrich once arrived with 40 suitcases at this downtown hotel, which opened in 1927. A 2011 restoration integrated the latest technology with the elegance of the Roaring Twenties.
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