The seaport of Vancouver is among one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. It has a lot to offer apart from panoramic views, interesting art and cultural events, the friendly locals and a pleasant climate. Go through this list of 10 unusual things to do in Vancouver and make your trip a little out of the ordinary instead!
- Walking Tours
Take a walking tour and learn about the unusual history of Vancouver which is brimming with stories of corruption, anarchy and speakeasies from an era when hard liquor was banned. Undertake an excursion through scandalous Chinatown that was a haven for gangsters and flowing cocktails then walk through the notable buildings on the streets of Gastown which still reverberate with stories of unsolved murders.
- The Marine Building
Relive your favourite films and shows by visiting the building that was filmed as the Baxter Building in the Fantastic Four and The Daily Planet (Clark Kent’s office) in TV’s Smallville. This astonishing Art Deco monument was the tallest building in the British Empire when it was opened in 1930 but it has since been overshadowed by modern skyscrapers. With a marine theme in its architecture, inclusive of ships on waves carved into the walls, this architectural masterpiece must be seen to be believed!
- Hike to the Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain
Blend together adventure, physical exercise and spectacular views with a hike on the scenic Grouse Mountain along the 2.9 km long Grouse Grind trail. After all that effort you can look forward to a hearty breakfast with the bears in their own habitat at the end of the hiking trail. For those seeking that extra thrill, book yourself in for the Skyride Surf adventure and travel to the top of Grouse mountain for an exhilarating bird’s eye view of Vancouver.
- Sleep in an Artist’s Residence
Check in for the night at the Skwachay’s Lodge situated at the crossroads of Gastown and Chinatown. It is a boutique hotel which serves as a residence for native artists and it boasts of an art gallery too. The Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery exhibits Aboriginal artistic and cultural work. Spending time at this boutique hotel is a real feast for the eyes! BOOK IT or MORE INFO
- Classical Chinese Garden
Get a feel of China in the 15th century at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden which has maintained its authenticity over the ages. Designed on the lines of the garden homes of the scholars and other dignitaries of the Ming Dynasty, the garden is replete with winding paths, moongates, seasonal plants and flowers, fascinating pavilions and colourful fish in water reflecting the ideology of Feng Shui and Taoism. The beautiful garden offers a different view to its visitors when seen from different angles and one can attend concerts, yoga and tai chi classes too.
Another unusual thing to do would be to tickle your taste buds with the flavour of Asian fusion hot dogs in the heart of Vancouver. Japadog is a blend of the traditional American hot dog with Asian additions such as misomayo (a turkey dog topped with sauces and seasonings) and terimayo (a beef dog with grilled onions, teriyaki sauce, and wasabi mayo). Your trip to Vancouver is incomplete without a taste of this aspect the city’s legacy.
- Does Your Mother Know Store
Unusual as the name might be this store is the perfect place for rummaging through a huge selection of magazines and gifts. The friendly staff and an overwhelming repository of reading material will make you lose track of time as you sift through the glossies and publications (some very bizarre) that you never even knew existed!
- Windsurfing Lessons on Spanish Banks
If you have never tried windsurfing or kiteboarding, then Vancouver is the place to learn! The Spanish Banks are a popular destination for amateurs as well as professionals. If you are interested in trying out high wind sailing, then you can head to Squamish which is an hour’s drive from Vancouver.
- Bard on the Beach
If you are in Vancouver anytime between June to September, make an effort to attend the Bard on the Beach, a not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festival. You can enjoy the Shakespearean performances that take place within open tents set up on water in Varnier Park, against the mesmerizing backdrop of the scenic horizon with water, sky and mountains.
- Explore First Nations Culture
The last but not least unusual thing to do is to spend some time learning about the ‘First Nations’ which refers to the aboriginal population of Canada. Explore their history and culture which makes for an interesting study. Dating back thousands of years, their history has an influence on the Canadian culture as the world sees it. They have managed to preserve their identities over the ages and their traditions have stories related to actual historical events which have been handed down through generations through word of mouth!
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