Article continues here....There's loads to see and do in Vancouver, both in and out of doors. Alexandra Ferguson gives the lowdown on this stunning Pacific port.
Vancouver rises from Canada's Pacific seaboard against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. But although the mountains frame the city, it is the water that shapes the land, creeks and inlets that define the boundaries of the downtown peninsula.
The ocean is ever present here: reflected in the shimmering skyscrapers of the financial district, or glinting between the clapboard houses of the West End. The Seawall Promenade uncoils past beaches and marinas to the wild expanses of Stanley Park, while seaplanes crisscross the straits to Vancouver Island.
The city has a mild, temperate climate: basking in temperatures in the high 70s Fahrenheit in summer, and rarely freezing in winter. When snow falls on the mountain slopes – 30 minutes north – Vancouverites reach for their umbrellas. The high winter rainfall sustains a dense canopy of native forest, and the university's botanical gardens are crowded with lush, tropical blooms.