Canada’s west coast may be mostly trees and mountains, but snuggled into the base of British Columbia is one of the nation’s most alluring cities. Vancouver is cutting-edge and conservation in one clean package: from the immense swath of old growth forest literally growing through its heart to the trend-setting art and culinary scene, you certainly won’t get bored with what the city has to offer. In fact, the indigenous roots and centuries of immigration make Vancouver a delightfully diverse community offering a new perspective into urban living; the fact that nature is constantly creeping up to the windows is a pleasant reminder that city life doesn’t have to shut out nature.
1. Stanley Park
Over 1000 acres of towering trees and beautiful winding paths make up this vast public park that overlooks Vancouver Harbour. Stanley Park is a completely natural forest that has evolved over hundreds of years (unlike other urban forests, no city planning was involved at all), and few cities have places with such a peaceful, airy quality within walking distance of the bustling downtown. From forest trails to misty beaches and the incredible Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park is an excellent idea whether it’s warm and sunny, or more likely, a grey and peaceful day.