Vancouver is truly one of the world’s greatest cities with locals and visitors alike loving its combination of city life and outdoor life. A good place to start is with West Coast Sightseeing, which runs a popular hop-on/hop-off bus. You can get on and off as many times as you’d like, or just listen to the narrated tour, as it circles around the city to help you get your bearings. You’ll quickly realize why Vancouver deserves to be on every family’s vacation bucket list.
This Western Canadian gem of a city is highly urban, yet its citizens are passionate about the outdoors and having an active lifestyle.
Located just over a three-hour drive north from Seattle, it’s easier to get to than many families realize.
A nature-lovers haven, there’s a lot to do in and around the city for adventurous families from hiking to kayaking to walking through the treetops. It’s the perfect place for those who love the city and the outdoors. Anywhere you look from downtown, you can see the water and mountains.
You’ll find all kinds of shopping here, from high-end to local artisans. Vancouver is big on promoting home-grown talent. Grab a little ferry boat and head over to the Granville Public Market for treats for the entire family.
Vancouver’s downtown doesn’t have a highway leading into it, as the typical U.S. city does; the city doesn’t want to encourage sprawl. If you’re flying in, check prices into both Vancouver and Seattle, as sometimes the fare difference to Seattle can make it worth your time to rent a car and make the drive northward. The city’s Aquabus is a brilliant water taxi system that can get you to many locations in the central city, including Granville Island. Daily passes are also available.
Paul J. Heney is an award-winning writer and avid world traveler. He has written extensively about family travel, green issues, cruises, and LGBT travel issues. He lives in suburban Cleveland with his partner and two sons, Joshua, 16, and Mathew, 10. Follow him on Twitter at @paulheney or Instagram at @paulheney.