48 Hours: Vancouver – Have a Gas in the City of Glass.

The enchanting city of Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada and takes her rightful place as the largest city in British Columbia. She sits nestled amongst beautiful, snow-peaked mountains, brims with numerous luscious parks, and is touched by the deepest of oceans. For at least 14,000 years, the indigenous people of Canada have made this beautiful place their home. Today, they are still very much part of Vancouver and are part of what makes the city magical, along with the multiple ethnicities that have come and learned to thrive here. Vancouver is an enchantress.

It is doesn’t take long to fall in love with this unique place, so be careful or you’ll be like many others who came to explore and never left. The city has a flamboyant and vibrant nightlife and boasts of sometimes wet but beautifully lush weather. Vancouver is an amazing place to shop and eat; to experience a rich, multicultural mosaic; and be surrounded by the very best that nature has to offer.

For Foodies

Because Canada is such a thriving multicultural community, you will be hard-pressed not to find everything that could tingle your exquisite taste buds. You’ll find restaurants to satisfy your every desire and you’ll discover a little bit of foodie fusion as well. With that in mind, you should make your way down to Gastown. Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood is a beautiful area paved with cobblestones, a perfect place to experience traditional dishes with a modern take. While there, be sure to check out the Jam Cafe (serving all-day breakfast) or Meet in Gastown (exclusively vegan fare). They both have amazing food and provide a variety of delicious options that accommodate all kinds of diets, as do most restaurants in Vancouver.

Sushi lovers should make their way to Momo Sushi, while Italian aficionados should try the savory offerings from Nicli Antica Pizzeria, but no visitor should ever leave Vancouver without experiencing the Korean and Asian delicacies served up at Sai Woo in Chinatown.

Lastly, but most importantly, kindly take note of the wonderful markets located in Granville Island. There you will find everything you’ll need to make a delicious picnic basket on your way to explore Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

For View Seekers

Photography lovers and view seekers should make every effort to visit Grouse Mountain. It is an unforgettable experience. The peak stands at over 4,000 feet tall and has become a place of refuge for many species of wildlife in Canada. Grouse Mountain is also a hotspot for two-legged creatures such as yourself, and offers a flurry of activity all year round. So get whisked away by the red Skyride tram, climb to the very top of the majestic mountain, and feast your eyes on the captivating skyline, the dazzling harbor, and Vancouver Island. If you are a bit more adventurous, try some zip lining, paragliding, or climb aboard and enjoy a very scenic helicopter ride.

Along with Grouse Mountain, Vancouver is very famous for its whale watching. From March to October thousands of whales migrate along the coast of North America, making Vancouver one of the world’s best spots for whale watching. You should definitely see them for yourself in their natural habitat. It’s very rare not to feast your eyes on a beautiful humpback whale, a minka, or the locally cherished orcas. See them in all their grandeur aboard a speed Zodiac, a cruiser, a kayak, or sit back and look down on them from a seaplane.

For Culture Vultures

Vancouver offers many riches for those thirsting for a cultural experience. It is a city brimming with rich aboriginal heritage and that’s one of the reasons why Vancouver is such a truly unique city to explore. The First Nations people provide a variety of authentic, outdoor excursions and cultural adventures throughout the year.

You’ll also want to visit the UBC Museum of Anthropology which houses over 535,000 archaeological objects from around the world and over 7,000 artifacts from British Columbia’s First Nations people. Get close to the many ancient hunting tools, masks, and hand-carved figurines, as well as contemporary artwork and….

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By Greg Kieszkowski

Photo: Vancouver Tourism

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!