Top Attractions: The It List

May 1, 2008

 

ENGLISH BAY
Denman St. at Davie St., Vancouver
Bring a blanket and lounge on the grass, or walk the seawall path and see how many dog breeds you can name. Fire dancers, jugglers, and comedians draw crowds on dusky summer evenings. Stop in at the Sylvia Hotel (1154 Gilford St., 604-681-9321); the original heritage hotel in the West End provides the perfect (licensed) water view.

DR. SUN YAT-SEN CLASSICAL CHINESE GARDEN
578 Carrall St., Vancouver
604-662-3207.
This authentic re-creation of a Ming-dynasty-era (1368–1644) scholar’s garden was the first to be constructed outside China. It was built in the mid ’80s by 52 master artisans from Suzhou; the result is a sanctuary laden with Taoist symbolism and intricate landscaping.

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY
6393 N.W. Marine Dr., UBC, Vancouver
604-822-5087.
The Great Hall’s post-and-beam architecture opens up to 15-metre glass walls accommodating totem poles from Nisga’a, Haida, and other First Nations.

STANLEY PARK
Downtown Vancouver
604-257-8400.
Over 400 hectares of mixed evergreen forest and open green spaces are bounded by the 8.8-kilometre seawall, an essential experience beloved by local runners, in-line skaters, and firstdate couples.

GRANVILLE ISLAND
Under the Granville Bridge
604-666-5784.
The public market is an excellent place to seek out local gourmet items before treating yourself to the best food-court meal around. The Net Loft is host to artist studios on its street side and boutiques and galleries inside its doors. The Wood Co-op displays work by some of the top woodworkers in the province.

GROUSE GRIND & SKYRIDE
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
604-984-0661.
The Grouse Grind is the summer hike of choice for resident masochists, but the view-heavy Skyride is your yearround bet. While you’re up top, be sure to check out the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, home to two orphaned bears and a pack of grey wolves.

KITSILANO BEACH AND POOL
2305 Cornwall Ave., Vancouver
604-731-0011.
Kits Beach, as it’s known to locals, is densely populated every summer by distractingly attractive volleyball players, Frisbee flingers, and sunbathers. There’s also a giant heated saltwater pool (137 metres) where you can swim a mile in only 12 laps.

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
750 Hornby St., Vancouver
604-662-4719.
Under the leadership of director Kathleen Bartels, the Vancouver Art Gallery has attracted global attention for its original and innovative programming, which has featured work from hometown hero Brian Jungen — most famous for his aboriginal masks crafted from Nike Air Jordans — and comprehensive surveys of European painting.

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
Stanley Park, Vancouver
604-659-3474.
The aquarium features 166 displays with over 70,000 animals, from West Coast mammals (sea lions and harbour seals) to exotic species like Amazonian caimans. Go behind the scenes on a Trainer Tour ($25 to $40 for one adult-child pair) to interact with sea otters, or help train a whale on a Beluga Encounter ($150 per person, $210 per adult and child).

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