Thanks to the Olympics, it seems only appropriate that Vancouver be the next topic of choice.  To be honest this is one of those places that has always been in the back of my mind as a place I’d like to visit, but I don’t know much more about it other than it seems like a beautifully enchanting place.  Nor is it one of those places that immediately jumps to mind when someone asks for places I’d like to go for vacation.  Probably because I’m thinking of destinations farther south after dealing with long, cold winters.  However, as a coastal region the climate is fairly temperate so it seems I need to adjust some of my thinking.  Here is what my searching and researching has netted me about the home of the 2010 Winter Games….

Vancouver’s namesake, British Captain George Vancouver, was among the first to explore the region in the late 1700s.  It took nearly a century after this exploration for it to become incorporated.  Logging and the gold rush helped the area grow rapidly into one of the largest cities in Canada.  Having one of the largest seaports on the continent also plays a large role in the success of the city.  Here too is where the Canadian Pacific Railway ends it’s journey that begins on Canada’s Atlantic coast, bringing goods and people from across the country.  Hudson’s Bay Company was the first to put down roots around 1827 and it is still in operation today.

If you like the outdoors this is the city for you.  October-December are probably the only months where you may want to stay indoors to enjoy the museums, theater, and shopping.  Just about year round you can ski or golf.  There are trails for hiking and biking.  Board a boat and go for a sail in the harbor to do some whale watching.  If you want to be on the water but whale watching is too tame for you, you can try kayaking or white water rafting.  Parks litter the city and most are dog friendly, in fact there are many hotels that offer accommodations for your four legged family members.  Litter, by the way, is something you will be hard pressed to find in Vancouver, the citizens take great pride in the natural beauty of their home.

As with any coastal city, you can find fresh seafood here, both local and imported into the harbor from around the globe.  Wineries and breweries are a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.  If you’re looking for a new twist on an old favorite, I hear the Japa dogs are quite popular.  Asian cuisine seems to dominate the restaurant scene however there are a multitude of other options from around the globe.  I’ve come across more than one site to describe Vancouver as a coffee mecca, it’s recommended you try some place local over and above Seattle’s Best or Starbucks.

Being such a breath taking location, it seems fitting that camping and RV-ing are popular places to rest your sleepy head after a long day on the trails.  If that isn’t your thing, there are hotels that run the gamut from one to five stars.  Consider relaxing your weary muscles at one of the top notch spas in Vancouver.  Or cozy up to your special someone in front of the fireplace at a bed and breakfast.

To help plan your trip to Vancouver, BC Canada, check out some of these tourism links: