In a recent article in the New York Times entitled 36 Hours in Vancouver, the writer waxes poetic about how easy it is to be smitten by this city, and we couldn’t agree more! By day, Vancouver offers a dizzying array of activities aptly suited for a West Coast city surrounded by nature: on the water there’s kayaking or canoeing; on the seawall along the water’s edge there’s strolling, cycling or in-line skating; in the nearby local mountains there’s hiking up the Grouse Grind, and of course in various neighborhoods including the downtown core you could spend countless hours exploring and meandering about, but at dusk, this jewel in the Pacific Northwest truly comes alive.
It’s time to shed those down parkas and woolly toques; after what has been an unbearably long, cold winter, a profusion of pink cherry blossoms punctuate the city landscape and herald the return of spring to the West Coast.
Although Vancouver’s world-renowned Stanley Park receives the most annual visits by tourists and locals alike, here are a couple of under the radar outdoor spots just a little further away from the downtown core but definitely worth exploring: VanDusen Botannical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory, both accessible by crossing either the Oak or Granville St Bridges and minutes from the city center. Both properties are open seven days a week: VanDusen is the larger open air property whereas the smaller Bloedel Conservatory situated at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park is a beautiful oasis filled with plants, trees and birds under a geodesic dome.