Built in 1959 by the City of Vancouver, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is a 2,929-seat performing arts venue that is the home of the Vancouver Opera and Ballet British Columbia. The 70 foot wide proscenium arch stage also hosts Broadway shows and rock concerts and the adjoining 669-seat Vancouver Playhouse offers a series of smaller productions throughout the year.
While in Vancouver, don't miss the chance to take a whale-watching tour and spot killer whales, porpoises, seals, eagles and other wildlife amid the stunning scenery of Canada's southwest coast. Join your professional naturalist and board a first class, modern vessel for a 3- to 5-hour expedition, starting in the picturesque, historic fishing village of Steveston and traveling through the spectacular Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands. The area is renowned for attracting whales, and this tour enjoys a 90% sighting success rate. On your quest to find orcas (killer whales), you'll have the opportunity to see the inhabitants of this diverse marine ecosystem, including bow riding Dall's porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Select the shuttle option to include round-trip transportation from downtown Vancouver, and spend a morning or afternoon in touch with nature on this memorable whale-watching tour!
Up, up and away! See the city of Vancouver and the beautiful surrounding mountains from the air on a scenic seaplane tour. Escape the crowds on an ideal introductory tour of Vancouver from above. This is a small group tour with a maximum of 14 passengers.
Experience a unique ocean eco-system with spectacular British Columbia on a short, guided kayak adventure from Vancouver. Spot local wildlife and enjoy a salmon barbecue lunch served on the beach. With a maximum of 6 participants, you are assured of a personalized small group adventure.
Spend a half-day in Vancouver's wonderful gardens on this private and personalized tour. Beauty, drama and history! This afternoon tour is ideal for the horticultural enthusiast or any admirer of natural beauty.
Originally, this suspension bridge (which spans 450 feet across and sits 230 feet above the Capilano River) was constructed of hemp rope and cedar planks. Today, reinforced steel anchored to concrete slabs holds the walkway steady as crowds take in amazing views of the surrounding forest. Near the bridge is Treetops Adventure, a series of footbridges suspended along the canyon that form a walkway to an 80-foot vantage point.
Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley showcases the finest meats, cheese, and condiments in Vancouver. The chalk-board menu changes daily - create a tasting plate and pair it with a flight of rare wines, beers or sherries. Dine at an 18 foot communal table (or one of Brent Comber's smaller tables) deep in the heart of Historic Gastown.
Applauded for serving some of the city's freshest and best seafood, Blue Water Cafe is housed in a stunning brick and beam heritage warehouse conversion in the heart of Yaletown. Esteemed executive chef Frank Pabst sources only from sustainable harvest, his Michelin starred experience in the Cote d'Azur translates beautifully to an abundance of West Coast seafood dishes. Cut-master Yoshi Tabo mans the Raw Bar, turning out expertly executed top quality sushi, sashimi and nigiri.
The fare at Bishop's is regional and seasonal. In restaurateur John Bishop's view, it makes sense to showcase British Columbia's lush bounty of seafood, organic produce and meats. His exquisite West Side restaurant blends classic and modern flavours with a casual elegance that keeps clients coming back for a truly exceptional dining experience.
Federico's Supper Club prides itself in being unique to the city of Vancouver, not only in its dine and dance philosophy, but also in the celebration of food, music and special moments. Awarded Reader's Choice "Best Haute Cuisine East Side" and CMUS Talk of the Town - "Excellence in Customer Satisfaction" (2010), guests are invited to spend the evening enjoying all it has to offer.
Proprietors Chef Ernst Dorfler and Gerry Sayers invite you to experience this unforgettable combination of breathtaking views of Vancouver, fresh and fabulous four diamond award-winning Continental cuisine and gracious hospitality in their beautifully renovated Five Sails Restaurant located at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.
Zest is located in Vancouver's upscale West Side neighborhood. The atmosphere is elegant and serene, with a Japanese simplicity combined with sensuality and elements drawn straight from West Coast landscape. The menu items are a mix of traditional Japanese, sushi, and adventurous cuisine with a European flare.
La Quercia offers a casual setting, with professional service and exceptional Italian dishes. Focusing primarily on Italian wines, La Quercia also provides a unique list to complement an always evolving menu. Ingredients are sourced locally and organic where possible, and a mix of traditional and contemporary plates prepared with precise technique, presented simply, are the basis of the kitchen.
Standing out like a fresh tattoo on a burly forearm, The Vault Restaurant serves mouth-watering martinis, delicious wines and fabulous food. Once inside, you will be greeted by an eclectic, lively room, a diverse menu and tantalizing cocktails, including "the best Caesar in town." First built in 1948, The Vault retains many of its original features, including the concrete bank vault, which can now be booked for private dinners of up to eight people.
Fraiche and executive chef Wayne Martin are creating a niche for fine dining among discriminating Vancouver gourmands. Subdued, relaxed dulcet tones of casual urbanity prevail. The panoramic views of the Lower Mainland from Mount Baker to Point Atkinson dominate this sleek and airy room, but it is the kitchen and its unique take on contemporary American cuisine that is definitely the center of energy.
Created for Expo '86, this huge venue contains a cruise ship terminal, convention center, and the Pan Pacific Hotel - all of which sit underneath five giant Teflon sails that stand out along the skyline. A promenade offers great waterfront walks with views across the Burrard Inlet. Along the way, there are several informative displays that provide interesting details about the sights along Vancouver's cityscape.
During the warmer summer months, this beach attracts crowds with its volleyball courts, kids' play area, the award-winning restaurant Watermark on Kits Beach, and amazing views across the Burrard Inlet. Next to the beach is Kitsilano Pool, a huge aquatic playground filled with heated salt water that holds the record as the longest swimming pool in Canada.
Playland is the oldest amusement park in Canada and offers 15 acres of attractions, midway games, and a new mini-golf course. The 1958 Wooden Roller Coaster remains the most popular ride (and one of the most famous wooden coasters in the world). Each year, the park adds new attractions such as the House Of The Dead ride or Kids Playce, a special area for children ages 2-8.
The Vancouver Aquarium was one of the first facilities to have naturalists on-site to interpret animal behaviors for visitors. Today it remains a top family attraction with highlights that include The Wild Coast, an outdoor habitat with dolphins, harbor seals and sea lions, an Amazon rain forest with snakes, caimans and a sloth and a program that allows people to work alongside Beluga-whale trainers.
Science World is a hands-on center with five different galleries that explore a variety of worlds from the inner human body to optical illusions. Other activities for kids include a giant maze and beaver lodge they can crawl through. Upcoming exhibits will feature a profile on Australia's wildlife and a behind-the-scenes look at Disney music.
For more than 75 years, this art deco ballroom has served as an entertainment complex for several generations. After an extensive $3.5 million renovation, the building reopened in 1999 and now hosts concerts featuring emerging talent and top-name acts that have included Erykah Badu, KT Tunstall, and the John Butler Trio.
This slowly revolving lounge sits on the 42nd floor of the Empire Landmark Hotel. Twenty-foot windows allow guests to enjoy unobstructed, 360-degree views of the area's mountains, harbor, and cityscape. Live entertainers also perform every Friday and Saturday night.
One of the staple nightspots in Vancouver for years, this club continues to attract a hip, stylish crowd. Two main bars surround the large central dance floor, and the upstairs area has a huge balcony. When DJs aren't spinning music, the club also hosts rock, hip-hop and punk bands.
If you're looking for a high-energy dance club that offers a sophisticated style and decor, AuBAR is the place. Located downtown, it contains a stylish layout with intimate seating areas, 22-foot-high ceilings, and top DJs who set the tone for one of Vancouver's hottest places to dance until dawn.
A traditional pub located in the Gastown district, the Irish Heather has drawn a local following for its authentic Irish vibe. A simple menu of Irish fare is complemented by a great selection of beers on tap. And, the cast of characters here ranges from weathered barflies to college students.
With more than 160 stores, this three block shopping center is a collection of familiar names such as MaxMara, Apple, and H&M alongside Canadian names such as Holt Renfrew, a high-end department store similar to Saks Fifth Avenue. It also offers convenient currency exchange, entertainment ticket sales, and gourmet food-to-go.
Local vendors selling fresh foods such as Japanese eggplant, Coho salmon, pine mushrooms, and stinging nettles have made this market a top draw. There is also a calendar of events filled with things like spring flower shows and international cheese festivals. The surrounding shopping area is home to unique buys from handcrafted shoes to custom-built kayaks.
This Canadian apparel company is often compared to The Gap, with its trendy selection of casual styles, and footwear along with baby outfits, leather bags, and yoga attire. The company is also the official outfitter of the USA Olympic Team for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
This open-air nighttime market is a popular destination on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from May to September. Booths and stalls overflow with traditional Asian handicrafts, ethnic snacks, and CD and DVD selections. There are also multicultural performances such as folk dancing and martial arts to keep the crowds entertained.
The place to see and be seen in Vancouver, energetic Robson Street boasts more than 200 shops, cafes and services. Spend a day on the strip to try on trend-setting, brand-name fashions or sip a latte, relax and people-watch from a sidewalk cafe. With a weekend average of some 80,000 streetgoers, there are plenty of people to watch! Finish the day with dinner at one of Robson Street's many fine restaurants. Robson Street runs east-west through downtown, from Yaletown to the West End. Parking on Robson Street can be a challenge - there are several parkades located within easy walking distance of downtown.