Vancouver may not be the city where you want to live, but it surely is a city to add to your Canadian bucket list. Its high cost of living and astronomical housing prices may be a set back for its potential residents. However, Vancouver’s sensual allure and countless attractions inspires visitors like few other cities do.
There are not many places in the world where the bustling city life blends so perfectly with the natural scenery. Vancouver is a colorful and fun place to visit. From walking, cycling, boating, whale watching, fishing, eating, shopping, drinking, you can do almost anything here. Here are my recommendations for the top things to do in Vancouver:
Table of Contents
 Capilano State Park
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Vancouver is the Capilano State Park. Located just a little outside the city, the Park features three attractions: the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Cliffwalk and the Treetop Adventure.
There is plenty to see and do at the park, so allow yourself a couple of hours to wander through. Capilano State Park runs a free shuttle from downtown Vancouver hotels or from Canada Place. When you enter the Park, singers dressed in period costumes will transport you back to the days of the pioneers.
Capilano Suspension Bridge started as an access bridge built by civil engineer George Grant Mackay 1889. The bridge was meant to give him access the forest land that he purchased. However, soon the bridge turned into one of Vancouver’s most beloved attractions.
The original bridge was suspended on rope, but todays 450 feet bridge is suspended by 2″ thick steel cables. They say that the bridge can support the weight of two fully loaded 747 airplanes. Wow, that’s a lot of weight!
The Cliffwalk is a very narrow walk that takes you around the cliffs and high above the forest. The walk may be a little scary if you are afraid of heights. Nonetheless, is very thrilling to find yourself 300 feet above the river and the canyon below.
The Treetop Adventure is a series of walks, viewing platforms and suspension bridges that take you around the rainforest. This is a great adventure for younger kids, that find it very entertaining to run around the suspension bridges. From the platforms you get a bird-eye view of the forest around.
 Stanley Park
Vancouver has lots of green space areas, but Stanley Park is by far the most beloved one of them. Its 1000 acres of forest trails, children’s play areas, beaches and lakes create a magnificent green oasis in the midst of this heavily built city.
The park occupies the tip of the Downtown Vancouver and has amazing views of the water and the downtown area. Some of the most popular attractions in Stanley Park are the aquarium, the renowned totem pole display, the Brockton Point Lighthouse and the seawall, a 5-mile long walk that goes all around the park.
 Granville Island
Perhaps the best know of the tourist attractions in Vancouver is the Granville Island. Located just across from Downtown Vancouver, Granville Island is actually a peninsula. The place was was once an industrial manufacturing area, but today is the city’s shopping mecca, with nice trendy shops, restaurants and a huge farmers’ market.
I absolutely love farmers’ markets and Granville exceeds in size and quality any other market that I have ever visited. The area is bustling with lots of vendors, fresh produce, meats, fish, baked goods, cheeses, breads, flowers, antiques, clothing and everything else you can imagine.
You could easily spend half a day here wandering around and sampling the tempting foods that are on display, or just enjoying the gorgeous views of the Downtown from across the water.
 Vancouver Lookout
If you want to know which is where, or how to get from here to there in Vancouver, is best if you have a vantage point.
And what better place to find yourself high up and above the city than the Lookout Tower at the Harbor Center? The 360º view is absolutely spectacular and if it’s a clear day you can see for miles and miles away. What makes it even better than I expected is the amount of information posted everywhere about the history behind many of the buildings and neighborhoods of Vancouver.
This iconic landmark is not the highest building in the world, but it’s high enough to give you a great panoramic view of the entire city. Really worth a visit if you are in the city for the first time. This is a great place to take bird-eye photos of the area. Because of the way the observation deck windows are tilted you’ll get very little glare from the glass which is a big plus.
 Grouse Mountain
Just a short distance from Vancouver’s downtown is the Grouse Mountain, a place that must be a skiers’ paradise in winter, but seemed beautiful in summer too.
To reach it you have to take the Skyride Gondola for a 2 km ride rising 2700 feet up and gliding above the Douglas firs and the breathtaking views of the city. Up on the mountain there is a wildlife refuge for the endangered animals that is home to two orphaned Grizzly bears and a timber wolf.
Up on the top there is also a lodge and a nice restaurant with a beautiful terrace. The city views are breathtaking, especially at dusk. The ticket is a bit pricey, but there is a lot to do up on the mountain, so you can easily spend at least half a day there.
A Final Note
Our 3-day visit to Vancouver was too short. There is so much more to see and do in this great city than we had time for. The city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty makes it a very desirable vacation place.