Vancouver is one of the world’s most exciting cities to explore, with glittering skyscrapers, renowned restaurants and innovative art on a backdrop of lush mountains. It’s also the port of call for popular cruises to Alaska and Hawaii. Before or after your cruise, make the most of this dazzling city by shopping, sightseeing and dining in Canada’s cultural and culinary hub.
Here’s just a taste of things to do when you cruise from Vancouver.
Shopping in Vancouver
As a thriving metropolis, you can shop till you drop in Vancouver, and then some! From international designers to big brands and local boutiques, this is a city where you’ll find everything you need, along with treasures you didn’t even know you wanted.
Granville Island is a vibrant neighborhood that sits beneath the Granville Bridge. The area is a cultural center, with restaurants, theatres and fantastic shopping opportunities. Here you’ll find Canadian treats such as smoked salmon and local wines from the public market. In terms of souvenirs, artisan studios house glass blowers, jewelers, potters and painters, while gift stores burst with unique items to take home with you.
Lonsdale Quay Market
For shopping with sparkling views of the skyline and harbour, head to Lonsdale Quay Market. The indoor complex boasts over 80 specialty shops, including a souvenir center, children’s goods, leather accessories, beauty products and clothing boutiques. When hunger strikes, there’s an international food court with something to tempt everyone.
Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood is a charming blend of Victorian architecture and one-of-a-kind stores. Go shopping in Gastown for First Nations art galleries, independent fashion boutiques, quirky decor and traditional souvenirs. Along the way, you’ll discover wine bars for cheese and delectable meats on charcuterie platters, as well as some of the city’s top restaurants.
Sightseeing in Vancouver
Travel to Vancouver and you’ll discover a city where man-made wonders sit alongside incredible natural landscapes. In fact, there’s so much to see and do you might want to consider adding a few more days to your travel itinerary, before or after your cruise vacation!
There’s no better way to truly grasp Vancouver’s beauty, than with a bird’s eye view. The lookout at Harbour Centre offers a 360-degree panorama over the North Shore Mountains and the city skyline. To add to the excitement, you’ll travel to the observation deck in an exterior glass elevator.
When you’re looking for adventure, Grouse Mountain delivers. Rising 4,100 feet above the city, this alpine playground is just 15 minutes from Downtown. Hop on the Skyride to soar to the top, with stunning outlooks across the 8-minute journey. Then, check out the Eye of the Wind observation area, see endangered animals at the Wildlife Refuge, zip line across mountain peaks and take a scenic chairlift ride for Pacific Ocean views.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers history, culture, nature and adventure. The Suspension Bridge is an iconic landmark, crossing soaring trees through the lush rainforest. Embark on the CliffWalk over narrow bridges to glass platforms with heart-pumping views from the granite edges of the cliff. To learn about the local history and environment, take a guided tour with costumed staff in the Story Centre.
Stanley Park was Vancouver’s first urban park and it’s the perfect spot for family-friendly activities. Kids will love the aquarium, water park and miniature railway. Visit lovely beaches, stroll through blooming gardens and gaze at towering trees and waterfront views along the famous Seawall.
Dining in Vancouver
Vancouver is a gastronomic adventure for foodies around the world. From food trucks to cafes and international cuisine, you’ll delight your taste buds with every meal. Don’t leave without sampling fresh local seafood, including the maple syrup-coated salmon candy and West Coast oysters.
Yaletown’s former warehouse district is one of the city’s trendiest spots for wining and dining. Old loading platforms have been repurposed to house sunny restaurant terraces, neighborhood pubs attract locals and tourists alike, and glamorous lounges await for late night cocktails.
Stretching from the east side of Downtown Vancouver, through Chinatown to Mount Pleasant and Little India, Main Street offers diverse dining at its best. Enjoy local craft breweries, fine-dining Italian restaurants, innovative Asian cuisine and live music at bars and lounges.
Located near the heart of Downtown, the West End is home to eclectic Denman Street. Among a huge number of eateries, you can tempt your palate with organic local produce, mouth-watering burgers, tapas, spicy Korean, East African cuisine and succulent seafood. Afterwards, wash it all down with a beer or a wine at an array of pubs, brewhouses and clubs.
If you’re looking for vegetarian restaurants, organic farm-to-table produce and waterfront dining, eat by the sea in Kitsilano. You’ll also find Mediterranean-inspired dishes, candle-lit upscale restaurants, oyster bars and colorful ice cream shops for dessert.
From the thrilling heights of Vancouver Lookout to adrenaline-boosting activities and global dining, exploring Vancouver before or after your cruise vacation is a treat you simply don’t want to miss!