Vancouver, Canada

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Vancouver Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Vancouver harbourThe seaport of Vancouver is known for the thousand acre Stanley Park and the stone Seawall, the city's sky scraping harbour centre lookout, aquarium and Chinese Gardens. All are worthy destinations, but if you have a little more time on your hands, there is so much more to do in Canada's largest port.

You won't even need to convert currency to enjoy these!

Vancouver is also known for its beaches, some of the more idyllic of which are Kitsilano ("Kits") and Spanish Bank Beach, and for the more risqué, Wreck beach where clothing is optional! Perhaps check the websites for dress requirements before you go to avoid an unwelcome affront!

If beaches aren't your thing, Granville Island offers much for land lovers to see and do. A tour of the island exploring its music, art and culture is free, but you may well be tempted by the fresh produce and gourmet foods at the public market. For further cultural and architectural delights, visit Christ Church Cathedral. From its stained glass windows to its intricate wooden interior, the cathedral is well worth a visit. Check the website for service times.

For the price of a hot chocolate and beavertail!

Try Stanley Park Pitch & Putt golf for a fun and interactive experience for all skill levels. Opened in 1931, this Par 3 course hosts eighteen holes ranging from 40 to 100 yards set on lush greens. You can rent equipment for a small fee. Or else, rent a bike to get some exercise and explore the city yourself or visit the Cycle City tours website if you prefer a guided tour.

If spectator sports are more your thing, head to the Terminal City Rollergirls roller derby for a fast and fun night out. With skilled teams, loud music and an enthusiastic crowd, you are sure to be hooked on this thrilling display at first sight.

Instead of the standard rushed trolley tour…

Why not try the Vancouver Police Museum's Sins of the City guided summer walking tour? Explore the historical underbelly of the city, from organised crime and bootlegging joints to red light districts and gambling dens. Private tours are available for groups of six or more.

Grouse mountainMake your way to Grouse Mountain Summit, just 15 minutes from downtown. Hike the 2.9 kilometre Grouse Grind trail up or take a skyride up the mountain on North America's largest aerial tramway system. During the trip you will enjoy views across Vancouver and its surrounds. At the top of the mountain there are gift shops and eateries and in winter, ski, snowboarding and ice skating facilities.

Make the most of your adventure

Hire a car and head to Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver. Start at the free salmon hatchery for a memorable experience watching salmon spawn and jump ladders and follow the trail to the Suspension Bridge. Built in 1889, you can endeavour to cross the 140 metre long, 70 metre high footbridge for a breathtaking view of the lush surrounds, if you dare!

By now you will already have realised how cheaply you can find accommodation, so hop on the ferry and spend a few extra days exploring Vancouver Island. Once there, do not miss out on the opportunity to visit the beautiful and worldwide renowned Butchart Gardens. The colourful year round displays are guaranteed to delight, even if you don't have the traditional green finger. Check out the website to see a hint of the spectacular website which is sure to entice. From dolphin and whale watching to National Parks, Parliament buildings and theatres, you will easily find activities to fill your day.

Spend Less, Do More

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