The Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.
Once crowds from the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 die down early this month (Vancouver has been one of the hosts), a renewed sense of calm will return to one of the world’s most consistently ranked livable cities, making it a perfect time to visit. Wedged spectacularly between the white-peaked mountains of the Coastal Range and the orca-filled waters of the Strait of Georgia, the city primped its infrastructure for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Getting from Vancouver International Airport to downtown via the Canada Line SkyTrain is now a snap. Once there, walk, bike or take advantage of the Aquabus to explore this vibrant urban peninsula.
On Granville Island, raise your spirits with skillfully made craft cocktails during happy hour at The Liberty Distillery. Sit outside and people-watch at Tableau Bar Bistro at the Loden Hotel while sipping British Columbian wines, many organic or biodynamic. Swap booze for beer at Brassneck Brewery, an industrial chic tasting room with a popular growler filling station.
Request a window seat at Miku to enjoy spectacular views of Burrard Inlet while lunching on Miku Zen, a bento box that includes flame-seared aburi sushi. Cozy, in-demand Railtown newcomer Ask for Luigi excels at pasta dishes; try the hand-cut duck ragu pappardelle. Pan-fried dumplings are the stars at Gyoza Bar, but the spicy pork rib and sweet soy-glazed meatball Bao Board shouldn’t be missed.
Discover Vancouver’s modern urbanism with Context Travel’s architect-guided 21st Century City walking tour. On Saturdays, pedal, stop and sip at three breweries with the craft beer tour from Cycle City Tours. Visit historic Chinatown—the third-largest in North America—which is experiencing a rebirth with an influx of hip new restaurants and retailers, especially along Union Street.
Take to the water for a thrilling ride on Sea Vancouver’s 90-minute zodiac-style boat tour of the city’s Inner Harbour and environs. Walk among the evergreen canopy via a series of seven suspension bridges at Treetops Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Or brave the Grouse Grind, a grueling uphill hike known locally as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, for killer views of the city skyline. (The less intrepid can ascend via an aerial tramway.)