Vancouver is a great city that has plenty to offer everyone. You can easily access the great outdoors if you are the adventurous type or settle into the unique areas of the city. There are several vital towns that should be on your must-visit list.

beautiful downtown Van City

Gastown

This fabulous town can be easily seen at night because of the lamps that line Water Street as well as the different fairy lights in the trees. Gastown is famous for its variety of dining options and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. For some great seafood, try the Water Street Café and for some traditional pub fare visit The Lamplighter. Peckinpah is the perfect place for those looking to try some Carolina-style barbecue. Gastown is also known for its history and stands as the only Vancouver neighborhood with cobblestone streets. Be sure to check out the Hotel Europe too which bears a strong resemblance to the Flatiron Building in New York.

Main Street

This is Vancouver’s version of Brooklyn and is the hub for boutiques, local breweries, consignment stores, fine dining and renowned coffee roasters. Two of the favorite breweries are on Main; Brassneck Brewery and Main Street Brewing Company. The most popular stores for shopping include Front & Company and 8th & Main. When you need some coffee to refuel after shopping, stop into 49th Parallel and then take a stroll a few blocks east to the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Commercial Drive

Locals refer to it as ‘The Drive, ’ and this street is filled with boutiques, grocers, restaurants, and bars. The areas liveliest section is situated between Venables Street and 13th Avenue. Along the entire strip, you have over 400 businesses to choose from. The majority of the businesses are operated by the owners, making this an area of thriving independence. Over the years the nickname ‘Little Italy’ was born, but you can enjoy some of the best Mexican, Japanese, Spanish and Caribbean fare around. Don’t forget to stop by the historic Rio Theater to check out the latest entertainment.

Yaletown

Yaletown is located on the south side of Vancouver’s downtown, and it last had renovations dating back to the 1986 World Fair. Since this time, there are more apartments, and all the warehouses are now trendy eateries and businesses. The large platforms of the warehouses make perfect urban patios, and the waterfront along the Seawall is the number one attraction. You can then finish your day in some of the area’s most sophisticated late-night lounges.

Olympic Village

In the False Creek area of Vancouver, Olympic Village has become a significant residential community. It also happens to be one of the world’s greenest communities. The views of the waterfront combined with the city skyline and surrounding mountains make it ideal any time of year. Summers are perfect for taking a walk and spending happy hour at Tap and Barrel’s or enjoying a unique brew at CRAFT Beer Market. Your visit to Olympic Village is not complete until you have stopped by the Earnest Ice Cream shop either.

West End

Located in the immediate downtown area, West End has a little something for everyone. There you will find English Beach Bay, Sunset Beach Park and Stanley Park for the outdoorsy types. For the shopaholics, there is Robson Street which offers some of the best shopping and boutiques. There are also numerous eateries to enjoy such as Forage and Timber as well as a vast selection along Denman Street. West End is also home to Davie Village which is the area’s gay community.

Kitsilano

The locals call it Kits, and since the 1960s this place has changed from a hippy hangout to a favorite summertime place. Recognized for its beach park and saltwater pool, this area gets busy in the summer months. Along the main streets of 4th Avenue and West Broadway, you will find boutiques, summer festivals, and many restaurants. Kits are also home to Vanier Park, which hosts the Museum of Vancouver.

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