Things to do in Vancouver

While you are attending NACTA 2006 and enjoying some of the unique things to see and do on the UBC campus, you will also want to visit some of Vancouver's world-renowned attractions. One of the top destination cities in the world, Vancouver's parks, mountains, and ocean offer a huge variety of recreational activities, while still being a great place for shopping and dining!

If you're planning to extend your stay on the West Coast, be sure to include excursions to Whistler, Victoria, the Rockies, and more!

For self-guided tours, check out our recommended attractions listed below.

If you would rather have the convenience of a planned tour, one of the more recognized tour companies is Gray Line Tours. Reasonably-priced, check out the Double Decker tour, or any of their many other tour packages!

Enjoy your stay in Vancouver and experience why Vancouverites never want to leave this great city!

Legend:
= accessible by bus (For more detailed transit info, visit: www.translink.bc.ca
= accessible by car only


UBC Attractions (all wheelchair and pedestrian accessible)
  Food. One of Vancouver's best-kept secrets is right here at UBC! The Sage Bistro (www.sage.ubc.ca) offers a wonderful menu at a cost of ~ $13 -$15 for a lunch entrée.
  Museums. Visit the spectacular Museum of Anthropology at UBC, home to a stunning collection of west coast Aboriginal art and cultural artifacts. (www.moa.ubc.ca)
  Gardens. Nitobe Gardens (www.nitobe.org), a restful haven on a busy campus, is ranked 4th among North America's Japanese gardens, commended even by the Crown Prince (now Emperor) of Japan.
Also plan to visit the UBC Botanical Gardens (www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org) which display everything from alpine plants and rhododendrons in abundance, to agricultural plantings and arboreal wonders.
  Sports and Recreation. Take a dip in the outdoor pool at the UBC Aquatic Centre, or if you'd rather stay inside, you can do your laps in the 50 m indoor pool. (www.aquatics.ubc.ca)
The Birdcoop (www.rec.ubc.ca/fitness/birdcoop) offers a large selection of fitness equipment for cardio and weight training.
  Arts & Entertainment. The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, one of the world's premier concert venues, may have shows available during your stay. Check their website for more information (www.chancentre.com).
Spend an afternoon exploring all the attractions UBC has to offer! More information can be found at: www.attractions.ubc.ca.
For a map of all of these locations, go to: www.maps.ubc.ca.
Off Campus Outdoors and Recreational Opportunities
Parks. Vancouver is well-known for its abundance of parks and forests. Greatest amongst them is Stanley Park, a 1000-acre paradise adjacent to the downtown core. You can bike, rollerblade or walk along the Stanley Park seawall. Enjoy a picnic in a grassy area or bring your kids to the water park/spray pool! You can rent bikes and rollerblades at the nearby shops along Denman Street, just outside of Stanley Park. For a small fee, you can also visit the aquarium, ride the Miniature train, go for a dip in the heated Second Beach outdoor pool or play a game of Pitch N Putt! More information at: www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/parks/stanley. See more pictures of Stanley Park: www.seestanleypark.com
  Also see www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/parks for a list of other parks.
Beaches. The beach closest to UBC is Spanish Bank and Jericho Beach. Also recommended are: Kitsilano Beach and English Bay, both of which are located near excellent retail shops and restaurants! Information available at: www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/rec/beaches
Hiking. A good local hike that the whole family can enjoy is located within the Lynn Canyon of North Vancouver. A short distance from the entrance to its main trails is a 150-foot suspension bridge and, continuing past the suspension bridge, you'll find a 30-foot pool downstream from the Twin Falls. If you would like to go for a longer hike, you can always veer off onto the more-challenging Baden-Powell trail, or any of the trails in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. More information at: www.britishcolumbia.com/ParksAndTrails/Parks/details/?ID=489.
For those looking for a serious cardio workout, the Grouse Grind offers a good 1-2 hour "Stair Master" workout! For more information, visit the Grouse Mountain website: www.bcadventure.com/adventure/hiking/vancouver.
  Information on other local hikes at: www.bcadventure.com/adventure/hiking/vancouver.
Biking. You can bring your bike onto most hiking trails but one that's close to UBC is the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. 763 hectares of forest and foreshore offer a variety of trails to bike or hike on. More information at: www.greatervancouverparks.com/PacificSpirit.html
Golf. There is certainly no shortage of golf courses around Vancouver! Try the University Golf Club just on the outskirts of UBC - open to non-members! More information at: www.universitygolf.com
Want to try a more challenging course? See why Furry Creek Golf and Country Club is considered one of the most scenic golf challenges" in the world! www.britishcolumbia.com/golf/?id=52
  Information on other popular golf courses available on the Tourism Vancouver website: www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors/things_to_do/category.list.php?category=1928
Featured Attractions in and around Vancouver
Whistler, BC. For a further drive (~ 2 hours from Vancouver), you can check out the future site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. You can walk the Village, do some shopping, take the gondola to the top of Whistler mountain or hike/bike the nearby trails. More golf courses are also available in the area. Official website: www.tourismwhistler.com.
Science World. Fun and interactive for the kids! Come for their featured exhibit this summer: Science in Toyland. Check out the other live shows and demonstrations or watch a short feature on the gigantic screen of their OMNIMAX® theatre. www.scienceworld.bc.ca
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Also referred to as the Planetarium, it has been voted the best place to be for kids. Check out the shows, presentations, virtual simulators or find distant planets and stars at night with their giant telescope! www.hrmacmillanspacecentre.com.
Gastown. Take a stroll through historic Gastown, where you will find many unique shops, places to eat and Storyeum, a brand-new facility that captures the vibrant history of B.C. through dramatic productions and displays! www.gastown.org.
Granville Island. Tons of things to see, buy, eat! There is also a Kid's Market, full of shops and games to keep the kids entertained! www.granvilleisland.bc.ca/en.
Getaways and Mini-getaways. If you plan to take a longer vacation, you will definitely want to consider the following as you plan your vacation!
  Kelowna, BC. Best-known for its wonderful wineries, orchards, and golf courses! Take a trip to picturesque Kelowna in the sunny Okanagan Valley! www.tourismkelowna.com.
  Victoria, BC. Take a relaxing ferry from Vancouver to B.C.'s capital city, Victoria! Also known as the Garden City, you will find the pace a lot slower and the climate milder. Tour the city's beautiful heritage buildings or seaside parks and trails, or visit the Parliament Buildings. There are lots more to do and see! Visit Tourism Victoria's website: www.tourismvictoria.com/Content/EN/524.asp.
  Tofino, BC. Although a small town, Tofino (a few hours from Victoria) is popular for its surfing! More information available at: www.tourismtofino.com/_lnkStore/tofino/csp/tofino.dll?page=home.
  Rocky Mountain Tours. Explore the breath-taking Rocky Mountains by train! Rocky Mountaineer Vacations have been planning spectacular trips for 17 years, and has recently been awarded the World's Leading Travel Experience by Train! More information at: www.rockymountaineer.com.
  Alaska Cruises. Call your travel agent for information about the Vancouver-Alaska cruise, one of the more popular cruises in North America! Information is also available on the Port of Vancouver website: www.portvancouver.com/vanAlaCruise.
Indulge! After a full day of taking in the sites and sounds of Vancouver, reserve some time for a little shopping, some pampering or catching a show. And definitely try some of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer!
Shopping. Vancouver's keenest shoppers are usually found roaming the stores of Robson Street in Downtown Vancouver. Most shops are open until ~ 9/10pm on weekends. For more information, visit: www.robsonstreet.ca.
Yaletown, near the Downtown core, is also an excellent place to find trendy boutiques, coffee shops, spas, and great restaurants! Once a warehouse district, you'll still find some of the age-old buildings that have been restored and fashioned into trendy urban offices and shops. More information at: www.myyaletown.com.

Spas. Prefer to pamper yourself at a Day Spa? Some of the more popular spas include: Absolute Spa at the Century, skoah, or Aveda Spas at various mall locations. More information at: www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors/things_to_do/category.list.php?category=1952.

Performing Arts. Check out some of the fine productions Vancouver has to offer, or find out what movies are playing. All of this information can be found on the Tourism Vancouver website: www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors/things_to_do/performing_arts#cinema, or at: www.ticketstonight.ca
For more information on other things to see and do in Vancouver, please visit the Tourism Vancouver website, which has a ton of useful information for visitors! (www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors)
Dining! With Vancouver's reputation for being an ethnically-diverse city, one thing is for certain: you cannot find a better mix of cuisines of such amazing quality! Best of all, some of Vancouver's best dining can be found at very affordable prices! A good place to find restaurants is the Georgia Straight newspaper. They are free newspapers that you can pick up just about anywhere through their street box network. You can also find them online at: www.straight.com/section.cfm?id=172. Note that the actual newspapers will have coupons for restaurants. Top 5 (or so!) recommendations (not in any specific order!) are:
1. Can't go wrong with any of the restaurants in Yaletown. If you're in the mood for Jazz, try Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club (www.emenus.ca/capones)
2. Try any of the Sequoia Company of Restaurants (www.vancouverdine.com). For example, if you're spending the day at Stanley Park, try out Sequoia Grill. The food is fabulous, and the view is even better!
3. Some people say the Japanese have the healthiest diet in the world! If you're up for some Japanese fine-dining, try Tojo's, a favourite spot of many celebrities. Take a look at their innovative menu at: www.tojos.com. For those who prefer more affordable alternatives, try Minato Sushi (www.eatoutvancouver.com/restaurants/minato/minato.htm), or for REALLY affordable sushi and sashimi, try Samurai Sushi on Cambie (www.foodvancouver.com/restaurant-review.php?restaurant=6)
4. What would a port city be without its fabulous seafood restaurants? Try Salmon House on the Hill (voted one of the most impressive restaurants in Vancouver): www.salmonhouse.com.
5. Looking for alternatives to meat? Vancouver has many great vegetarian restaurants. Try The Naam: www.vancouverplus.ca/portal/profile.do?profileID=391002.
Here, also, is a list of the restaurants in and around the UBC area:
1. UBC Village (along University Boulevard, just east of Wesbrook Mall: www.maps.ubc.ca). You can find a variety of cuisines at the International Food Court. If you're looking for a restaurant, One More Sushi Japanese Restaurant is also a good place to eat, priced at ~ $7-$9 for a lunch combo. New to the Village this year is Vera's Burger Shack, voted several times as the best burger in town! Official website is: www.verasburgershack.com.
2. 10th Avenue. If you continue heading east along University Boulevard, you'll eventually get to 10th Avenue, where you'll find many restaurants, including: Burgoo (soups and stews), Candia Taverna (Greek), Enigma (Pacific Northwest/Pub), Provence Mediterranean Grill (French Mediterranean Italian), Some Kinda Pasta (Italian), Sushi Bar Wabi Sabi (Japanese), and many more!! More information available at: www.dinehere.ca/results.asp?l=15.