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Vancouver, British Columbia

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Paradise for travelers seeking authentic, no-hassle, go-anywhere adventures both outdoors and in supreme indoor comfort is called Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Both have won numerous travel awards. With its scenic views, mild climate, and friendly people, Vancouver is known around the world as one of the best places to live based on annual quality-of-life surveys.

Vancouver is truly a four season destination. Warm Pacific Ocean currents give Vancouver one of the mildest climates in Canada. Here you can ski or snowboard in the morning, have a late lunch at a beachside bistro and play nine holes of golf in the afternoon. Spring, summer and fall offer lovely moderate weather conditions with shirt-sleeve days and pleasantly cool evenings. July and August are tops for beach and outdoor adventures packed with long, active days in the sun and plenty of lively community festivals. Winters are traditionally wet, yet the Island’s off-season is also free from snow (apart from the higher elevations) and wildly exciting – especially when watching the storms roll in with majestic fury from the open Pacific.

Many visitors mix their vacations into a spontaneous, unscripted style by combining outdoor experiences with urban and resort-town pleasures. Rugged oceanfront hiking trails, big-wave surfing, mountain biking meccas, wildlife watching expeditions, caving and kayaking trips through postcard seascapes makes the ‘roughing it’ part of the equation a rare and special delight.

Among the many things to see and do in the Vancouver area include a trek across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver Art Gallery or Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, or a trip through the city via Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours or a Harbour Cruise. Granville Island is a wonderful open air market to visit and Vancouver Lookout and Grouse Mountain are minutes from the downtown area.

As for the pampering, Vancouver and Vancouver Island deliver big time. Shopping in quaint shops, dining in world class restaurants, staying in excellent hotels and resorts are all in ample supply.

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