Not only is Vancouver the largest port in Canada with incredible scenery, it is also a wonderful urban centre surrounded by nature, making it the perfect destination for the modern day tourist.
Flights to Vancouver
Vancouver YVR International Airport serves the city approximately 8 miles away from its International and domestic terminals. Daily flights to Vancouver (many of which can be found on great deals) arrive from Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the United States. The new Canada Line rapid transit rail link connects to Downtown Vancouver in just 26 minutes. You can find Shuttle Bus services by the green canopy outside the International arrivals building. Car rentals are on the ground floor, but why not travel with a touch of class in a stretch limousine. If you work up an appetite on your Vancouver flights and cannot wait to eat in the city, try the Hanami Japanese restaurant in International arrivals. There is no shortage of coffee shops, fast food outlets, and bars within the terminals, together with dozens of shops to satisfy all needs and maybe pick up a bargain.
People arriving on Vancouver flights in summer are greeted by warm, comfortable temperatures in the low 70's Fahrenheit, but it is advisable to pack some long sleeves as the evenings can be a little cooler with the sea breezes blowing in. A jacket is definitely required any other time though; between October and March, it rains every other day on average. Nevertheless, people book flights to Vancouver to enjoy the city's outdoor recreation, and much of the time the weather permits some classic photographic opportunities with the oceanfront, mountainous backdrop, and wonderful parkland to admire.
Getting Around Vancouver
Vancouver flights into YVR can have you in the central Downtown district within 45 minutes of touching down. The trolleybus fleet is second only to San Francisco in North America, and there are small passenger ferries that run between the city and Granville Island, plus 2 British Columbia ferry terminals. Indeed, taking the 45-minute low cost ferry from Horseshoe Bay leads to a fabulous day at the gorgeous Sunshine Coast. However, the fastest growing and most popular mode of transport is cycling, with a citywide network of lanes and routes.
When tourists take those Vancouver flights, undoubtedly one of the major draws is Stanley Park - the largest park in all of Canada. This vast open space is full of wonderful natural beauty. Robson Street is the place to head for the shops, and Granville Street is a nightlife hotspot. Some of the other main attractions that greet visitors on flights to Vancouver include:
- The whale and dolphin shows at the Vancouver Aquarium
- A night cruise at Vancouver harbor for a dazzling way of experiencing the city
- The swaying suspension bridge 230 feet above the Capilano River
- The fantastic views from the top of the Vancouver Lookout 430 feet above the city
- The amazing landscaping and Chinese culture at Dr Sun Yat-Sen Gardens
Vancouver When to Go
The high season for travel is between Victoria Day in late May and Labour Day in early September. July and August tend to be especially crowded with cruise passengers waiting to catch ships heading through the Inside Passage to Alaska. Vancouver has very little humidity in summer, and the average high temperature is 72 degrees in July. Summer traditionally starts with the Dragon Boat Festival, spread over a weekend in mid-June. It’s the largest of its kind in North America, attracting more than 180 wildly imaginative boats and 100,000 spectators to False Creek.
Vancouver has been dubbed the “Hollywood of the North” for the many films shot around town. Meet directors, screenwriters, and actors from the year’s finest independent films at the Vancouver International Film Festival, held each September. October is another favorite month, bringing the brilliant turning of the leaves in Stanley Park.
Remarkably, Vancouver rarely dips below the freezing point in winter. Venture to town in late January and you can celebrate the Chinese New Year at the annual parade before making the two-hour drive up to Whistler to carve those perfect turns. Since winter is considered low season, hotel rates are reduced. Be forewarned, though, that winter is the rainy season in Vancouver, with an average of four inches of rainfall each month. Come April, the weather is so pleasant you could very well ski and golf on the same day.
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