This summer, my family and I decided to go on a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. So, on August 8th, we took a flight to Calgary then Richmond. Since I’m not one to sleep on planes, I brought a book along to read.
Upon arrival in Richmond, six hours after leaving Regina, we rented a car and took off to Vancouver. Coming from a small city, everything seemed different–tall buildings, crowded streets, four- lane highways, and huge parks. Just watching out the window as we drove was interesting.
After a 40 minute drive, we arrived in Vancouver’s downtown. We walked around the area, entered different shops, and ate at a nearby restaurant. No longer hungry and excited to see the city, we purchased tickets to Vancouver Lookout. There, we mounted a glass elevator to an observation deck with a 360° view of the city.
To be completely honest, I was slightly disappointed by the view. Vancouver is a beautiful city and all, but due to the wildfires that were occurring in parts of BC at the time, a layer of smog was present over Vancouver and therefore made it hard to see very much.
Next, we went to Stanley Park, a 405- hectare public park that’s surrounded by waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. There is more than 27 km of forest trails, centuries-old trees, and a path to walk right by the water. I got to see the Hollow Tree, a red cedar tree that’s more than 800 years-old, as well as the famous Totem Poles.
Vancouver Aquarium, also located in Stanely Park, had many beautiful sea creatures. I won’t talk about every living thing I saw there since that will take forever, but I will talk about my top two favorite parts– the dolphin show and the jellyfish exhibit. The 30- minute show consisted of two dolphins doing many jumps and tricks, as well as a quick lesson on how dolphins are trained. The jellyfish exhibit contained around 150 tiny jellyfish that were each doing their own thing and were absolutely cute.
We spent half a day at Grouse Mountain, where we rode the Skyride up 3,600 ft and got to enjoy the breathtaking view of the city below us. A bird-in-flight show took place at the top, as well as other entertainment. The second half of the day was spent at Lynn Canyon Park, where we hiked in the forest for an hour and crossed a suspension bridge to reach two waterfalls, the Twin Falls.
An hour long ferry at 8 am got us to Victoria, where we spent all of the next day. There, we visited a butterfly garden, the Butchart Garden, the city’s harbor, and the Fisherman’s Wharf, which was basically an area of floating houses, shops, and restaurants where tourists can rest. An hour before our ferry back to Vancouver, we stopped at a town called Sidney that overlooked the English Bay and was surrounded by mountains to take pictures.
A visit to Playland the following day meant riding many roller coasters and crazy rides that left me too tired to do anything after, besides eat. So, we went to an Italian restaurant where I tasted the best cheese pizza in my life.
Shopping at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Mall was a unique experience because it wasn’t like regular malls. It was basically an outdoor plaza with lots of designer brands and every store that would normally be located in a mall. The nice weather also helped make our experience great.
A pool of dancing fountains, large areas of trees, beautiful picnic areas, and a view of the mountains made Queen Elizabeth Park an especially popular tourist attraction. Also located inside the park, we visited the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, which is home to many stunning species of plants, butterflies, and birds.
The seventh and last day of our trip was spent at English Bay Beach. With a cold sea breeze, soft sand, Vancouver’s skyline visible to the right, mountains in the distance, and cargo ships heading to the harbor, this beach was my favorite out of all the others that I have ever visited.
And that concludes my trip to Vancouver since five hours later I was back at home in Regina. I made many great memories in that one week, and I hope to see more of British Columbia in the future.