Things to do in Vancouver
Cannabis: it’s good for what ails you
Far be it for us to tell you to spend your trip getting high, but if you wish to it's easier in Vancouver than most places. Medical cannabis is legal here, so you'll need a note from the doctor. Head to Canna Clinic (tel: +1 888 738 1028; http://cannaclinics.org) to both speak to a doc and get the goods.
Cheers on the Canucks
Some say Ice Hockey is a religion in Canada. Trust us: it's far more important than that. Local NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks (tel: +1 604 899 4625; http://canucks.nhl.com) draw an enormous and passionate following to Rogers Arena, which served as the ice hockey venue during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Circumvent the seawall
There's no better way to appreciate Vancouver's multitudinous natural beauty than hiring a bike and circling the city's seawall. Many visitors stick to the 9km (5.5-mile) section looping round Stanley Park, but the scenic 22km (14-mile) route continues along the English Bay and False Creek shorelines as far as Kitsilano Beach. Speak to Spokes (tel: +1 604 688 5141; www.spokesbicyclerentals.com) about hiring a ride.
Go orca spotting
The ocean surrounding the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands to the southwest of Vancouver is one of the best spots in the world to catch a glimpse of orcas. It's common to spy pods of resident killer whales, sometimes as many as 100 at one time. Wild Whales Vancouver (tel: +1 604 699 2011; www.whalesvancouver.com) runs whale-watching tours from Granville Island, lasting from three to seven hours.
Hit the slopes
Vancouver is rightly feted for its surplus of nearby skiing options. Grouse Mountain (tel: +1 604 980 9311; www.grousemountain.com), Cypress Mountain (tel: +1 604 926 5612; www.cypressmountain.com) and Mt Seymour (tel: +1 604 986 2261; www.mountseymour.com) are all within a snowball’s throw, while the world-class ski resort Whistler Blackcomb (tel: +1 604 296 5316; www.whistlerblackcomb.com) is a couple of hours’ drive away.