Five Reasons to Visit Vancouver, B.C.

Go for the mountains, the ocean, the parks, the food and the floatplanes.

The seawall in Stanley Park offers some of the city’s best sea-to-sky mountain views.

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Located on Canada’s West Coast and by far the warmest of the country’s major metropolitan centers, multi-ethnic Vancouver is a major port city nestled close to mountains, rainforests and ocean, making it easy to combine an urban vacation with exploits in the great outdoors. Or spend a day exploring the neighborhoods and scenic landscapes before or after your next cruise.

In 2017, Vancouver was voted Canada’s most walkable city, thanks to the city’s downtown being home to business and financial activity, most of the city’s hotels, lively nightlife and museums, galleries and theaters, and diverse neighborhoods with shopping and dining opportunities. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is known as the “Castle in the City” and reflects timeless luxury and history. The hotel is just steps from the shopping and entertainment district and is a great place to enjoy Vancouver’s vibrant atmosphere.

Enjoy a 3-night stay in a Fairmont Queen room at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for $908* per person. Kids 18 and younger stay FREE. AAA Members save $25 per booking.

Restaurants on Granville Island offer global cuisine, local specialties and incredible views.

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

The city’s main attraction is Stanley Park, which comprises 1,000 acres of evergreen forests, rose gardens, totem poles and beaches. Join a rainforest adventure tour or hike the marked trails, where you might see a gray squirrel descended from the eight pairs of squirrels gifted to Vancouver by New York City in 1909.

The paved seawall surrounding the park offers unparalleled views and is perfect for a stroll or a bike ride. Vancouver Aquarium, a sanctuary in the heart of Stanley Park, is home to more than 50,000 animals ranging from epaulette sharks (they walk!) to playful sea otters. The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre is located in the urban heart of downtown and offers rooms and suites where guests can take in views of the skyline and the Pacific Ocean.

Check-in to the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre and enjoy 3 nights in a South Tower Traditional King room for $534* per person. Kids 17 and younger stay FREE and FREE Wi-Fi is included. AAA Members save $25 per booking.

Foodies, head to Granville Island, a sandspit located south of the downtown peninsula under the Granville Bridge. Formerly home to factories and sawmills, this top attraction is highlighted by Granville Island Public Market, which offers global cuisine, local specialties and exotic produce. Take a tasting tour through Canada’s second most visited attraction or pick up lunch for a dockside picnic. Shop nearby artisan workshops and craft studios for authentic souvenirs.

There’s no better welcome to Canada’s West Coast than Canada Place, located in the heart of the downtown harbour front. Watch cruise ships sail in or experience FlyOver Canada, a flight simulation ride, complete with wind, mist, scents and sounds.

Forget gondolas and streetcars—Vancouver has a booming floatplane industry. Single-engine Beavers and slightly larger Otters with their short wingspans, perky engines and pontoons quickly take passengers from the downtown harbour front for tours of varied length and destinations. If you prefer seeing the city from the water, check out a fast Sea Vancouver zodiac tour, launching from the Westin Bayshore Hotel. One of the most unique amenities of the waterfront hotel is a private dock which services harbour tours and on-site yacht charters.

Spend 3 nights in a City View Double room at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver for $489* per person. Kids 12 and younger stay FREE. AAA Members save $25 per booking.

Before you leave Vancouver, visit the verdant suburb of North Shore, located at the foot of the Coast Mountains just across the water from the downtown peninsula. Take a breath and cross a swaying bridge over a flowing river or really crank the adrenaline with a cliff walk across a course of cantilevered and suspended walkways.

*Rate is per person, land only, based on double occupancy for check-in on 10/22/18, in room categories shown above.
Unless otherwise indicated: rates quoted are accurate at time of publication, & are per person, based on double occupancy. Airfare, taxes, surcharges, gratuities, transfers & excursions are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, government taxes, surcharges, deposit, payment, cancellation terms/conditions & policies subject to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity controlled. Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to baggage limitations & fees, standby policies & fees, non-refundable tickets & change fees with pre-flight notification deadlines, & blackout dates. Fees & policies vary among airlines. Contact airline directly for any details or questions. Advance reservations through AAA Travel required to obtain Member Benefits & savings which may vary based on departure date. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Pleasant Holidays acts only as an agent for cruise & tour providers listed. CST# 1007939-10. Copyright©2018 Pleasant Holidays, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Marco Ruiz, AAA Travel Counselor, Monterey, Calif.

I love to suggest Italy and Spain because of the culture and the flair of the people–their fashions, language and way of life. They take time to enjoy life's pleasures. When you're there, you feel it, too.

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