Self-Driving Thrill in Vancouver – Canada


Inspiring my creative side in the motherland of entertainment, culture, food, festivals and attractions.

Scenic Drive in Vancouver

Vancouver is a British Columbia’s biggest city. It is the gateway to the glaciers of Alaska. The wilderness of western Canada and the slopes of Whistler. This bustling west coastal seaport city in western Canada is located in the lower Mainland region of British Columbia. It is among Canada’s densest and most populous city in British Columbia. Vancouver is hailed not only for its natural beauty but for the laid back charm of its residents. It is one of the highest population density in Canada and is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. I must say, it is one of the world’s most liveable cities, surrounded by mountains and well known for its majestic natural beauty. Yes, when a city is nestled amidst ocean and mountains, it is hard not to feel exhilarated in their mids. 

View from my hotel balcony

Wherever you roam in Vancouver, the salty sea breeze carries the fresh scent of the forest in a promise of adventure. It’s welcoming neighbourhoods with filled with aromas of incredible cuisines – roasting coffee beans and all the urban delights that you expect from the city which is regularly voted the world’s most liveable. The secret to Vancouver’s success is that, it has been developed with liveability in mind. The city of Vancouver has protected its rivers, coastlines and forests, maintaining a perfect balance between nature and built environment. There is no finer example than the Stanley Park, the city’s pride and joy which dates back from 1886. This park, nestled in the heart of the city is a downtown sanctuary that offers city dwellers and visitors a multitude of outdoor activities. For a bustling city like Vancouver and very cosmopolitan, it does create a city where there is a state of endless activities and fun for everyone from children to pensioners. This is a city where you never want to settle down for a minute. I felt like I was caught in a “hyperactive syndrome”. Knowing how vibrant this city is, I had lots of activities planned ahead that I want to see and do. I wanted to see many places as possible and not leave the city without seeing them, then I would have regrets bound to follow.

The start of my trip to Vancouver, encompass a self-drive to Whistler apart from other scenic tours, parklands, downtown visits and a visit to the Museum of Anthropology.  

Downtown Vancouver

Vancouver, a world class city has activities within the city to outer areas and they is plenty of it from hiking, canoeing, skiing, surfing, kayaking and commuting everywhere by bike on its cyclist-friendly streets. The following day, it was time to hit the downtown, from shops to shops, cafes to dining and wining and roaming the downtown street and parklands. The downtown area is accessible by foot from one end to the other tasting the food, culture, entertainment and fun activities all in one area.

Museum of Anthropology

Located on the University of British Columbia campus, 30 minutes from downtown I visited the Museum of Anthropology. This museum is a “must visit” for the culture seeking traveler. In this museum of Anthropology at the university of British Columbia, totems and sculptures depict the rich mythologies of the Haida people and other indigenous tribes of Northwest coast. Also, artefacts from diverse cultures around the world.

Art work on display

Scenic Self-Drive

After visiting Vancouver’s major attractions and highlights, a ferry ride to Granville Island, head to Queen Elizabeth Park on Little Mountain, a peaceful oasis high about the city. Later, I then cross the Lions Gate Bridge to the North Shore, a wilderness where bears roam and salmon-filled rivers flow through old-growth forests.

It was time to hit the road to Whistler. Less than a two-hour drive from the city of Vancouver is the tiny township of Whistler, the largest ski resort in North America. This is the place you learn the ski skills and attract elite skiers and beginners from all over the world. Along this drive, there is so much to see on this super scenic drive with lots of beautiful places to visit and adventure along the way. One of the advantages of travelling on a self-drive adventure is that you can make a day of it and travel a bit “off the beaten path” rather than just roaring up the freeway. Taking this self-drive to the resort town of Whistler was far the best of my Canada experience. This incredibly scenic road that runs along the coast fromVancouver to Whistler and beyond, is one of the most beautiful scenic drive I ever took in the world – the Sea to Sky Highway. It boasts spectacular ocean and mountain views, and an abundance of outdoor adventure along makes it a momentous experience you you will ever had. Howe Sound glitters below, framed by glaciers, jagged peaks, looks, sig-zags and circuits makes it one of the most scenic road on the land. Whistler is most famous and well known as a ski destination. Without a doubt, it is one of the best in the world – thanks to the two spectacular mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb that loom a mile above the village makes a world class township. Not only this little town is famous for its skiable terrain but it offers locals and visitors fine food, spas and plenty of opportunity for adventure, all in a breathtaking locale. This is offered all year around and no visitor will ever miss out on the experience.

As I drove along this scenic road, with few stops along the way, visiting and viewing little towns, parklands and waterfalls made it worth a drive. Seeing the snow on the mountains, with little sunshine and feeling the coolness of the air right around me made it a perfect morning weather to drive along this road.

The Lighthouse Park

This neighbourhood park located in a residential area in West Vancouver is a popular tourist attraction for visitors and locals to Vancouver as it is a National Historic Site of Canada. It is a well-maintained park, and is open all year-round throughout all four seasons. The park is known for the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, located at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. The park is made up of 75 hectares of mostly virgin rainforest, and was founded in 1792. The visitors to the park can enjoy various beginners level hiking trails, as well as bringing your dog for a walk or have lunch along the rocks of the beach near the Lighthouse.

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is a small community with about over 1000 residents located in West Vancouver, just 25 kilometres northwest of downtown Vancouver. It is the location of the third-busiest BC Ferries terminal in Vancouver which goes to various islands. This picturesque community is a must for every visitor to drop in on the way to Whistler.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

This provincial park in British Columbia located on the Howe Sound is 38 kilometres north of Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The park is 50 hectares in size and offers picnicking, camping, swimming, windsurfing and a boat launch. It is very popular area for scuba diving, with a series of artificial reefs including two sunken vessels. It has 44 drive-in campsites and 16 walk-in sites. It is a great place for families that wants a camping experience away from the city life. 

Brandywine Falls

On the way along this scenic road is the Brandywine Falls, which plummets straight down for 70 metres (230 feet). Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located just south of Whistler and it offers hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as some great spots for a picnic. The highlight of the park is the viewing platform overlooking the falls. On a clear day, you can see Daisy Lake and the distinctive Black Tusk mountain peak from the distance.

Whistler Township

Whistler township just north of Vancouver, British Columbia is the home to Whistler Blackcomb which is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. It is definitely the skiers paradise and you won’t be disappointed. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area offers snowshoeing, tobogganing and ski jumping at the Olympic Park, which was the venue for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The hub of Whistler is a compact, chalet-style pedestrian village at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Vancouver city, the most liveable city in the world and with breeze that carry the scents of nature and aromas of all the urban delights you’d expect from a city, it is easy to understand why visitors flock to the Canadian city. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed the central highlights of beautiful Vancouver.

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Categories: Canada, NORTH AMERICA

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