Think all those movies based in New York are really shot there? Think again. Hollywood studios have been known to use Vancouver when in need of the venerable East Coast backdrop. Now, couples looking for a multicultural, cosmopolitan getaway are taking their cue. And it’s no surprise — with a dramatic skyline backed by majestic peaks, Vancouver has become a romantic metropolis brimming with cultural attractions, shops and boutiques, world-class restaurants, and adventure.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Flight Time: 6 hours from NYC, 3 hours from LA
Getting around: Taxi, car, ferries
When To Go: Vancouver at its best
Best weather: Spring and summer, when the temps reach a cool 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Best prices: Winter and fall
Festivals: Proudly nicknamed the “City of Summer Festivals,” Vancouver definitely heats up in more ways than one when the warm weather starts to arrive. Bard on the Beach presents Shakespeare plays overlooking the English Bay, while the biggest names in jazz also descend upon the city this time of year for a New Orleans style street fest. Come fall, one of North America’s largest film festivals showcases movies from more than 50 countries.
Bird’s-eye views: If you’re not afraid of heights, try climbing Grouse Mountain, which includes Grouse Grind — known as “Mother Nature’s StairMaster” — a 2.9 km trail, a challenge worth the spectacular views at its top. Just minutes from downtown, the Capilano Suspension Bridge offers you the opportunity to walk above evergreen trees in a breathtaking rain forest setting 230 feet above the Capilano River. Back downtown, the Vancouver Lookout at Harbor Centre affords stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding North Shore Mountains.
Shopping: No matter where you are staying, Vancouver is chock-full of cool neighborhoods for shopping. In Chinatown, check out the Night Markets for embroidered silks and linens, herbal remedies, and exotic fruits and vegetables. Retailers in historic Gastown offer souvenirs, jewelry, house wares, and the latest fashions. There is also a collection of antique stores and art galleries to browse. Meanwhile, on Robson Street, you’ll find lux designer boutiques mixed in with lots of restaurants where you can grab a seat and people watch once your shopping bags are full.