From Andrew Harper
This lovely modern city lies between snowcapped mountains and the Pacific.
The old city, the heart of Vancouver, juts into Burrard Inlet and culminates in Stanley Park, a 988-acre rain forest and one of the largest urban green spaces in North America, also home to the first-rate Vancouver Aquarium. Gastown, the city's oldest neighborhood, has been reincarnated as a fashionable enclave where cobbled streets now wind past thriving restaurants and nightspots. Vancouver's dining scene is stellar and offerings are diverse, mirroring the city's rich ethnic variety, including a sizeable Chinese population.
Robson Square is a trendy shopping and business district. Granville Island's large public market makes for pleasant morning meandering.
Just two hours away, Whistler is a world-renowned snow sports destination, which hosted most of the ski events during the 2010 Winter Olympics.