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Planning your Vancouver winter holiday has never been so easy!

Jul 20, 2017

Fly with Air Canada from Melbourne to Vancouver – non-stop – on the airline’s new seasonal service starting 1 December 2017. Thanks to Air Canada, you can make that winter wonderland dream come true!

As one of the world’s premiere city destinations, a visit to Vancouver during winter provides a refreshing balance to the usual ski vacation. From the mountain peaks to the oceanfront, the city offers terrific value during winter, effortlessly combining the excitement, nightlife and shopping of a young, modern city along with true access to the great outdoors. This really is a ‘city of nature’, just look in one direction to see the mountains run down to meet sandy beaches, then turn around and take in vibrant neighbourhood streets, cafés and markets. A Winter Olympic city, Vancouver’s mild weather lets you sail in the morning, cycle the seawall after lunch, ski or board the local peaks at dusk, then come back down again to dine and dance the night away in one of the city’s best nightlife districts.

Here are our top 5 things to experience in Vancouver.

1.            Stanley Park

Lush Stanley Park is the city’s beloved emerald heart with more than 400 hectares (nearly 1,000 acres) of evergreen forests, cricket pitches, rose gardens, totem poles and beaches. Hit one of dozens of marked trails and roam freely, or for a more comprehensive exploration, join a rainforest adventure tour, venturing deep into the heart of the park’s foliage. Stanley Park’s seawall (8.8 kilometres / 5.5 miles) is the perfect route to cycle or stroll, and provides some of the city’s best sea-to-sky mountain views.  In addition to resident raccoons, beavers and squirrels, the park is also home to more than 50,000 animals at the Vancouver Aquarium ranging from friendly sea otters to mesmerising jellyfish.














2.            Shop to it!

Vancouver is sure to please even the most ardent shopper looking for a little retail therapy, with everything from artisan markets to international designers, unbeatable bargains through to decadent splurges. Downtown’s Robson Street and Pacific Centre offer well-known brands and high-end department stores, while Vancouver’s oldest district, Gastown, has been re-invented as a hipster hangout and home to some of the city’s coolest independent stores, bars and restaurants. A former warehouse district, Yaletown is where Vancouver’s chicest crowd can be found, along with designer boutiques and modern galleries. The beachside Kitsilano area is known for its laid-back vibe — check out the yoga-wear stores and some great neighbourhood bistros. Nearby, Granville Island is the perfect stop for exploring artisan studios and local craft purveyors. Further afield, McArthurGlen Designer Outlets are just five-minutes from YVR and offer significant discounts on luxury brands.

3.            Enjoy the local mountains

Just across the water from Vancouver’s downtown peninsula, at the foot of the Coast Mountains, you’ll find plenty of adventure aside from skiing and boarding, while the amazing natural scenery also forms a backdrop for unique attractions – Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain.

Look down at the rushing river as you cross Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s swaying bridge, and make time to enjoy the rainforest nature trails, totem pole collection, the Treetops Adventure and Cliffwalk, a heart-stopping, cliff-side journey across a series of cantilevered and suspended walkways. A little further up the slope, Grouse Mountain offers the ultimate mountain-top playground, and the fun begins on a thrilling gondola ascent to the summit. At the top, you’ll be greeted by jaw-dropping views. The mountain’s ziplines guarantee an adrenaline rush, and a snowshoeing tour is the perfect way to explore nature on the snowy trails along the Lightwalk.














4.            Canada Place and Vancouver’s Harbourfront

Canada Place is picture-perfect and a great place to relax and watch the floatplanes take-off. At its tip is FlyOver Canada, a flight simulation ride that virtually soars across the country complete with wind, scents, mist and sound. Continuing along the waterfront past the LEED Platinum-certified Vancouver Convention Centre, stop at Jack Poole Plaza for a selfie with the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Made of steel and glass, the cauldron is a legacy of hosting this international sporting event, and offers a ready-made backdrop of the city, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. This is also where you’ll find Vancouver’s annual outdoor Christmas Market throughout the month of December.

5.            Sip and savour

A destination as active as Vancouver gives you plenty of ways to work up an appetite! From tiny local sushi cafés through to high-end seafood restaurants, Vancouver has an astounding range of dining choices for all budgets and tastes. Pair it all with British Columbian wines and local craft beers to get a unique taste of the city. And there’s plenty to explore even after you’ve put down your fork! Foodies will love a culinary walking tour of Granville Island Public Market to discover home-grown specialties and local flavours. January brings the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival, which combines great value set-priced menus at restaurants, gourmet tours and classes, and exclusive events. In February enjoy the Vancouver International Wine Festival – one of the largest and oldest in the world.

Have a bit more time to discover British Columbia? Vancouver is the perfect launch pad to explore other parts of the province. Along the gloriously scenic Sea to Sky Highway, just a two-hour drive north of Vancouver, you’ll find Whistler, British Columbia set in the spectacular Coast Mountains. It is consistently ranked one of the best ski resorts in the world thanks to its impressive yearly snowfall, over 8171 acres of skiable terrain on two mountains, exciting activities off the slopes and a dynamic and welcoming village.

So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now Flights will operate four times per week from 1 December 2017 to 4 February 2018. Visit www.aircanada.com

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