Capilano Suspension Bridge#12 in Best Things To Do in Vancouver
Overcome your vertigo and experience Vancouver the way the birds do. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is the oldest tourist attraction in the city (it dates back to 1889), and the 450-foot-long, 230-foot-high bridge offers spectacular views of the Capilano River below. Visitors call it thrilling, exciting and an overall great experience. The fun doesn't end once you reach the other side of the canyon; more suspension bridges and daredevil activities await at the Treetops Adventure. With this canopy walk – set among the park's 250-year-old Douglas fir trees – you'll have the chance to walk 110 feet above the forest floor, from viewing platform to viewing platform. Continue to tempt fate along the Cliffwalk, a set of cantilevered and suspended walkways that meander along the canyon's edge. Though recent travelers praised the unique experience the attraction offers, visitors aren't as pleased with the high admission price or the limited parking. To avoid the school crowds, plan your visit in the morning. And to sidestep parking woes, sign up for a guided tour to the attraction, which leaves from Vancouver.
Dangling high above North Vancouver (about 7 miles north of downtown), the Capilano Suspension Bridge is open daily; hours vary seasonally. Entry to the bridge complex costs CA$42.95 (approximately $33) for adults, CA$26.95 (approximately $20.75) for kids ages 13 to 16 and CA$14.95 (about $11.50) for children ages 6 to 12. Parking costs CA$5 (about $3.85) per vehicle. If you would rather take public transit, you can hop on the SeaBus in downtown Vancouver and take it across the harbor to Lonsdale Quay. From the quay, you can take the No. 236 bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The park also offers a free shuttle service from several locations in downtown Vancouver to the park. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes. For a complete list of hours and prices, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge website.
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#1 Stanley Park
This nearly 1,000-acre park on the tip of Vancouver's "thumb" (just north of the West End) is home to some of the city's favorite, most-visited attractions. In fact, you could easily spend more than a day here and still not see everything this urban oasis has to offer. If you want to experience the park the way the locals do, walk, cycle or jog around the nearly 20-mile-long Seawall that hugs Vancouver's waterfront. The path starts at the Vancouver Convention Centre and ends at Spanish Banks Beach Park. If you're not up for the walk, you'll find several bike rental companies near the park. With your bike, you'll be able to explore the more than 17 miles of forest trails that are much less crowded than the rest of the park. Travelers recommend biking the South Creek Trail, which leads to the lily pad-covered Beaver Lake. If you're not up for all that exercise, you can ride a hop-on, hop-off trolley or a horse-drawn carriage. Both guided tours (offered seasonally) include informational narration. Recent visitors said the park offers a great escape from the city and has one of the prettiest seawall walks around.
Families with kids in tow will find plenty of family-friendly to-dos here as well, including an outdoor water park and a separate heated, outdoor pool. The park also boasts four playgrounds and a miniature train that snakes through more than a mile of forest. The Vancouver Aquarium is also nestled within the park, but costs extra. Art and history buffs will likely want to stop at Brockton Point to see the First Nation totem pole display (along the Seawall). It's estimated that some of the original totem poles were carved in the late 1880s.
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