Museum of Anthropology at UBC#9 in Best Things To Do in Vancouver
While the city itself hasn't celebrated a large amount of birthdays, the area on which Vancouver was founded possesses a rich, cultural past. The Museum of Anthropology (part of the University of British Columbia) houses one of the world's most impressive collections of art and artifacts from the Northwest Coast First Nations. In the Great Hall alone, you'll spot ornately decorated canoes, ritual masks, totem poles and other Native American relics. Other areas of the museum display 15th-century European pottery, priceless jewelry and local art. You can embark on your own self-guided walk-through of the museum, but recent travelers highly suggest following one of the docents. Tours are offered an average of three times per day; consult the MOA website for exact times. Recent visitors said the collection is amazing, though might not interest younger children.
Located on the western edge of Point Grey, the Museum of Anthropology is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Thursday the museum stays open until 9 p.m. From mid-October to mid-May, the museum is closed on Mondays. Admission for adults costs CA$18 (about $14); children ages 6 and younger get in for free. You can save on ticket prices by visiting on Thursday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. when admission is just CA$10 (about $7.70). If you drive here, you'll have to pay an extra CA$3.50 (about $2.70) per hour for parking. If you prefer to take public transit, you'll have to walk from the UBC bus loop stop to the museum (a distance of a little less than a mile). A cafe and shop are also located on-site. For more details, consult the MOA's 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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