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Fondly known as the golf ball because of the glittery geodesic dome that sits atop it, this science center is a former Expo '86 pavilion. Today, it is a top family destination, offering educational, entertaining and interactive exhibits. Three main galleries explore the areas of biology, physics and music. A 3D laser show presents fun images. The biggest attraction is the OMNIMAX Theatre, which features science and nature films on one of the world's largest dome screens.
The Atelier Gallery has been displaying art for more than 30 years. The gallery provides a platform for local artists who are aspiring to have to a more prominent presence. The focus of the displays changes regularly and covers everything from urban appeal to simple landscaping.
First Nations culture often provides a significant voice in the city's art scene. Located in the heart of trendy Gastown, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts gallery displays the work of established and lesser-known First Nations artisans. It displays a range of customized gold and silver jewelry, each piece a reflection of contemporary and traditional native styles. Artistic traditions from tribal nations along the coast, arctic and plains are celebrated. It also has an exceptional selection of masks, ceremonial bowls, carvings, totem poles and prints.
Walk into this 110-year-old church and feel as though you've stepped back in time to a serene place. The historic cathedral, located across the street from the equally impressive Hotel Vancouver, features 29 striking Gothic and stained glass windows, each reflecting a story from the New Testament. The public art displayed in the lobby is also mesmerizing. The downtown landmark plays host to many choir recitals and concerts that are worthwhile for the acoustics alone. Check the website or call for information on special events and hours of worship.
Considered one of the best such facilities in North America, this structure has had many transformations. Aside from the planetarium and observatory, H.R. MacMillan Space Center also features the Cosmic Courtyard hands-on gallery, a Virtual Voyages full-motion simulator, Ground-station Canada exhibits and multimedia and popular laser shows. Its overnight adventures and space camps are popular. Don't forget to visit the gift shop with space-related souvenirs. Check the website or call ahead for timings of the evening laser shows. Admission prices mentioned are applicable throughout the day.
As part of the complex of museums located in Vanier Park, Vancouver museum is paired with the Macmillan Planetarium at the Pacific Space Centre. It has been in operation since 1894, with most exhibits and presentations focusing on the history of the city and the regions surrounding it. Renowned for its collection of natural history, ethnology, archaeology, and Asian artifacts, there are many things here to see and explore.
Vancouver is blessed with one of the world's most spectacular skylines, so see it from the ocean if you get the chance. The popular Sunset Dinner Cruise lets you take in the view over three hours while you dine on a gourmet buffet. If you prefer something short and sweet, take the Harbour Tour. If you want to plan a special event or corporate function, you can charter a boat too.
Take a ride in an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and watch the splendor of Stanley Park roll by. See sights like Deadman's Island, the city harbor and Lions Gate Bridge. The totem poles, Girl in a Wet Suit statue, S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead and the Rose Gardens are all stopovers. The one-hour tours are narrated and depart every 20 minutes from the park's information booth. No reservations are required but do call for the rates of these tours.
Corraled by the English Bay on one side and the Vancouver Harbour on the other, this stunning stretch of land was declared the city's first public park in 1886. Unlike most city parks, Stanley Park was not laid-out by a landscape architect, but instead, grew organically over the years. The rainforest forms the core of Stanley Park, with trees towering to a height of 76 meters (249 feet) and close to 100 years old, while the seawall hems the park's waterfront. Scattered throughout are monuments, landmarks and public art, as well as gardens with vivid floral displays and totem poles; a tapestry of varied habitats teeming with native wildlife that is held together by a network of trails. The park is also home to attractions like a miniature railway, the Malkin Bowl and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Towering at 1,250 meters (4,100 feet), Grouse Mountain's ethereal peaks bear testament to the unspoiled beauty of British Columbia. Named after the native dusky grouse that inhabits the alpine reaches of the province, this soaring attraction forms part of the North Shore mountains of North Vancouver. The mountain's all-year-round access means that life's luxuries don't escape even this great natural landmark. Grouse Mountain is home to a stunning mountaintop cinema, a chalet and lodge built along its base, and a nifty chairlift that allows for sweeping panoramic views of the soul-stirring scenery of the region. There is also a wildlife refuge and a ski area that occupy the mountain's alpine corners.