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Get a 360-degree view of Vancouver and its outlying areas from one of British Columbia's tallest buildings at the Harbour Centre. Its observation deck gives an unobstructed view of the city, Burrard Inlet, the North Shore mountains, Burnaby Mountain, West Vancouver and Bowen Island. Getting there is a fun experience in itself; glass elevators whisk you up 168 meters (553 feet) in just 40 seconds. There are multilingual guides available for those who are interested.
This is where the temple of the body is worshiped: in the height of Vancouver's summer, there are hordes of bikini-clad fitness addicts, testosterone-fueled displays and rollerblading fans. With views of the North Shore mountains, this beach offers special amenities and activities. A large grassy area behind the beach has playgrounds, tennis courts, and more then enough room for several rounds of Frisbee and volleyball. The largest outdoor pool in the city is here, perfect when the water is too chilly. There are change rooms, showers, and concession stands.
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.