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Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park is a myriad of awe-inspiring sights rolled into one. This verdant retreat is the crown jewel of Vancouver's urban landscape, perched at the city's highest point, in full view of the North Shore Mountains and the city itself. The park is a diverse tapestry of luxuriant spaces, each a cornucopia of delights. At the Quarry Garden, the former wasteland has been transformed into a lush garden complete with a babbling brook and cascading waterfall, while the Rose Garden abounds in variously hued floral displays. Nearby, the Arboretum shelters a collection of native and exotic trees, interspersed with sculptures and public art by the likes of Henry Moore. The Dancing Fountain is another popular feature, as is the Painters' Corner where local artists can be seen working on picturesque landscapes, their original artwork on display. For the more actively inclined, the park also features sports facilities like tennis courts, mini-golf and lawn bowling.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden is the first classical Chinese garden built outside China. It employs the ancient techniques of the Ming Dynasty, condensing the serenity of the mountain, streams, valleys and hills into an urban sanctuary. Every niche and arch of the garden is meticulously laid out. Each plant, rock and piece of architecture is selected for its symbolic meaning and mood. The Chinese lettering at the entrance reads 'Garden of Ease'. A place filled with lush green grass and tranquility.
Hop into the Big Bus for a tour of the happening places in Vancouver. Despite the wait time, it is fun to take a bus to a place worth visiting without breaking your head over the routes. Explore the city over two days and twenty stops at your pace, its a journey that is called for.
VanDusen Botanical Garden has 22 hectares (54 acres) of plants and trees collected from around the world harmoniously set amidst lawns, lakes and rock work. Some areas demonstrate plant relationships, such as the Rhododendron Walk, or geographical beginnings, like in the Sino-Himalayan Garden. A Christmas light display goes up every December.
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.
Take a break from the city life and see what farm life is all about. Tucked away on the South end of the city, Southland Farms offers visitors everything from horse back riding, farmers market, field trip and youth programs to a pumpkin patch in the Fall and on-going art activities. Perfect for a family day out, Southland Farms is well worth a visit.
5 acres (2 hectares) of farm-park with over 200 domestic farm animals and birds will delight the entire family. Feed the bunnies and birds, watch the cows being milked and hang out on Goat Hill. It's an excellent place to have a picnic, and various events are held throughout the year, including the Annual Farm Fair in September, the 101 Pumpkin Event in October, and the Country Christmas in early December. One to two hour pony rides and birthday parties can also be arranged.
Famous for the thrilling and one of the oldest attractions of North Vancouver called the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the park also features other attractions. These include the 'Treetops Adventure' where you can walk across from one Douglas fir tree to another on bridges and walkways that are attached to tree trunks 30 meter (98.43 feet) above the rain-forest floor. For those enthused with regional folk-art, the cluster of totem poles made by First Nation people is located inside the remote section of the park. The carvings on the trees are breathtaking and according to popular belief, the intricate carvings offer stories of their own.
The gardens, located at UBC are composed of five cultivated areas spread over 70-acres of land. The Asian Garden is where rarities like the blue Himalayan poppy blooms. It also has magnolias, roses and 400 types of rhododendrons. Meanwhile, the BC Native Garden displays over 3,500 plants naturally found in the province. The Alpine Garden grows high-elevation plants from Australia, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Tours are available from April to October. Admission by donation.
Professor Kannosuke Mori created this place in memory of Dr. Inazo Nitobe (1861-1933), an esteemed educator in Canada. The UBC garden opened in 1960, and was designed using the principles of Zen and Shintoism. Visitors leisurely stroll its curving paths counter-clockwise, as the garden progresses from beginning to growth and change to an ending. Japanese maples, flowering cherry, azaleas, irises and a reflective pond filled with Japanese koi provide color all year-round. Admissions by donation.