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.
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.
Orpheum Theatre was built in 1927 and restored in 1976 to its former glory. Originally opened as a vaudeville house, it is now a beautiful, much-loved city landmark. Located in the entertainment district Downtown, it is the perfect venue for a glamorous night out on the town, offering a variety of concerts, musicals and ceremonies as well as being the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
After closing its doors in the mid-1990s amid protests from patrons and famous musicians, the recently refurbished and re-opened ballroom is making a bouncy comeback. Its dance floor lies atop tires that make everyone move. The 990-capacity venue, located in downtown, has a history of amazing performances ranging from Dizzy Gillespie and Tina Turner to Nirvana and the Clash, along with modern artists like Stereolab and the Flaming Lips. Its location in the entertainment hub makes it a perfect place to see a show before going clubbing. Call ahead for current event details.
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.
Since 1973 the Cultch has been providing Vancouver with quality contemporary productions in the arts. The theater was actually originally a Methodist church, long since converted into the venue that it is known and loved. The Cultch also provides art programs for youth and hosts an annual youth arts festival. See website for more details.