British Columbia’s Pacific Coast city blends ultra-modern skyscrapers and Pacific Rim flair with nature. Just blocks from downtown, you can sea kayak, hike, or bicycle.
Delve into the culture of Canada’s First Nations tribes at this smoke-free boutique hotel. Ask for the “Coastal Cool” package: Stay in a room featuring native art; sip Pinot Noir from a local Osoyoos winery; go sea kayaking; and dine at Liliget Feast House, which serves First Nations delicacies. 1300 Robson St. (800) 663-5491
Fairmont Warterfront & Vancover Airport Hotels
These elegant hotels have recycling bins in every room and towel and sheet reuse. At the Waterfront, a compost-fertilized kitchen garden (near the chlorine-free pool) provides fresh herbs. The Airport Hotel offers an entire floor of hypoallergenic rooms with individual air filtration systems. Fairmont Waterfront: 900 Canada Place Way. (877) 441-1414.
This 1,000-acre urban oasis is laced with hiking trails and circled by a ten-kilometer shoreline path. Cyclists, in-line skaters, joggers, kayakers, birdwatchers, and swimmers flock to the beaches, forests, playgrounds, and story (“totem”) poles located throughout this park.
Museum of Anthropology
Soaring glass walls and post- and-beam architecture show off Canada’s most extensive Northwest Coast tribal collections including pole art, full-scale Haida houses, feast dishes, canoes, and masks. 6393 Northwest Marine Dr. (604) 822-5087
The Italian toast, cin-cin, means “to your good health.” This Mediterranean restaurant combines locally produced organic ingredients and fine British Columbia wines for a meal that’s sheer poetry. 1154 Robson St. (604) 688-7338
The Naam Vegetarian Cuisine
Open 24 hours a day, this hippie-style, all-veg, Kitsilano-area eatery prepares food with heart and soul. You may have to stand in line to get in, but everything from the macrobiotic Naam Bowl to the bee-pollen cookies is worth the wait. 2724 West Fourth Ave. (604) 738-7151
Yves Veggie Cuisine
Too busy for a sit-down meal? Stop at one of the Yves veggie dog stands parked along downtown sidewalks for a soy dog or burger from the Vancouver-based company.
Absolute Spa at the Century
A Zen-like haven to both locals and movie stars, this spa is famous for its massages, facials, and natural aromatherapy treatments.
1015 Burrard St. (877) 684-2772
Lighten up in Skoah’s jazzy, playful atmosphere. Try the Melted Muscles aromatherapy massage and Facialiscious fruit and veggie treatment. 1011 Hamilton St. (604) 642-0200