What colour do you get when you combine Vancouver’s stated goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable city by 2020 with a mild and damp coastal climate? Green, of course.
But it’s just one of dozens of nature havens spread throughout this West Coast city.
Thanks to some excellent city planning, even in the downtown core you don’t have to walk very far to find a quiet green space with benches, picnic tables and increasingly, playgrounds.
Especially in the spring and summer, plan to build at least one park visit into your Vancouver itinerary.
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Here are my picks of the major parks and gardens in and around Metro Vancouver–all easily accessible by public transit:
- Stanley Park, especially the Rhodo Garden (spring) and Rose Garden (summer)
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: especially in spring when the cherry blossoms bloom, this is a favourite refuge for visitors to bustling Chinatown.
- Queen Elizabeth Park: Vancouver’s second-most-visited park and home of the much-photographed Bloedel Floral Conservatory.
- Lynn Canyon Park: An authentic Canadian wilderness experience complete with towering trees and hiking trails in the mountainside community of North Vancouver.
- Lighthouse Park: A vast, wild refuge in West Vancouver where Burrard Inlet meets Howe Sound, North America’s southern-most fjord.
- Garry Point Park: Take a bike aboard the Canada Line to nearby Richmond and ride the (flat!) dyke trail to enjoy the pretty views of the Fraser River and Gulf Islands from this park in quaint Steveston, a former fishing village.
Photo: Tourism Vancouver