We went to Vancouver for one reason, really: to get on the train across the Rockies.
We had three days between our flight in and our train out, and when we arrived we didn't have much idea what we might find to see or do. These are five of our favourite finds.
Sun Yat-Sen Park is one of the highlights of Vancouver's Chinatown, a serene and secluded spot. Chinatown itself has a collection of intriguing shops and sights, as well as restaurants: we enjoyed the vegetarian dim sum at Jade Dynasty for our lunch.
Another beautiful old neighbourhood is Gastown. The architecture and lighting is fantastic, and it's especially atmospheric after dark, but my personal favourite thing about this area was the steam-powered clock.
The wild bird life in Vancouver isn't bad, for a city, but for an array of colourful characters it's well worth a visit to see the birds at the Biodome. From tiny zebra finches to giant macaws, there's a lot of variety packed into one small dome, and the weather inside is pleasant all year round (a fact for which we were most thankful).
Set amidst the Canadian rainforest, Capilano suspension bridge park features a treetop walk and a cliffside path, as well as the eponymous suspension bridge. The scenery is dramatic even if the level of moisture in the rainforest canopy almost guarantees it will be partially obscured by mist.
A little further afield, Grouse Mountain is a mountain sports resort that can be reached by a combination of ferry, bus, and cable car from the city centre. We were there in January, when we had the choice of exploring ski runs, snowshoe tracks, an ice rink, and sled rides. Summer activities include hiking, ziplines, and wildlife shows.