Oh, Canada. The land of Justin Bieber, the Toronto Raptors, and the country that may receive the biggest influx of refugees if Donald Trump becomes president. I've considered moving to this neutral land many times. I have relatives who live there, and besides, it's simply a beautiful country.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter Canada on the West Coast is just how fancifully green it is. I recently visited Vancouver, British Columbia, which is just north of Washington State. And just like Washington and Oregon, this side of Canada experiences just as much rain during the fall and winter.
Vancouver is like any bustling city with a diverse population. Coming from San Diego, which is another melting pot of culture, it almost feels like home - except for all the tall, green trees. I thought four days would be long enough to hang out with my family and enjoy the sights, but I wish I had two or three more days to wander even more.
What does one do with four days in Vancouver? Here are a few ideas from my trip to add to your travel bucket list...
Stanley ParkRent a bike and cruise through this National Historic Site to take in all the greenery, water, and flowers. Stop at the Totem Poles at Brockton Point to admire the beautiful carved artwork, and while you're at it, hop right across the street to take photos of the downtown cityscape. Another pit stop for picturesque views is the Brockton Point Lighthouse.
Hiking up to Quarry Rock in Deep CoveIf you love the outdoors and like the idea of adventure, head 20 minutes east of Vancouver to the community of Deep Cove, which is nestled among mountains and Horseshoe Bay. You can enjoy a boat ride, hike, or simply chill out and have a picnic.
Hiking was the only activity I requested to do during my trip, so my cousin, his wife, and I with 3 kids in tow headed up along Baden Powell Trail to Quarry Rock. A beautiful view awaited us at the top...
Shopping on Robson StreetOk, so maybe you prefer adventures in retail and people watching instead of trail hiking. Downtown Vancouver is home to all the thrills of shopping that every metropolitan city offers. Robson Street is famous for its shopping and restaurants, where you can find everything from comic stores to popular retails chains and everything in between. A Nordstrom just recently opened up, which had everyone buzzing with excitement.
Krause Berry Farms & Estate WineryIf you have kids or you just love berries (who doesn't?), then a trip to Krause Berry Farms is a must for a day of frolicking in the fields. We didn't go berry picking, but did enjoy a nice lunch of roasted corn pizza, corn soup, and refreshing berry drinks. But the real reason we came here was to take home one of their delectable berry pies for our after-dinner dessert.
View more photos from my trip on my Flickr page...