Fringed by sandy beaches, leafy parks and snow-dusted mountains, Vancouver makes the ideal destination for an adventurous getaway, especially given the favorable exchange rate Americans will find while traveling in Canada. And there's no need to plan a big vacation—Vancouver's urban culture and proximity to the rural beauty of spots like Vancouver Island mean you can enjoy the best of both worlds, even on a short trip.
Just a few days to spare? That’s still plenty of time to take in the highlights on a half-day sightseeing tour and explore Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown and Gastown, in addition to checking out the Vancouver Art Gallery, visiting the Vancouver Aquarium or taking in the views from the Vancouver Lookout observation deck. Alternatively, enjoy the flexibility of a self-made itinerary with a one- or two-day hop-on, hop-off bus or trolley tour of Vancouver.
Be sure to take a day to escape the city as well, whether to hike or mountain bike in the mountains, cruise to Vancouver Island or admire the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Another popular choice is a tour of the North Shore to take a walk across the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge, drive across the Lions Gate Bridge and ride the Grouse Mountain gondola.