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Vancouver is one of those lucky places in the world that has it all. They get lovely sunny summers where they can sail and swim and enjoy their wonderful offshore islands. Then they get snowy winters where they can stick the skis on the roof and be up the mountain in ten minutes flat. In between times they have what we Brits would call "proper" spring and "proper" Autumn. In all four seasons the City is a playground for fun. No wonder it always comes out tops in polls of the world's most liveable cities. It is also geophysically very beautiful.

The city is very lively and cosmopolitan, and is sometimes called "Hollywood North" for the high volume of movies that are now shot there. Keep a look out for big name stars in some of the trendy hotels and bars like the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. There are no end of great places to eat with everything from high end cuisine at the Shangri-La Hotel to the Teahouse restaurant in Stanley Park, or the public food market at Granville Island. Like most major cities, Vancouver has a large and colourful Chinatown. The Kitsilano area is also full of coffee shops and delis and is a good spot for browsing the shops, with lots of boutiques.

Granville Island used to be an industrial wasteland and is now a mega-fashionable urban playground. It is easy to while away a day here among the many galleries and the pockets of small marinas. A little further west is Vanier Park which often hosts free events on the beach. To get back downtown from here, the easiest way is to jump on a ferry.

Canadians love their beer and there are many micro-breweries around. For sampling, try the Steamworks Brewing Company, the Shebeen Whiskey House or the Alibi Room. Chambar, in the Gaston district, is another hip spot, and recommended for Belgian beers.

A big attraction is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is not for the faint hearted. Also on Cypress Mountain is the Grouse Mountain Skyride. Those who enjoy hiking will have to remember to keep an eye out for bears. It is not advised to go walking in the mountains in the winter without an experienced guide, as the snow conditions can be hazardous.

Culture vultures will love the fascinating Museum of Anthropology which follows the habits of the peoples who have made their home in British Colombia since 500 BC. For more totem poles take a lazy wander through Stanley Park on the waterfront. There's a 6 mile walk along the seawall if you feel the need for some exercise.

Vancouver is a really fabulous city and no matter what time of year you visit, you are bound to enjoy its myriad of attractions.

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