Lying on the cusp of Vancouver but a city in its own right, Burnaby offers pure relaxation with idyllic spots like Burnaby Lake Nature Park, where bald eagles soar over a lake dotted with canoes. Then there's Central Park, which sprawls over 90 hectares, and Deer Lake Park with its walking trails. Practice your swing at Burnaby Mountain Golf course, and seek out contemporary masterpieces at Burnaby Art Gallery.
Situated on a peninsula, Downtown Vancouver is as well known for its vast waterfront as it is for the sleek skyscrapers of the financial district. Overlooking the North Shore, Canada Place is a huge entertainment complex bedecked with iconic sails, while another prominent landmark is Robson Square, with its striking modernist architecture. For sweeping views of the city, ascend the Harbour Centre to the Vancouver Lookout observation deck.
Located just outside Vancouver, Langley is a must for anyone curious about Canadian history. It's here that you'll find Fort Langley National Historic Site, where British Columbia took root, and where you can wander historic and reconstructed buildings from that era. The whole Langley area is known for its gorgeous green spaces – another place to chill out is Campbell Valley Regional Park, with its network of nature trails.
Love the great outdoors? North Vancouver is for you, with the rugged beauty of Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour making them perfect for hikers and mountain bikers (the Grouse Grind is a popular trail), while in the winter they're meccas for skiers and snowboarders. Also stunning is Lynn Canyon park, with its surging creek and gorgeous greenery. For a thrill, cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge over the treetops.
A sprawling city just outside Vancouver, Surrey is a place of fascinating contrasts – from the urban center of Whalley to the historic streets of Cloverdale, which found fame as one of the main locations for cult TV series Smallville. It's also where the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair takes place – a tradition dating back to 1888, it's a major event featuring parades, shows, and rides, attracting thousands every year.