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Vancouver & Coast Mountains

Vancouver is the heart of the Coast and Mountains Region nestled into the lowlands of the Fraser Delta, in sharp contrast to its surroundings. One of the planets most beautiful city, it is also the outdoor capital of the world (there, I've said it!), several lifetimes would be expended pursuing the outdoor possibilities the region offers.

Within the city limits, or no more than a couple of hours away are world class locations for sea kayaking, white water paddling, mountain biking, ski touring, snow boarding, backpacking and more. Why else would the worlds greatest adventure race, The Eco-Challenge, choose this venue?


The Vancouver area is a winter sports Mecca. Ironically, it rarely gets snow. The mountains surrounding the city such as Seymour, Hollyburn and Grouse all have great snowboarding, nordic skiing and snow shoeing. You can ski glaciers just up the coast at Whistler or Garibaldi Provincial Park. Not far from the city you'll also find Manning and Golden Ears provincial parks with excellent backcountry and XC ski areas.

For the more urban pleasures within the city consider paying a visit to some of the following areas.

Granville Island - Located below the Granville Street Bridge on the shores of False Creek just opposite the downtown core, the area has a wealth of artisans, artists, merchants and specialty shops. Glass workers, sculptors and potters produce some of the finest examples of their craft in Canada. The Granville Island Public Market will please the foodies in the crowd, as will the numerous pubs, restaurants, bars and terraces. On a sunny day the view from the areas patios are well worth taking in and provide an excellent opportunity for kicking back and doing some serious people watching. The island can be reached easily by public transportation, car or better yet, bicycle or on foot. In addition their is an Aqua Bus which runs through False Creek which is a fun way to get there. The area is just north of the intersection of 4th and 6th street below the on ramps to the Granville Street Bridge.

Yaletown - This former warehouse district has gone distinctly upscale. From lorries to lofts, crates to crepes the area has found a new life that attracts the trendies from all over the city. Wine bars, lounges and fine restaurants abound, with interesting boutiques selling high end furnishings and fashions adding to the mix. In August the streets reverberate with the ferocious whine of the Indy cars as the city plays host to the North American tour. The area stretches from Drake to Nelson bounded by Homer and Mainland. It lies just to the west, or make that southwest of the downtown core.

Davie Street - Funky is the operative word for this area of late night restaurants, shops and hang outs for a wide variety of the cities locals. From the down and out, to the always in, you'll find an interesting cross section of humanity inhabiting the sidewalks, shops and bars. This is definitely one of the more interesting areas in the city, particularly as night falls. The main action is between Denman and Burrard Streets just south of the downtown core.

Robson Street - Shoppers and diners love this strip which hosts some of the biggest names in upscale retailing. You'll find La Senza, The Gap, La Vie en Rose, Salvatore Ferragamo and much more. While finding something to spark your interest is easy on Robson, finding a parking spot along the street is one of the worlds great urban challenges (and feeding those meters over and over again is not for someone on a fixed income). At either end of the street you'll find other interesting places to explore in the form of Denman and Granville Streets. Robson stretches from just outside Stanley Park in the west to Beatty Street in the east. The main drag is between Nicola and Burrard.

Gastown - Don't miss the steam clock blowing its top; a rather unique site and definitely of interest to the kids. Explore the variety of interesting shops along the cobblestone streets and small alley ways.. This is the birth place of Vancouver and the buildings reflect the history of the city. Head west towards Stanley Park and you'll find Canada Place. Located on Water and Alexander Streets in the downtown core just north of Chinatown.

Chinatown - Definitely Vancouvers' most unique area with a lively community and a fascinating history. While you'll find shops catering to tourists you'll also find those that deal almost exclusively with the chinese community. Restaurants abound, many of which are excellent but be forewarned you'll find menus and signs which are exclusively chinese. Chinatown centres around West Pender Street and Main with the broader area being bounded by Abbott, Gore, Keefer and Hastings.

Commercial Drive - One of the most interesting areas of the city where cafes abound and the hip and wannabe hip mix but don't necessarily match. You'll find excellent food shops with lots of European specialties along with some interesting restaurants. You can reach "the drive" by sky train (you'll still have to walk a few blocks), by bus or by car. It's a fair distance from the downtown core so walking isn't a reasonable option.

Granville Mall - A rather strange history the mall has been very controversial, particularly since it eliminated autos on one of the downtown cores main thoroughfares. Still you'll find some interesting pieces of the cities life here, as well many nearby neighbourhoods and attractions such as Robson Street, Davie Street, Yaletown, the Arts Centre and of course the Vancouver Public Library.

Kitsilano - Urban professionals have replaced the hippies of lore. Much of the area seems to be a curious blend of both, a mix which is sometimes at odds, and sometime in harmony. Lots of good restaurants and plenty of interesting shops. You'll also find "Kits" beach at the bottom of the hill. The heart of the area is 4th just west of Burrard.

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British Columbia Tourism

Out-There's British Columbia

British Columbia Tourism - Hello BC, Official Site




Vancouver Tourism

Tourism Vancouver - Official Site - City of Vancouver
Vancouver Coast and Mountains - Official Site



Out-There's Whistler

Municipality of Whistler

Whistler Tourism - Official Site


Chamber of Commerce

Regional Tourism

The Vancouver Coast and Mountains region is made up of the Greater Vancouver area, the Fraser Valley stretching east to Hope and north to Lytton, the Sea to Sky area that heads north through Squamish, passed Whistler and Pemberton and the Sunshine Coast that encompasses the mainland coast to the north west of Vancouver, from Gibsons, passed Powell River up to the spectacular Desolation Sound (this is known as a life sentence). See the Travel Section for details on access for the various areas.

Vancouver Coast and Mountains - Area Guide

Fraser Valley - Area Guide, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, British Columbia

Sea to Sky - Area Guide, Sea to Sky , Vancouver Coast and Mountains, British Columbia

Sunshine Coast - Area Guide, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, British Columbia

Sunshine Coast - Area Guide, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, British Columbia

Point Roberts, USA - An isolated peninsula belonging to the US but with with on land connection - Shopping, Bars, Restaurants and more


Surrounding Regions



Rainbow Country - Area Guide, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, British Columbia

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Vancouver City Guides


Whistler Guides

Whistler - Snowboarding Blows!




Newspapers - Vancouver


Newspapers - Coast and Mountains

Festivals, Events and Attractions



Coast and Mountains


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Casinos - British Columbia


British Columbia Lottery Corporation - Lotteries & Casinos, Online Lottery Results





Greater Vancouver Regional District

Belcarra - Indian Arm
Bowen Island Bowen Island
Coquitlam Coquitlam
Langley City
Langley Township
Lions Bay
Maple Ridge Maple Ridge
New Westminster
North Vancouver City
North Vancouver District North Vancouver District
Pitt Meadows Pitt Meadows
Port Coquitlam
Port Moody
West Vancouver West Vancouver
White Rock

Vancouver Neighbourhoods, Streets and Scenes

Arbutus Ridge
Kensington - Cedar Cottage
Mount Pleasant
Riley Park-Little Mountain
South Cambie
West End
West Point Grey


Cities, Towns and Villages



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Shopping Areas and Malls



For outdoor gear and clothing see our Outdoor Retailers Section
For spas and gyms see our Health and Beauty Section



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Historic Sites

Canada's national historic sites are managed by the federal government. The include fortifications, historic homes and buildings, canals as well as areas which have little obvious clues of their historical significance. In the latter case, efforts are often expended to reconstruct some of the details of the past. An excellent example of this is available at the l'Anse a Meadow site in Newfoundland, which reconstructs the earliest known European presence in the new world, in the form of a Viking settlement.

British Columbia has seven national historic sites located in the province. In addition there are sites of historic significance designated on a provincial and regional basis and of course those which are established by interested parties in the private sector.


British Columbia

Related Links and Links of Interest

BC Archives
BC Heritage

British Columbia Historical Federation
Canada's Digital Collections
Collections Canada
Culture Canada
Heritage Canada
Heritage Canada Foundation
Land Conservancy of BC
Royal BC Museum
South Cariboo Heritage Sites




  Month   High   Low  
  January   06C ( 42.8F)   01C (33.8F)  
  February   08C (46.4F)   01C (33.8F)  
  March   11C (51.8F)   03C (37.4F)  
  April   14C (57.2F)   05C (41.0F)  
  May   18C (64.4F)   08C (46.4F)   
  June   21C (69.8F)   11C (51.8F)  
  July   23C (73.4F)   13C (55.4F)  
  August   23C (73.4F)   12C (53.6F)  
  September   19C (66.2F)   10C (50.0F)  
  October   14C (57.2F)   07C (44.6F)  
  November   09C (48.2F)   04C (39.2F)  
  December   07C (57.2F)   02C (35.6F)  

Although the average temperature in the summer months seems almost cool, the Vancouver area is definitely T-shirt country in the summer. Be prepared for rain at any time of year but don't be surprised when the sun shines, cause when it shines, it shines, sometimes for as much as two or three months straight. The temperatures vary outside of the city and are colder as you move into the mountains (particularly in the evening). While it rarely snows in the city of Vancouver but other areas of the Coast and Mountains may get plenty. Road closures on route to Whistler or the interior are possible in winter months due to snow accumulation. Best to check before you go.



Whistler Weather
Vancouver Weather


Marine Forecasts


Whistler Maps

Vancouver Coast and Mountains Region - From Out-There

Whistler Maps

Canadian Map Office

Maps - Canadian Topographical Maps by World of Maps

British Columbia Road Maps

Online Topographical Maps


Nautical Charts

Canadian Hydrographical Services


Health, Fitness & Beauty


London Drugs - Pharmacy
Pharmasave - Pharmacy





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If your flying into the area your most likely to land at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond. Once you leave the airport it's a short hop over the Fraser River into the city itself with the down town core still a distance away. Heading east will bring you up into the Fraser Canyon and traveling north from the city brings you to Whistler or the Sunshine Coast.

If your traveling by car the access to the Vancouver Coast and Mountain area is essentially from the east or south (yes, you could come by Ferry via Vancouver Island as well). If you coming from the US to the south you'll follow the I5 to the border then Hwy 99 through the Fraser Delta and into Vancouver. If you coming from the east he only real choice is to cross the border and connect with the Trans-Canada highway through the Fraser Valley.


The Vancouver International Airport is located just to the south of the city on Sea Island in Richmond. It's just short of 15km (9 miles) to the downtown core. It will cost you north of $40.00C by taxi to get downtown. A cheaper alternative is the airport shuttles which run to the major hotels. There is no freeway into the core from the airport so traffic lights and speed limits will take there toll, plan on at least 40 minutes at the best of times and increase that proportionately as you approach rush hour.

There is currently an airport tax if you fly out of the city.

Airlines - National and Regional

  • Air Canada - Canada's National and International Airlines
  • Jazz - National and International
  • JetsGo - National and International
  • Tango - National Discount Carrier
  • Sky Services - Regional and National
  • CanJet - Discount Carrier
  • Zip - Discount Carrier

Airlines - Regional

  • Alaska Air
  • Harbour Air - To Whistler, Powell River, Tofino, Powell River
  • Horizon Air
  • Kenmore Air - To Victoria

  • Limousine Service

    Airport Shuttle



    You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a complete stop and have ascertained the way is clear). British Columbia is very strict in ensuring pedestrians have the right of way, so be alert when driving. Approach crosswalks and street corners with caution. Much of British Columbia is mountainous and driving conditions can deteriorate rapidly. In many areas snow is possible at any time of year. Check for road conditions and closures before setting out.

    Special Note for Drivers Visiting BC

    1)British Columbia is a very mountainous area and during the winter months road closures in some areas are common. Avalanche chutes as well as heavy snow falls are key factors. When you plan your trip inquire about the route and check weather conditions before you go.

    2) British Columbia is criss-crossed by thousands of logging roads, which are often the only access to back country areas. These roads where never intended for private vehicles (which can be damaged just trying to negotiate the road surface) and may present very serious problems with snow, mud, ruts and rocks. Many require chains and/or four wheel drive. Roads connected to active logging areas will certainly have logging trucks running through them - proceed with extreme caution or better still - don't!

    3) Logging roads may be closed to private vehicles and many active roads are only open during weekends when the trucks may not be hauling. Contact the "Ministry of Forests" if you plans include travel on any of these roads, better still find another route!

    Car Rental


    Distances / Mileage

      Towns/Cities   Kilometres   Miles  
      Harrison Hot Springs - Vancouver   120km   75 mile  
      Hope - Vancouver   150km   219 mile  
      Kamloops - Vancouver   350km   217 mile  
      Powell River - Vancouver*   130km   81 miles  
      Victoria - Vancouver*   70km   44 miles  
      Whistler - Vancouver   125km   78 miles  
      Banff - Vancouver   850km   531 miles  
      Calgary - Vancouver   975km   609 miles  
      Edmonton - Vancouver   1150km   718 miles  
      Jasper - Vancouver   800km   500 miles  
      Seattle - Vancouver   226km   141 miles  
      Portland - Vancouver   500km   313 miles  
      San Francisco - Vancouver   1550km   969 miles  
    * requires ferry transport

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    Road Conditions

    Drive BC


    Vancouver is plenty serious when it says "No Parking". Don't be surprised if you're car is towed (yes, towed away!) if you leave it in a no parking area. A ticket seems almost a relief. You have been warned!

    Easy Park Vancouver

    Pay Parking Tickets Online


    Now this just can't be illegal, can it?


    Now this may just be illegal someplaces, better check first!




    City of Vancouver Maps

    Vancouver Coast and Mountains Region - From Out-There

    British Columbia Road Maps

    Transit Maps


    Campers, RVs and Motor Homes


    Canadian Adventure Rentals - Rent a SUV, camping gear, canoe/kayak/bikes - very kool concept
    Campsource - Canada Park and Campground Database
    Go RVing Canada



    Ferries play a large role in connecting the various regions of British Columbia along the coast and into the islands. In the Coast and Mountain region, exploration of the Sechelt/Sunshine coasts requires ferry crossings unless your willing to fly or boat in. BC's ferry system is excellent,but pricey (yes, we know its cheap compared to some areas of the world). Check the web site for rates and sailing times. Be forewarned, in high season on the really popular runs, the spaces sell out quickly and you may have to wait for the next sailing or even the one after that - get the picture. You can make reservations online or by phone.

    The BC Ferries will provide you with access to the Gulf Islands (through Tsawwassen), Victoria on Vancouver Island (Tsawwassen), Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (Horseshoe Bay) and the Sunshine Coast (Horseshoe Bay). The quickest route to Pacific Rim National Park (Tofino and Ucluelet) on Vancouver Island is through Nanaimo.

    The regional Albion Ferry (car) connects Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows on the north side of the Fraser to Langley and Surrey on the south. Located east of the Port Mann Bridge. Greater Vancouver Transit

    Local Ferries Vancouver: The Sea Bus a passenger/commuter ferry runs from North Vancouver to the north shore of downtown and the Aquabus runs from the downtown areas south shore to Kitsilano. Of course you can take the bridges instead, but that's not as much fun. Greater Vancouver Transit

    Granville Island Ferry




    Marine Weather




    The train ride across the rockies from Banff into Vancouver (or vise-versa) aboard The Canadian, Via Rail's Western Transcontinental, is an awesome introduction to this amazing part of the world. Contact Via for more information. There is also a scenic train from Vancouver to Whistler from the Whistler Mountaineer. The main train terminus in Vancouver is on Main Street just up from Georgia in the downtown area.

    There use to be a train, headed by the historic Royal Hudson locomotive, which ran between North Vancouver and Squamish but it was withdrawn from service. Indications are that it will be back and will play a part in the 2010 Olympics as well. Have a look at the West Coast Railway Association website for more information.

    Sky Train

    This rapid transit initiative is a part of the Greater Vancouver Transit System and runs from Surrey to New Westminster, New Westminster through Burnaby to Vancouver (Northern Route) and New Westminster to Vancouver (Southern Route). Greater Vancouver Transit. Richmond is the next suburb which will be connected.

    West Coast Express - Commuter Rail

    The regional rail line carries passengers into the Fraser valley linking Vancouver with Port Moody, Coquitlam Central, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney and Mission. Greater Vancouver Transit



    The Greater Vancouver Region is serviced by and extensive bus system witch connects into the Sea Bus, the Sky Train and extended commuter rail service (see the West Coast Express listing on our pages). There is also a shuttle service which connects with the ferry on Bowen Island.

    For provincial and regional service, the main terminal in Vancouver is the Pacific Central on Pacific just east of the down town core. The area is serviced by Greyhound and Pacific Coach Lines. Rail and bus service are available to Whistler.

    Greater Vancouver Transit
    Whistler Wave - Local Transit System Whistler and Valley




    Banks and Trusts

    Use the banking and trust links to find ATM machines in the Vancouver Coast and Mountain region.

    Accommodations and Lodging

    Vancouver Accommodations and Lodging

    Whistler Lodging and Accommodations


    Restaurants and Bars

    Vancouver Dining, Restaurants and Bars

    Whistler Restaurants, Dining and Bars


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    Map of Vancouver Coast & Mountains
    Vancouver Coast and Mountains Main Page


    Out-There's Whistler Main Page
    Out-There's British Columbia

    Outdoor Gear


    Victoria and Vancouver Island


    Gulf Islands


    Related Features

    Cultus Lake Provincial Park
    Cypress Provincial Park
    Garibaldi Provincial Park

    Golden Ears Provincial Park
    Manning Provincial Park
    Mount Seymour Provincial Park
    Skagit Valley Provincial Park

    Kootenay National Park BC
    Mount Robson Provincial Park BC
    Yoho National Park BC

    Links of Interest

    Conde Naste Traveler
    Islands Magazine
    National Geographic
    National Geographic Adventure
    National Geographic Traveler
    Outside Magazine
    Sunset Magazine
    Travel and Leisure Magazine


    Out-There's Destinations

    Tourism Vancouver - Official Site - City of Vancouver
    Vancouver Coast and Mountains - Official Site
    British Columbia Tourism - Hello BC, Official Site

    British Columbia Government
    Canadian Government

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