5 reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving in Vancouver — or any day

Time to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 14), and one of the best places to do that is in Vancouver.

Most dazzling downtown in Canada is in Vancouver, B.C. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Vancouver waterfront, between Stanley Park (left) and downtown (right). (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Here are 5 reasons we celebrate the city.  (We love it so much, we’ve lived there twice.)

1.  No matter which direction you look, this is the most dazzling skyline in all of Canada.

In any season, Vancouver has floatplanes landing next to its most expensive condos and hotels, and competitive rowers gliding sleek sculls in front of downtown high-rises.  Everywhere you look, the view of snow-dusted mountains and ocean is breathtaking.

2.  Stanley Park is one of the country’s best parks.

We’ve hiked parks from the far north to the southern border of Canada, and from the east coast to the west coast, and still find Stanley Park the best urban park in the country.  At 1,001 acres, it’s an astonishment.

Fall geese, Vancouver, B.C. waterfront. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Most dazzling skyline in Canada: Vancouver, B.C. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

We enjoy the paved walkway/bike path that circles the park, because the water is always at your side, and there are mountains in almost every direction.  We like the Coastal First Nations totem poles at the entrance too, because they remind us of the roots of this place.

3.  We’re always well-fed in Vancouver, from food trucks to five-star hotels.

Foodies always name Vancouver as one of their favorite destinations, because this city has everything from food trucks to some of Canada’s best chefs.  We prefer seafood on the waterfront (Cardero’s is lively, with great views and reasonable prices); Indian cuisine at Vij’s; Lebanese small plates at Nobu; and the fresh food stalls at Granville Island market.

(Vacay.ca judges Canada’s top restaurants every year, and Vancouver usually has a long list of winners.  Full disclosure: Kathleen was a judge for the inaugural awards.)

4.  Vancouver is a great walking city, from the waterfront to the neighborhoods. 

Stanley Park totem poles, Vancouver. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Coastal First Nations totems were brought to Stanley Park in the 1920s. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

The scenery is so great at any time of year — yes, even on rain-soaked days — that we always walk for hours here, often without a set route in mind.  The public transit system (especially the above-ground rail) is great for reaching the airport, train station and far-flung neighborhoods.  We lived here for years without owning a car.  Shopping is great in Kitsilano.

5.  Vancouverites celebrate their city with great abandon — it’s contagious.

Every Canucks’ victory is celebrated here with great abandon, including hours-long car horns, flag-waving and bar-hopping.  This celebration of a hockey team is a symbol of how much Vancouverites love their city. When they celebrate, they do it in a big way. Witness the 2010 Winter Olympics, when fans around the globe celebrated this cosmopolitan city.

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