If you are moving to a new city it's always worth getting to know about the local culture and history – doing so often gives you a surprising amount of insight into the local residents. One excellent way is to find out the type of attractions on offer – and take a tour of a several. In this post we've compiled a short guide to some of Vancouver's quirkier attractions. What they say about the city is for you to judge – though for those who love, independent, spirited and vibrant cities, we're sure this small selection will convince you that the Vancouver real estate market is right for you.
Mellow Moments: The Herb Museum.
Naturally, locals wouldn't apply the nickname of “Vansterdam” to their own city but they're more than happy to provide a home to the Herb Museum. Dedicated to the history of illegal drugs in general, there may seem to be a particular focus on the herb marijuana! The museum is dedicated to both the North American Drug Wars and to the global history of herbal medicine. The museum is packed with artifacts that trace the use of various herbal “remedies” back across the ages and the staff are (very) relaxed, friendly and knowledgeable. An adults only attraction, but one of a kind, and definitely worth a visit for the curious-minded. For a post-visit sit down and relax, the museum is handily located next to the New Amsterdam Cafe.
Performing Animals: An Unusual Take.
What exactly this next attraction says about life in Vancouver is hard to tell; possibly one too many visits to the previous attraction have led the 400,000 plus a year visitors to find the fascinating antics of the resident Salmon at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery so, well, fascinating. The attraction (yes, attraction, surely 400,000 visitors can't be that wrong?) is a government run fish farm designed to manage and maintain the salmon population. The “Fishway” is perhaps the most impressive part of the Hatchery; this is the part where 400,000 mesmerized individuals observe the salmon effortless jumping from pool to pool on their way to the artificial spawning pools. On a more serious note, while it may not compete with your average performing Killer Whale, the underlying serious purpose of the attraction is certainly more ecologically sound. The attraction not only helps to protect the native salmon stocks but can offer a good all round educational day out for the family.
Vancouver Penthouse: The Old Fashioned Way.
Massive and luxury condo developments in recent years have seen a rise in luxury property on the Vancouver real estate market, but in the case of this attraction, the Penthouse harks back to another age – and is, again, strictly adults only. The Penthouse is one of the more traditional, if not entirely reputable, entertainment houses dating back to the last century. It was a popular with celebrities of the day (including Frank Sinatra) and mobsters and has been running since the 1940s, continuing an early tradition of a particular kind of frontier entertainment! Tours are rare and organized by Forbidden Vancouver and it's wise to check availability well in advance – though the company have a range of delightfully odd (and very interesting) alternative options.
Vancouver Beach Life: Cover Your Eyes, if Nothing Else.
Vancouver real estate is highly sought after not only because the city continues to be one of the hottest in the real estate market, with prices rising year on year and no sign of a slowing market, but also because of its easy access to both mountains and beaches. It's even said to be one of the few cities in which you can visit the beach and then go snowboarding in the same day. If, however, you have a bashful disposition, it may pay to be careful which beach you visit. The final attraction on our list is Wreck Beach. Sailors of the past were presumably distracted, given the name of the beach, and today more than one ancient mariner might be forgiven for veering off course. Yes, Wreck Beach is Vancouver's only “clothing optional” beach and it also has the distinction of being one of the city's top 5 beaches. Supporters and users of the beach are enthusiastically proud of Wreck Beach and they run a range of events throughout the year including the annual “Bare Run” a 5K fun run, swim nights and various other one off or regular events.
Independent, Creative and Diverse.
This small selection, from the wackier end of the events calendar, has hopefully given you a taste of just how individual and creative the past and present inhabitants of Vancouver have been. There are, however, an incredible range of events, sites and attractions to see in this amazing city. Vancouver is, if anything, a diverse and independent minded city and may well be the perfect place to call home! For more information on a full range of a events and attractions available in and around the city, visit the Tourism Vancouver website.