Vancouver's landscape includes the sea, mountains and a cosmopolitan city, providing activities of interest year round. For those who love winter sports, nearby Grouse Mountain is popular for skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating. If you prefer warmer weather, the spring and summer months provide opportunities for water sports and boating.
Downtown Vancouver has high-end retail stores, shops and restaurants. Not far from downtown is Chinatown, a maze of markets, restaurants and shops. Stanley Park, which in the mid-1800's was a military reserve, offers hundreds of acres of lush forest and clear lakes. The park has a miniature railway, water park, beaches, pool, kid's farmyard and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. The Lions Gate Bridge offers a panoramic view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. The world's thinnest office building, the six foot wide Sam Kee Building, is on the corner of Pender and Carrall streets. Vancouverís oldest neighborhood, Gastown, was named after a talkative saloon proprietor nicknamed Gassy Jack who supposedly got his saloon built in 24 hours by giving the local mill workers all the whisky they wanted. Gastown maintains cobblestone streets and 1800's architecture.