Whether you live in Vancouver or not, Vancouver is a global destination for a number of reasons. It's drastically multicultural but in a different way than Toronto or Montreal, much more skewed to the Orient. Walking down the street or along the Seawall in or out of tourist season is a polyphonic encounter with different languages.
The Seawall alone is worth the trip. It's the longest connected seaside walk and bike path in the world, curving from Jericho Beach (one of the longest beaches inside a city in the world) past Granville Island, around Science World, through the marinas of False Creek, out to English Bay and then all the way around Stanley Park. Walk it, bike it, skateboard it or just sit on one of the benches and watch the Vancouverites and world visitors wander by, along with bald eagles, seals and otters.
Head over to Grouse Mountain and stroll up the Grouse Grind three kilometres of walking for one kilometre of elevation gain -- to the top, where a panoramic view of the lower Mainland and Vancouver Island awaits. Have a beer in the ski lodge at the top to celebrate, then take the cable car back down.
Rent paddle boards in False Creek and poke around among the houseboats and dragon boats. Drink coffee at Milano Coffee Roasters in Gastown and walk around that fascinatingly complex neighbourhood, so much better than it was a few years ago.
Get a Modo share car and head up the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler past Shannon Falls, a 335 meter waterfall we keep forgetting about because there's so much amazing scenery in BC. Take the longest suspended cable car in the world between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Enjoy the rather bizarrely great restaurants in that town before heading back to the city.
Gorge yourself on sushi, malaysian food and Chinese food that's authentic and very, very tasty. Eat a Japadog with extra nori and bonito flakes. Eat oysters at the Blue Water Cafe, thin crust pizza at the Social Corner and fish tacos at Go Fish next to Granville Island. In Vancouver, the problem isn't finding amazingly good food, it's choosing among the luscious options on every corner.
And Granville Island. Devote a day. Wander through the narrow, packed isles of the market. However long it takes, get a number for Oyama Sausage and make a charcuterie platter of the best and most diverse cured meats and cheeses I've found in any market or store globally. Have a beer at the brewery, taste sake at the sake brewer, poke your head into the arts shops, watch kids playing in the water fountain play area, marvel that there's somehow a working cement plant in the mix and maybe take in a play as well.
And that's the tip of the iceberg. Ogle movie shoots, watch sports if that's your thing, play Ultimate Frisbee or beach volleyball, windsurf, kite surf, sail, zip line, go to art galleries, attend the symphony (literally downstairs from where I live right now), geek out at one of the many comic con type events annually, visit the campuses of UBC and SFU, take architectural tours of west coast modernism, take in a night market in Richmond, wander around the Moshe Safde-designed library, take the elevated sky train with it's wonderful views, go skim boarding, play tennis year round, indulge in shameless real estate porn, wander through Yaletown gawking at the millions of dollars of cars left carelessly scattered along the streets, explore the incredibly successful urban planning and generally just envy the people who are here regularly.
Also Read - Things To Do in Istanbul