The coastal city, Vancouver is the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. A town was first founded on this site in 1867 when an entrepreneurial proprietor built a tavern along the water. Since then, towering skyscrapers have grown to dominate the skyline like glittering pinnacles of glass backed by mountains dusted with snow. The vast sprawl of Vancouver is centred around downtown's glimmering milieu of towers. From here unfurls a tapestry of neighbourhoods, each with a distinct character of its own. Kitsilano's beachfront is defined as much by its heritage homes as its pristine sand, Gastown hosts the city's indie culture. Wherever you go, you'll encounter a menagerie of sights to attest to Vancouver's culture-rich soul. Independent art galleries abound alongside swathes of public art, while Shakespearean shows intermingle with a blooming live music offer. There's plenty for outdoor enthusiasts as well, and this is one of the few places where you can ski down a mountain, go kayaking, hike through the forest and lounge on the beach in the same day. At the end of it all, there's a sumptuous array of international restaurants, home to some of North America's most authentic Asian cuisines, fantastic farm-to-table dining and soul-stirring seafood creations; not to mention an extensive list of top-notch craft breweries. All this and more makes Vancouver the crown jewel of British Columbia.