Take a royal-inspired tour of Vancouver

The royals have landed in Vancouver! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka: William and Kate) and their brood touched down in British Columbia this month to take in the unique sites and cultural attractions of the region. From English-inspired gardens to afternoon tea to a private helicopter ride, here’s how to tour Vancouver just like a (future) king and queen. [Photo credit: iStock.com/ JPLDesigns]

GM Resorts Limited Partnership

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6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9

Sometimes the best way to see a city is to go up, way up! Intrepid sightseers can head to the top of Grouse Mountain for unbeatable views of the Vancouver skyline and surrounding North Shore Mountains. The mountaintop attraction has plenty of activities for all ages, ranging from educational nature walks and wildlife demonstrations to paragliding and zip-line adventures for thrill seekers. For the ultimate airborne experience, book a private helicopter tour to get a birds-eye view of the landscape. Scenic flights soar over the Capilano Valley to reveal breathtaking views of the coastline and mountain ranges below.

Neverland Tea Salon

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3066 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K 2H1

Forget the stuffy High Tea service and experience a truly magical afternoon at this whimsical (and totally kid friendly) tea salon in Kitsilano. The charming interior is bedecked in eclectic vintage furnishings (the Victorian settees wouldn’t be out of place in a stately Georgian manor house) and the menu is as creative as it is decadent. Delicate flower-patterned china plates are adorned with savoury finger sandwiches, pretty pastel macarons, and scones served with proper Devonshire cream. Neverland even offers a special children’s menu for the little ones and tea-based cocktails for the grown ups.

Queen Elizabeth Park

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4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 2M9

Vancouver’s most regal urban park is a must-see on any royal inspired tour. The sprawling 52-hectare park is situated 152 metres above sea level (making it the highest point in the city) and was first dedicated by King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth during their visit to Vancouver in 1939. Today, the park is home to some of the world’s most beautiful landscaping and includes breathtaking floral displays and ornamental gardens, fountains and sculptures (including Knife Edge-Two Piece, a dramatic bronze cast installation by famed British sculptor Henry Moore), an indoor conservatory and an elegant restaurant.

LYNNsteven

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225 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

A favourite among the fashion-forward denizens of Gastown, LYNNsteven stocks a curated selection of contemporary womenswear from local and international designers (think trendsetting frocks, ladylike skirts and cozy knits), as well as beauty products, lingerie and accessories, including delicate, gemstone earrings and necklaces from Vancouver’s own jewel queen, Leah Alexandra. The shop also carries a small selection of kids apparel and accessories; the colourful 100-percent-cotton crowns would make an adorable gift for a pint-sized princess. Be sure to pick up locally inspired souvenir candles from Vancouver Candle Co.; these chic scented candles help turn any home into a palace.

Skwachàys Lodge

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31 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1R3

Run by the Vancouver Native Housing Society and located on the city’s Downtown Eastside, Skwachàys Lodge is a multipurpose space with a philanthropic mission and offers visitors a chance to learn more about the local First Nations community. The heritage building houses an 18-room boutique hotel, a traditional rooftop sweat lodge, smudge room, an artist in residence program, and an Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery showcasing authentic Northwest First Nations art and cultural works. The on-site gift shop stocks a variety of one-of-a-kind art pieces to take home, including beautiful custom-made jewellery, woodcarvings, textiles, rattles, bentwood boxes and other indigenous artworks.

Hawksworth Restaurant

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750-669 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B4

The crown jewel of Vancouver’s dining scene, Hawksworth is truly the city’s preeminent fine-dining destination. Specializing in contemporary West Coast cuisine, the upscale dining room is fit for a king and delivers beautifully plated dishes prepared with fresh, vibrant ingredients. Smoked sturgeon, roasted bison and Nova Scotia lobster are just some of the sumptuous choices on the dinner menu. Stop in for a drink afterwards at the adjacent cocktail lounge and take note of the eye-catching artwork by British artist Damien Hirst. Try the bar’s signature Hotel Georgia cocktail, a citrusy libation made with Beefeater gin from the U.K.

’Tis the season for colourful foliage, cozy sweaters and pumpkin-spiced lattes. The best way to take advantage of the fall harvest period is to head out of town to a local farm to enjoy wagon rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and apple picking. If you’re planning an afternoon of autumnal family fun, check out these country farms near Vancouver.
Beards might be having a moment but you can’t beat the timeless appeal of a classic clean-cut look. Gents looking to tame their facial hair have plenty of options in Vancouver: take a DIY approach with luxurious at-home shaving supplies, or book a professional straight razor shave at a nostalgic barbershop or an upscale, modern salon. Whatever route you take, these local grooming spots can help you put your best face forward.
Got #RIO2016 fever? You might not be a pro-level athlete, but you can get in on the fun here in Vancouver with these 10 Olympic-inspired workouts. Inject a little novelty into your regular fitness routine and go for the (metaphorical) gold! [Photo credit: iStock.com/Leonardo Patrizi]
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