24 Hours In: Vancouver

Sail, ski, swim, kayak... or just sit back and watch everyone else do it
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The Independent Travel

1 To market for fresh coffee

09.00: Grab a coffee from one of the food stalls at the Granville Island Public Market (open 9am-7pm daily; granvilleisland.com), and start the day byFalse Creek, the city's inner harbour.

2 Eco fun on a kayak

10.00: Take a walk over to Ecomarine (00 1 604 689 7575; ecomarine.com) where you can rent a kayak for two hours for C$33 (£16). If you're not the kayaking type, you can take the Aquabus mini-ferry (00 1 604 689 5858; aquabus.bc. ca) across and spend some time walking the seawall.

3 Pacific views for lunch

12.00: Head to Denman Street for lunch. There you'll find pavement cafés and restaurants selling food from around the world. There's also the more upscale Raincity Grill (00 1 604 685 7337; raincitygrill. com), which serves Pacific Northwest cuisine and offers views of the ocean. Expect to pay C$25-C$50 (£12-£25).

4 No grousing on this mountain

14.00: Get on a bus or grab a taxi to Grouse Mountain (00 1 604 980 9311; grouse mountain.com). Twenty minutes from downtown, the mountain offers some of the best views of the city. If it's not the middle of winter, you can hike up or mountain bike down. If it's snowing, you can ski, snowshoe or skate at the outdoor rink. It will cost about C$30 (£15) for the tram down or C$42 (£21) to ski.

5 Sail, surf or just spectate

17.00: It's been a busy day, but you can take a relaxing, half-hour drive to the Jericho Sailing Centre (00 1 604 224 4177; jsca.bc.ca), Vancouver's prime beach zone which goes on for miles and is rimmed by forest. If you're ready to swim, windsurf or sail, you can rent gear from the club and head into the water. If you're ready to relax, you can stroll on the pier, walk the beach and watch the other crazy people swim, sail and windsurf.

6 Waterside sunset and supper

20.00: Head over to Kitsilano beach in the heart of the city's west side for the new Watermark restaurant (00 1 604 738 5487; watermark restaurant.ca), one of the most stunning spots to watch the sunset. In the winter, there's a heated patio and blankets. The food is designed to please every palate, from hamburgers and pasta to Asian fusion. Expect to pay C$25-C$50 each.

7 Cocktails or champagne?

22.00: For some nightlife, head over to Granville Street and the Crush Champagne Lounge (00 1 604-684-0355) at 1180 Granville Street. It's a 50s-style retro lounge with a local band and a great martini and champagne list.

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