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Once a trading post and a rough-and-tumble sawmilling settlement, today modern Vancouver, Canada is many things. Cruise to Vancouver and visit this bustling seaport. This city is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking for active things to do in Vancouver an ethnically diverse metropolis, and Hollywood of the North. Hemmed in by mountains and sea, Vancouver seduces visitors with its combination of urban sophistication and laid-back attitude against a backdrop of glass towers and modern sights and plentiful green spaces.
Enjoy enjoy local attractions, fun filled outdoor activities, and an innovative culinary scene on a Vancouver cruise excursion. Vancouver’s culinary and cocktail scene is on the rise—and its excellent restaurants and hopping bars have a distinctively local stamp on them. If you are looking for where to go in Vancouver for music, theater and the arts, they are thriving in the city’s many museums, galleries and performance venues. Beyond the downtown attractions in Vancouver, days of exploration and sightseeing await among the colorful suburbs, unspoiled islands and the vast, rugged wilderness.
Of all the cities in Canada, Victoria may be the furthest from Great Britain, but it has the most British vibe. Between sipping afternoon tea, visiting flower gardens and castles and stopping in at pubs, one could easily forget about the Pacific Ocean lapping at the other side of Vancouver Island. The influence of the First Nations culture is also strong here in Victoria, with totem poles taking a front-and-center position on the Inner Harbour and in Beacon Hill Park. Extensive galleries are devoted to the history of the First People at the Royal British Columbia Museum, too, one of Victoria’s top tourist attractions. Other waves of immigration besides that of the English are evident in the streets of Canada’s oldest Chinatown here, as well as on the menus of the city’s many restaurants, pizzerias and tavernas.
Start your visit to Victoria’s sights and attractions at the Inner Harbour. Whale-watching cruises and sightseeing floatplanes take off and return from their excursions here and government buildings, museums, the Visitor Centre and the grand Fairmont Empress provide a dignified welcome. Just around the point, Fisherman’s Wharf offers a lively contrast with working fishing boats, barking harbor seals and busy seafood restaurants serving up the catch of the day. Take time for a jaunt to the famous Butchart Gardens, a truly stunning show garden developed on the site of a depleted quarry. Enjoy afternoon tea or a walk in the park or a shopping trip to Market Square or along Government Street. However you choose to spend your day here or decide where to go in Victoria, the city’s civilized delights will charm you.
With cable cars that “climb halfway to the stars,” this is everybody’s favorite city by the bay. Alcatraz, Nob Hill, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf of course you’ve heard of them all. Don’t miss this chance to really experience San Francisco.
One of California’s most beautiful coastal cities, Monterey boasts a charming downtown, with historic buildings, and a world-class aquarium. It’s also the setting of several John Steinbeck novels.
Santa Barbara is undisputedly one of the most popular destinations in a state with some pretty serious competition; in many other states it would surely be the star attraction by far. That’s how rich the city is, with its gorgeous buildings erected by the city’s early Spanish settlers, as well as later mission revival architecture. And, of course, it occupies a prime spot along the famous oceanfront Highway 101, with a backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains and a long stretch of beach with the undeveloped Channel Islands offshore. No wonder many Santa Barbarans can trace their roots here for generations—no one wants to leave.
Some of California’s most significant early history took place in Santa Barbara, going back to its origin as the homeland of the Chumash people. For those who might think of it as just a town of bikers, joggers and fine beaches, its combination of a laid-back vibe with a sophisticated art scene and an international film festival can come as a surprise. For a modest-size city, Santa Barbara offers some seriously upscale shopping, while restaurants range from trendy taquerías to establishments serving fine French fare. And the fine wine flows through the city, as downtown now hosts a slew of not just wine shops but full-on wineries. Whether you are interested in high culture or viticulture, white-sand beaches or white-tablecloth restaurants, this is one of those destinations that truly has something for everyone.
Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. Cruise to San Diego and hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). Cruise from San Diego and explore the sixth-largest city in the United States. Discover San Diego’s distinctive neighborhoods on a San Diego shore excursion. Visit Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance.
And while there are lots of things to do for everyone on a San Diego Cruise—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored.
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