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Many believe Vancouver to be Canada’s paradise. Mild in climate with stunning ocean and mountain vistas, there are very few places in the world where you can swim in the morning and ski in the afternoon – but Vancouver is one of them! What sort of essentials do you need tucked in your suitcase when heading to this all-season utopia? We’ll fill you in here:

Comfortable Shoes | Explore the City

We’re not insisting on orthopedic prescribed footwear, but you will want to stash away comfortable shoes to explore the city. Vancouver’s seawall extends 28 kilometers (17.3 miles) and is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. Beginning at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the scenic route wraps around Stanley Park and offers countless scenic pit stops for walkers, joggers and cyclists. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, otters and whales – they’ve been spotted passing through Burrard Inlet and Coal Harbour. There are countless walking trails inside Stanley Park, and in summer months local artists produce and sell their work in three distinct areas within the park.

Appetite for Adventure | Taste What’s New

Vancouver is a diverse and multi-cultural gem, offering both locals and visitors the opportunity to travel around the world while filling their bellies with everything from sushi and pho to spätzle or gnocchi. Aside from the global offerings that abound in Vancouver, there are also unique bites ideal for adventurous eaters. Don’t miss a Japadog topped with nori or smoky maple bacon donuts.

Your shades | Play it cool

Vancouver is known as ‘Hollywood North’ for good reason, you never know when you’ll cross paths with Keanu or Leonardo in between takes. Stroll the cobbled streets of Gastown and keep on the look-out for movie tents, you may be able to catch a celebrity hiding underneath between takes. Venturing a little off the beaten path, the seaside Richmond neighborhood of Steveston (roughly 30 minutes from Vancouver) is routinely transformed into the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine for the EW show Once Upon a Time.

Skis/Snowboard | Hit the local mountains

Depending on the time of year, you won’t have to venture far out from the city to shred powder. Three local mountains (Cyprus, Grouse and Seymour) are 20 minutes from Vancouver, and boast stunning views along with a variety of runs. A little further afield, Whistler is internationally renowned as a skier’s wonderland. Host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains offer world-class skiing and snowboarding with over two hundred marked runs.

Spandex | That’s right, we said it

Vancouver is an active city. Rain or shine, you’ll see locals outside biking, hiking and running. Experience Vancouver like a local and strap on some rollerblades, hop on a cruiser bike or set your Fitbit and go for a run. A great vantage point to take in the Vancouver skyline is from the south side of False Creek. Board a small passenger ferry along the north side of the seawall to cross the inlet, and in a few short minutes you’ll be drinking in the staggering views along with dozens of other Vancouverites jogging their cares away.