(Edited from AP)  Vancouver will find local history reflected in its attractions, neighborhoods and even in some of the Olympic symbols. The region has been home to indigenous First Nations peoples for many centuries, and the 2010 Olympic logo is a colorful interpretation of an Inuit stone structure called an inukshuk. One of these stone landmarks, considered symbols of welcome, is found on the beach in Vancouver, on the downtown side of English Bay. Two more are on Whistler Mountain. Visitors can learn more about the region’s indigenous culture at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

(Edited from AP)  Vancouver will find local history reflected in its attractions, neighborhoods and even in some of the Olympic symbols. The region has been home to indigenous First Nations peoples for many centuries, and the 2010 Olympic logo is a colorful interpretation of an Inuit stone structure called an inukshuk. One of these stone landmarks, considered symbols of welcome, is found on the beach in Vancouver, on the downtown side of English Bay. Two more are on Whistler Mountain. Visitors can learn more about the region’s indigenous culture at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

 

Metropolitan Life

 

Chic Robson Street is considered Rodeo Drive North, while trendy Kitsilano with its boutiques and restaurants is a showcase for the laid-back West Coast lifestyle.

 

Nearby Denman Street offers a wide variety of eateries or a place to grab a coffee before strolling along the beaches of English Bay or through Stanley Park’s rain forest. The Punjabi Market at 49th Avenue and Main Street delivers the spicy tang of the Indian subcontinent, and Little Italy on Commercial Drive provides a distinctive Mediterranean flavor. Chinatown offers a taste of the Orient for all price ranges; try Floata Seafood on Keefer Street, or Hon’s Wonton House at various locations around town. A Chinese New Year parade is scheduled for Feb. 14, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Millennium Gate on Pender Street west of Main Street.

 

Coffee bars are the city’s preferred hangout, but java junkies should consider the Italian coffee houses on retro-hippy Commercial Drive for a real treat.

 

Coffee fiends can enjoy a Canadian tradition, a double-double, at Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s. It is a java loaded with cream and sugar at the business made famous by one of Canada’s hockey legends. The coffee is so much a part of the Canadian psyche that an outlet was opened for Canadian soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

 

Those wanting a beer with their hockey can try local microbrewery suds at the Yaletown Brewing Co. or The Steamworks pub with views of the working harbor.

 

For those with $500 to burn, Molson Hockey House next to BC Place Stadium offers a chance to rub shoulders with National Hockey League stars over beer and food by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck while watching hockey on giant screens.

 

 

 

Paradise for Skiers

Finally, for skiers, a trip along British Columbia’s Powder Highway is worth the drive into the province’s Interior.

  Skiers can start with helicopter skiing in the Purcell Mountains near Revelstoke and finish at Rossland’s Red Mountain, where past Canadian Olympic gold medalists Nancy Greene and Kerrin Lee-Gartner learned to ski. In the valley below, in the city of Trail, is the Teck smelter, where the metal for the 2010 medals was refined.

 

Other ski areas include Sun Peaks outside Kamloops, Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton, Big White Ski Resort south of Kelowna and Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon.

  Farther east are the Canadian Rockies for winter sports and the breathtaking scenery at Banff National Park and Lake Louise.

 

 

 

The Olympics will undoubtedly raise Vancouver’s profile as a destination, leading even those who are not in town for the games to think about a future visit. As Canadian Tourism Commission spokeswoman Monica Campbell Hoppe put it: “The 2010 Winter Games are one of those rare moments a country gets to showcase themselves to the world in a positive way.”

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