Vancouver's temperate climate and plentiful rains encourage exuberant plant growth (In fact, much of the region is technically a coastal temperate rain forest). Hundreds of gardens, parks and green spaces can be found all around the city, complementing the natural beauty of mountains and ocean.
The city's giant green heart - and an indisputable must-see for any visitor - Stanley Park is a magnificent 1,000 acres of dense West Coast forest. Dozens of marked trails enable roaming through this "jungle" of giant trees while a 6.5-mile seawall pathway provides some of the best sea-to-sky mountain views anywhere in the world. The park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, the largest in Canada with more than 70,000 sea creatures.
The city is also home to a collection of stunning formal gardens. Perched just outside of downtown at Vancouver's highest point, Queen Elizabeth Park was once an industrial rock quarry. Now the 130-acre site is a lush oasis of flowers and trees from around the world. It also features an enormous floral conservatory housed inside a glass dome with free-flying tropical birds. Meanwhile, the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden recreates landscapes from around the world: from a real English hedge maze to a redwood forest, Mediterranean garden and lagoon that looks lifted from balmier climes.