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Van-tastic

Beating the Torch to Vancouver

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Cities approach the Olympic Games like a first date—no matter how attractive they already are, there's still an extra effort to doll themselves up. But like fresh powder, cities are best visited before the Olympic-level crowds descend. 

Which makes now the perfect time to soak up Vancouver.

The slalom champs, short-skirted skaters and Jamaican bobsled team won't descend on Canada's western shore for another full year, but this seafront city is more than camera-ready.

While Vancouver has always sprawled in the shadow of the slopes, it's come into its own as a winter sports mecca; new lifts at nearby Grouse Mountain put the powder just fifteen minutes away, or head further north for the just-opened Whistler Olympic Park—where you'll night-ski, shoot biathlon rifles and take to the luge (think of it as a northern-tinged bachelor party).

Back in town, the waterfront scene is better than ever. Pre-Olympic hotel openings include the Loden Vancouver in high-end Coal Harbour—a long-awaited boutique just blocks from the monstrous, Pacific-ringed Stanley Park. Around town, the pre-Olympic spirit has brought in everything from stunning ice sculpture to the Cirque du Soleil-esque Avatar Circus Project, to pop-up restaurants and visiting jazz and opera. End the night back at the Loden's already-buzzy restaurant Voya for local oysters, duck sous vide and artisan cocktails from Jay Jones—the Sasha Petraske of Vancouver.

Wherever you go, your mixology standards follow.

Vitals

Van-tastic
1177 Melville St
Coal Harbor
Vancouver, British Columbia
877-225-6336
website

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