As British Columbia’s largest city, Vancouver  holds an abundance of world-class attractions, as well as many smaller gems that are easy to miss. Whether you’re interested in visiting museums or exploring mountain peaks, you will find plenty to do in Vancouver. The hardest part will be working out how best to fit them into your itinerary.
Luckily, many attractions are clustered around downtown, with others, such as Granville Island  and the city’s three major museums, farther out but easily reached by public transportation. Try to arrange your sightseeing schedule around the weather. If the forecast calls for a rainy day, concentrate on the museums, leaving the North Shore  and Stanley Park  for a sunny day.
The city’s main information center is Vancouver Visitor Centre, one block from Canada Place  (200 Burrard St., 604/683-2000, daily 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.). Brochures line the lower level while on the upper level specially trained staff provide free maps, brochures, and public transportation schedules; book sightseeing tours; and make accommodations reservations. Look for public transportation information and timetables to the right as you enter the center.
If you approach Vancouver  from the south on Highway 5, which becomes Highway 99 in Canada, the first official information center you’ll come to is the British Columbia Visitor Centre @ Peace Arch (298 Hwy. 99, 800/435-5622, daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer, daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. the rest of the year) immediately north of the border and right beside the highway.
Continuing north along Highway 99, Richmond Visitor Centre is next to the highway, to the right as you emerge on the north side of the George Massey Tunnel under the Fraser River. Operated by Tourism Richmond (604/271-8280 or 877/247-0777, www.tourismrichmond.com ), it’s open daily 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. March–June, daily 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. July–August, daily 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. September, and Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. the rest of the year.