The Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region is a destination like no other. While it is best known for outdoor adventure and culinary delights, the region also boasts some of the top artists in the world. Comprised of Metro Vancouver, Mighty Fraser Country, Sea to Sky Country and the Sunshine Coast, each area offers a unique experience. The Sea to Sky corridor, which includes Squamish and Whistler, attracts artists from all over the place to live, work and play. The spectacular beauty of the snow-capped mountains and glacier fed lakes provide an endless source of inspiration. Stop by Millennium Place, home to the Whistler Arts Council, to see the work of local artists in the Scotia Creek Gallery. There’s a new exhibition every month!
For an artistic escape closer to the bustling city of Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery is the place to go to visit both historical and contemporary exhibits. Located in the heart of downtown, the gallery is close to luxury boutique hotels like the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Until September 3, 2012 you can see the fantastic Emily Carr and the Theatre of Transcendence exhibit. This exhibit features paintings and drawings of the forest produced by this well-known West coast artist during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
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Your artistic adventure doesn’t have to end there! Continue on to Abbotsford, located in the beautiful Fraser Valley. Visit The Reach Gallery Museum for a great showcase of visual arts. Past exhibits have included important pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Canada. The historic downtown core of Abbotsford is also where you’ll find a colorful array of public art in the form of sculptural benches along the city streets.
If you’re looking to get away from it all, head over to the picturesque Sunshine Coast, home to more artists per capita than any other region in the province. Pick up a Purple Banner Route guidebook and drive along the coastline, watching for flying purple banners. These banners indicate that the home studio or gallery of a Sunshine Coast artist is open to the public, so stop in and see creations inspired by the abundant natural beauty of the area.
Art can take on many different forms and in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains Region food is crafted into visually attractive menu items that taste as delicious as they look. Fresh ingredients such as potatoes from Pemberton, berries from Langley, herbs from Delta and seafood from Powell River are used to create locally inspired dishes that will make your mouth water. Great international cuisine can also be found throughout the region. Many people say that Richmond has the best Chinese food outside of China! No matter what type of cuisine you choose, try topping it off with some beer from a local microbrewery or a glass of Fraser Valley wine. Stop by the Township 7 Winery in Langley where you can enjoy a glass of their Chardonnay and even stay for a picnic!
Aside from arts and cultural activities, there are also some great outdoor activities to participate in during your visit to the region. If you want to hit the water, try kayaking in Sechelt. Paddle along the Pacific Ocean for views of peaceful forests, vibrant communities and maybe even some interesting aquatic life! If you love a great view of the water but from a different perspective, head out to one of the incredible golf courses in Sea to Sky Country. The Furry Creek Golf & Country Club is considered one of the most beautifully landscaped courses in BC, offering panoramic ocean views and 18 holes of challenging play.
For more travel ideas visit the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains blog at 604Pulse.com to find insider tips, upcoming events and our favourite things to see and do in the region!