The best views of Vancouver can be found at Grouse Mountain, where travelers ride the Skyride aerial tram or hike up to the 3,642-foot (1,110-meter) summit. On clear days, visitors are rewarded with a panorama of the city's downtown towers shimmering in the water below and Stanley Park laid out like a lush green carpet. To the east, the entire Fraser Valley is visible—and sometimes it's even possible to see across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island.
In summer, the family-friendly mountain park offers lumberjack shows, alpine hiking trails and a grizzly bear refuge. Outside of the aerial tram, travelers can opt to sail along one of five ziplines on the mountain or hike the Grouse Grind: a steep 1.8-mile (2.9-km) wilderness trek that takes most people about 90 minutes. You might see owls, bears, wolves or birds of prey from the gondola on the ride back down. During winter, there are 26 ski and snowboard runs, an outdoor ice-skating rink and lots of fun for the holidays (including night skiing).
Insider's Tip: The Grouse Grind trail goes one way only (up!), so be prepared with sturdy shoes and water, as it's a fairly difficult hike.
Grouse Mountain is located in North Vancouver, across the Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour from downtown. To get there by car, take Highway 99 north across the Lions Gate Bridge, exit in North Vancouver to Marine Drive, then turn left up Capilano Road. The SeaBus and bus No. 236 can also be taken from downtown Vancouver. The Grouse Grind is only open during daylight hours, between May and October.