My walk begins at The Lookout at Harbor Center Tower, on West Hastings Street, which provides fantastic views of the city and its environs. It’s a great way to get oriented to the city, prior to setting out for an exploration, on foot.
Leave the tower and walk toward the harbor on Seymour Street, and then turn right on Cordova Street and/or Water Street, into Maple Tree Square, the centerpiece of Gastown, one of Vancouver’s most historic enclaves. Walk east, across the square, browsing through the shops and checking out the street vendors. Be sure to admire the Steam Clock (305 Water Street), the most recognizable sight in Gastown.
At the end of the square, turn right onto Carrall Street. This leads to the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Here you will find a recreation of the typical Chinese garden found in places like Suzhou, China. You are, of course, in the city’s Chinatown, the second largest in North America.
Now, walk northwest on Pender Street, and then turn left on Richards Street, to visit the Holy Rosary Cathedral, famous for its English-style bell ringing. From here, walk northwest on Dunsmuir Street, beyond Seymour Street, and then descend into the underground Granville Mall. Walk in a westerly direction and then emerge from the Mall at Nelson Street, and walk northwest to find the St Andrews-Wesley Church, a Neo-Gothic edifice.
Continue northwest on Nelson Street, past Nelson Park, and then turn right on Jervis Street. Walk to Robson Street and turn right, down to Burrard Street, and then turn left to visit the Christ Church Cathedral, one of the city’s stone churches. Now, turn right onto West Georgia Street, to Cathedral Place (#925) and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (#900). At Howe Street, turn right to access Robson Square. Continue southeast on Robson as far as Hamilton Street, turn left to Hastings Street and left again to return to your starting point.
At some point in your visit, drive west on Georgia Street to get to Stanley Park,
Vancouver’s most popular and most respected island of green and one of the largest urban parks in North America. Turn right on Park Drive after passing the entrance and circumnavigate the park in a counter-clockwise direction. Check out the totem poles and the Rose Garden, or walk along some of the paths. Stop frequently at some of the park’s landmarks, such as, the Nine o’clock Gun, the Brockton Point Lighthouse, Prospect Point, and Siwash Rock.