One of the most enticing aspects about taking an ESL custom program in Vancouver is the city of Vancouver itself.

Its unique mix of urban energy and natural splendor means learners can enjoy truly rewarding and unforgettable experiences.  Here are only a few reasons that make Vancouver such a great place to be:

Amazing natural scenery and views brought to you by water, mountains, and forest

Surrounded by rugged wilderness and set against a stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and snow-capped mountain peaks, Vancouver is one of the most scenic cities in the world.

The scenery can be enjoyed year-round from all over the city, but the best place to take it all in is from Grouse Mountain, only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. From its peak, you can see the island-dotted ocean, the magnificent wilderness that surrounds the city, and the majestic mountains of Washington State.

There’s more to the scenery than scenery: Vancouver is an outdoor playground

The mountains and the Pacific Ocean do more than provide stunning views. They’re also ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kite surfing, camping, kayaking and more. If an active lifestyle is important to your learners, there are few cities that can match Vancouver.

Vancouver has no Stanley Cup*, but we do have a Stanley Park

Located on a peninsula at the edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is one of the city's major tourist destinations, drawing more than 7 million visitors each year.

Featuring beaches, walking trails, forest, wildlife, gardens, the Seawall, and Canada's largest aquarium, this 1,000-acre delight is regarded as one of the greatest urban parks in the world.

*The Stanley Cup is the most illustrious award in hockey. In Canada, it’s like winning the World Cup, whatever that is.

See wall? Or SeaWall?

It’s both, actually. It’s a roughly 8.5-kilometre paved seaside route that loops around Stanley Park and features fantastic views every step of the way. Because of its predominantly flat terrain, it’s a favorite destination for cyclists, joggers, rollerbladers, and tourists.

Beaches

A huge plus to being in a city next to the ocean is that beaches are never far away. Vancouver is home to many amazing beaches, and each one offers its own advantages. For a helpful breakdown of ten of the best, visit Top 10 Beaches in Vancouver.

Granville Island

It’s an artistic community, a public market, a farmer’s market, and packed with amazing restaurants, shops, and galleries. In fact, the only thing Granville Island isn’t, is an island. It’s actually a peninsula. It’s actually a peninsula (which is a good thing, as it’s easier to get to a peninsula than an island).

Grouse Mountain

Just fifteen minutes from downtown Vancouver and reaching 1,200 metres at its peak, Grouse Mountain features stunning views as well as amazing mountaintop experiences.

During the summer, it becomes an adventurer’s playground, with popular favourites such as the World Famous Lumberjack Show, Birds in Motion demonstrations, scenic chairlift rides, eco walks, helicopter tours, ziplining and a wildlife refuge.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

It's a wobbly suspension bridge that is 140 metres long and 70 metres high. It’ll make you feel alive by scaring you half to death.

Not just a feast for the eyes, but a feast for the taste buds as well

Chefs in Vancouver are extremely lucky. They have access to all the best foods: seafood landed 10 miles from the city centre, vegetables harvested in the Fraser River valley, as well as fresh fruits, picked from nearby orchards. Not to mention wine from the Okanagan.

The result is an amazing food scene peppered with world-class restaurants. And, to round things off, the food truck scene is booming, offering a convenient alternative to restaurants.

The Sporting Life

Vancouver is a great place for sports lovers, as the city is home to several professional sports teams. Of course, the Vancouver Canucks are probably the best known, but they play ice hockey, so they won’t be here in the summer.

No worries, though, as there are other teams who do play here during the sweet sunny months. The BC Lions can be counted on to deliver exciting football action at BC Place Stadium (which looks like a giant crown when lit up…it’s really something to see).

For soccer fans, a Vancouver Whitecaps game is an ideal way to take in top-notch MLS action. For a more relaxed outing, it’s definitely worth checking out local baseball team The Canadians, who play in Nat Bailey Stadium, one of the prettiest stadiums in all of sports.

Moderate Climate

During the summer, the temperature generally goes to a maximum of 28 to 32°C, which makes for a stellar day outdoors. Winters are usually rainy, so make sure your learners come here in the summer.

Green is good … and so is the fresh mountain air

There’s a reason Vancouver is the greenest city in Canada.

In addition to placing an emphasis on public transit and green spaces, Vancouver’s 2020 Green City Initiative is dedicated to reducing waste and emissions while providing greater access to clean water, more green spaces, and capping carbon output.

The program promotes sustainable living throughout the entire city.