The North Shore and its star attractions—the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Lonsdale Quay, and, farther east, the lovely hamlet of Deep Cove—are just a short trip from downtown Vancouver.

The North Shore is where to come to kayak up fjords, and hike, ski, and explore mountainous terrain with large swaths of forest. Posh "West Van," as the locals call the North Shore suburb of West Vancouver, has retained its well-heeled character from the time when the Guinness family developed the area in the 1930s, and it's a network of English style, winding country roads, and multimillion-dollar homes. West Van is en route to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal for ferries to Vancouver Island, the Sea-to-Sky Whistler Highway, and Cypress Mountain, which hosted the Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions. If you have a car, you can drive to the top for spectacular vistas of Vancouver and beyond. Unlike Grouse Mountain, the views here are free. North Vancouver to the east is more commercial in nature, including tourist havens of Grouse and Capilano.