It may of been more than a century ago since the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 but if you are a history buff now is your time to relive it in Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory.
Visit Skagway, Alaska
Many of the Cruise ships dock in Skagway on the northeastern tip of the Inside Passage, just like the many steamships that transported gold-hungry prospectors from Pacific Northwest ports in the late 19th century. Today the town retains some of its 19th century charm with shops and bars in vintage style and original buildings.
Hike the Old Prospector Trail
You can relive some of the original journey that gold rush seekers would of had to do on foot, heading up north from Skagway. Parts of the original trail can be done on the Chilkoot Trail (which requires preparation and a permit from the National Park Service) or parts of the White Pass Trail.
Explore Dawson City, YT
The heart of the Klondike Gold Rush was in Dawson City, where $29 million worth of gold passed through. At it's peak the town was dubbed the "Paris of the North," for its vibrant community. Though it is no longer in it's heyday it still has an old, wild west charm to it and a popular place to experience it is Diamond Tooth Gerties. It was a former community gathering space-turned-retro-gambling hall, where one can still drink and gamble while watching a cancan girl show, as prospectors did more than a century ago.
The dogs were an integral part of cargo transportation during that time and still remain an important part of Dawson City today. There are plenty of places in the Yukon and Alaska to try dog sledding or for a real dogsledding spectacle check out the Iditarod, which takes place from Anchorage to Nome each March.
See Chicken, AK
While a lot smaller than Dawson City, the town of Chicken (population between 17 and 37 people) oozes with quirky charm. Chicken has remained an active mining town since the Klondike Gold Rush and has also become a tourist attraction when people are passing between Fairbanks and Dawson City to buy souvenirs and eat the famed chicken pot pie.
Visit Dredge No. 4
This National Historic Site near Dawson City is a big pull for history buff with much of the big metal gears still remain in what was once the largest wooden hulled dredge in North America. While gold is no longer dredged and processed here, the old industrial mining site is still impressive.
Look for Gold at the Discovery Claim
The Discovery Claim near Dawson City is where the whole Klondike Gold Rush began, when prospectors Skookum Jim, Dawnson Charlie, and George and Kate Carmack struck gold on August 17, 1896. The area is now open to the public for gold panning at Bonanza Creek, provided you have your own gear. Otherwise the Klondike Gold Fields in Skagway is always a good stop for tourist panning.
From the core of Downtown Vancouver now to a constantly growing and developing location of boutique shopping and delicious restaurants. Vancouver's Gastown has grown over the years of it's first development but it still pays tribute to its original humble beginnings, even with all its modern twists.
Gastown was Vancouver's first downtown core and is named after the area's first saloon owner, "Gassy" Jack Deighton. He was a Yorkshire seaman and captain who established his bar on his arrival in 1867. The town quickly began to bloom with the Hastings Mill sawmill and seaport quickly became a general center of trade and commerce on Burrard Inlet. It also became an attraction for crews and captains of the many passing ships and the develop of warehouses in 1886 brought workers to the area.
In the 1890s the area fell victim to the Great Vancouver Fire, losing all but two of its buildings, but everything was completely rebuilt and began to thrive again. Merchandiser came to the area and development of department stores and warehouses took place over the many years creating Gastown into the centre of the city's wholesale produce distribution.
Unfortunately like many places across North America the area was greatly affected by the Great Depression in the 1930s and became a largely forgotten neighbourhood of the larger city. It transformed from once blooming shopping and bars to become a continuation of the Skid Row area with cheap beer parlours, flophouse hotels and loggers' hiring halls.
In the 1960s citizens became concerned with preserving Gastown's distinctive and historic architecture, which like the nearby Chinatown and Strathcona was set to be demolished to build a major freeway. A campaign was created that managed to gain enough traction to save Gastown and with the opening of the "Exposition Gallery," an art gallery on Water Street, created encouragement for other business to startup in Gastown's core.
Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, the storied neighbourhood still offers an insight back to the architecture of the 1800s, including the influences of Victorian Italianate, Edwardian Commercial and Romanesque architecture.
Now Gastown offers a thriving fashion district, impeccably curated decor boutiques, one-of-kind galleries and some of the best culinary fare in the city. It is the hub of the creative enterprises, with many of the building filled with graphic designers, architects, film students and photographers. It is no surprise that in 2012, Gastown was named the fourth most stylish neighbourhood in the word, setting trends right from the city's historic heart.
Even now Gastown continues to develop and thrive while still preserving their historic past. Make sure your next visit to Vancouver includes the most interesting part of the city, Gastown.
When it comes to summer time there is so much to do and explore, especially when travelling to a new place. Sometimes you need to grab something to go, but these delicious food trucks scattered around Vancouver in the summer are sure to make any quick eat a sure delight.
Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck
For the comfort of home, look no further than Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck serving up soups, sandwiches and chips for all your comfort needs. As well as their classic home style gourmet grilled cheese that is sure to remind you of the ones Mum's use to make.
Location: Corner of Howe Street and West Georgia, by the Vancouver Art Gallery
This food truck is a must visit for travellers to Vancouver with its freshness and quality food all with delicious favours . Originally from Tofino, the Tacofino food has found its way to Vancouver with its focus on Californian Baja-style cooking with international influences and with it's famous Baja-style Fish Tacos that are a must try.
Bringing a whole new era of quality gourmet food to Vancouver's streets, one of the original Food trucks to hit the street and still going strong with their unique flavours. Known for their interpretations of food across Southeast Asia, putting a spin on food from Korea, Malaysia, China, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand to name a few. Their menu is rooted in authenticity while still embracing a innovative and quirkiness to modernize traditional flavours and presentation.
Vij's Railway Express
For a creative exploration of the culinary diversity of India and Pakistan's mouthwatering food. With the Vendor running the best Indian Restaurant in Vancouver you won't failed to be satisfied with what you've pick and with a constantly changing menu you sure to discover something new. But don't forget to try their popular coconut masala and deep-fried yucca with tamarind chutney.
Feastro - The Rolling Bistro
Fried chicken, tacos, delicious pulled meat and yummy desserts can all be found at this food truck. With a wild menu and all their food made with fresh local ingredients, as well their strength on fresh, local seafood makes this a must find in Vancouver. Make sure to try their crab and shrimp cakes or their latest desserts like their mouthwatering home made blackberry pie.
One of Vancouver's most popular street food, is this Japanese fusion on a classic: the hot dog. Since starting up in 2005 these Japanese style hot dogs are a MUST try for any tourist or visitors, with such original creations like the TeriMayo Beef Hotdog with teriyaki style hot dog topped with mayo and nori or the Kurobuta Pork Hot Dog made with succulent Kurobuta Pork
Looking for a quick stop for breakfast, Yolks has all your breakfast needs from English Muffins to duck confit. Their foods are locally sourced, fresh and seasonal and with such breakfast choices as Chicken and Waffles to a perfect eggs Benedict you are guaranteed to find something from classic to unique to blow you away.
Location: By Bentall Centre
Disco Cheetah Korean Grill
One of the most unique food trucks you will find in Vancouver is this gem that fuses Korean and Mexican flavors to makes such mixes as the Korean Burrito. From tacos to burritos to quesadillas you will find all these classic mexican dishes in a new form with their bold Asian flavours. A must try is the Bulgogi Burrito, finished with kimchee fried rice and chili mayo, it's got layers of flavours.
Culver City Salads
For a more healthy but still delicious alternative from your classic grilled and fried street food, you will find the Culver City Salads. Their food is plant-based and gluten free as well as providing nourishing, healthy meals they are also concerned with their impact on the environment and all their containers are biodegradable and compostable. With meals that are good for you and good for the world this one is a win!
EAT Chicken Wraps
This trucks offers your classic chicken wraps with an Asian fusion at great rates. With it's unassuming food truck exterior you can't imagine how delicious their wraps are with such specialty as the Hoisin Chicken Wrap.
Location: Opposite Chipotle on Howe Street, located near UBC Robon
For a modern take on your classic Chinese cuisine, Le Tigre has such delights as Kick-ass Rice (Rice Dish cooked in Sake, butter and dashi with a poached eggs, herbs and a protein), and Angry Tiger Balls (Crispy fried rice with Bacon, Kimchi, Garlic and Spicy Mayo.) Their meals are a way to indulge in high quality Chinese food with a west coast mix all while ordering it from a Street Truck, no fine dining seats needed here!
Soho Road Naan Kebab
Looking for that curry taste? That comes wrapped up in a naan? And is basically a kebab? This mix of tasty Indian Food all wrapped in a puffy Naan bread is your best bet for that Kebab experience all with Indian Flavours. For that classic taste with a twist, try the Tender Chicken Tikka pieces smothered in butter chicken sauce and drizzled with a Tamarind Chutney
Location: Georgia Street
Summer time in Vancouver makes you feel like now is the time to start exploring the amazing mountains and different landscapes that surround the city, and escape the bustle of everyday life. But in Canada hiking can be done at almost any time of the year as the seasons only transform Canada's natural beauty from beautiful to breathtaking. Check out this list of some of the hikes that you can discover outside of Vanoucer's city.
1. Dog Mountain
The Dog Mountain Bluffs is a quick and easy hike, taking only 2 hours to complete and only a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. This is a hike that is lovely in summer but also an easy hike in the snow when winter starts setting in. In the summer, the Dog Mountain bluffs and other ridgelines higher up in Mount Seymour Provincial Park are an excellent place to watch meteor showers and observe the northern lights.
2. Stawamus Chief
The Stawamus Chief or the "The Chief" is one of the largest free standing granite outcroppings in the world. There are three domed summits you can hike to, all accessed by a trail that starts on the side of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Shannon Falls. The lowest dome takes about 3 hours and the highest dome takes 5 hours. The Chief is also a world famous rock climbing destination with many professional climbers camping out at the park during the summer months.
3. St. Mark’s Summit
St Mark's summit is an intermediate hike that starts by the Cypress Mountain Day Lodge and follows along the Howe Sound Crest Trail and takes about 5 hours round trip to complete. There are many other mountains along the full trail which takes 1-2 days to hike the full 32km, but St. Mark's Summit is the easiest hike and other peaks can be difficult to reach until mid-to-late summer when the snow has melted.
4. Mount Cheam
Mount Cheam is the highest peak in the Fraser Valley but it also one of the easiest climb because of the logging roads that brings you within an hour hike of the summit. This is one of the hikes that is best in the summer months as the road does get snowed in for most of the year.
5. Mount Baker Recreation Area
More of a trip from Vancouver, but a 2 hour drive and a border crossing at Sumas will take you to the Mount Baker Recreational Area with amazing high alpine hiking right from the parking lot. With stunning mountain scenery and many excellent hikes on offer during summer makes it the perfect get away from the city buzz. With more challenging hikes you can attempt to trek Mount Shuksan or make the ascent of the 10,781 Foot Volcano Mount Baker. In the winter months, Mount Baker turns into a white wonderland for winter trekking and some of the best powder at the Ski Resort.
6. Garibaldi Lake
(As Seen above)
This 3 hour hike up to Garibaldi Lake appears like you doubling back on yourself until you reach the beautiful glacial lake. Definitely manageable in a day but would recommend staying a few days at the beautiful campground along the southern shore. If you stay at the camp ground there is also other hikes to the Panorama Ridge, the Battleship Islands, Black Tusk, Cheakamus Lake and the amazing wildflowers in the Black Tusk Meadows during the spring and summer months.
7. Diez Vistas
If you are craving a slightly longer and more challenging hike the Diez Vistas trail is a good 4-6 hour hike along the ridgelines above Indian Arm and Bunsen Lake in Belcarra Regional Park. On the way back down, it is worth stopping at either Buntzen Lake or taking a quick drive to the warmer Lake of Sasamat for a swim.
8. Crown Mountain
Crown Mountain is one of the most distinctive peaks you will see from downtown Vancouver and though you may have to take the Grouse Mountain Skyride to access the trailhead its a great alternative to hiking the crowded Grouse Grind. The trail starts just beyond the Grizzly Bear refuge on Grouse Mountain and takes about 5 hours round trip. Also recommend is Goat Mountain, which is the peak just to the right of Crown Mountain, which is a easier hike and should only take 4 hours round trip.
9. Mount Seymour
This trail out from the Mount Seymour Ski Resort parking lot follows the ski runs and once you have climbed the three dome-like mountaintops of the trail, the last summit is Mount Seymour. From here you will find incredible views of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland as you make your way back down the mountain. There is another option to do this hike in winter where you can ski, slide or snowboard back down.
10. The Binkert Lions
One of the most natural landmarks of the Lower Mainland is the the two distinctive twin peaks of The Binkert Lions which the Lions Gate Bridge is named after. The best way to reach these peaks is to either hike along the Binkert Trail or from the Howe Sound Crest Trail for an 8 hour hike. Overall this is probably the hardest hike on the list and you can only just hike to the Summit of the West Lion but it is recommended to have rock climbing equipment and ropes as it can be a dangerous scramble to reach the very top.