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Vancouver

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  Even after a hard night, you won't catch Vancouver needing make-up. Blessed from birth with perfect bone structure, the city has a photogenic(易上鏡的) facade and effortless chic that are often compared to San Francisco's. Nestled(位于,坐落) snugly between mountains and sea, it lies on a strip of land bounded on the north by Burrard Inlet(貝立德灣) and on the south by Fraser River(費瑟河)。
 
  But Vancouver has more to offer than just its postcard good looks. Certainly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America, it is still a city of new immigrants - wander the streets and you'll hear a dozen different languages. The city also attracts young professionals and artists from the eastern provinces who come here to enjoy the city's recreation and laid-back sophistication.
 
  If there's a drawback(缺點) to this place 'where everyone would want to live', it's the rain - particularly in winter, when it rarely stops. Even in summer, a soggy(悶熱的) spell can last for weeks. But when the sun shines gloriously and the mountains reappear, all seems to be forgiven.
 
  Vancouver lies in the southwestern corner of British Columbia, the southwesternmost province in Canada. It's on the Pacific coast, backed by the Coast Mountains and fronting Vancouver Island across Georgia Strait. The city is 40km north of the US border, 73km north of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, and 189km north of Seattle. Downtown and the major neighborhoods are on a small peninsula, surrounded by English Bay on the west and the Burrard Inlet on the east. To the north of Burrard Inlet lie West and North Vancouver and the Coast Mountains. Bays, inlets and river branches, as well as the Pacific coastline, are major features of the city.
 
  The downtown peninsula is separated from the southern section of the city by the narrow inlet of False Creek. The center of downtown is Pacific Centre, a three-block complex of offices, restaurants, shops and theaters at the corner of Robson and Howe Sts. Robson and Georgia St are the two principal northwest-southeast streets. Both run into Stanley Park, the city's largest park, which occupies the tip of the peninsula. Chinatown, the West Side and other major neighborhoods are within walking distance of downtown.
 
  The best time to visit is from early June to early October, when there's less rain, temperatures are warm, daylight hours are long and the transportation routes are open. Spring and autumn are good times for whale-watching. The winter ski season peaks in January and February, but at resorts like Whistler the slopes are open year-round.
 
  Just about any month you visit Vancouver there will be a festival of some sort taking place. The city kicks off(開始) the year with an icy dip in English Bay called the Polar Bear Swim, a New Year's Day event since 1819. The city's thriving Chinatown is the center of mid-February's Chinese New Year celebrations, which feature dancing dragons, parades and the constant crackle of firecrackers. June heats up with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. On July 1 are the Canada Day Celebrations. Mid-July's Vancouver Folk Music Festival is three days of concerts and workshops with some of North America's best musicians. There's also Dancing on the Edge, Theatre Under the Stars, Vancouver International Comedy Festival and the highly regarded Vancouver Chamber Music(室內樂) Festival.

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