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Vancouver Gastown Alive with History

Vancouver Gastown is an interesting mix of times old and new.

This Vancouver neighborhood is where the original City of Vancouver began.

Gastown is named after a local pioneer named Jack Deighton who was called Gassy Jack because he told a lot of stories and had a saucy tongue.

Gassy Jack opened the first hotel and saloon in the Vancouver and was known for his cursing and strong arm tactics.

Vancouver Gastown

If you are in Vancouver for any amount of time and especially if you're staying at one of the downtown Vancouver hotels you will more than likely find yourself spending some time in Gastown.

Gastown is a great place to take yourself on a walking tour and do some window shopping.

The lively atmosphere in this historic part of town is geared for tourists.

There are souvenir shops and   restaurants, with outdoor patios that are perfect for enjoying a meal or a cup of coffee while the world goes by.

The streets of Gastown are the original preserved cobble stone that and there are many buildings left over from the late 1800's that have been turned into upscale and highly sought after apartments.

The best place to start exploring Gastown is from the Waterfront skytrain and seabus station in a building called "The Station" that's right next door to the Vancouver Convention Center.

The Station used to be the end point for the Canadian Pacific Railway but now it's the main terminal for Vancouver transit including the skytrain, seabus and the West Coast Express.

On your walk you will see the world famous Vancouver steam clock that sounds every 15 minutes. There's always a crowd gathering to see the steam pour out of the top and take pictures.

Just past the clock you'll see some shops that sell Native Art and there's also an Inuit Gallery.

Vancouver Gastown

A little further down there's a statue of Gassy Jack sitting on top of a whisky barrel.

As you walk down the street look for plaques that'll tell you about the history of the streets and buildings that make up Gastown.

There's Gaolers Mews which was Vancouver's first jail and Blood Alley where there used to be a number of butcher shops.

If the kids are with you make sure to stop at the kite shop (they have kites for all ages and abilities from kids to experts) and then maybe a stop for a bite to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

For adults you might enjoy a stop at Steamworks restaurant for a meal with an ocean view and a brew tasting.

Depending on when you're here you could get to see one of the Vancouver events that get hosted in Gastown.

There's the "Tour de Gastown" bike race that Lance Armstrong has won at one time and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

When the sun goes down there's nightclubs for dancing and a great Irish pub called the Irish Heather.

The Gastown area still has a lively "wild west" charm to it and it's an interesting place to spend a couple of hours.

In 1971 the provincial government declared Gastown an historic site which means that the buildings there were protected from being altered.

In July 2009 Gastown became one of the places to visit in Canada because it was recognized as a National Historic Site.

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Take the scenic route, enjoy a historic village or see dramatic scenery a day trip from Vancouver to somewhere nearby may turn out to be the highlight of your Vancouver vacation.

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