Robson

If y’all wanna pop some tags, better have more than twenty dollars in your pocket! The mecca of the downtown shopping scene has always been and will always be Robson Street and the few blocks that surround it. And even though boutiques and local labels are opening up in other districts, numerous brand names and familiar styles still have their presence here. But don’t think that’s all there is on this famous street. The thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of Vancouver lends itself to some high end restaurants, the Granville Entertainment district, and the venues for the local sports scene.

The epicentre of shops is concentrated within a three block radius between Jervis and Burrard where you will find store after store of the latest fashion labels. However, continue south along Robson, window shopping along the way to the edge of Pacific Centre, where you head underground to a great mall that encompasses three city blocks. If you wanna pop some really expensive tags, hit up Alberni street one block over near Burrard and you will find Brooks Brothers, Tiffany & Co. and Burberry among others. Think Rodeo Drive in LA as the vision for this street. Alberni also has some fantastic restaurants that will cost you a lot, but will reward you.

Further along Robson, you get to Granville Street and it transitions into a bit of grunge and night life scene where bars and clubs line the street. Late night, especially on weekends, Vancouverites flock here for everything from pubs and posh bars, to (Donnelly – Repuclic?) even the latest in night club offerings. Most clubs are open to 3am, and if you really want to experience a Vancouver night life institution – where so many stories were created and well... swept under the red carpet – head to the Roxy after 11pm. It’s a scene, and whether its yours or not, it’s worth going there at least once in your life. Because everybody in Vancouver has!

If clubs aren’t your type of ‘entertainment’, then perhaps get all dressed up like a debutant and head to the Orpheum to catch a night at the symphony. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra led by masterful maestro Bramwell Tovey is entering its 99thseason and the spectacular classical music is accentuated by the historical charm of the venue. If the schedule doesn’t line up, still check the line-up, as the Orpheum is also a mainstay in the concert world for smaller, intimate bands.

If you keep going, to the Southeast to the very end of Robson (or some would say where it starts), you will ‘run’ right into Terry Fox Plaza that honours the courageous runner that battled cancer, and behind it, you will find the beautiful stadium of BC Place. Home of the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions (June to November) and Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps (March to December), it boasts the second largest center-field hung jumbotron in North America behind the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Next door to BC Place is Rogers Arena, where the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks play (October to April). Amongst the two venues, there are also a plethora of concerts and events to go to. And to add to it all, construction is well underway for a brand new hotel-casino entertainment district that will open sometime in 2016. And that will just mean more shopping, dining and entertainment in an already concentrated area that is known for all of the above.

After going through all of this, just do what Vancouverites do – put it all on the card, enjoy the moment, and don’t worry about it until the credit card statement comes in the mail weeks later.

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