Vancouver Maritime Museum exterior

©John Lee/Lonely Planet

Teeming with salty seafaring artifacts, dozens of intricate ship models and a couple of walk-through recreated boat sections, the prize exhibit at this waterfront A-frame museum is the St Roch, a 1928 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Arctic patrol vessel that was the first to navigate the Northwest Passage in both directions. Entry includes timed access to this celebrated boat and you can also try your hand at piloting it via a cool wheelhouse simulator.

Recently marking its 60th anniversary, the museum hosts additional temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Save time to check out the vessels outside the building, including the Ben Franklin, a NASA undersea research vessel that looks a little like the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.