Bloedel Conservatory

Top choice gardens in Fairview & South Granville
© John Lee / Lonely Planet

Cresting the hill in Queen Elizabeth Park, this domed conservatory is a delightful rainy-day warm-up. At Vancouver's best-value paid attraction, you'll find tropical trees and plants bristling with hundreds of free-flying, bright-plumaged birds. Listen for the noisy resident parrots but also keep your eyes peeled for rainbow-hued Gouldian finches, shimmering African superb starlings and maybe even a dramatic Lady Amherst pheasant, snaking through the undergrowth. Ask nicely and the attendants might even let you feed the smaller birds from a bowl.

Pick up a free bird-watcher's checklist from the front desk and record how many you see. The walkways are accessible for strollers, so this is a good place to bring the family.