Photos: Vancouver, B.C., 2010

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  1. Vancouver, British Columbia, played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Albert Normandin / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A couple strolls through Stanley Park on a spring afternoon near the city's main boat marina. One of the city's most visited parks, visitors can also enjoy the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center and zoo at the park. (Joe Mcnally / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Rowers glide past a line of yachts at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.It is said that in Vancouver, it is possible to ski in the morning, sail in the afternoon and take a sunset dip in the Pacific. (Mary Peachin / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Planning to soak up some art while in town? Consider staying at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which is located right behind the Vancouver Art Gallery. The hotel is located on the VIA Rail route for those who plan to travel to the city by train. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The Granville Island Public Market is perhaps the most well-known market in Vancouver. Dozens of vendors offer food-loving tourists and locals produce, seafood, meats, sweets and European speciatly foods. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The steam-powered Gastown clock blows out clouds of steam during its hourly sounding of Westminister Chimes. Gastown is located in the northeast corner of Vancouver, and is known as the birthplace of the city. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is "acclaimed for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey," its Web site proclaims. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Totem poles and other artifacts are on display at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. The museum, founded in 1949, is world renowned for its collections. (Kevin Arnold / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. While in the city, check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. The bridge spans 450 feet across and is situated 230 feet above the Capilano River. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A totem pole decorates Stanley Park in Vancouver. The park covers about 1,000 acres, and offers residents and tourists a wealth of options, including walking, running or biking the 5.5-mile seawall path, a pitch-and-put golf course and more. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A young girl interacts with a sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium. Tickets for adults cost $22, $17 for seniors (65+) and youths (13-18), $14 for children (4-12) and kids get in free. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Pedestrians walk by Aritizia on Robson Street, the famous shopping street in Vancouver's west end. In the stretch of three blocks, tourists looking for retail therapy can find stores specializing in shoes, clothes, lingeri, candy, souvenirs and luggage, not to mention hair salons, currency exchanges and restaurants. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The Library Square building in Vancouver houses the city's public library. (Danniele Hayes / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Patrons eat in the dining room of Six Acres, a pub and restaurant located in Gastown. Six Acres is "tucked in the oldest brick building in Vancouver," its Web site claims. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A traditional pagoda sits on the shore of a pond in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the downtown area of Vancouver. Though Canada's third largest city, Vancouver has historically been thought of as the "terminal city," the end of the line and the last remote town before the continent comes to an end at the Pacific Ocean. (Ross Barnett / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Granville Entertainment District is an area in Downtown Vancouver known for its vast assortment of bars, danceclubs and nightlife. The entertainment district is centered on a seven-block stretch of the Granville Mall and immediately surrounding streets. (Tourism Vancouver) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre was built in 1968, and was a gift from the lumber magnate to Vancouver's citizens. If you're visiting Vancouver on a Friday or Saturday night, you can catch laser shows to music from Green Day, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Olympic rings are illuminated in the harbor outside the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver is set on the waterfront of Vancouver. (Stephanie Lamy / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The Richmond Oval, located south of Vancouver, served as the long-track speed skating venue for the 2010 Winter Games. (Ben Hulse / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Skiers and snowboarders gather on top of Whistler Mountain. Whistler was the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Games. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Norway's Johan Remen Evensensoars through the air during the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup skiing event in Whistler, British Columbia, in 2009. The venue was the site of ski jumping events during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. (Darryl Dyck / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Cypress Mountain hosted the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Canada's Mellisa Hollingsworth zooms around a corner during the sixth training run for the World Cup skeleton race in Whistler, B.C., in 2009. (Frank Gunn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The Vancouver skyline, Burrard Inlet and Lion's Gate bridge is pictured at sunset. The Lion's Gate Bridge connects North and West Vancouver with downtown. The suspension bridge is 5,890 feet in length. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 1/27/2010 12:16:06 PM ET 2010-01-27T17:16:06

Here are some tips for planning a trip to Vancouver, host of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Weather: Winter in Vancouver means rain, so pack an umbrella. February temperatures in Vancouver usually are in the 30s and 40s (0-10C), while temperatures at Whistler typically are in the 20s and 30s (-6.5-1.5), often with snow or rain. In December 2008, a snowstorm paralyzed Vancouver International Airport, and Air Canada, the official airline for the Winter Olympic games, canceled hundreds of flights.

Currency: The U.S. dollar has lost more than a third of its value against the Canadian dollar, known as the loonie, since Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Games seven years ago. In July 2003, a U.S. dollar was worth $1.40 in Canadian money. Today, the U.S. dollar is roughly at parity with the loonie, worth about $1.03 Canadian.

Getting there: You can fly into Vancouver International Airport from many international destinations. You can also drive to Vancouver, crossing the land border with Washington State in several places, or come by ferry from Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

Border crossings: Officials are expecting to handle a million border crossings during February — about the same as during a busy summer month. Extra Customs officers and staff will be in place at all border entry points, including the Douglas, Pacific Highway, Huntingdon and Aldergrove land crossings from the United States into British Columbia. There will be a team even at Pacific Highway just to deal with buses.

Still, the Canada Border Services Agency advises travelers to build extra time into schedules for crossing the border. You can check border wait times, updated hourly, here.

Border requirements: U.S. citizens entering Canada must show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification. Click here for details. A criminal conviction, including a DUI, could make a person inadmissible to Canada.

To return to the United States from Canada by air, you must have a passport.

To return to the United States from Canada by land or sea, you must show a passport, passport card, enhanced driver's license or other document approved by the U.S. State Department. Details here.

Getting around: The city's newest light rail line connects the airport with downtown. A ride on the Skytrain is great for an initial exploration, as well as for incredible views. Buses are generally efficient, but the best way to explore Vancouver's city center is to walk. Even if it is raining (and there is a good chance it will be), the city core has plenty of underground malls.

The figure skating arena is about 20 minutes by bus from the city center. Event tickets will include local transit fares. Snowboarding and freestyle skiing events on the city's North Shore will be tougher to reach. Alpine events are 90 miles (145 kilometers) away in Whistler but an Olympic fleet of buses will be running. Traffic will be strictly limited on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, which was redeveloped recently at a cost of almost $500 million.

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For local transit, officials are warning of long delays during the games. A trip planner is available online with more information at www.travelsmart2010.ca.

Where to stay: During the Olympics, even mountain-lovers may have to stay in Vancouver, because of a shortage of shelter in the hills. Both Vancouver and Whistler tourism officials are expecting more accommodations to open as the Games approach. Click on "2010 Winter Games Accommodation" at tourismvancouver.com.

Olympic tickets: In Canada, Olympic tickets already have been sold by lottery through the 2010 Games Web site. A list of ticket agents for countries outside Canada also is available through the spectator information and ticketing link at that site. The site also is hosting ticket re-sales to avoid scalping problems.

For more information
Information about the Olympic Games and destination: www.Vancouver2010.com and www.destination2010.ca

Information about British Columbia: www.hellobc.com

Information about Vancouver: www.tourismvancouver.com

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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