A few years ago, my family and I embarked on the one and only cruise we've ever taken. It was mind-blowingly awesome from start to finish. That finish being in Vancouver, British Columbia. For some reason, there's this weird archaic law that forces foreign cruise ships (i.e., our British-owned Holland America ship) to stop in an international port during a trip, even for just a few hours. Stupid as the law may be, I'm happy that it let me experience the beautiful city of Victoria.
We docked around sunset and caught some epic last light over the Victoria Harbor. After wandering through some seriously cute side streets, we found our way to a pub and sampled some local brews and burgers (well not me on the burger front). Before we knew it, it was time to get back to the ship, so we made our way back through the main drag, which was filled with a mix of buskers, hipsters, and tourists.
Vancouver's vibe reminded me of San Francisco -- an artsy, laid-back scene with an emphasis on the outdoors. I loved it (though I imagine I'd feel differently in winter)!