The vibrant blooms and lush foliage of approximately 12,000 plants greet visitors' eyes as they wander along the outdoor paths of UBC Botanical Garden. Guest are encouraged to make small talk with plants on display, which include international varietals such as Asian maple trees, alpine and montane flora, more than 400 species of rhododendrons, and vascular plants from the rainforest. Inside the Nitobe Memorial Garden, waterfalls and streams reflect the harmony of nature framing a traditional Japanese teahouse. The garden's classes can help students cultivate home botanicals, teaching techniques such as pruning and training fruit trees. The picturesque surroundings also play host to researchers, weddings, and school groups.
Not many people realize that the sea undergoes a radical transformation every night. Those who have taken UBC Aqua Society's night diving course do; they’ve witnessed nocturnal creatures and plants, which are strikingly different than their daytime counterparts, first hand. This night course is just one of 15 different specialty courses offered by UBC Aqua Facility, a non-profit organization that has helped its community explore subaquatic worlds for more than 50 years.
In addition to its specialty programs, the facility offers learn-to-dive courses for beginners, as well as rescue classes that prepare students to retrieve people that can't swim or the perfectly good burrito they threw overboard in a regretful fit of rage. Through it all, the business maintains a laid-back, yet professional attitude, evidenced especially by its frequent social gatherings for club members.
Vancouver Water Adventures equips maritime adventurers with wet suits, life jackets, and personal watercraft for exploring the waterways of False Creek and English Bay. The staff stocks a fleet of jet skis, paddleboards, and water bikes, which riders can pedal along inlets without having to worry about the confusion associated with bike lanes or passive-aggressive hand signals. In addition to soaking up scenic ocean views and spying on local wildlife, guests can accompany skilled guides on tours to the area's most impressive sights. Those operating machines must have a valid driver's licence, and all passengers must be at least 6 years old without factoring in alternate theories of relativity.
Creekside Kayaks supplies guests with a sleek fleet of rental kayaks canoes for voyages that traverse the scenic areas flanking False Creek. Solo or duo seafarers can fit snugly within a Necky Manitou II, whose adjustable seat accommodates two adults; single paddlers can also nestle into the roomy cockpit of the Necky Looksha 14. Certified instructors walk uninitiated visitors through kayaking basics during three-hour introductory courses that cover fundamental paddling skills, rescue techniques, water safety, and how easily kayaks transform into giants' kazoos.