Incorporated in 1886, Vancouver is among North America's youngest capital cities. But that doesn't mean it lacks a rich history - stretching from aboriginal times to the European settlement of the West Coast to more recent mass migrations of peoples from Asia, India and beyond. A growing number of museums, both world-renowned and under-the-radar, brings the city's rich past to life.
The Museum of Anthropology on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia is a requisite stop for visitors interested in First Nations history, as well as world cultures. From towering totem poles to more than 10,000 artifacts from around the world, the MOA offers endless opportunities to learn about other cultures. Plus, the building itself is gorgeous, a modern-take on a traditional Aboriginal dwelling offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, the city's rough-and-ready frontier days and its early history as a center of mining and fishing are fodder for several fascinating museums. See life in an early 1900s village at the Burnaby Village Museum; experience the grim, gritty world of salmon fishing at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery; and explore a real 1900s schooner at the Maritime Museum.
Finally, contemporary Vancouver - its conflicts and triumphs, its incredibly diverse population and evolving culture - is on display at the fascinating Museum of Vancouver and the quirky Vancouver Police Museum, housed in the old coroner's office.