Few cities inspire the kind of "I want to move here after one visit" talk that Vancouver does. This is a city that appeals to many different kinds of people, from the outdoorsy types who love its proximity to nature to the city lovers who appreciate its more cosmopolitan side. In fact, it's easy to nurture your multiple personalities in a city like Vancouver, dressing up one weekend to go out to a fancy restaurant or the theatre and spending the next hiking or skiing or kayaking a few minutes from the city centre.
Unfortunately, all these perks come at a price - Vancouver is notoriously expensive to live in as well as visit. This means the biggest part of your travel budget once you arrive will be accommodation, but as tempting as it is to book a room on the outskirts of the city to save money, you're more likely to have a better time if you choose one of the budget hotels in downtown Vancouver instead. These won't be opulent properties (although Vancouver has several of those, too, if you're in the mood to splurge), but they score highly on location and they still help you save a bit for all the fun things you'll do (and eat!) during your trip.
Downtown Vancouver is easy to navigate on foot, although it's worth noting that parts of it are quite hilly - in other words, comfortable walking shoes are a must. No matter the season, plan for nearly any weather conditions - even in summer it can get fairly cool and rainy. If you want to take advantage of Vancouver's incredible natural surroundings by hiking, biking, boating, skiing, or anything else outdoors, there are places where you can rent most of the necessary equipment, which makes it much easier than having to bring bulky outdoor gear from home.
Aside from the natural wonders in and around Vancouver, this is also a city of culture and cuisine. The excellent Museum of Anthropology showcases British Columbia's history in a spectacular building. There is a great Chinatown in Vancouver, as well as a Classical Chinese Garden, and there's an Asian influence in much of the food in Vancouver, too. This is a city that cares deeply about its cuisine, and it's the kind of place that could well turn anyone into a foodie.