1. Art in open spaces: Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver, B.C.
The surprise here is the life-size Digital Orca sculpture breaching vertically from the Jack Poole Plaza, a triangular slice on the waterfront. And no, the whale isn't fuzzy; it's pixelated into Lego-like blocks. Also on the plaza is the Olympic cauldron--where the flame burned during the 2010 Winter Games--now on display permanently. North end of Thurlow St.; 866/785-8232.
2. Lessons in gardening: Hayes Valley Farm, San Francisco, CA
Plunked down on what used to be a freeway off-ramp, Hayes Valley Farm is the urban equivalent of the back-to-the-earth experience you used to have to drive to. Just a block from a strip of boutiques, city farmers are growing kale, snap peas, and beets. Drop by to learn composting or take a yoga class. Free yoga; soil classes from $25; 450 Laguna St.;