Transport yourself back in time when vacationing in Vancouver, Canada. Here you can surf, ski, watch Orcas frolic or take a stroll through some of the best urban parks in one day. The towns nestled between valleys, rain forests, and a magnificent mountain range. While it is one of the newer cities, it offers you a diverse culture with a modest downtown core. Furthermore, it is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts as well. Here we have selected the 30 best things to do in Vancouver.
The Best Things to do in Vancouver
30. Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver has loads to offer when it comes to typography and the best way to learn about the city is at the Museum of Anthropology. The city is known as the Lower Mainland by many people decades ago. Here at the museum, you get Aboriginal works from ancient times to present to see. Here you find the stories rarely told by people of this magnificent city. Therefore, if you want to know the roots of this global community head to the museum to find out everything you need to know.
29. Sea-to-Sky Highway
For a scenic drive found in the whole world head over to the Sea-to-Sky Highway that takes up to 1.5-hours long. With the road, you head up to the renowned ski town called Whistler. Here you can see waterfalls, vistas, cultural centers, and the suspension bridge along your way. Make sure to pack lunch, gas up your car, and do not forget to take your camera. Alternatively, if you do not want to travel alone you can always take the Vancouver 7-hour Sea Sky Tour instead.
28. Grouse Grind
Do you want to become an honorary Vancouverite? The only way to achieve this is by hiking the Grouse Grind. People also call it Mother Nature’s Staircase. However, do not expect a Sunday stroll as it is difficult to climb. You find the hiking trail on the north shore of Vancouver at the foot of the Grouse Mountain. Here you will hike up 850m high through alpine trees. Once reaching the top you come to a chalet with cold drinks served. Furthermore, you get a fantastic view of the city as well. So drink something cool and savor those wobbly legs before heading down the same way.
27. Stanley Park
For the world’s best park visit, Stanley Park where you can cycle around the forest and visit the ancient village site left behind by the Aboriginal. At the same time, you can relax at the beach for a tan or lounge in the rose garden. Furthermore, you can get up close with sea lions or dolphins. Here you can find bicycle rental shops in Denman Street and the best way to get around.
Visit the trendy neighborhood and shop in Gastown. The towns named after Gassy Jack that is a historical figure in the city. Furthermore, it used to be the 3rd largest city in Canada during 1867. There used to be lumber mills, but it is now the home to classy apartments, cocktail lounges, eateries, and boutiques. You can also find some galleries here to explore.
25. China Town
In Vancouver, you can do multiple things when visiting here, like knocking off China Town from your list. Furthermore, it is one of the oldest towns in the city. You find it perched in the financial district and Gastown. Here you can find different shops to inexpensive markets with Dim Sum eateries and more. The busiest day is Sunday and best to avoid.
24. Dr. Sun Yat Sen
While visiting China Town, head over to Dr. Sun Yat Sen to find your Zen in this magnificent garden. The construction is unique and made with traditional methods all by hand. So stroll through the gardens to unwind and view all the plants, birds, and animals roaming around in the garden. If you prefer finding out more about the place, book a four-hour private tour of the Vancouver Gardens.
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23. Deep Cove
Get close and personal with Mother Nature by kayaking down Deep Cove. The place is one of the best places to relax with ocean kayak. You can enjoy a slow paddle to the Indian Arm fjord to see forest creatures greeting you with curiosity. Alternatively, you can always take your fishing pole along as well.
22. Granville Island
Visit the artsy Granville Island that is more of a peninsula than an island. The place used to be an industrial hub but is now the home to Vancouverites who have shops for tourists to explore. Here you can find organic produce from fine chocolates, teas, buskers, to yachts on the dock.
21. Richmond Night Market
A must visit the Richmond Night Market, especially during summer. The market has exciting things to see and buy. Furthermore, it is the home to the largest Chinese community and they can put on a lively show. Here you find trinkets, foods, art, and endless fascinating stalls to browse.
20. Foodie Tour
Vancouver is a diverse city with the best cuisine from around the world. Here you can find the freshest sushi, farm-to-table foods to sophisticated food to try. Enjoy exploding flavors for wine, beer, and so much more. So if you want to enjoy a beautiful day, make sure to take the Foodie Tour.
19. Lynn Canyon
In Vancouver, you can find two suspension bridges, both with amazing views. The problem is that one is very crowded and costly while the other one is free. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the best views, head over to Lynn Canyon Park for some daylight hiking. Along the trail, you can find swimming holes, waterfalls, and a hair-raising bridge that is 50m high.
18. Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
Wander around the 22 acres of this fabulous botanical garden. The fantastic thing is you can visit Van Dusen Botanical Gardens all year round. During spring to summer, you can enjoy a picnic or stroll down the Laburnum Walk for a shady spot to eat. Tour the gardens as it takes you on a trip of all the ecosystems found in the world in one place.
For some lively music, visiting the Commodore is one of the things you can do in Vancouver. Here you will always find someone famous, entertaining the crowds. One of the beloved and oldest venues is the Commodore that dates back to 1920. Here you find vibrant art deco displayed. The admission price is reasonable and you get a casual atmosphere.
16. Canucks Game
For the best hockey game, go and see the Canucks Game between October and April. Here you can see the Vancouver Canucks go one-on-one with different NHL teams. The crowd is exciting and thrilling at the same time.
15. Pacific Spirit Park
Do you love the outdoors then you will enjoy jogging in Pacific Spirit Park that is peaceful and beautiful at the same time? The park spreads over 874 hectares, surrounded by forests with different trails for you to run. You can even enjoy a 10km hike if you prefer and take your pooch along. The park is dog-friendly, and many parts of it your dog can run without a leash.
14. Sea to Sky Gondola
While visiting the sea-to-sky corridor, head over to the sea-to-sky Gondola that is a new attraction in Vancouver. The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge is 100 meters long and provides you with a full view of the region. The bridge is not for the squeamish and you get a picture of the mountains down to the fjord below.
13. English Bay
For the best sunsets in Vancouver, visit English Bay on the west end of the city. The populated neighborhood offers an end-to-end location to Stanley Park. During the summer, it is difficult to distinguish between the locals and tourists. Wander around the area and head over to Denman Street for a great place to eat and enjoy a cocktail. Once done head to English Bay to watch the sunset and view the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.
12. Christ Church Cathedral
In Vancouver, there are many churches, but one that stands out is the Christ Church Cathedral. See the Gothic Revival design constructed with West Coast Douglas beams. Here you can see stained glass windows, with amazing archways as well. So if you want peace, this is the place to be.
11. Sunshine Coast
Vancouver is a fantastic place to visit as it also has a Sunshine Coast where you can get folksy. You can find different day trips to the area by taking the ferry ride. The Sunshine Coast is one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets. Here you can experience an oasis with apathetic roads and idiosyncratic people. Here you can head to Gibson’s, Sechelt, or Roberts Creek. For the adventurous at heart, you can rent a cabin and spend a day or two shopping at the markets available. There is a lake where you can relax or you can head down to the beach with a book.
10. Pacific National Exhibition
Every summer, you can visit the PNE for 17 days on the fairgrounds. The PNE is a century tradition where locals bring along animal auctions, concerts, rides, beer gardens, food and more. Here you can find everything in one place available with this urban fair.
9. Georgia Strait
At Georgia Strait, you can find a local event to go. Therefore, if you are not sure what to do and want to know what is happening in the city, this tabloid can help. Here you can find the hip and happenings of local talent to blockbuster movies showing in the city. You can even find out what ballet show is showing as all events are listed here.
8. Vancouver Aquarium
Get up close to all the species breathing beneath the waters at the Vancouver Aquarium. Here you can find animals from the Amazon to the Pacific Ocean available to see. The place is one of North America’s biggest aquariums and conveniently located close to Stanley Park. Furthermore, it is one of the most popular things to do in Vancouver. Moreover, there are different exhibits to explore and will need to make it a day outing if you want to get personal with the Belugas.
7. Commercial Drive
Why not lunch on the drive-in Vancouver by visiting one of the oldest and electrifying streets Commercial Drive. The old road is now known as The Drive and home to Brazilian coffee house, Edwardian homes, bakeries, pasta places, and hip boutiques. During spring and summer, you get a hive of activity taking place and is the best place to have a conversation and eat.
6. Play in the Snow
Instead of visiting Vancouver during spring, summer head out to the North Shore Mountains during winter for some fun in the snow. Here you can find three mountains within 15-minutes’ drive. You can take a shuttle to Seymour, North Vancouver, or Grouse Mountains. Here you can find challenging runs for the whole family to enjoy. On West Vancouver, you find Cypress that has the best tubing park. For excellent skiing visit Whistler/Blackcomb for an alpine experience, you will not forget.
5. Queen Elizabeth Park
For a popular outdoor space, visit Queen Elizabeth Park that spreads across 130 acres. Here you can find a rose garden, quarry garden, arboretum and so much more. Explore the exotic and native trees found from around the world right here. Furthermore, visit the Bloedel Conservatory to see the fauna with exotic birds and tropical plants. There are dancing water fountains on display and several sculptures throughout the park. On the other hand, it is a great place to get the best view of Vancouver.
4. Kitsilano Beach
About 1.4 miles from the city center is Kitsilano Beach with swimming pools, recreation activities, and a beach free to sue. The strand is a popular destination for tourists and offers the best swimming spot. Here you can do in-line skating, tennis, volleyball and so much more. The shoreline is clean, and you get the best vibe here. Swim in the saltwater heated pool or visit the Maritime Museum close by.
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For the best nightlife, visit Yaletown, which is a hot and trendy spot. The warehouse district is transformed into a chic place with hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. Check the OPUS out that is one of the top properties in Vancouver. Enjoy a cocktail here and head out to the Yaletown Brewing Co, Bar None, or Pierre’s Lounge. Here you can find something for everyone to do.
2. Spanish Banks Beach
The beach sets it apart from others in Vancouver and offers you five miles of coastline with quiet beaches. Here you can do skimboarding that is between skateboarding and surfing. The tides are mostly low but the water is a bit chilly. You can find pick-up games and volleyball courts here as well. When it is low tide, the kids will enjoy playing in the water and the easiest way to reach the beach is by car.
1. Canyon Lights Festival
Now, if you can make it during the winter, the Canyon Lights Festival that lasts for a day at the Capilano Suspension Bridge is necessary to see. You can marvel at the thousands of lights across the bridge, Cliffwalk, and Treetops Adventure. The park lights up with millions of decorations and you can enjoy a meal at the Cliff House Restaurant while there.
Now that you know what the 30 best things to do are in Vancouver, plan your trip to this magnificent place today.