Last Updated on May 25, 2022
There is no place like home, and Vancouver is ours. We love the city’s diversity, its natural beauty, and its lively culture.
Vancouver has something for everyone, whether you are looking for an urban adventure or a scenic escape. And with so many activities and attractions to choose from, there is never a dull moment.
From strolling along Granville Island to skiing in the mountains, we have always been able to find ways to enjoy ourselves. We were born and raised here and we are proud to call Vancouver our home.
Here is your insider’s guide to all the best things to do in Vancouver. Since we are locals, this post will be a continual work in progress and we will keep adding to it as we explore more of this beautiful city.
Check back for updates!
Table Of Contents
- Enjoy The Scenery From A Boat
- Explore Stanley Park
- Visit The Vancouver Aquarium
- Admire The Stanley Park Totem Poles
- Go For A Stroll On The Seawall
- Ride The Stanley Park Train
- Pacific National Exhibition
- Vancouver Canadians
- Check Out Craft Breweries
- Join A Food Tour
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Go Kayaking In False Creek
- Explore Deep Cove And Climb Quarry Rock
- Go Whale Watching
- Sea To Sky Gondola
- Sea To Sky Highway
- Explore Gastown
- Visit Grouse Mountain
- Hike The Grouse Grind
- Attend A Festival Or Event
- Granville Island
- Visit Science World
- Take A Seaplane Tour
- Hike The Chief
- English Bay
- Golden Ears Provincial Park
- Vancouver City Sight-Seeing Tour
- Explore The Vancouver Art Gallery
- Walk Lynn Canyon
- Explore Chinatown
- Robson Street Shopping
- Have Fun In The Snow
- Relax On The Beaches
- Kitsilano Pool
- Hike Through Lighthouse Park In North Vancouver
- Visit Sasamat Lake
- Take The SeaBus To Lonsdale Quay
- Explore Commercial Drive
- Go Stand-Up Paddleboarding
- Wander Through Pacific Spirit Park
- Eat Fish & Chips At Steveston
- Go Airplane Spotting
- Visit The Richmond Night Market
- Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
- Watch A Concert At The Commodore
- Catch A Canucks Game
- Catch A Show At Stanley Theatre
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Bloedel Conservatory At Queen Elizabeth Park
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden
- Museum Of Anthropology
- Cypress Lookout (Barrett’s View)
- Vancouver Lookout
- Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Museum Of Vancouver
- Lights To The Lodge On Cypress Mountain
- Walk Around Canada Place
- Flyover Canada
- Vancouver Football
- Vancouver Murals
- Enjoy The Public Art
- Go Scuba Diving Or Snorkeling
- Burnaby Village Museum
- H. R. MacMillan Space Centre
- Visit Vancouver Olympic Sites
- Visit Olympic Village
- Ride The Skytrain
- Dundarave Pier
- Getaways From Vancouver
Enjoy The Scenery From A Boat
One of the best ways to see Vancouver is from the water. There are plenty of boat tour operators in the city, so you can easily find a tour that fits your schedule and interests. On a boat tour, you will get great views of Vancouver’s skyline and natural landmarks like Stanley Park and Lion’s Gate Bridge. You might even spot some wildlife! Whether you are looking for a leisurely sightseeing experience or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, a Vancouver boat tour is sure to give you memories that will last a lifetime.
Explore Stanley Park
Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. Situated on the edge of downtown, the park offers stunning views of the coastline, along with a range of amenities including walking and biking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
Stanley Park is a 1,001-acre magnificent green oasis in the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver, with Vancouver’s famous seawall on the outskirts of the park that stretches 8.8 km.
The park also features several historic landmarks, including the famous Lion’s Gate Bridge and the Brockton Point Lighthouse.
In fact, Stanley Park is considered to be the top park in all of Canada. Even more amazing, it was named ‘top park in the entire world’ by TripAdvisor. This award is not just any old compliment, but the result of millions of reviews submitted to their website’s travel community.
This stunning natural space has earned its place as one worth visiting before you die.
Visit The Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is a world-renowned marine science center that is in the heart of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The Aquarium first opened its doors in 1956 and has since become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The aquarium houses around 300 species of fish, almost 30,000 invertebrates, and 56 species of amphibians and reptiles. They also have around 60 mammals and birds. In addition to its many beautiful exhibits, the Aquarium also offers a variety of educational programs and events that are sure to interest everyone in the family.
Whether you are looking to learn more about marine life or simply enjoy a fun day out, a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium is sure to be a memorable experience.
Admire The Stanley Park Totem Poles
Stanley Park is home to nine totem poles that were carved by members of the Squamish and Musqueam nations. The poles are a popular tourist attraction, and they provide a glimpse into the rich culture and history of the Squamish and Musqueam peoples.
The display of totems has been at Brockton Point since the 1960s. The 9th and newest pole was added in 2009.
Four of the totems are from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. The other totems are from Haida Gwaii and River’s Inlet (on BC’s west coast).
The newest pole that was set up in 2009 and is the only one made by a Vancouver-area artist. It was carved by Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation.
Go For A Stroll On The Seawall
Vancouver has the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront pathway. The 28 km seaside greenway is an uninterrupted pathway, including the Stanley Park Seawall (8.8km), that extends from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks Park. It is a great place to stretch your legs or go for picturesque cycling around town.
If you are new to Vancouver this is an excellent introduction because it goes past many must-see sights during its 28km route.
The seawall is a popular spot for walkers, bikers, and rollerbladers, and on a sunny day, it is not unusual to see the path crammed with people enjoying the fresh air and stunning scenery.
Ride The Stanley Park Train
This 20 gauge, 2 km track winding through the forest is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Take a look at the vintage engine before you board for the 15-minute ride. The Stanley Park Railway’s replica Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, is famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.
The train is especially awesome during the holidays. You must book your tickets in advance, but it is one of the best things to do in Vancouver at Christmas. The train ride is paired with the Bright Nights light display of over three million sparkling lights that will ignite your excitement for the Christmas season. It is one of the best festive and family-friendly light displays in Vancouver.
You can ride the train year-round with different themes for the seasons (Halloween and Easter too).
Stanley Park Railway is adjacent to other popular destinations such as Lumberman’s Arch, Malkin Bowl, and the Rose Garden.
Read Next – Best Things To Do In Vancouver At Christmas
Pacific National Exhibition
Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition is a must-see for any visitor to the city to end the summer with some fun.
The exhibition has something for everyone, with a wide range of exhibits and activities to enjoy. From farm animals and food trucks to rides and games, Coca-Cola Stage bands, and Summer Night Concerts, there is something to keep everyone entertained.
The exhibition is also a great opportunity to learn about Vancouver’s history and culture. With an annual attendance of over two million people, the Pacific National Exhibition is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
A big PNE favorite is the SuperDogs. There is something special about a SuperDogs show. Maybe it is the way the dogs seem to fly through the air or the way they contort their bodies in seemingly impossible ways. Or maybe it is the look of complete joy on everyone’s faces as they perform. Whatever the reason, watching a SuperDogs show is an unforgettable experience. The dogs are incredibly talented, and their handlers are clearly dedicated to providing them with the best possible training. As a result, the dogs are able to perform amazing feats that leave spectators amazed. If you ever have the chance to see a SuperDogs show, do not miss it – it is an experience you will not soon forget.
The Vancouver Canadians are a Minor League Baseball team that plays in the Northwest League. They play their home games at the gorgeous Nat Bailey Stadium. The Canadians are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The team was founded in 1978 and they have been playing baseball in Vancouver ever since.
Attending a Vancouver Canadians game is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. The games are affordable and family-friendly, and there is always a great atmosphere at the stadium.
If you are looking for a fun night out, make sure to check out the Vancouver Canadians baseball game!
Check Out Craft Breweries
Vancouver is home to a thriving craft beer scene, with dozens of breweries dotted across the city. Whether you are a fan of hoppy IPAs or malty stouts, you will find something to suit your taste.
Many of Vancouver’s breweries are in former industrial areas, and they often make use of repurposed materials to create a unique atmosphere. In addition to brewing great beer, many of Vancouver’s breweries also host events such as live music and comedy nights. If you are looking for a fun night out, be sure to check out one of Vancouver’s many craft breweries.
Some of the most popular are Granville Island Brewing, Steamworks Brewing Company, Andina Brewing Co., and Parallel 49.
Read Next – Things To Do On Granville Island
Join A Food Tour
Vancouver is a food lover’s dream, with a wide range of cuisines from all over the world represented in its restaurants. And what better way to sample the city’s culinary delights than on a food tour?
Vancouver Food Tours offers a variety of different tours, each showcasing a different neighborhood and its unique culinary offerings. The Chinatown tour, for example, takes visitors to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the city, while the Gastown tour showcases Vancouver’s historic downtown district, with stops at trendy cafes and local breweries. No matter what your interests are, there is sure to be a food tour that is right for you. So come on down and see what Vancouver has to offer!
Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions. Spanning 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River, the bridge offers breathtaking views of the canyon below. Originally built in 1889, the bridge has undergone several renovations over the years, but it still retains its original charm.
Visitors can stroll across the bridge at their leisure or wander through the treetop adventure and cliffwalk.
No matter how you choose to experience it, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Go Kayaking In False Creek
One of the best ways to explore Vancouver is from the water, and there is no better place to do that than False Creek. This protected inlet is perfect for kayaking, and several rental companies offer kayaks, SUPs, and canoes. You can paddle around the Seawall, past Science World, under the Burrard Street Bridge, and around Granville Island.
False Creek is also home to several waterfront parks and beaches, so you can always stop for a picnic or a swim. And if you are feeling adventurous, you can even paddle out into English Bay.
Whether you are a seasoned paddler or a first-time adventurer, be sure to explore Vancouver by kayak!
Explore Deep Cove And Climb Quarry Rock
Vancouver’s Deep Cove is a beautiful and serene place that is perfect for a day of exploring and relaxation. The cove is in the easternmost part of the city, and it is surrounded by forested mountains and calm waters.
There are plenty of trails to explore, and you can even rent kayaks to paddle around in. Deep Cove is also home to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, seals, and otters.
The Quarry Rock trail begins in Deep Cove and is well marked and easy to follow. The views from the top are breathtaking; on a clear day, you can see Vancouver Island.
Looking for a delicious treat in Deep Cove? Be sure to check out Honey’s Doughnuts! This charming shop is in the heart of the cove, and it specializes in fresh, handmade doughnuts. The selection changes daily, so there is always something new to try. Whether you are looking for a classic glazed doughnut or something more adventurous, you are sure to find it at Honey’s. And do not forget to get a cup of coffee to go with your treat – the shop has some of the best coffee in town. So next time you are in Deep Cove, be sure to stop by Honey’s Doughnuts and indulge in a little sweetness.
Deep Cove is also one of the best places to find starfish in Vancouver.
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching is a popular activity in Vancouver, and for good reason. The city is in the heart of whale territory, and there are many different species to see.
Orcas, also known as killer whales, are a particularly popular sight. These massive creatures can grow up to 30 feet long, and they are often seen hunting in packs. Humpback whales are another common sighting. These gentle giants are known for their striking tail fins, which they use to propel themselves through the water. Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth, and they can sometimes be spotted off the coast of Vancouver.
Whether you are looking for majestic orcas or gentle giants, Vancouver is the perfect place to go whale watching.
Sea To Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola is a must-do activity when visiting Squamish, BC. The gondola takes you 885 meters (2900 feet) above sea level, providing stunning views of Howe Sound, and the Coastal Mountains.
Once at the top, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as restaurants and a kid’s playground. The Sea to Sky Gondola is open year-round, and in winter there is also a network of cross-country ski trails.
Whether you are looking for an adventure or just want to take in the incredible views, the Sea to Sky Gondola is sure to please.
Sea To Sky Highway
The Sea to Sky Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It winds its way through the coastal mountains of British Columbia, offering stunning views of glaciers, forests, and waterfalls.
The drive can be taken in a day, but it is worth taking your time to enjoy all that the highway has to offer. There are plenty of pull-offs and picnic areas where you can stop to take in the view and several hikes that can be accessed from the highway.
Whether you are driving to Whistler for a ski trip or just exploring the coast, the Sea to Sky Highway is a must-see.
Take a look at our guide for the Best Stops Along The Sea To Sky Highway so you do not miss the best sights!
Gastown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver. Located in the downtown core, Gastown is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Visitors can explore the cobbled streets and admire Victorian-style architecture. The neighborhood has a rich history dating back to the city’s founding in 1867. Today, Gastown is a vibrant and thriving community that is always worth a visit.
One of the only functioning steam clocks in the world is located right in Gastown. Built as part of a throwback revitalization plan for this historic community, it was completed back in 1977 and has been running ever since!
Catch the tune and steam show every hour on the hour and every fifteen minutes after.
Visit Grouse Mountain
Just a short drive from Vancouver, Grouse Mountain offers stunning views of the coastal mountains, as well as plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. In winter, the mountain transforms into a winter wonderland, with skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities on offer. Whether you are looking for a summer adventure or a winter retreat, Grouse Mountain is the perfect destination.
Hike The Grouse Grind
The Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain is a Vancouver landmark and a popular hiking trail for locals and visitors alike. As the name suggests, the trail is notoriously steep, with an average grade of 30% and a total elevation gain of 853 meters.
Despite its challenging nature, the Grouse Grind is extremely popular, with over 100,000 people hiking it each year. The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. If you are looking for a strenuous hike with a rewarding payoff, the Grouse Grind is worth checking out.
You are not allowed to hike down the Grouse Grind. Enjoy the scenery as you take the Skyride down.
Also, make note that this is a legit hike. Do not show up in jeans and flip-flops and bring extra water. It is hard work!
Attend A Festival Or Event
Vancouver is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Vancouver is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene. Throughout the year, the city hosts several festivals and events that celebrate its diverse communities. From the Vancouver Mural Festival or Vancouver Jazz Festival to the Celebration of Light fireworks display, there is always something exciting happening in Vancouver.
If you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or evening, be sure to check out what is happening around town. You are sure to find an event that is perfect for you.
For an unforgettable day out in Vancouver, be sure to visit Granville Island. This vibrant community is located in the heart of the city and is home to a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Start your day by browsing the stalls at the Granville Island Public Market, where you will find everything from fresh produce to artisanal goods. Then, explore the many galleries and studios that line the island’s streets. You will find everything from paintings and sculptures to handcrafted jewelry and pottery. And when you are ready for a break, enjoy a bite to eat at one of Granville Island’s many cafes and eateries.
With so much to see and do, Granville Island is the perfect place to spend a day in Vancouver!
Visit Science World
Science World Vancouver is a museum dedicated to promoting the scientific and technological understanding of the world. The museum has interactive exhibits on topics such as space, energy, the environment, and the human body. In addition, the museum is home to the OMNIMAX Theatre, which offers educational films on a range of scientific topics.
Science World is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about the world around them.
Take A Seaplane Tour
If you are looking for an unforgettable way to see Vancouver, taking a seaplane ride is a great option. Several companies offer seaplane tours, and they typically last around 30 minutes. During the tour, you will get incredible views of the city skyline, mountain ranges, and coastline. You may even spot some marine life, such as dolphins or whales.
Taking a seaplane ride is a great way to see Vancouver from a different perspective, and it is an experience that you will never forget.
Hike The Chief
For those looking for an amazing hike with incredible views, look no further than the Chief in Squamish. This popular trail features a challenging route to the top of a mountain, with panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are several different routes to take to the top, so hikers can choose their level of difficulty. The trail is also well-maintained, so hikers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience.
And for those who want to make a weekend of it, there are several camping sites located near the trailhead.
Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer visitors. One of its most popular attractions is English Bay, which is located on the city’s waterfront. The bay is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, and it is also a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, so you can grab a bite to eat while you enjoy the view.
Golden Ears Provincial Park
Golden Ears Provincial Park is a beautiful spot for a day trip. The park is located near Vancouver and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy hikes to more challenging ones. The Alouette Lake trail is a great option for those who want to enjoy the scenery without having to hike too far. The trail winds its way around the lake, providing plenty of opportunities to take in the views.
The Golden Ears Lower Falls Trail to Gold Creek Falls is one of the most popular trails in Golden Ears Provincial Park. The trail is wide and groomed the entire way to the waterfall. With only a couple of quick hills, the elevation gain is minimal, making it a great option for those who are new to hiking, or for a family hike with young children.
Alouette Lake is one of the most popular swimming spots in the area. The water is refreshing on a warm day and the setting is simply beautiful. With the towering mountains in the background, it is no wonder that so many people flock to this spot during the summer months.
Camping at Golden Ears Provincial Park is also a fantastic option for summer fun!
Vancouver City Sight-Seeing Tour
Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer visitors. From its bustling downtown core to its stunning natural scenery, there is something for everyone in Vancouver. One of the best ways to explore the city is to take a sightseeing tour. Many different tour companies offer a variety of Vancouver sightseeing tours, so it is easy to find one that suits your interests and budget. A sightseeing tour is a great way to get the most out of your Vancouver experience.
Explore The Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a must-see for any art lover visiting the city. Housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts building, the gallery features an impressive collection of work by Canadian and international artists. A visit to the gallery is a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in Vancouver.
Highlights include the paintings of Emily Carr, one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, as well as a rotating selection of contemporary exhibitions. The Vancouver Art Gallery also offers several educational programs, making it a great destination for families.
Whether you are an art aficionado or simply looking for a way to spend some time indoors on a rainy Vancouver afternoon, the Vancouver Art Gallery is well worth a visit.
Walk Lynn Canyon
If you are looking for a breathtaking natural setting to explore near Vancouver, Lynn Canyon is a great option. The canyon is home to a beautiful suspension bridge that spans across the rushing waters below. The bridge is particularly popular with hikers, as it provides access to some of the best trails in the area.
Whether you are looking for a challenging hike or a peaceful place to relax, Lynn Canyon is worth a visit.
Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of the oldest in North America, and it is home to a vibrant community of Chinese Canadians. The neighborhood is centered around Pender Street, and it is full of traditional Chinese shops and restaurants. Many of the businesses in Chinatown are family-owned, and they have been passed down through generations. The neighborhood is also home to several cultural institutions, including the Chinese Canadian Historical Society and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Chinatown is an important part of Vancouver’s history, and it is a great place to experience authentic Chinese culture.
Do not miss the New Town Bakery, a Vancouver favorite for barbeque pork buns.
Robson Street Shopping
Robson Street is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Vancouver. The street is home to a variety of shops, from high-end boutiques to chain stores. Visitors can find everything they need, whether they are looking for new clothes, souvenirs, or just a place to relax and people watch. There are also several great restaurants on Robson Street, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a day of shopping.
Have Fun In The Snow
Winter can be gorgeous. When the snow starts to fall, the city comes alive with whole new energy.
While some people might hunker down indoors, others take advantage of the winter weather and head for the mountains. After all, Vancouver is lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.
If you are looking to enjoy the snow during your winter visit, why not hit the slopes? Popular options closest to downtown include Mount Seymour, Cypress Mountain, and Grouse Mountain.
Relax On The Beaches
Vancouver is a city with many hidden gems and one of them just so happens to be its stunning beaches. Although it may come as a surprise to some, Vancouver is home to nine beautiful beaches that are perfect for any season or activity.
One of the most popular beaches in the city is Kitsilano Beach. This beach is bustling with activity all year round and is the perfect spot for sunbathing, playing sports, or simply relaxing. If you are not a fan of swimming in the ocean, there is also an outdoor salt-water pool that is great for cooling off on hot days.
If you are feeling more adventurous, venture to UBC’s Wreck Beach. It is Canada’s largest nude beach and the optional section is clearly marked with signs and stretches approximately 6.7 kilometers from Acadia Beach, in the north, to the Booming Grounds Creek on the north arm of the Fraser River.
There are plenty of people who love this place for its relaxed atmosphere.
No matter what you are looking for, Vancouver’s beaches are sure to have something for everyone.
Located in the heart of Vancouver, the Kitsilano Pool is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike when the summer heat arrives. With a length of 137 meters, it is the longest pool in North America. Relax on the deck where people can sunbathe, and take in stunning views of the city. Kitsilano Beach, one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches, is just a short walk away, making the Kitsilano Pool a great spot to cool off after a day in the sun.
Whether you are looking to take a dip or just enjoy the view, the Kitsilano Pool is definitely worth a visit.
Hike Through Lighthouse Park In North Vancouver
Lighthouse Park is a beautiful spot to take in the city’s skyline and watch boats. The lighthouse and light station grounds at Point Atkinson are a national historic site, and one of the most photographed landmarks in all lower Mainland.
It is nothing short of a magical example of British Columbia’s coastal rainforest, with its huge trees, deep forest, rugged coastline, and magnificent ocean views. With its stunning views and rich history, Lighthouse Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Vancouver.
Visit Sasamat Lake
Just a short drive from Vancouver, Sasamat Lake is the perfect spot for a day trip. The tranquil lake is surrounded by lush forests, and there are gorgeous trails to explore in the area. Visitors can swim, paddleboard, or go for a hike. There are also several picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the views. Sasamat Lake is a beautiful spot any time of year.
Hike around Sasamat Lake for gorgeous views. Jug Island is another incredible trail to hike nearby.
Read Next – Hiking To Jug Island In Belcarra Regional Park
Take The SeaBus To Lonsdale Quay
The SeaBus is a passenger ferry that crosses the Burrard Inlet, connecting Downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver. The SeaBus is a fun way to explore more of Vancouver and see the sights. It departs every 15 minutes during the day and takes a short 12-minute ride to cross the Inlet.
Lonsdale Quay is a vibrant public market and shipping terminal located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The market features a wide variety of local vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handcrafted gifts. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of Vancouver’s skyline and mountains, as well as the bustling activity of the harbor.
The terminal is home to many ferry and water taxi services, making it the perfect starting point for exploring the beautiful coastal regions of British Columbia. Whether you are looking for a unique shopping experience or a gateway to adventure, Lonsdale Quay is sure to delight you.
Do not miss the shipyards district in lower Lonsdale. The area was once the site of several shipyards, and today it is home to a museum, a heritage park, and a working dockyard. The district is also a great place to enjoy the city’s views, with plenty of restaurants and cafes overlooking the water.
During the winter, the covered outdoor rink is a great spot to go ice skating.
If you are visiting Vancouver, be sure to add the Shipyards District to your itinerary.
Explore Commercial Drive
Vancouver’s Commercial Drive is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, full of culture and history. The Drive, as it is colloquially known, is home to many immigrants, and as a result, is a melting pot of different cultures.
The area is also well known for its independent businesses, many of which have been in operation for decades. In recent years, the Drive has become increasingly gentrified, but it still retains its character and charm.
Whether you are looking for good food, interesting shops, or just a place to people watch, Commercial Drive is worth a visit.
Go Stand-Up Paddleboarding
If you are looking for a fun and unique activity to do in Vancouver, stand-up paddleboarding is a great option. It is perfect for all skill levels, and you can enjoy stunning views of the city as you paddle around. There are plenty of rental companies that will provide you with everything you need, so all you have to do is show up and have fun.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a great workout, and it is also a great way to relax and enjoy time on the water.
Wander Through Pacific Spirit Park
With over 750 hectares of forest, Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Situated on the University of British Columbia endowment lands, the park is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. The park is also crisscrossed by an extensive network of trails, making it a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, and birdwatchers.
Whether you are looking for a stroll or an invigorating hike, Pacific Spirit Regional Park has something to offer everyone. And with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic coastal mountains, it is easy to see why this urban oasis is such a beloved spot in Vancouver.
Eat Fish & Chips At Steveston
If you are looking for a charming town to explore near Vancouver, be sure to add Steveston in Richmond to your list. This quaint fishing village is situated on the banks of the Fraser River and is known for its fresh seafood, beautiful waterfront views, and charming heritage buildings. While you are here, be sure to visit the Steveston Museum and Gulf of Georgia Cannery.
To learn more about the area’s history, check out the various shops and galleries, and enjoy a meal at one of the delicious seafood restaurants. With its friendly atmosphere and lovely setting, Steveston is sure to please visitors of all ages.
Go Airplane Spotting
If you love watching airplanes, there are several great spots to go plane spotting near Vancouver International Airport.
Walk the Iona Jetty to experience airplanes flying overhead. Or, Larry Berg Flight Path Park features a big globe of the world to watch airplanes from. Both locations are minutes from the airport.
Visit The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is a must-see for any visitor to Vancouver. Held every summer, the market features a wide variety of food and merchandise from all over Asia. Highlights include delicious street food, unique jewelry and clothing, and beautiful artwork. A market is also a great place to people watch, as it attracts a diverse range of locals and tourists alike.
With its vibrant atmosphere and wealth of stalls to explore, the Richmond Night Market is an experience not to be missed.
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
Van Dusen Gardens is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver. With more than 65,000 plants from all over the world, it is easy to see why this is one of the city’s most beloved parks. Visitors can stroll through carefully curated gardens, wander along the trails, or simply relax in the shade on a hot summer day.
No matter what time of year you visit, there is always something in bloom. The Van Dusen Garden is a must-see for any nature lover – and a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Watch A Concert At The Commodore
If you are looking for an unforgettable concert experience, look no further than the Commodore Ballroom. With its intimate setting and excellent acoustics, the Commodore provides a truly unique concert experience.
While the venue may be small, it manages to pack a powerful punch, with a lineup of world-renowned artists that is sure to please. From up-and-coming bands to international superstars, the Commodore has something for everyone.
If you are in the mood for some great music, be sure to check out the schedule at the legendary Commodore Ballroom.
Catch A Canucks Game
If you are ever in Vancouver, be sure to catch a Canucks game at Rogers Arena. The atmosphere is electric, and the fans are passionate. You will want to get there early to grab a beer and some food before the game starts. If you are lucky, you might even catch a fight or two.
Trust me, it is an experience you will not forget anytime soon.
Catch A Show At Stanley Theatre
The Stanley Theatre in Vancouver is one of the city’s most beloved historic landmarks. Built in the early 1900s, the theatre has been home to countless performances, from blockbuster musicals to iconic plays. Today, the Stanley Theatre remains a popular destination for theatergoers, offering a wide variety of shows throughout the year.
Whether you are looking for a night of laughter or a heart-wrenching drama, you are sure to find a show that will captivate you at the Stanley Theatre.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver. Situated on top of a hill in the heart of the city, the park offers stunning views of downtown Vancouver and the surrounding mountains.
The park is Vancouver’s horticultural jewel and is a major draw for floral display enthusiasts and view-seekers. The park also features The Bloedel Conservatory – you can read more about it below.
Bloedel Conservatory At Queen Elizabeth Park
The Bloedel Conservatory is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Vancouver. Located atop Queen Elizabeth Park, the conservatory is home to hundreds of exotic birds and plants. Visitors can stroll through the indoor rainforest, and enjoy the subtle scents of a healing garden, and the sound of waterfalls.
The Bloedel Conservatory is open year-round, making it a perfect spot for a winter walk or to pair with a summer picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park. With its lush gardens and peaceful setting, the conservatory is an oasis of calm in the busy city.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden is a beautiful oasis in the heart of Vancouver. Modeled after the traditional gardens of China, it is a place of peace and tranquility. Visitors can stroll through the garden that features beautiful pavilions, covered walkways, a jade green pond with koi fish, and a collection of 150-year-old miniature trees.
In addition to being a lovely spot for a stroll or picnic, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden is also a popular venue for weddings and other special events.
This Ming Dynasty-style garden home is the first among its kind to have been built outside of China and continues to be unique in the world due to the collaboration between community members, the Canadian Government, and the People’s Republic of China.
Whether you are looking for a place to relax or celebrate, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden is sure to please.
Museum Of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is one of the world’s leading institutions for the study of anthropology. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world, and its exhibitions are renowned for their insights into the human experience.
The museum is also home to a research center, which is dedicated to furthering our understanding of anthropology. In addition to its exhibits and research facilities, the Museum of Anthropology also offers a variety of public programs, such as lectures and workshops. These programs provide an opportunity for the public to engage with anthropology in a hands-on way. Whether you are a student, a researcher, or just somebody curious about the world around them, the Museum of Anthropology is well worth a visit.
Cypress Lookout (Barrett’s View)
If you want to get a great view of Vancouver, there is no better place to go than Cypress Mountain Lookout. Just a short drive from downtown, Cypress Mountain offers panoramic views of Vancouver, the surrounding mountains, and even the Pacific Ocean.
On a clear day, you can see across Georgia Straight to Vancouver Island and southeast to Mount Baker in Washington State. Whether you are a local or a visitor, Cypress Mountain is worth a visit. Head up there today and enjoy the amazing views.
The Vancouver Lookout is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Located in the heart of downtown, the Lookout provides breathtaking views of the cityscape. Visitors can take in the sights from an outdoor observation deck, or enjoy a meal or drink at the on-site restaurant.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is a world-renowned museum that showcases the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic. Located in the heart of Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, the museum is home to a variety of exhibitions and interactive displays.
Visitors can learn about the region’s Indigenous peoples, early European explorers, and the development of the modern fishing and shipping industries. The museum also houses a research library and archives, which are open to the public by appointment. With its unique blend of history, culture, and science, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Museum Of Vancouver
The Museum of Vancouver is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. Located in downtown Vancouver, the museum is home to a wide variety of Vancouver-related exhibits and artifacts. Visitors can learn about the city’s history, culture, and art, and see firsthand how Vancouver has changed over time.
The museum also features many interactive displays, making it a great place for families to visit. Whether you are a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, the Museum of Vancouver is sure to have something that will interest you.
Lights To The Lodge On Cypress Mountain
There is something special about a winter hike. The air is crisp, the snow is glistening, and the silence is deafening. But when night falls, the trail can suddenly feel a lot less inviting.
That is why Cypress Mountain offers Light To The Lodge, where a snowshoe trail is lit up by thousands of lights. The lights provide a warm and welcoming glow, making it a magical snowshoeing experience after dark. And best of all, you can stop at the historic Hollyburn Lodge for a hot chocolate and warm meal.
Go experience the magic for yourself!
Walk Around Canada Place
One of the must-see landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place. Canada Place is an iconic building in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It is home to the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, and many shops and restaurants. The best way to experience Canada Place is to take a walk around the perimeter. You will get stunning views of the North Shore mountains, Coal Harbour, and Stanley Park. If you are lucky, you might even see some marine life such as dolphins or orcas.
Canada Place is also a great place to watch the sunset or enjoy a meal with a view.
Flyover Canada located at Canada Place is the ultimate flying experience. You will feel like you are flying across all of Canada with this fun experience.
Using state-of-the-art 4D video technology, simulations recreate the landscapes for a mind-blowing flight.
You will be buckled into your seat to hang suspended in front of a 20-meter spherical screen, while special effects such as wind and scents create an unforgettable realistic 8-minute journey.
BC Place is Vancouver’s 53,000-capacity retractable roof stadium. It is home to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from May to November, and the Vancouver Whitecaps, of Major League Soccer (MLS) from March to October.
Whether you are a diehard fan or just enjoy watching a good game, there is no denying that watching a sporting event can be a lot of fun. Part of the appeal is the excitement and suspense that comes with not knowing who will win. Will your team pull off a victory? Or will the other team spoil your hopes? There is also something special about experiencing a live event with a crowd of people who are all rooting for the same thing. The energy and enthusiasm in the air are simply contagious.
And even if your team does not come out on top, you can still take solace in the fact that you had a great time cheering them on.
If you are looking for something fun and unique to do in Vancouver, why not explore the city’s murals? You will find them in all sorts of unexpected places, from alleyways to parking lots. And each one tells a story about the city and its people.
No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find a mural that speaks to you. So next time you are exploring Vancouver, keep your eyes peeled for these pieces of public art.
The Vancouver Mural Festival is an annual event that celebrates public art and promotes community engagement. Over several days, local and international artists create large-scale murals in various neighborhoods around the city. The festival also features live music, food trucks, and interactive art installations. In addition to bringing color and beauty to the city, the murals provide an opportunity for people to come together and explore their creativity. For residents and visitors alike, the Vancouver Mural Festival is a vibrant celebration of art and community.
Download the Vancouver Mural Festival app to help you find all the murals, even if you are not visiting during the festival itself.
Enjoy The Public Art
Beyond all of the incredible murals around Vancouver, there is no shortage of public art to enjoy in Vancouver. From the towering totem poles in Stanley Park to the vibrant murals of Granville Island and around Vancouver, there is something for everyone to appreciate. Numerous sculptures and installations can be found throughout the downtown core.
Go Scuba Diving Or Snorkeling
Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, and one of its best features is its proximity to the water. Whether you are looking to take a dip in a lake or enjoy the ocean views, Vancouver is the perfect place to do it. And for those who want to explore the underwater world, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.
There are several dive shops in Vancouver that offer lessons and rentals, so you can learn how to dive or just enjoy the experience without having to worry about equipment. And with Vancouver’s clear waters and diverse marine life, there is plenty to see no matter where you go. So whether you are a seasoned diver or a complete beginner, Vancouver is an excellent place to check out some of the best that the underwater world has to offer.
A small group of rocks located in the middle of the Howe sound area, Pam Rocks is home to a colony of seals as well as a well-known bird breeding area. Pam Rocks are popular for diving to see the famous large marine life in the area.
Burnaby Village Museum
The Burnaby Village Museum is a beautiful and historic site that is perfect for a day trip. The Museum is located in an old-fashioned village, and it includes a working tram, a schoolhouse, and a general store. Visitors can also explore the historic homes, which have been furnished to look like they did in the early twentieth century. The museum is open from May to September, and it is a great place to learn about the history of Burnaby. The village is also home to several shops and restaurants, so visitors can enjoy a bite to eat or do some shopping after exploring the Museum.
While you are there, do not forget to take a ride on the gorgeous vintage C.W. Parker Carousel.
H. R. MacMillan Space Centre
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist destinations. Located in the heart of the city, the Centre offers a variety of exhibits and programs that allow visitors to explore the wonders of space. From hands-on demonstrations to stargazing parties, there is something for everyone at the Space Centre. In addition to its educational offerings, the Centre also houses a planetarium and an observatory, making it the perfect place for aspiring astronomers to get started in their studies.
The kids will love to try on space suits, break down rockets, and even touch a piece of the moon at this interactive museum. Enjoy your journey through all the galaxies, black holes, and meteor shows — it will blow your mind!
The next time you are looking for an out-of-this-world experience, be sure to check out the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
Visit Vancouver Olympic Sites
The Olympic cauldron in Vancouver is a must-see for any fan of the Games. Located in the heart of downtown, the cauldron was originally built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Nowadays, it is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
The cauldron is constantly surrounded by people taking photos and admiring its impressive design. The cauldron is just one of many Olympic sites worth visiting in Vancouver. Other popular spots include the Olympic Village and the Vancouver Convention Centre. Whether you are a die-hard fan of the Olympics, or simply looking for something different to do, be sure to add the Vancouver Olympic sites to your list.
Yaletown is a chic neighborhood in Vancouver, British Columbia that is known for its trendy restaurants, bars, and shops. The area was originally developed as a warehouse district in the late 1800s, but it has since been transformed into a stylish urban center.
Thanks to its central location and convenient amenities, Yaletown is a popular place to live, work, and play. Whether you are looking for a sophisticated night out or a casual lunch option, you are sure to find what you are looking for in Yaletown. And with views of the city skyline and False Creek, it is also one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver.
Visit Olympic Village
The Vancouver Olympic Village is a vibrant and bustling community that was home to athletes, coaches, and officials from all over the world during the 2010 Olympics. Located just a short distance from the heart of downtown Vancouver, the village is situated on the banks of False Creek and offers stunning views of the city skyline.
Today, the accommodation is residential housing, with a growing number of shops, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
The village is truly a one-of-a-kind community that provides an unparalleled experience for those who are lucky enough to call it home.
Ride The Skytrain
The best way to get around Vancouver is by Skytrain. It is fast and efficient, and you can avoid traffic congestion.
The Skytrain runs on two lines: the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. The Expo Line takes you from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver out to Surrey, while the Millennium Line runs from VCC-Clark Station in Vancouver up to Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station in Coquitlam.
You can purchase tickets at any Skytrain station, and fares are based on how far you are going. If you are staying in Vancouver, you can purchase a day pass for unlimited travel. The Skytrain is the best way to get around Vancouver, so take advantage of it during your visit.
Discover the beauty of Vancouver from a new perspective, without breaking the bank.
Buy a day pass for the Aquabus, which has eight dock locations between Vancouver’s urban beaches, Granville Island and Science World.
Located in West Vancouver, Dundarave Pier is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Stretching 700 feet into the Burrard Inlet, the pier offers stunning views of the city skyline and mountains. It is also a great place to catch a ferry to Granville Island or take a stroll along the waterfront. In the summer, the pier comes alive with street performers, buskers and artisans, making it the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Whether you are looking to sightsee, people watch, or simply relax, Dundarave Pier is worth a visit.
Getaways From Vancouver
Vancouver is a beautiful city, but there is so much more to see in British Columbia. If you are looking to get a better feel for the province, why not take a day trip? There are a number of great options within easy driving distance of Vancouver.
No matter what interests you, there is sure to be a day trip that is perfect for you. So get out there and start exploring!
If you are looking for a breathtaking natural setting that is also full of fun activities, look no further than Whistler, British Columbia. This picturesque village is surrounded by towering mountains and blanketed in forest, making it the perfect place to enjoy some time outdoors. In the winter, hit the slopes at one of Whistler’s world-renowned ski resorts. Or, visit in the summer to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, or golfing. There is also plenty of shopping and dining to enjoy in Whistler Village.
Whistler is an endless adventure, from hiking to an abandoned trainwreck, exploring Parkhurst ghost town, white water rafting, chasing waterfalls, or wandering Whistler’s forest of enchantment, there is something for everyone.
We would recommend at least a couple of days in Whistler. Even then, you will still leave wanting more time.
Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, Whistler is sure to please.
Vancouver is a beautiful city, but sometimes it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some of the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it. Luckily, there are plenty of great day trip destinations accessible from Vancouver, including Bowen Island. Just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, Bowen Island is a beautiful natural oasis with plenty to explore.
From hiking and biking trails to beaches and picnic areas, Bowen Island has something for everyone. And with plenty of great restaurants and cafes, it is the perfect place to spend a day or two enjoying the great outdoors. So if you are looking for a change of scenery, be sure to check out Bowen Island.
There is no need to travel to the Mediterranean for a taste of island life – Vancouver’s own Gulf Islands offer all the sunshine, sandy beaches, and sheltered coves you could hope for. A quick ferry ride from downtown Vancouver will transport you to another world, where you can while away the hours exploring sheltered bays, hiking through lush forests, and kayaking around the rocky coastline.
If you are looking for a relaxed day trip from the city, the Gulf Islands are the perfect place to unwind.
Our favorite Gulf Islands to visit are the Galiano, Mayne, and Saltspring Islands.
If you are looking for a beautiful and relaxing day trip from Vancouver, then consider heading to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia.
The journey by ferry is itself a delightful experience, and once you arrive in Victoria you will find plenty of activities to keep you busy. Stroll around the picturesque Inner Harbour, visit the Empress Hotel, explore picturesque parks and gardens, or simply enjoy some people watching from a cafe.
With its colonial architecture, leafy streets, and Victorian charm, Victoria is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. And with Vancouver only a short distance away, it is the perfect day trip for those who want to escape for a while.
Harrison Hot Springs
The Harrison River Valley is a rugged and beautiful slice of heaven. From mesmerizing mountains to stunning farmland, rivers, and lakes – you will find it almost impossible to stop when exploring this area.
When you hear the term Harrison River Valley, it encompasses the communities Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, and Harrison Mills (and those in between) in beautiful British Columbia.
A couple of hours’ drive outside of Vancouver, you will be away from the hustle of the city and get some great relaxation time.
Stay at the Harrison Hot Springs resort and enjoy the pools. Or, stay in a cabin and enjoy all of the nature around you.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the winter, you can also witness the world’s largest eagle migration. Over 35,000 eagles pass through the lower Fraser Valley annually from late October until February. The peak time for eagle spotting is in the middle of November until early December.
These are the best things to do in Vancouver, one of the world’s most liveable cities. Vancouver is mesmerizing; the more you experience it, the more you will fall in love with it.
Vancouver is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for an urban adventure or a scenic escape, there is always something to do in this vibrant city. We have always been able to find ways to enjoy ourselves and we are proud to call Vancouver our home.
Have you had the chance to explore all that Vancouver has to offer? If not, what are you waiting for? There is no better time than now!
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