Activities in Vancouver
Vancouver is a true sightseeing treasure trove, with world-class destinations everywhere you turn, to amaze, educate, and variously delight visitors to this unique and cosmopolitan city.
Residents and visitors alike flock to the wonderful Stanley Park, but with over 1,000 acres to explore, there is room to spare for everyone. Miles of trails wind through woods of majestic cedars, hemlock and fir, acres of open space encourage impromptu soccer games, or just lazing around. With a children’s’ zoo, the Vancouver Aquarium, a seawall path to hike, bike, or rollerblade, totem poles to visit, as well as a kids’ water park, playgrounds, and a large outdoor swimming pool, there are ample opportunities to do some serious calorie-burning. If you don’t feel the need to break a sweat, watch for bald eagles, beach comb, or sit back and watch the cruise ships as they head out to sea.
The perfect people-watching destination, Robson Street is also world-renowned for its great shopping, and its eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. Keep your eyes peeled for a bit of celebrity spotting, and there’s always the chance you’ll have your own fifteen minutes of fame if you stumble across one of the film sets that seem to pop up on an almost daily basis throughout the city.
The whole family will love a trip to Granville Island! It is possible to drive, walk, or cycle onto the island, but It’s far more fun to hop on one of the bathtub-sized ferries that chug back and forth throughout the day. The bustling market is packed with fresh produce, bread and seafood, plus freshly cooked meals to buy for lunch or dinner. There’s also a wide range of unique and intimate boutiques selling an enormous variety of specialized items, space to run, play, or picnic, a children’s water park, live entertainers, and much, much more!
Standing at a height of 130 metres (430 feet), the Vancouver Lookout is situated in the Downtown Harbour Centre and provides the perfect venue to take in some great views of this photogenic city. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Just a quarter of an hour from the city centre, Grouse Mountain is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Those feeling particularly fit can hike the ‘Grouse Grind”, a strenuous 2.9 km/1.8 mile trail straight up the mountain. The Skyride boasts unbeatable views of the mountain, plus there are grizzly bears to observe at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, shops, eateries, and opportunities to ride a zipline or paraglide. Alternatively, you could just settle down with a drink beside the welcoming stone fireplace.
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
A tranquil garden in the depths of the city, these were the first authentic classical Chinese gardens to be built outside China. Walk the neat pathways, marvel at the pristine gardens with their manicured flora and foliage, and admire the rock, architectural, horticultural and water features, which are all designed to be in perfect balance and harmony with one another. Above all, relax and enjoy these supremely calming and peaceful gardens.
Vancouver Art Gallery
When you arrive at the Vancouver Art Gallery, your first stop should be the Satellite Visitor Centre on the southwest side of the gallery, to pick up a floor plan along with some insider knowledge on the best way to explore the galleries. The Vancouver Art Gallery houses an impressive collection of national and international artwork and it’s well worth whiling away a few enjoyable hours taking in what it has to offer, including a collection of work by the well known local artist, Emily Carr.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Traverse this gently swaying suspension bridge-which spans 137 metres (450 feet) across a canyon and the Capilano River, 70 metres (230 feet) below. Once your feet are on solid ground on the other side, there is a lush, forested wonderland to explore by means of a series of elevated suspension bridges in the Treetops Adventure.
Enjoy a birds eye view of Vancouver's sights by taking to the skies in a floatplane. Vancouver is home to the world's largest floatplane network and there's more to it than just the thrill of take off and landing from the water...why not book Harbour Air's scenic Fly 'n Dine floatplane tour, soar over Coal Harbour to peaceful Horseshoe Bay and enjoy an intimate waterfront dinner. Then hop in a limo back to the city in style.
Sea To Sky Highway
Driving north from Vancouver, towards Whistler, takes you on the oftentimes winding, and always dramatic, Highway 99. From your car’s vantage point, you will catch sight of mile after mile of sparking bays, dramatic rocky crags, and old-growth rain forest. Even better, there are numerous places when you can pull over and explore on foot, waterfalls, swimming holes and hiking trails, or visit the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and the BC Museum of Mining.
Vancouver harbours a wealth of quirky and eclectic neighbourhoods that will delight the visitor. Walk the cobblestone lanes of the historic Gastown, enjoy dim sum in Chinatown, and browse the proliferation of art galleries in South Granville. These and many other hidden delights await the visitor to Vancouver’s neighbourhoods.