Few destinations can offer ocean, mountain, and city views better than Vancouver, British Columbia. Each year, millions of visitors flock to this city to take in the culture and breathtaking landscape with endless activities all year round. Make sure you see it all with our Top 10 Things to do in Vancouver.
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Conquer the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Not for the faint of heart, Capilano Suspension Bridge lets you walk across the Capilano river 230 feet in the air. The main bridge is just 450 feet long, but you can continue the adventure on Cliffwalk, another bridge that hugs the granite cliffside up to 300 feet above the rainforest and canyons.
An additional series of seven suspension bridges weaves through the treetops of very old Douglas firs to give you a true bird’s eye view of the incredible 27 acres of Capilano Park.
Savor Stanley Park Attractions
Stanley Park is the third largest park in North America, situated north of Vancouver’s main core. Surrounded almost entirely by the ocean, the park spans 1,000 acres of green space. Hike or bike through the woods, walk the 5.5 mile-long path along the water or take a horse-drawn tour to learn more about the park’s history.
Several historical sites are located in Stanley Park including totem poles, a naval cannon, and a lighthouse. The Vancouver Aquarium is also located in Stanley Park, where you’ll get to see dolphins, otters, and sea lions up close and personal.
Spend A Day at Grouse Mountain
Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, visitors can head up to the peak of Vancouver atop Grouse Mountain. Take the Skyride gondola and capture incredible views as you travel 2800 feet above sea level.
There are many activities to enjoy at the top of the mountain including skiing, skating, hiking, and dining.
Grouse Mountain is also home to a wildlife sanctuary where you can meet the resident grizzly bears, named Grinder and Coola.
Visit Vandusen Botanical Garden
Experience over 7,500 plant species from around the world at Vandusen Garden in the heart of Vancouver. A true oasis in the middle of a busy city, visitors are invited to relax and enjoy the serenity, find their way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, or dine at one of the onsite restaurants – Truffles Cafe and the Shaughnessy Restaurant. There’s also an opportunity here for spotting and photographing regional wildlife.
The garden also frequently hosts special events such as the festival of lights in the winter.
Take a Harbour Air Flightseeing Tour
Known as one of Canada’s most authentic west coast experiences, Harbour Air offers seaplane tours of multiple BC destinations including Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler. Take off from the water and get an awe-inspiring aerial view of the mountainous islands along the coast. If you’re lucky you may even spot a whale or two.
These small seaplanes seat a maximum of 18 passengers, but clients can customize their journey with private tours for an extra special experience.
Go Whale Watching
During the migration season between March and October, Vancouver is one of the best whale-watching sites in the world.
While orcas, humpback whales, and Pacific gray whales are popular sightings in these waters, there is also a good chance you’ll see sea lions, otters, dolphins, and several species of birds.
Various tour operators offer multiple ways to see whales such as high-speed zodiacs, cruisers, kayaks, and seaplanes. Bring binoculars and dress accordingly!
Shop on Granville Island
Although not technically an island, Granville Island is a must-see community of its own. It’s a unique destination that attracts millions of visitors each year from across Canada and around the world. Accessible by foot, boat, car, or bus, Granville is known for its rich maritime history and artistic culture.
The Granville Public Market is the jewel of the island, featuring countless fresh food stands, dining, and artisan boutiques. A day is well spent exploring, eating, and shopping here.
Visit the Museum of Anthropology
Like most landmarks in Vancouver, the grounds and structure of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver are a must-see in and of itself. The museum is home to a collection of over 10,000 objects from around the world, with a special emphasis on First Nations and other cultural communities in British Columbia.
Special events and exhibitions are frequently held both indoors and out, so be sure to check the events calendar when planning your visit.
A Night Out in Gastown
Arguably the most Instagrammable neighborhood in Vancouver, Gastown is the city’s original downtown core. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and take in the heritage buildings before stopping for a meal and drink at one of Gastown’s many bars and restaurants.
Be sure to stop by the famous steam clock, one of only a few left in the world. You can also take an eerie night walking tour and learn about the history of the city and its namesake.
Check out the Beaches
Vancouver is home to countless beaches overlooking the Pacific ocean from all directions. One of the more well-known spots is Kitsilano aka Kits Beach, a popular summer destination for younger crowds, where you can lounge in the sand, walk or bike along the pathway, or join a game of beach volleyball. Kits Beach is also home to Vancouver’s only saltwater swimming pool.
Farther west on the opposite end of the shore, Spanish Banks Beach is the perfect spot to take a dip in the Pacific and watch the sun as it sets behind the Vancouver skyline.
Lead – Pixabay
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Destination Vancouver
Stanley Park – Pixabay
Grouse Mountain – Pixabay
Vandusen Botanical Garden – Unsplash
Harbour Air – Unsplash
Whale Watching – Pixabay
Granville Island – Unsplash
Museum of Anthropology – Unsplash
Gastown – Wikimedia – Anthony Maw – Licence Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Beaches – Pixabay