The Best Things To Do In Vancouver

Written By: Grace Williams

Combining some of Canada’s most beautiful landscape with an ocean-front location, Vancouver is truly a unique and interesting place for all types of travellers. Whether you’re more into a city excursion or you want to get out and explore some of the rugged wilderness that surrounds Vancouver, this British Columbia city will keep you entertained from the moment you arrive until you leave — no matter how many days you plan on staying.

Located on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia, Vancouver is one of the densest and most diverse cities in this North American country. Vancouver is known for its cultural and arts scene, as well as the bustling music and theater events that go on all throughout the year. Whether you want to stay in a boutique hotel or you prefer something more quiet or intimate like a bed and breakfast, there are nearly 25,000 guestrooms to choose from, most of which are centrally located in the downtown region. Check out the options between the Loden Hotel, which sits in the Coal Harbour part of town, or stay at something more budget friendly like a Hilton or Marriott.

Exploring Vancouver and creating an itinerary simply depends on what you want to do during your stay. One of the top rated destinations in the city is Stanley Park, which expands nearly a thousand acres to provide a green and peaceful setting with the surrounding city. All year long there are numerous activities that take place in Stanley Park that appeal to all visitors, including families. Once you’re done walking around or participating in an activity, head over to the Seawall, which offers stunning views of Burrard Inlet.

The Vancouver Aquarium is something fun to do for visitors of all ages and if you’re looking for an iconic activity during your stay in the area, Granville Island is highly recommended by the locals and features shopping, entertainment and numerous dining destinations. Granville Island is located near downtown Vancouver and showcases many of the local artisans, foodies and brewers from the area. If you don’t have much on your itinerary, you’ll definitely be able to spend an entire day exploring Granville Island, between browsing the many shops and soaking in the live entertainment.


Stanley Park

Stanley Park in Vancouver is where the surf meets the turf – the ocean forms three of the boundaries of this 1000-acre park, and the North Shore Mountains tower over the fourth. Take time out to meander along the seawall pathway, enjoy spectacular natural beauty in every direction you look, spot eagles flying gracefully through the skies, and raccoons rustling through the magnificent examples of cedar, fir and hemlock forests!


Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

When you visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, you will inevitably find yourself staring down over the trees of the Capilano Canyon – walking at a height of 70 metres high! Having crossed the 140 metre-long bridge – as your heart rate steadies – take the rainforest walk and visit the Totem Poles, and enjoy the amazing beauty of this spectacular nature park.


Grouse Mountain

Get your bearings in Vancouver with a trip to the summit of Grouse Mountain. In summer, the Gondola can give you a spectacular ride to the 1110 metre mountain top, or if you’re feeling fit, it’s a ninety-minute heart starting hike! Once you arrive, the views are spectacular – take in the city and peer out to Vancouver Island, then stay for a while and enjoy the Lumberjack Show or visit the Wildlife Refuge!



The historic charm of Vancouver shines bright in Gastown; a must visit district that is full of galleries, boutique shops, bars and restaurants. On the north of the downtown Vancouver peninsula, as you meander along the cobbled streets and admire the Victorian era architecture, stop at Maple Tree Square and take in the statue of “Gassy” Jack Deighton, the founding father of Gastown.


Granville Island

As in all great cities, there is a spot where the locals go to enjoy the lifestyle the city offers, and take in the beauty of the land on which they live – Granville Island is that place for Vancouver. Take your time looking over the craft stores and the art galleries, and stop into a café, bar or restaurant for a meal and drink, while you soak up the magnificent views!


Butchart Gardens

On Vancouver Island lies the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Whether you are a keen gardener, or just someone who appreciates natural beauty, these gardens will truly leave a lasting impression. Open all year, admire the spring bulbs, the summer dahlias and the Japanese inspired winter gardens. And when your legs get weary from strolling around these 22 hectares of beauty, sit back and pause for a meal at the restaurant!


Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife

When you visit Grouse Mountain, make sure you explore the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Animals. As you explore, rangers will explain the nature of each species, the history of the animals in the refuge, and the habitats from which they came from. Meet Grinder and Coola – two grizzly bears that were orphaned in 2001 – and learn about the many birds of prey and tiny hummingbirds which call the refuge home!


Capilano Salmon Hatchery

Visit the Capilano Salmon Hatchery and learn about the life cycle of the Coho salmon, the Steelhead trout and the Chinook salmon. In 1971 the hatchery was built to bolster declining fish stocks, but has now become an integral part of the country’s sport fishing industry. Take the self-guided tour, relax for a while, and learn more about the country and its natural resources.


Vancouver Lookout

Take the glass elevator ride to the Vancouver Lookout, 30 stories high and providing a 360-degree view of the city and the surrounding landmarks. Look to the North Shore Mountains and across to Stanley Park, with the Olympic Peninsula beyond them all. A tour by a knowledgeable guide will provide the perfect introduction to the city and what it offers.

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