Vancouver – Things To Do

Here are your top things to do while visiting Vancouver

vancouver-at-night

Vancouver is a great place to pick-up your RV for seeing the rest of BC, making your way up North to the Yukon, or East to Calgary. For a cross-country road trip, consider finishing in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec or Halifax.

Outside in the City:

Stanley Park is a 405-hectare heavily wooded park that encompasses many attractions, the most popular being the Seawall. Here you can walk, bike, run, and fish if you have a license. Walking around the 9 km (5.6 miles) path can take 2-3 hours, and biking about 1 hour.

Other attractions in Stanley Park include:

  • A Miniature Railway offering rides

  • Beaver Lake where you can see beavers, birds and fish including salmon in the spawning season in Beaver Creek

  • Lost Lagoon with Canadian Geese, ducks and swans

  • Vancouver Aquarium

  • Brockton Oval

  • A large seaside swimming pool, playgrounds and a water park

  • Totem poles

  • And the Summer season brings the Malkin Bowl theatre for entertainment!

vancouver-bike-sea-wall
Vancouver Sea Wall in Stanley Park
Photo Courtesy of: By Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada (Out and about) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

VanDusen Botanical Garden & Bloedel Floral Conservatory


The Garden

covers 22 hectares and has attractions such as: The Elizabethan Maze, Stone Garden, Korean Pavilion, and Scottish Shelter. The Bloedel Conservatory contains 3 types of climate zones in their triodetic dome, these are Desert, Tropical and Subtropical. There are many species of plants and birds. The Bloedel is an artsy twist on the traditional conservatory. The Botanical Gardens and Conservatory are within a half an hour walk of each other.

van-dusen-garden
Photo courtesy of: Stan Shebs [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lynn Canyon Park

This must-see municipal park located on the edge of the city is just another reason Vancouver is such a great place to start your vacation. Although the suspension bridge here is smaller than the Capilano suspension bridge, it is also less crowded and it is free! There are hiking trails leading to waterfalls if the suspension bridge leaves you wanting more.

vancouver's-lynn-canyon-park
Photo Attribution: By Dave Olson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/119959344/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Other Outdoor areas in and near Vancouver:

Queen Elizabeth Park
Kitsilano Beach
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
English Bay
Spanish Banks
False Creek
Nitobe Memorial Garden
Vancouver Public Library / Library Square

History, Art & Museums:

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

A teaching and research museum, MOA focuses on the West Coast’s First Nations. There are amazing sculptures, art pieces, artifacts, an outside totem pole exhibit and more. Free 30-60 minute tours are offered throughout the day. While at the UBC campus, consider checking out UBC Botanical Gardens, Nitobe Gardens, The Canopy Tree Walk and The Biodiversity Museum.

vancouver-museum-ubc
Photo courtesy of: By Xicotencatl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver Art Gallery

Get your art fix at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The VAG is a national historic site of Canada and boasts over 11,000 artworks in their permanent collection. This includes pieces by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, Harry Callahan, Marc Chagall, and Jeff Wall.

vancouver-art-gallery
By Atr1992 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver Police Museum

The VPM covers history of the area and unsolved cases. There are memorabilia such as confiscated firearms, publications, counterfeit currency and more! This is an attraction if you are interested in mysteries and crime. The museum is geared for a mature audience. They put on a great walking tour called ‘Sins of the City’, which covers significant history as you see the area.
vancouver-police-museum

More:
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Vanier Park
Vancouver Maritime Museum
Bill Reid Gallery
Yaletown
Marine Building
Orpheum Theatre
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Museum of Vancouver

Dining, Shopping & Culture:

Granville Island

An artistically inspired area that has an artisan market, street performers, stores, bakeries and restaurants.

van-granville-island

 

Robson Street

The famous shopping of Robson Street (East) is located near the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Public Library. Shops and malls line the streets, leading to a cluster of restaurants at the West end.

robson-street
Photo courtesy of: TagarSpinebreak at CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Gastown

The first core of downtown Vancouver is reminiscent with cobblestone streets and changing with new development.
Annual festivals here include: Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. The Steam Clock is a classic photo.

van-gas-town

By Anthony Maw, Vancouver, Canada (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

More:
Downtown Vancouver
Brockton Point Totem Pole
Granville Island Brewing

Family Attractions:

Science World

An engaging and interactive Science centre, science world provides plenty to do for families.
van-science-world

Vancouver Aquarium

“Vanaqua” is located in Stanley Park. Their exhibits include: Discover Rays, Tropic Zone, Canada’s Arctic, Penguin Point, Amazon Rainforest, Exploration Gallery, BC Coast Treasures, Clownfish Cove and Pacific Canada Pavilion. The focus of the Vancouver Aquarium is education and conservation. This is a feel-good aquarium as the animals here are not captured but have been rescued from the wild because they were not able to survive.

vancouver-aquarium
Photo Attribution: Wikimedia user Voyager

Landmarks:

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Canada Place
BC Place Stadium
Lions Gate Bridge
Commercial Drive

The Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre is on the Vancouver Harbour near Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. Their address is 200 Burrard Street.

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Happy Travels!