Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and more diverse cities in the world. Located perfectly on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and up against the North Shore Coastal Mountains, beautiful outdoors scenery and outdoor activities are never far away. Still, the city itself is a magnet for many, with its eclectic dining, urban parks, and vibrating arts and culture scene; Vancouver has something for everyone.
1. Stanley Park and the Sea Wall
World famous Stanley Park is the heart of Vancouver. With over 400 hectares of preserved West Coast rainforest surrounded by the Pacific waters, a visit to the park and a walk around the 10km sea wall is not to be missed. Vancouverites hit the Sea Wall on bikes or on foot to explore the many gardens, beaches and viewpoints in this designated Canadian National Historic site.
Photo Credit- City of Vancouver
2. The North Shore
The mountains framing Vancouver are not just to be looked at, but also to be explored by all. Trips to Grouse Mountain, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Lynn Canyon, are just the start. Hike the backcountry during the summer and hit the slopes during the winter to get unforgettable views of the Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound.
Photo Credit- Capilano
3. Vancouver Art Gallery
The centerpiece of art and culture, the VAG is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. While you’ll never know what to expect from the diverse visiting exhibits, the permanent works of Emily Carr, BC’s own pride of the West Coast are enough to get any art lover in these historic doors.
4. Vancouver Neighborhoods
Vancouver is wonderfully eclectic and this is shown no better than in the diversity of it’s neighborhoods. Bum on the beach in Kitsilano, hang with hipsters on Commercial Drive, frolic on the fringe on Main Street, and dine and dance in the West End. Getting around to these neighborhoods may sound daunting, but just hop on the Vancouver Skytrain, originally built for Expo 1986 and still a major form of public transit in the Greater Vancouver region.
5. Vancouver water sports
To enjoy Vancouver from a different angle, get into that Pacific Ocean. False Creek, Jericho Beach, and English Bay are all great entry points for kayaks, paddleboards, or small sailboats. Not only will you see the city from a beautiful perspective, but a quick escape from the city craze is always welcomed.
Photo Credit- Jericho Sailing Centre
6. Dining in Vancouver
The dining in Vancouver is second to none! If you’re into fine dining, there is the Revolving Restaurant at the top of the Harbour Centre Tower. But because of the city’s diversity, the multitude of international options and West Coast fusion is where the Vancouver foodie scene really shines. Indian, Japanese, Lebanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Brazilian are just the start when you delve into the endless possibilities of dining in Vancouver. And of course, it wouldn’t be the West Coast without vegetarian options aplenty. The Naam is the trusted mainstay, open for years and continuously voted Vancouver’s Number One Vegetarian restaurant.
7. Check out Vancouver’s China Town
Vancouver’s China Town is the largest in Canada, and has a ton to explore.
Browsing the import shops and wandering through Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, an oasis in the city, will please any Van City visitor before going for traditional dim sum at one of the many massive Chinese restaurants.
Photo Credit –Vancouver Chinatown
8. Take a Trip to Whistler
An easy 90-minute drive into the mountains, Whistler is Vancouver’s winter playground. With pristine alpine scenery, an idyllic village with fantastic shopping and dining, and of course world-class ski hills, no visitor will be bored in Whistler. For those rainy days, visit the Audain Art Gallery and the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre and learn about the regions rich Indigenous history and art.
Photo Credit: Whistler Tourism
9. The Vancouver Aquarium
Even if you don’t have kids, a day at the Vancouver Aquarium will never disappoint. With interactive exhibits and a chance to get up close and personal with all kinds of Pacific Coast sea life, the Aquarium is not only a mainstay of Vancouver, but it is a truly fantastic conservation, research and education forum. Belugas, otters, porpoises, seals and gallons of tanks will leave you in wonder at what goes on beneath those Pacific waters.
10. See a Show in Vancouver
The Vancouver arts and music scene is thriving. Any night of the week, you could see a top-notch theatre performance at the Arts Club, hit up an indie show at the Railway Club, or get your laughs on at Yuk Yuks. There are concerts for all kinds: the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays regularly in venues throughout the city, or plan your trip around a massive star at Rogers Arena or the outdoor amphitheatre at Deer Lake Park.
Photo Credit Tourism Burnaby
If you go, don’t forget to bring this myLike list with all the places mentioned!