Vancouver is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, with stunning mountains and beaches, a mosaic of different communities, and a thriving arts scene—it’s no wonder this city is such a hot tourist destination for those looking to travel to the West Coast. If you’re looking for adventure and outdoors activities Vancouver is a great base for your visit to British Columbia, perfect for skiing and snowboarding, kayaking, hiking, and sailing. While you’re in the city, we would suggest these top five activities when you’re visiting Vancouver.
Granville Island is a boutique shopping area and is home to artisans, restaurants, buskers, and markets. The area was once an industrial center that catered the city’s logging and manufacturing industries, but it was redeveloped into a post-industrial tourist attraction. It’s home to a marina, a boutique hotel, the current home of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, various performing arts theaters, fine art galleries, and shopping facilities. The Island Public Market includes 50 permanent retailers and 100 different daily vendors selling everything from handcrafted souvenirs to fresh local foods and ice cream. It’s the main location for many different annual festivals in Vancouver, including the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Vancouver Fringe Festival and the Vancouver Writers Fest.
The Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is the fifth-largest art gallery in Canada and home to some of the most popular collections in the country, especially the art and paintings of Emily Carr. It’s home to just over 11,000 pieces of art including artists such as Carr, the Group of Seven, Jeff Wall, Harry Callahan, and Marc Chagall. The Vancouver Art Gallery offers a lot of different public programs throughout the year as well including lectures and discussions with scholars and artists, live music, and dance performances.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver and provides an accessible way to showcase the region’s natural wonder. The bridge crosses over the Capilano River and is 140 meters long (460 feet) and hangs 70 meters (230 feet) above the frothing water and lush Pacific West Coat Rainforest. It was originally built in 1889 and was then rebuilt in 1956 and sold in 1983. Since then the current owners have introduced popular “Treetop Adventures,” the first of its kind in North America. The facility includes things such as rain forest encounters, a collection of First Nation totem poles, nature trails, and beautiful gardens, and a walk along the cliffs.
Van Dusen Botanical Garden
The Van Dusen Botanical Garden has been in operation since 1975. The gardens are open to the public every day of the year except for Christmas, making it the perfect spot to visit no matter what time of year you happen to be in the city. It covers about 55 acres of land and has plants from across the entire world. The area includes a new structure known as the Living Building, which is a reference library that also includes a gift shop, a restaurant, and a coffee shop. Special items in the gardens include carved totem poles, large stone sculptures and a Korean pavilion amongst the Asian plant collection. If you’re visiting with family, there’s a children’s maze and heirloom vegetable garden.
English Bay Beach is the most popular beach in downtown Vancouver. Located on the edge of the residential neighborhood called the West End, English Bay is always bustling with runners, cyclists, swimmers, and sunbathers. The wide beach is perfect for volleyball while the dedicated bike and walking path runs along the length of the beach and the entire circumference of the city, accessing Stanley Park and other beaches along the way. English Bay hosts a lot of public events every year including Vancouver Pride Parade, the Polar Bear Swim, and The Celebration of Light, a fireworks competitions held every summer that has become the largest off-shore fireworks display in the entire world.
Vancouver is known around the world for its natural beauty, so take your time and explore the city’s vast parks, beaches, and biking paths. But if you want to enjoy the coastal air and warm weather, make sure that you visit during the summer! Vancouver is also known for its rainy season. Regardless, there are plenty of fun activities for anyone who’s visiting beautiful British Columbia.