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Top 10 Summer Activities in Vancouver: Your Ultimate To-Do List

Updated: May 28

summer activities in Vancouver

Vancouver, with its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant city life, is a summer paradise. Whether you're a local or a visitor, there's no shortage of exciting activities to enjoy. Here's your ultimate to-do list of the best summer activities in Vancouver.

1. Bike Around Stanley Park

No visit to Vancouver is complete without a trip to Stanley Park. Rent a bike and take a leisurely ride around the famous 10-kilometer Seawall. You'll enjoy stunning views of the city skyline, the North Shore Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to stop by landmarks like the Totem Poles and Lost Lagoon.

2. Explore Granville Island

Take a scenic Seabus ride from downtown Vancouver to Granville Island. Operators, such as False Creek Ferries and Aquabus offer frequent and convenient service to and from the island. This bustling hub is perfect for a leisurely day out. Visit the Granville Island Public Market to sample local produce and artisanal goods. Explore the many boutiques, and art galleries or enjoy a meal by the waterfront.

3. Go Kayaking in BC Lakes

Experience the natural beauty of British Columbia by kayaking on its pristine lakes. Popular spots include Deep Cove in North Vancouver, Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park, and Buntzen Lake in Anmore. Paddle through serene waters surrounded by lush forests and mountains.

4. Take a Sunset Cruise

Experience Vancouver's stunning coastline from the water with a sunset cruise. Various operators offer tours that provide spectacular views of the city, the surrounding mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Companies like Harbour Cruises, Prince of Whales, and Vancouver Water Adventures offer a range of options, from elegant dinner cruises to adventurous tours. It's a perfect way to unwind and take in the natural beauty of the area.

5. Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

For an adventure in the treetops, head to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The park features a 137-meter-long suspension bridge, a series of treetop walkways, and a thrilling Cliffwalk. It's a great way to experience Vancouver's lush rainforest environment.

6. Experience the Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market is a vibrant cultural experience featuring over 100 food stalls, live entertainment, and a variety of vendors. Sample an array of international street foods, shop for unique souvenirs, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

7. Go Hiking in BC

Vancouver is a hiker's paradise with trails for all levels. Here are some recommended hikes, divided by difficulty:

Beginner Hikes

  • Lighthouse Park: Located in West Vancouver, this easy hike offers scenic ocean views, old-growth forest, and the historic Point Atkinson Lighthouse. It's perfect for families and those looking for a leisurely walk.

  • Whytecliff Park: Short, scenic trails with views of Howe Sound and wildlife spotting. Also located in West Vancouver

Intermediate Hikes

  • Stawamus Chief: This popular hike in Squamish has three peaks offering stunning views. It requires some scrambling and a good level of fitness.

  • Garibaldi Lake: This picturesque hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park takes you through lush forests and meadows to a stunning turquoise lake. It's about 18 kilometres round trip, with moderate difficulty due to the elevation gain.

Advanced Hikes

  • The Lions (Binkert Trail): Located near Lions Bay, this challenging hike involves steep climbs and rugged terrain. The reward is breathtaking views of Vancouver, Howe Sound, and the surrounding peaks

  • Black Tusk: This iconic hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park is for advanced hikers. The trail is long and strenuous, with a final scramble up a volcanic pinnacle. The panoramic views from the top are unparalleled, making the effort well worth it.

hiking in BC

8. Patio Hopping Around Vancouver

Enjoy the summer weather by patio hopping around Vancouver. Some must-visit restaurants with patios include:

  • The Roof at Black+Blue (Alberni Street): Offers stunning views of the city and a luxurious dining experience.

  • Tap & Barrel (Granville Island): Sought-after deck with views of False Creek.

  • Mahony & Sons (Stamps Landing): Great view across to Yaletown and water activities.

  • CRAFT Beer Market (English Bay): Cozy second floor with a heated patio and retractable roof, offering stunning ocean views year-round.

  • The Boathouse (Kitsilano Beach): Balcony with views of the ocean, mountains, and beachgoers.

  • Seasons in the Park (Queen Elizabeth Park): Iconic patio with unparalleled views of the city skyline and colourful foliage of Queen Elizabeth Park.

9. Take a Seaplane Tour

See Vancouver from a new perspective by taking a seaplane tour. Fly over the city, coastline, and mountains for an unforgettable aerial view. Tours are available from Harbour Air and Seair Seaplanes, offering different routes and durations.

10. Relax and Have a Picnic on the Beach

Vancouver's beaches are perfect for a relaxing picnic. Some top spots include:

  • Kitsilano Beach; known as "Kits Beach" to locals, is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beach volleyball. The adjacent Kitsilano Pool, a heated saltwater pool, offers a refreshing dip with panoramic ocean and mountain views

  • English Bay Beach: Located near downtown, it's ideal for people-watching and sunset views. This bustling beach is a favourite among both locals and tourists.

  • Jericho Beach: Jericho Beach offers a more relaxed atmosphere with plenty of grassy areas, making it perfect for family picnics. The beach is less crowded than Kitsilano and English Bay, providing a serene environment.

  • Second Beach: Located in Stanley Park, Second Beach is a quieter spot with beautiful views. It features a large outdoor swimming pool and a children's play area, making it great for families. The beach is a perfect place to relax after exploring Stanley Park, and the adjacent picnic area provides ample space for enjoying a meal with a view.

  • Sunset Beach: True to its name, Sunset Beach offers some of the best sunset views in Vancouver. It's a peaceful spot perfect for unwinding after a long day. Located near the West End neighbourhood, it's less crowded than English Bay but still provides stunning ocean and city views.

From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there's something for everyone. Use this to-do list to make the most of your summer in Vancouver, and create unforgettable memories.


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