Vancouver City Guide
Things to do in Vancouver
Vancouver consistently ranks highly in lists of the best cities in the world, and with good reason. There really is something for everyone in Van and the more energetic amongst you can cram several life-changing experiences into just one day, should you so choose, with beaches, mountains and old growth forests all within easy reach. Cypress, Grouse and Seymour Mountains are all on the North Shore, with skiing, snow-shoeing, tubing in the winter and marvelous hiking opportunities year-round, with the Grouse Grind being a unique and world-renowned challenge. Alternatively, you can head straight to Whistler for some serious winter sports, mountain biking, and more challenging hikes.
If you prefer a gentle pace, you can enjoy a game of disc golf with a glorious view at Queen Elizabeth Park, take a bike ride along the seawall at Stanley Park, take one of the walking tours offered around the city, such as Chinatown, or Forbidden Vancouver (not for the faint of heart), or the First Nations Interpretive Walk through Stanley Park.
The year-round, eclectic festivals that Vancouver has to offer really demonstrate the cultural diversity of the city. In the summer, some of the neighborhoods host car-free days, where vendors and visitors can enjoy street parties. Likewise, with the street parties of Italian Day, Greek Day, the Vaisakhi Festival, etc. where you can enjoy treats and delicacies of the culture being celebrated. The Vancouver Folk Fest is a weekend-long music festival, down by the beach, and has been a tradition for over 40 years. If folk isn’t your thing, you can find plenty of other music venues around the city, as well as the annual International Jazz Festival. Along with these, Vancouver has an International Film Festival, Pride, Celebration of Light (stunning fireworks displays), the Dragonboat Festival, a Cherry Blossom Festival, and is also host to TED Talks each year. If you prefer sports, you can catch a game with the Canucks, the Whitecaps or the BC Lions while you’re in town.
If all of this isn’t enough to keep you occupied, then hop on a ferry or seaplane to Vancouver Island or one of the many smaller islands dotted around, and see if you can spot whales, seals or even bears with one of the local tour companies.
Dining & Entertainment in Vancouver
If you can’t find something good to eat or drink in Vancouver, then you’re really not trying. Vancouver has an astonishing array of cuisines and prices to suit every budget. You’ll find Aboriginal, Japanese (be sure to try the BC signature sushi roll, if you like salmon), Chinese, German, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Dutch, Ukrainian, Filipino, Greek, Italian, Caribbean, Scandinavian, French, Ethiopian… the list goes on.
Not feeling that hungry? Immerse yourself in the coffee/patio culture and maybe enjoy a bit of star-spotting while you relax. Vancouver is known as Hollywood North, along with Toronto, and is home to a vast number of film sets and locations. If beer is your thing, you won’t be disappointed with the selection of craft beers and brewery tours on offer. Prefer a glass of wine? Once more, BC won’t disappoint, with plenty of local and international wines to choose from. Want to take it a step further and see where the grape is grown? Take a trip to the BC Interior and visit one (or several) of the local vineyards.
Things to do in Vancouver with kids
With so much on offer for adults, you might think that kids have been overlooked, but not so! Vancouver boasts just as much excitement and entertainment for the smalls in your family. Granville Island is a must-see, with a kids’ market, art and craft boutiques and an aquabus to ride to the amazing Science World. You can indulge in some cultural nourishment at the Museum of Anthropology, the Bill Reid Gallery, the Sun Yat Sen Gardens, and the Vancouvery Art Gallery, which offers a family program every weekend. Van Dusen Gardens offers events throughout the year, including a stunning light display over the Christmas season. For the aspiring astronauts, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre won’t disappoint, whilst young botanists can head to the Bloedel Conservatory, to view some tropical flora and fauna.
Stanley Park is ideal for kids, with plenty of space to roam, playgrounds, a spray park, aquarium and biking opportunities, not to mention the miniature train, which gets expertly dolled-up at Halloween and Christmas, for special experiences. If you want to get a little more wilderness, head over to the North Shore and enjoy the thrill of the suspension bridges, learn about local wildlife at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, or go to the peak of Grouse for a fully Canadian day of entertainment, including a lumberjack display, and to visit the rescued grizzly bears.
Dog-friendly activities to do in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the best destinations for pet-lovers, with the needs of dogs fully catered to. There are eight off-leash beaches, including riverside, oceanside and in the magnificent Stanley Park. There are also plenty of dog-friendly hikes and trails around Vancouver and throughout ‘Super Natural BC’ in general. If you’re heading to Whistler, you’ll find 4 off-leash parks in the town, not to mention a couple of dog-focused festivals: Whistler DogFest; and K9 Wine & Dine.
Vancouver’s bars and eateries are often dog-friendly, offering patio space where your furry pal can sit with you. Vancouver boasts a huge number of outdoor attractions and with that comes a huge number of dog-friendly attractions. In short, your pooch can enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer, alongside you!
Vancouver is often referred to as The Best Place on Earth and we can see why.
- (604) 324-5015
- (604) 324-2047
8035 North Fraser Way
Burnaby, BC. V5J 5M8