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What to do in Vancouver BC

Updated on July 14, 2013

Vancouver is an amazing city with so much offer, it's incredibly diverse natural terrain makes Vancouver the perfect home or holiday destination for the outdoorsy type.

From Downtown Vancouver there are some incredible views including False Creek, English Bay, Vancouver Harbor and the snow capped mountains on North Shore.

Here are just some of Vancouver's beautiful parks, mountains, beaches and places to visit.

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Vancouver Vancouver
Vancouver | Source
Vancouver | Source

Parks in Vancouver

Stanley Park: Opened in 1888 in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada, spans a massive 1001 acres, which makes it bigger than New York's Central Park.

Most of the park is Forrest but the park also has 200 kilometers (120 miles) of walking/riding trails. Stanley Park is home to the Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake, Hollow Tree, the Totem Poles, the Vancouver Aquarium, 2nd Beach public swimming pool and more.

Many thousands of people ride, walk, skate and run the seawall which is 8.8km's and circles the outside of the park. Walking the seawall you will see the Girl in a Wet suit statue, the Lions Gate Bridge, and on some days, the balancing rocks, which seem to defy gravity.

Lynn Canyon Park: Opened to the public in 1912 is known for the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge swaying 50 meters above the canyon. The park also boasts 617 acres of forest, waterfalls, swimming holes and walking and hiking trails.

A great place to have a picnic, go for a summer swim and take photos of the beautiful scenery.

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Stanley Park TrailsTotem PolesGirl In A Wetsuit StatueSeawall
Stanley Park Trails
Stanley Park Trails | Source
Totem Poles
Totem Poles | Source
Girl In A Wetsuit Statue
Girl In A Wetsuit Statue | Source
Seawall | Source

Local Mountains

The local mountains are a great source of entertainment not just in winter but throughout all seasons and are all within about 30mins to 1 hour from Downtown Vancouver, depending on your method of transportation.

Cypress Mountain: Located in West Vancouver with 9 chair lifts, 53 ski/snowboard runs, night skiing and riding, 4 terrain parks, The Katal Landing Pad (air bag), snow shoeing and tubing.

Host of the 2010 Olympics freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions, I believe this to be the best local mountain in Vancouver for skiers and snowboarders.

Mount Seymour: Located in North Vancouver with 5 chair lifts, 39 ski/snowboard runs, 4 terrain parks snow shoeing, tubing and tobogganing.

Hosting the "Girls Ride FREE" night skiing and riding from 6pm-10pm on Monday nights from Jan-March (see the events page for exact dates) makes it cheap and fun night of riding.

Grouse Mountain: Located in North Vancouver with 4 chair lifts, 26 ski/snowboard runs, night skiing/riding, 2 terrain parks, ice skating, zip lining, and sleigh and snow limo rides.

You can hike up the face of the mountain in the summer months, this is known as "The Grouse Grind" and is just under 3km's long, has 2,830 stairs and on average takes 1.5 - 2 hours to complete.

The Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife is home to two 2 orphaned grizzly bears Grinder and Cooler, which you can observe up close in the warmer months.

This is a great mountain if you are looking for a wide range of activities.

Bears At Grouse Mountain
Bears At Grouse Mountain | Source


There are a number of beautiful beaches in Vancouver, some include:

Sunset beach: Located along the seawall in Downtown Vancouver. Sunset Beach really does live up to its name offering amazing sunset viewing. Take a picnic rug and watch the beautiful Sunset over the water.

Wreck beach: Located west of Vancouver in the Pacific Spirit National Park, known for being a clothing optional beach. You will find a number of licensed food and clothing stalls, also known for unlicensed vendors selling alcoholic drinks and other items.

English bay: Located near the city's West End neighborhood, popular in summer for swimming and suntanning. Also has a floating slide not too far out from shore which lands you right in the water. English Bay is known for hosting the international fire works competition in August.

Kitsilano Beach: Located just outside the city, known for its amazing views of Downtown Vancouver. A great beach to relax in summer and very popular for those who like to play beach volley ball.

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Sculpture Sunset BeachEngagement Rings Sunset Beach
Sculpture Sunset Beach
Sculpture Sunset Beach | Source
Engagement Rings Sunset Beach
Engagement Rings Sunset Beach | Source

Granville Island

Start by Riding the False Creek Ferry from various locations along the False Creek to Granville island and take in the beautiful city scenery.

Granville island is home to a large indoor Market, Granville Island brewery and a number of cafes and restaurants. Many stores showcase all different types of artworks including amazing native art and local photography.

Stroll through the market and stores, be entertained by the talented street performers, beer tasting at the brewery and sitting on the patio over looking the water, is a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Sea Bus False Creek
Sea Bus False Creek | Source

False Creek

False Creek runs from Telus World of Science right out into English Bay and separates Downtown from the rest of the city.

Known for hosting the Canadian international dragon boat festival every June.

You can also participate in a number of water activities on False Creek such as Kayaking, paddle boarding and boating and more, all for hire from Granville Island.

False Creek
False Creek | Source


Gastown, the original Downtown core, named after "Gassy' Jack Deighton a Yorkshire steamboat captain who arrived in 1867 to open the area's first saloon.

Home of the famous Steam Clock, which said to be built covering a steam grate where the homeless would sleep on cold nights.

Known for its beautiful cobblestone streets, and romantic street lamp lighting is absolutely beautiful at night time, and is a very popular social part of Vancouver with the many clubs, bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants.


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