10 of the Best Things to Do in Vancouver, British Columbia
There are few places in North America where you can ski, sail, enjoy cosmopolitan urban culture, and hike through lush temperate rainforest. Fortunately, there’s Vancouver, British Columbia, a stunning city set seaside just north of Seattle and the Canadian border. This city has so much to offer that one visit won’t be enough. But we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite things to do in Vancouver to help you make the most of your next visit in your ROAMERICA campervan to this incredible city.Contact Us Today About Your Pacific Northwest Adventure
1. Explore Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Get ready for an adventure at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. You can hike along seven footbridges that tower 110 feet over the forest below, and you can brave the Cliffwalk that follows a granite ledge along the Capilano River. You’ll encounter a series of stairs, platforms, and bridges along the route, all sure to get your adrenaline pumping. If you’re headed there around the holidays, the park lights up with holiday cheer for the annual Canyon Lights display. For more information, visit capbridge.com.
2. Discover Pacific Ocean Life at the Vancouver Aquarium
As one of North America’s largest aquariums, the Vancouver Aquarium hosts rotating exhibits about sea and coastal life in addition to its regular educational programming. Highlights include meet-and-greets with their rescued mammals, a sea otter habitat, a dolphin habitat, touch pools where you can interact with sea creatures, exhibits about the Arctic environment, and much more. For more information, visit vanaqua.org.
3. Feast on Dim Sum in Chinatown
Vancouver’s Chinatown is a thriving micro-city in it of itself. Chinese culture is a vibrant part of Vancouver life, and a Sunday excursion to taste some of the city’s best dim sum is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in one of the world’s largest and most historic Chinatowns. For more information, visit vancouver-chinatown.com.
4. Ski & Snowboard at Whistler-Blackcomb
If you’re a skier or snowboarder, riding the terrain at the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort is one of the bucket list experiences that you won’t want to miss. A two-hour drive will take you from the busy Vancouver hub through the mountains to Whistler, the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. You’ll find world-class skiing and amazing dining and lodging. For more information, visit whistlerblackcomb.com.
5. Stroll through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Vancouver’s Chinatown is also home to one of Canada’s most beautiful gardens. Built with traditional Chinese methods and in the style of famous gardens found on Mainland China, this garden features courtyards, meticulously groomed plant life, and beautiful ponds. For more information, visit vancouverchinesegarden.com.
6. Drive up the Sea-to-Sky Highway
The Sea-to-Sky Highway route takes drivers from the heart of Vancouver up along the coast and into the mountains to the town of Whistler. Expect to find waterfalls, dramatic coastline, stunning vistas, and jaw-dropping spots for photos. For more information, visit hellobc.com.
7. Hike Up Grouse Mountain
On the north shore of Vancouver sits Grouse Mountain, a beautiful spot with a chalet perched on the summit with amazing views of the city and surrounding area. The hike to the summit, however, is no picnic. Affectionately known as “Mother Nature’s Staircase”, the trail takes hikers 850 meters up to the summit with little relief. Of course, there is a gondola that will also carry you to the chalet. You can always hop on the gondola on the way down. For more information, visit grousemountain.com.
8. Kayak in Deep Cove
Believe it or not, the Pacific Northwest coast of Canada is home to fjords, a stunning natural feature with steep cliffs that dive down into the sea. Rent an ocean kayak to explore Deep Cove, which is one of the most tranquil spots to paddle near Vancouver. You’ll get to experience ocean life up close, an experience you won’t soon forget. For more information, visit deepcovekayak.com.
9. Visit Granville Island
Granville Island is a small peninsula across the way from the main city of Vancouver. Though it was once an industrial manufacturing hub, it’s now more of an artist’s colony where you can find gourmet cuisine, art galleries, and yachts. You can take the Aquabus over from Vancouver to spend an afternoon or evening in this hip neighborhood. For more information, visit granvilleisland.com.
10. Explore the Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is one of those quintessential Vancouver summer activities. The Richmond neighborhood is home Vancouver’s largest Chinese community, and their night market is legendary. Expect to find interesting bites, art vendors and performers, stalls of local wares to buy, and a unique cultural experience. For more information, visit richmondnightmarket.com.More PNW Adventure Ideas