If you are looking for the best things to do in Vancouver, then you are in for a treat! Vancouver is a world-class city in British Columbia with plenty of things to do at any time of the year. Located on Canada’s west coast, it is full of natural beauty, and a temperate climate. Vancouver is a multicultural city making it full of cultural delights and unique cuisines. The farm to table movement in the restaurant industry provides seasonal delights for diners and the local’s sustainability desires make it one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
While the peak season to visit is over the warm summer months, that does not mean that there are only summer things to do in Vancouver. It just means that you need to plan for the weather! In Vancouver, you can really ski in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon. You can hike all year round and plenty events make visiting Vancouver at any time a pleasure for all who visit.
While there are countless things to do in Vancouver, here are 99 things to do whether you have lived in the region your whole life, or if you are visiting for just a few days!
Here are 99 Fun things to do in Vancouver
1. Stanley Park is the jewel of Vancouver. Home to the (currently closed) Vancouver Aquarium, beautiful old-growth forest, biking and walking paths and stunning views! You can rent bikes and ride the Seawall, you can bring your walking shoes and walk, or you can drive around and park at all of the beautiful spots around the park. At Prospect Point you can enjoy stunning views of the Fraser River, North Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. Grab an ice cream on a sunny day while you take a few photos! There is also a restaurant at Prospect Point.
To kick off the holiday season in November and December, the Vancouver Parks Board hosts Bright Nights Stanely Park. The 20 gauge, 2 km track winds through the forest over ground cleared by Typhoon Freda, the most devastating storm in Vancouver history which blew through in 1962. Passengers can get a close-up look at a vintage engine and a quick photo before boarding for the 15-minute ride. The jewel of the Stanley Park Railway’s collection of old locomotives is a locally-built replica of Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s
2. Wander Granville Island and check out the local shops (the kids market is a favourite), fresh food and even the water park for the kids! This is one of the popular tourist spots in Vancouver and is also flooded with locals looking to browse the Granville Island Public Market. This is also one of the best places to find Vancouver souvenirs.
3. Capilano Suspension Bridge is another one of the popular Vancouver sights. Completed in 1889, the bridge has seen millions of visitors over the years. The Capitano Suspension Bridge Park now boasts a variety of activities including a cliff walk, treetop platforms and also has self-guided programs for kids! While this is actually in North Vancouver, it is a must do for the outdoor lover visiting British Columbia.
4. If relaxing, or people-watching is your thing, grab your beach essentials and head over to Kits Beach for the afternoon! No trip to Canada is complete without enjoying some of the West Coast beaches that are right in the city of Vancouver! There is so much more than just Kit’s beach though, check out Second beach for a swim in the public pool that overlooks the water! You cannot get much better than that!
5. When visiting Vancouver with kids, walk Stanley Park’s SeaWall or enjoy everything the park has to offer. With beautiful beaches and views of Deep Cove it is a stop you do not want to miss!
6. Grouse Mountain is an amazing summer or winter activity in Vancouver! With the hill covered in snow in the winter and amazing hiking and entertainment in the summer, it is well worth a visit! Did you know they have daily shows, a grizzly bear habitat and wolves! Grouse Mountain (and the other local mountains) also offer night skiing, making it one of the popular things to do in Vancouver at night with the locals!
7. Explore Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge and experience North Vancouver’s amazing parks. This is a hidden gem when it comes to Vancouver’s best Instagram spots, as it is much less crowded than nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
8. Explore British Columbia’s origins at Fort Langley, a Parks Canada National Historic Site, on the bank of the Fraser River. You can also find some great pumpkin patches in Langley while you are there for a fall visit! Read more things to do in Vancouver in October and things to do in Vancouver in November for more fall ideas!
9. Hike the Stawamus Chief (or take the new Sea to Sky Gondola!) to experience stunning views of Howe Sound and Garibaldi Provincial Park. This hike is a few hours long, with a large elevation gain and would not be suitable for young children. There are a few small ladders and chains to help navigate the steep sections, but this is a hike that can be done in good running shoes. If hiking is not your thing, you can still access the top of the chief with the Sea to Sky Gondola.
10. Spend the day exploring Science World and make sure to catch a movie on the giant IMAX screen! Kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens can explore the interactive exhibits at the Telus World of Science.
11. Take on a Canucks game! While everyone loves to joke about the Vancouver Canucks, hockey is still a passion for so many Vancouverites.
12. Drive out to the Fraser Valley and visit the Otter Coop Outdoor Experience in one of Langley’s outdoor pools! It is open from June to September and is a very popular activity. Book online in advance!
13. Whale watching.
14. Attend a sporting event.
15. Wander and eat in Gastown.
16. Shop on Robson St.
17. Go Nude at Wreck Beach
18. Try a food tour.
19. Visit the Bill Reid Gallery.
20. Explore the Craft Beer Scene.
21. Bike around the city.
22. Enjoy a Boozie Slushy in a park!
23. Visit the Museum of Anthropology
24. Drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler.
25. Hike the Grouse Grind.
26. Explore Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden and find your Zen.
27. Visit the PNE
28. Visit the Sea to Sky Gondola.
29. Spend the day at the lake.
30. Hike Lynn Canyon.
31. Visit the Richmond Night Market
32. Take the Dumpling Trail in Richmond.
33. Try out Surrey’s spice trail.
34. Take the ferry to Victoria for the day (or more!)
35. Try a coffee shop, or two! While Tim Horton’s is super “Canadian” you will find much better coffee elsewhere! Try Honolulu Coffee Company or Cafe Artigiano!
36. Get tacos from Chanchos!
37. Put on your hiking boots and hike the Stawamish Chief.
38. Spend a day in Fort Langley and get to know this hidden gem that is not just the birthplace of what is now British Columbia but also a great spot for excellent food and boutique shopping!
39. Grab a SUP and visit one of the many paddleboard friendly lakes!
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Things to do in Vancouver By Month
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!