Summer is the best time to be in Vancouver. It is known for its mild climate, scenic beauty, and cultural diversity. There are plenty of things to do in Vancouver in the summer and it is rarely too hot to enjoy the outdoors. Locals and visitors alike fill the city’s many parks and beaches. Patios fill to the brim with restaurants, cafes, and breweries serving up delicious meals and drinks. Whether you live in the city or are visiting for the first time, its the best time to enjoy the outdoors, culture, and good food.
Things to do in Vancouver in Summer
Explore Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge is a popular place to enjoy nature in the summer in Metro Vancouver. You can get up close to Vancouver’s Giant trees as you explore the park at your own pace. Cross Vancouver’s Capilano River on a 450-foot-long suspension bridge with this entry ticket. Appreciate nature from 3 breathtaking perspectives: the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Treetops Adventure, and the thrilling Cliffwalk.
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Important Notes: Strollers are not allowed.
Tickets: Online here
Book a Photoshoot
Booking a photoshoot is always on the to-do list and the summer in Vancouver is the perfect time to book a local photoshoot and update your photos! When it is tough to plan ahead, use this site when booking a photoshoot.
Flytographer caters to people in the city who do not have a local photographer. Their turnaround time for delivering photos is amazing! If you use the code LINDSAY you will save $25 off your booking!
Enjoy Summer Blooms at Van Dusen Gardens
Vancouver’s most popular botanical garden bursts with colour all summer long! You’ll encounter dozens of species of rhododendrons, beautiful magnolias and more, depending on what is blooming when you visit.
Location: 5251 Oak St
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Tickets: Online here
Take a Half Day Tour in Vancouver
If you are new to the city, spend half a day touring Vancouver’s natural and urban highlights on this sightseeing bus tour. Your savvy guide escorts you to key attractions such as Canada Place, Robson Street, and across the Lions Gate Bridge. Listen to interesting commentary as you wind through vibrant neighborhoods and tree-lined paths in Stanley Park. Then head to Capilano Suspension Bridge for an exhilarating walk along the cliff-hanging footpaths. This is a great option for those who are coming to Vancouver before a cruise! It helps you get a quick overview of the city!
Location: 999 Canada Pl
Tickets: Online here
Britannia Mine Museum
If you are looking to get out of the city, the Britannia Mine Museum, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, is located on the way to Whistler. It is worth a visit if you have a vehicle. Featuring authentic underground mining tunnels, kids of all ages will get a thrill as they ride underground at the museum. “Boom!” the mine’s latest multi-sensory experience is awesome as well!
You can read more about what to expect on a visit here.
Shop on Robson Street
In its prime area roughly between Burrard and Jervis Street, Robson Street has every store that you could desire for your fashion wants. All the major national and international chain stores are located here, from more casual and athletic wear companies such as to well-known clothing retailers. Popular footwear retailers, lingerie and beauty products are all here. You can also pick up some popular Vancouver souvenirs and things you can only get in Canada at souvenir shops Grand Maple Gift and Canadian Crafts on Robson.
See Vancouver from A New Perspective on a Float Plane
In the summertime, a floatplane tour offers unbeatable views of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, and the North Shore mountains. It is a vantage point that few get to see.
Location: 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver
Booking Details: Online here
Go Whale Watching
Summer is a popular time for whale watching in Vancouver. There is not much more thrilling than seeing these majestic whales in their natural habitat off the coast of Vancouver. It is a bucket list item for not just visitors but locals as well. The waters off British Columbia’s coast are rich with marine life and orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales are the most common whales that you will see on a Vancouver whale-watching trip! April until October is typically the best time to go whale watching in Vancouver.
There are several tour options, I have an entire post on the best whale-watching tours from Vancouver. You can book these online here.
Location: 1666 Duranleau St
Tickets: Online here
Summer Events Vancouver: Fireworks
The popular Vancouver fireworks are back for 2023 on English Bay. This season features performances from Australia, Mexico and the Philippians. The Honda Celebration of Light is proud to host a full day of festival programming with music, food and activities for kids to enjoy leading up to the 10 PM fireworks show each evening.
Getting there: Closest SkyTrain Station to the Festival is Burrard Station and the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station of the Canada Line. Numerous buses travel along Georgia St. to Denman, and the #6 will bring you from Granville St. to Denman St.
Dates: July 22nd, July 26th & July 29th
Fly Over Canada’s Original Production
If you have never seen Fly Over Canada, then you are in for a treat. During the Ultimate Flying Ride, you will see numerous cities and vistas across the country. The production team for FlyOver Canada were able to select 18 scenes from over 100 hours of footage to represent Canada in the ride film. There are no subtitles or voice-overs during the experience, as we did not want to detract from the flying sensation
Tickets: Book your tickets online in advance here for the lowest price and to ensure availability.
Dates: Offered Year Round and can be combined with seasonal productions.
Location: 201 – 999 Canada Place Vancouver, BC
Related: While at Coal Harbour, check out these popular Vancouver waterfront restaurants!
Blodel Conservatory offers beautiful flowers and exotic birds inside a giant dome in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Get a taste of the tropics and view over 500 species of flowers and over 200 species of birds.
Take a Hike
Hiking is one of the popular things to do in Vancouver in the summer. Check out these easy hikes in Metro Vancouver to get yourself started!
Take a Wine Tour
Grab a date or a friend and take a wine tour in the Fraser Valley The Tour picks up from Vancouver and takes you into the Fraser Valley (about 45-60 minute drive). Then, get to know the Fraser Valley, just outside Vancouver, on this 5.5-hour tour that hits three area wineries. With a small group of 15 passengers or fewer, take in views of British Columbia’s largest agricultural area and taste several wines. A light lunch is included. Enjoy a light lunch of cheese and charcuterie platter at a local winery.
Book Online: here
Day Trip to Victoria and See Butchart Gardens
If you are visiting Vancouver or even you are a local, get out of town and take a day trip to Vancouver Island. It can easily be done in a day and you can enjoy Victoria’s waterfront, or local attractions like Butchart Gardens.
If you want to take an organized tour, there are tours online that start from downtown Vancouver.
Lost Souls of Vancouver Walking Tour
Walk through alleyways and the back streets of Gastown and get a glimpse into Vancouver’s rough and rowdy past on a walking tour of the historic neighborhood. Hear haunting tales of the city’s darkest days, when fires, smallpox, and gold dust fever swept through the frontier outpost. Visit the neighborhood’s landmarks and historic sites as your guide evokes the thieves, hustlers, and vagabonds that made the west so wild.
Location: 356 Water St
Tickets: Online here
Vancouver Food Tours
The Legendary Gastown Food tour takes you through the cobbled stone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Enjoy local craft beer, Japanese Kar-age style chicken, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini with local wine, battered fish with hand-cut fries, tasty Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, organic smooth soft ice cream, creamy awarding winning cheesecake, and delicious hand-made chocolates!
On this 2.5 hour walking food tour, professional improv comedy actors full of passion for the city and its food will share fascinating and funny little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years. This is one of the most popular things to do in Gastown and you will learn about Gassy Jack, Gastown’s notorious founder and the stories that him famous and put Vancouver on the map.
Tickets: Buy your tickets online here
Granville Island Food Tour
Take a Granville Island Food tour and embrace one of the best places to visit in Vancouver.
Explore the Granville Island Public Market, a top Vancouver attraction, with an off-duty chef on this 2-hour food walking tour. With your in-the-know guide, make your way through the vibrant stalls and sample homemade culinary delights, such as maple-cured salmon, ciabatta bread, artisanal chocolates, Canadian cheeses and just-made doughnuts. Sip a delicious chai tea latte and get to know Granville Island’s craft beer scene, art galleries and specialty restaurants. Bring your appetite!
Get your tickets: here
Take a Brewery Tour
Craft beer is all over Metro Vancouver. Why not find out more about this bubbling industry with a behind the scenes brewery tour!
Enjoy a taste of Vancouver’s hip craft brewery scene at three highly rated breweries. You’ll sample a nice variety of locally crafted brews while someone else does all the driving. Meet downtown at the Waterfront Station for a small group tour that includes VIP tours at each of the breweries, plus priority seating to get you to the beer quicker!
Book Online: here
Where to Stay in Vancouver in Summer
LUXURY: Pan Pacific Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim
BOUTIQUE: Blue Horizon Hotel
MIDRANGE: Sandman Suites on Davie
Vancouver in the summer means the hotels will be busy! Make sure you book in advance. Thousands come ot the city in the summer months to enjoy not only Vancouver but things like cruises and the Rocky Mountaineer. Besides the suggestions above, if you want to enjoy the sun at the pool, here is a list of the best hotels in Vancouver with pools!
Weather in Vancouver in Summer
Summer in Vancouver is the best time of year!
One thing about British Columbia is that forest fire season can be unpredictable. Fire smoke can come down from the interiour of the province or from Washington State. This is the unpleasant part of summer. Some years it lasts a few weeks. Other years it does not come at all.
Is the Summer a Good Time to Visit Vancouver?
Summertime is the best time to be in the city. With that being said, it is also the busiest time of year for visitors. Some come to explore British Columbia, others come to take a cruise or train ride. As long as you are prepared for hikes to be busy and hotels to be quite full, you will very much enjoy Vancouver in the summer!
Catch More Vancouver Events by month:
Vancouver Travel Resources for 2023
If you are from out of town these resources should be helpful for your trip to Vancouver!
RENTAL CAR: You definitely want to rent one in advance and grab it at the airport. Start with a rental car comparison company like this one or this one.
LOCAL TOURS: Looking for the perfect city tour, whale watching tour, bus tour, brewery tour (these are awesome) Start with Get Your Guide and Viator Tours.
BOOK A PHOTOSHOOT: Capture those memories! Book a romantic or family photoshoot while on holiday! Click Here to find a local photographer. Use code LINDSAY to save $25 off your first photoshoot!
HOTELS: Find the best hotel selection on booking.comor hostelworld.com
CRUISING? If you are cruising from Vancouver or even considering it in the future, find information and cruise reviews on cruisecritic.com
A good rain jacket is always a good idea, even in the summer. While you are not likely to get wet in July and August, late august almost always sees a wet day, and May, June and September will also get rain.
A good power bank to charge phones and other devices while out for the day. After a day of videoing, GPS and taking photos, the last thing you want is a dead cell phone. These are inexpensive and come in handy during the day.
A Universal Adapter is going to be handy for International Visitors. Canada uses the same plugs as the USA but if you are coming from somewhere else abroad, grab yourself one before you arrive.
Most stores have gone away from plastic shopping bags and those who do have them likely charge for them. Either buy a cute reusable one (makes a great souvenir) when you arrive or bring a small one with you!
Reusable water bottles are also a good idea. Tap water is drinkable all over Vancouver and there are plenty of water fountain options to get water. You can buy and recycle water bottles anywhere, but why shell out wasteful dollars when you can drink the tap water all over British Columbia?
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!