Canada Place is undoubtedly a local icon. — Photo courtesy of Canada Place
You’re in Vancouver with the family and looking to make the most of your time in the city before you board your cruise or head home after an epic adventure on the sea. So what are you going to do? Well, fortunately for you, the options in Vancouver are endless, and the route is totally up to you. We’ve broken down some fun ways to spend half a day in Vancouver based on what you’re in the mood for.
If you’ve just come back from a cruise and don’t want the sights, sounds and smells of Mother Nature to end, Stanley Park is the place for you. This rainforest is located within walking distance from the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place and has much to explore!
Tired feet can hop on a bus a few blocks from Canada Place or grab a cab for a quick and inexpensive ride to Stanley Park.
Within the park, you can choose to explore trails, check out the impressive Totem Poles, gaze at beautiful gardens or take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the site.
On a warm day, take advantage of the free water park, go for a dip in the ocean off of one of the beaches or swim in the public pool.
The Vancouver Aquarium is mandatory to visit no matter what the weather is like.
A sunny day at Granville Island — Photo courtesy of Granville Island
Get a taste of one of Vancouver’s most beloved shopping centers and head to Granville Island. Here you will find all sorts of unique items that make the perfect souvenir.
The Public Market is home to a variety of delicious foods. If you have time, grab some of the ready-made items and have a picnic outside the market overlooking the water. Just watch out for those hungry seagulls.
Granville Island is broken up into a few different buildings that sell kitchenware, clothing, jewelry, art, home decor, shoes, hammocks, sake and just about everything in between. For the children, Granville Island’s Kids' Market is home to all sorts of toys, educational items, clothing and fun things for kids to do. Just across the street is the Granville Island Brewery, which will make dad happy, too.
Vancouver’s eclectic communities make for an interesting adventure, and they're the perfect opportunity to explore different cultures. Head to Vancouver’s Chinatown for delicious baked goods from one of many bakeries, nibble on delicious roasted meats, visit a tea shop and take a walk through Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens.
A view of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden — Photo courtesy of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
This garden has been designed and built to traditional standards, and it's a lovely place that offers tranquility and the perfect family photo opportunity.
You can get to Chinatown by foot, bus or a very short cab ride. If you’re going to walk to Chinatown from Canada Place, you should avoid East Hastings and instead go down Pender Street from Gastown. Once in Chinatown, stay within the main drag and avoid going north into Vancouver’s downtown east side.
There is so much to do in Vancouver, and many activities are within arm’s reach from the Canada Place cruise ship terminal. So a half day is plenty of time to explore some of Vancouver.