Best Things to Do in Vancouver

Rain or Shine, Vancouver's Best Attractions and Activities Have You Covered

From beaches and mountains to art galleries and museums, Vancouver is a city with so much to do! An added bonus is that there are plenty of free options that will help keep costs down so you can splurge on other things.

Vancouver's equipped with a vast mountain terrain, beautiful ocean, sandy beaches and an urban playground, making it an incredible outdoor city to explore. During the summer months stroll along the Seawall and explore Stanley Park. There are ample indoor and outdoor activities within the park that can easily fill an entire day.

With the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the North Shore mountains just across the water, you will never run out of hiking and biking trails. North Vancouver's Capilano Suspension Bridge will get your heart pounding up as you walk across the wobbly suspension bridge that's perched above a deep gorge. If you're want to keep your spending down, a free alternative is Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge.

If you're in the mood to do something cultural, Vancouver's Chinatown is the second largest in North American. While you're in the neighborhood, enjoy a peaceful visit to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden and leave relaxed and full of zen.

A rainy day in Vancouver can be enjoyed indoors and you won't want to miss FlyOver Canada. This 4D attraction is unlike anything else in Canada and will take you on a cross-country journey, complete with sights, scents and wind!


Science World at Telus World of Science
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Vancouver's TELUS World of Science is sure to excite all ages with the cool and educational exhibits. Science World keeps things fresh and interesting by hosting rotating exhibits alongside their permanent displays. The OMNIMAX theatre is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Science World received a large renovation budget and they have upgraded the entire facility, complete with an outdoor area that's unique to this location and is fun to explore. Located at the end of Vancouver's False Creek, Science World is easily accessible by bus, Aquabus or Skytrain. If you feel like getting some fresh air, you can also get to Science World via the Seawall.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: TELUS World of Science provides an amazing educational and fun atmosphere that's great for children and adults.

Natasha's expert tip: Rainy days are very busy, but worth staying dry and catching a movie in their OMNIMAX theatre.

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Jacques Cousteau has said that Vancouver has some of the best underwater wildlife in the world, the only problem is that the waters off the coast can be rather chilly. Not interested in putting on a dry suit and submerging yourself under the frigid waters? No problem, the Vancouver Aquarium has solved that problem and brought some of British Columbia's most interesting sea creatures inside to inspire and educate visitors. The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit organization and they partake in worldwide marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation projects. When inside the aquarium, step into the rainforest exhibition, where you will be greeted by sleep Sloths, tropical birds, crocodiles, snakes and fish. Also, don't miss the display of fish that call British Columbia home. Make sure that you go outside and watch the Sea Otters goof around and catch one of the many shows that include dolphins, Beluga whales and Sea Lions.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Vancouver Aquarium takes in rescue sea life and promotes the ethical treatment of animals. Money made goes into animal research.

Natasha's expert tip: To avoid the crowds, it's best to go during the weekday when kids are in school.

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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Constructed in an authentic Ming Dynasty-style, the garden is renowned as being the first of its type built since the late 15th century. Traditional materials from Suzhou, the Garden City of the People's Republic, were used in the construction. It was built with only carefully arranged rocks, wood, plants and water, all without using screws, nails or power tools. The principles of yin and yang opposites, such as light and dark and rough and smooth, are a strong element in this garden's design. After a visit to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, make your way around the neighborhood and treat yourself to some of the delicious baked good in the area.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is authentic in style, blissful in atmosphere and a special oasis in a busy city.

Natasha's expert tip: Chinatown is a great place to find all sorts of fun trinkets to bring home, so don't miss taking advantage of the shops close to the garden.

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This stunning piece of shoreline offers views of North Shore Mountains, Howe Sound, Stanley Park, Bowen Island, Vancouver's skyline, passing cruise ships and spectacular sunsets. Both beaches have large sandy shorelines, as well as grassy areas ideal for picnicking. Jericho Beach has windsurfing boards for rent, and Locarno is a designated "quiet beach." Lifeguards are generally on duty 11:30am-8:30pm daily from mid-May through Labor Day. There is a beach concession where you can purchase drinks, ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and other fast food delights. Public washrooms and change rooms are also located within the same vicinity. There are a few washroom facilities spread out along the beach.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The sunsets from Locarno and Jericho are absolutely stunning and should not be missed.

Natasha's expert tip: These beaches are perfect for those that don't like very busy beaches. They're a little more low key and have stunning views.

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Once Vancouver's industrial manufacturing area, Granville Island is now home to many local artists, restaurants, theatres, a hotel and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Granville Island has something for everyone; a children's area, jewelry stores, art shops, a beer brewery, boat rental offices and unique clothing stores. Once you have made your away around the shops, head over to the Public Market. There you can treat your taste buds to some local smoked salmon, artisan cheeses, local produce and fresh fudge. Make sure you don't miss the food hall where you can grab a bite from one of the many food vendors. Sit inside to enjoy your treat or make your way outside to watch some of the city's finest street performers. Located in False Creek, an adventure to Granville Island is just a boat or bus ride away from Downtown.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Granville Island is your one-stop-shop for toys, groceries, gourmet goods, wine, beer, sake, art supplies, jewelry and just about everything in between!

Natasha's expert tip: Go during off peak hours during the weekday to avoid weekend and holiday crowds.

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Get your boarding pass, take your seat and prepare for a cross-country odyssey that will leave you wanderlust and ready for more! FlyOver Canada is Vancouver's only 4D attraction and the only one of its kind in Canada. Enjoy the smells, sights and sounds of Canada as wind breezes past your face. Located right beside the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, it's easy to access by foot, car or public transportation. The pre-show and Canadian Trail add to the experience of this excellent adventure. Filming these spectacular shots is Sherpas Cinema, while Whistler's own Dave Mossop directed. If you've been to Disney, you may recognize this concept from the Soaring Over California ride. Not only is the concept very similar, but they hired Disney's Creative Director Rick Rothschild to assist in the project.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: You won't find anything else like FlyOver Canada, unless you're at Disney. It's an incredible ride!

Natasha's expert tip: You can purchase your ticket ahead of time online at FlyOver Canada's website.

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Test your bravery as you cling to the railings of the wobbly suspension bridge and make your way across. Once you get over the initial excitement, you will be blown away by the view of the Capilano River that's 70 meters below you. The bridge is about 136 meters long and is a basic suspension bridge that draws many visitors on a daily basis to its North Vancouver location. The original bridge was built by a Scottish civil engineer named George Grant Mackay in 1888 and was replaced after his death by a wire cable bridge in 1903. The bridge has since gone through many changes, upgrades and reinforcements since that time and is very sturdy.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Capilano Suspension Bridge is a refreshing escape from the city that offers a fascinating mix of history, nature and fun.

Natasha's expert tip: If you plan on going more than once, it's a good idea to purchase an annual pass.

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Located in Downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park offers a green oasis to city dwellers that stretches over 1,000 acres of land. Lord Stanley of Preston opened the park in 1888, and at the time it was a haven for gathering various material and food. Today, Stanley Park is home to half a million trees, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Malkin Bowl, carved totem poles, monuments, beaches, a lighthouse, and plenty of trails to take in the fresh air. During the summer months, the Malkin Bowl hosts a series of concerts that are the perfect way to spend a warm evening in the park. If hiking through forests isn't your thing, take advantage of the Seawall where you can run, walk, cycle or Rollerblade the 5.5 miles around Stanley Park. The lush greenery is a welcome escape from the busy city and though it's right downtown, you will feel miles away.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Stanley Park is a rainforest in Vancouver with plenty to do and see. In fact, it's larger than New York City's Central Park!

Natasha's expert tip: It's easy to spend an entire day in Stanley Park so pack a picnic and take advantage of everything there is to do there.

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Stretching 5.5-miles (8.8km) around Stanley Park, this lovely jaunt is perfect on a sunny day to bike, walk, run and blade around. Going around the Seawall is best enjoyed with a few stops here and there, and fortunately for you, there are benches, beaches, and scenic spots to stop along the way. Wherever you decide to stop, epic views are always within reach. If the sun is shining and the temperature's rising, pack your towel and swimsuit and take advantage of the sandy beaches and cool ocean waters. No matter what your skill level is, the Seawall is enjoyable for all ages and athletic abilities.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Seawall is the best way to get around and sightsee Vancouver on a sunny day and there are plenty of places that rent bikes.

Natasha's expert tip: There are set paths for specific directions and different lanes for those walking or biking, so make sure to be in the correct lane to avoid getting in the way of oncoming traffic.

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Outside the City

The Sea to Sky Gondola takes you on a 10-minute ride up the mountain to the Summit Lodge. Once at the top, this magnificent piece of nature is yours to explore. There are hiking trails, a suspension bridge, viewing platforms, mountain biking trails, walking paths, rock climbing, a lodge and more. For the experienced hiker, there are an abundant number of trails that will challenge and inspire. Those who are less experienced, there are two walking trails that have been carved out and are great for all ages. The Panorama trail and Spirit trail are pretty flat, making them very easy to navigate. They offer guided tours every day at 11am and 2pm. If you're unfamiliar with the area, or worried about getting lost, these guided tours are awesome and take out the guess work for you. Hungry? There's a fully licensed restaurant and bar at the top.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The views from the Sea to Sky Gondola are out-of-this-world amazing and simply cannot be beat.

Natasha's expert tip: You can purchase a season's pass to save money.

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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha