What to do in Vancouver

Visiting Vancouver? Bored in the city? Here are many of my favourite things to do in Vancouver:

 

Beaches

  • West End and Stanley Park: Second Beach, Third Beach, English Bay, Sunset Beach
  • Kitsilano and UBC: Kits Beach, Jericho Beach, Spanish Banks, Wreck Beach
  • West Vancouver: Ambleside Beach
  • Greater Vancouver: Iona Beach, Centennial Beach

Indoor Activities

  • Shopping: Robson Street, Granville Street, South Granville Street, Gastown, Main Street, West 4th Avenue
  • Malls: Pacific Centre, Park Royal Shopping Centre, Vancouver Airport Outlet Mall, Tsawwassen Mills
  • Take the Aquabus to Granville Island and visit the Public Market
  • Take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and visit the market
  • Climb to the top of Vancouver Lookout Tower
  • Take a historical building walking tour with Vancouver Heritage Foundation
  • Take a cooking class at the Dirty Apron
  • Take a free cooking skills class at Williams and Sonoma
  • Try a new fitness class or sign-up for ClassPass
  • Vancouver Aquarium
  • Baseball game at Nat Bailey Stadium
  • Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game
  • Bowling at Commodore Ballroom

Arts and Culture

  • Vancouver Art Gallery (by donation on Tuesday nights)
  • New Media Gallery in New Westminster’s Anvil Centre
  • Roundhouse Community Centre
  • Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park
  • Artisan studios on Granville Island
  • Railtown Studios in East Vancouver
  • Eastside Culture Crawl
  • ROVE Art Studio Walk in Mount Pleasant
  • Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery (free)
  • Public Art
  • Cheap tickets for people under 35 at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra or Vancouver Opera
  • Bard on the Beach

Outdoor Activities

  • Stand-up paddle-boarding in English Bay or False Creek
  • Kayak in English Bay or Deep Cove
  • Walk across a bridge for unique views: Burrard, Granville, Cambie, Lion’s Gate
  • Snowshoe at Mount Seymour, Cypress Mountain, or Grouse Mountain
  • Gardens: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens (paid), Queen Elizabeth Park (free), Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens (paid) and Sun Yat-Sen Park (free)
  • Outdoor yoga
  • Take a float plane

Hiking and Outdoor Exploring

  • Queen Elizabeth Park: gardens and Bioedel Conservatory
  • Stanley Park: trails, Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake, Prospect Point
  • Burnaby Lake Park
  • Deer Lake Park
  • Bike or walk the seawall

Running routes: read my post on the best Vancouver running routes 

Easy hikes:

  • Dog Mountain
  • Lynn Canyon
  • Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
  • Deep Cove
  • Quarry Rock
  • Lighthouse Park
  • Rice Lake
  • Pacific Spirit Park
  • Capilano Pacific Trail
  • Capilano Canyon
  • Cleveland Da
  • Jug Island
  • Buntzen Lake
  • Brothers Creek

Moderate to difficult hikes:

  • Norvan Falls
  • Baden Powell Trail
  • Sea-to-Sky Summit
  • The Chief
  • Grouse Grind
  • Diez Vistas
  • Hollyburn Mountain
  • Lindeman Lake
  • St. Mark’s Summit
  • Dam Mountain
  • BCMC Trail
  • Visit VancouverTrails.com for a comprehensive list of hikes sorted by region, difficulty, and length

Day Trips

  • Bowen Island: walk around Killarney Lake or hike Mount Gardner
  • Horseshoe Bay, Whytecliff Park, and Lighthouse Park
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Victoria
  • Deep Cove
  • White Rock: Blackie Spit Park, Sunflower Cafe in Crescent Beach neighbourhood, White Rock Pier
  • Port Moody: Belcara Regional Park
  • Othello Tunnels in Hope
  • Squamish: Shannon Falls, Sea-to-Sky Gondola, Alice Lake Provincial Park, Fergie’s Cafe
  • Pemberton: Nairn Falls
  • Whale-watching in Steveston
  • Whistler: Peak-2-Peak gondola or hiking
  • Circle Farm Tour
  • Mount Baker
  • Point Roberts

Food and Restaurants

Farmers and Night Markets

  • Winter Farmers Market
  • Trout Lake
  • West End
  • Richmond Night Market
  • North Vancouver Shipyards Night Market
  • Visit EatLocal.org for a full list of farmers markets

Foodtrucks

  • Culver City Salads
  • Tacofino
  • Le Tigre
  • Tiffin Walla
  • Chickpea Truck
  • Visit StreetFoodApp.com for a full list of food trucks in Vancouver

Vegetarian and Vegan

Breakfast or Brunch

  • Medina Cafe
  • Roundel Cafe
  • Belgard Kitchen

Omnivore

  • Homer Street Cafe
  • Wildebeest
  • Via Teverre
  • Chambar
  • India Bistro
  • Calabash Caribbean Bistro
  • Lolita’s
  • Flying Pig
  • Forage
  • Oakwood Canadian Bistro
  • Nuba
  • Chicha
  • Tamam

Sushi and Pho

  • Miku
  • Mr. Red Cafe
  • Shizenya
  • Little Saigon

Casual and Quick Eats

  • Whole Foods Salad Bar
  • Urban Fare
  • Hubbub
  • Tractor
  • Finches Cafe
  • Sina Organic Juice Bar
  • Victoria’s Health Company
  • Be Fresh Local
  • Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe

Drinks and Dessert

  • Ernest Ice Cream
  • Rain or Shine Ice Cream
  • Cartem’s Donuterie
  • Bella Gelateria
  • Uva Wine Bar
  • Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel Lobby Bar or Giovane Cafe

Coffee Shops

  • JJ Bean
  • Nelson and the Seagull
  • Prado Cafe
  • Milano Cafe
  • Bel Cafe
  • 49th Parallel
  • CoffeeBar
  • The Buzz Cafe and Art Gallery
  • Elysian Cafe
  • Lost and Found Cafe
  • Agro Cafe

Gluten-Free Bakeries

  • Float On Bakeshop
  • Lemonade Bakery
  • Cloud Nine
  • Two Daughters Bakeshop
  • East Village Bakeshop
Follow @Instagram
  • While I love life on the west coast, it's never easy living on the other side of the country from many friends and family. Grateful for trips home, no matter how long or short (this weekend!) they may be. Back to YVR ✈️
  • Soaking up that Toronto sunshine ☀️
  • Had some of the best vegan food ever at @plantatoronto tonight! I've often been left disappointed (and hungry 😅) by new plant based eateries but this totally exceeded expectations. Loved all the dishes we tried from the cheesy queso dip (pictured here) to the peanut butter chocolate "terrarium" for dessert.
  • Springtime in Victoria #flashbackfriday meanwhile in Toronto... ❄️🌧☀️
  • Last night's surprisingly purple sunset, a welcome sight after a day of rain #tbt
  • From west coast to east coast (sort of! 😛) Toronto bound ✈️ where there is apparently a rainfall warning #cantescapeit