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 Dam
  • 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