Nestling between soaring coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver boasts a truly spectacular setting. Historic Gastown and the culinary attractions of Granville Island are among the city’s many highlights, whilst Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain provide a natural contrast to the bustling downtown streets. Watch float planes land on the harbour, enjoy a west coast sunset on a dinner cruise and don’t miss the FlyOver Canada experience! Below are some of our favourite things to do during your visit to Vancouver and beyond.
Perfect for foodies, Granville Island is home to a surprising variety of cafes, restaurants and market stalls offering a wealth of fresh produce. Theatres, galleries, artists’ studios and boutique shops add to this vibrant and colourful urban oasis, which is as popular with the locals as it is with visitors. Whether you’re buying or browsing, it’s easy to while away a few hours here, savouring the many goods on offer as you go. Round off your experience with a well-earned drink at one of the waterfront bars, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Vancouver skyline. Visit independently or join a Granville Island Market Tour.
One of the city’s most popular attractions and only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, an ascent by SkyRide gondola to the peak of Grouse Mountain provides spectacular views over the mountains, ocean and city below. A choice of activities await at the top including the chance to meet the resident grizzly bears of the wildlife refuge, enjoy the Theatre in the Sky or head higher still into the Eye of the Wind, a unique observation area within a wind turbine. Adrenalin seekers can try ziplining, paragliding or a Skyride Surf Adventure, whilst a choice of dining options are available to re-fuel as you take in the views.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Since the original suspension bridge was built in 1889, the Capilano river canyon has been drawing visitors keen to explore the beautiful rainforest that covers North Vancouver. Today you can enjoy breathtaking views from the bridge and from the new Cliffwalk, take a Treetops Adventure amongst the canopy and learn more about both the forest ecosystem and the First Nations people that call the area home.
Explore both Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge on a day tour.
Perhaps the reason why Vancouver is regularly voted as one of the best places in the world to live, Stanley Park offers 400 hectares of greenspace right on the city’s doorstep. Here you will find hiking and biking trails, sandy beaches, well-tended gardens and pristine lakes hidden amongst the forest. A water park, miniature railway and Canada’s largest aquarium will appeal to families, whilst the totem poles at Brockton Point are perhaps one of Vancouver’s most photographed sights.
Across the Georgia Strait from Vancouver lies beautiful Vancouver Island, with its rich forests, deserted beaches and exceptional marine wildlife. Take a floatplane or scenic ferry journey from Vancouver to discover the charming city of Victoria, before venturing further to historic Telegraph Cove or the west coast beaches of Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park. Fringed by inlets, sounds and islets, Vancouver Island is renowned for its whale watching with the chance to see orca, humpback and grey whales.
Enjoy a few days exploring Vancouver before setting off on an exploration of British Columbia and beyond. Whether you are heading east on the Rocky Mountaineer, west by ferry to Vancouver Island or north to the alpine resort of Whistler, Vancouver is the perfect place to kick off your holiday.
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