5 Must-Do’s in Vancouver, B.C.

Biking in Stanley Park
Biking in Stanley Park – taking a break in the rose gardens

1. Stanley Park

One of the world’s most famous parks, and covering almost 1,000 acres, Stanley Park is central to the soul of Vancouver. Located on an isthmus jutting out into the waters of Elizabeth Bay and Burrard Inlet, the park is surrounded by a seawall that offers joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers a spectacular five mile track with almost uninterrupted waterfront scenery.  You can also cycle through the park on one of the many trails, or beach hop First, Second and Third Beaches, stopping for lunch at a cafe, or just to soak up the sun.

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Streets of Gastown

2. Gastown

Named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton, the entrepreneuring English seadog who opened the first pub in Vancouver, Gastown is a picturesque, cobble stoned area, shot through with winding alleys that reward explorers with boutique clothing, vintage shops, galleries and excellent restaurants.

Granville Island
Granville Island

3. Granville Island

Vancouverites like to eat well, and the best place for fresh food is Granville Island Market. Only a short ride on the Aquabus from downtown, Granville Island also hosts handicraft shops and art studios. Perfect to while away a few hours while sampling fresh cherries and ordering sashimi platters to go. Families will find plenty to entertain children, with an Adventure Zone and a water park promising hours of fun.

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Kitslano Beach Vancouver
Kitslano Beach

4. Vancouver beaches

Vancouver has plenty of beaches to suit every type of traveler. The beautiful people hang out at Kitslano Beach, where they can work on their tan in between bouts of volleyball. The beaches in Stanley Park are popular with families; whereas those at Wreck Beach bare all. The largest and most popular beach, English Bay Beach, is close to bars and restaurants and is the perfect place for a sundowner cocktail.

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Silhouttes & sunset Elizabeth Bay beach
Silhouttes & Sunsets, English Bay Beach

5. Head for the hills

There are three within close striking distance – Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. Of these, Grouse Mountain offers the most options for a little adventure – sleigh rides and skiing in the winter, ziplines and skyrides or hiking in the warmer months – the choice is yours. The most famous trail is the Grouse Grind, also known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” a 3 kilometre trek that ascends 850m up the face of the mountain. Alternatively, take a daytrip out to Whistler for world-class skiing, snowboarding or hiking.

Trees Stanley Park
Out in the wilderness, Stanley Park

Vancouver Map

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  1. Ali says:

    Vancouver iso ne of my favourite cities! I have been there a few times now and each visit I uncover something new. Love all of the places you’ve listed in the Top 5….and it’s made me want to go back!

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      What are your favourite Vancouver “secrets”, Ali? Do share!

      1. Ali says:

        One of the area’s in Vancouver I have really enjoyed spending time is around Yale Town and the walk along the coast from there to English Bay. There are quite a few cafe’s and restaurants in Yale Town, and it’s a really pretty walk around the “seawall” there. I’ve also been to Capilano Suspension Bridge for the lighting of the Christmas lights in all the trees….I stayed there for hours, it was so pretty! *Sigh* fond memories 🙂

        1. Peggy Tee says:

          I never made it to Capilano Suspension Bridge! We were in Yaletown for drinks one night, but as I was in Van for a wedding I had limited time to go around too much. Thanks for the insider tip! 😉

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