What does it take to be the 6th most liveable city in the world? How about the amazing Stanley Park, incredible activities atop Grouse Mountain and treetop walks on the Capilano Suspension Bridge? Pretty great start, right?
1. Get a bike and get your camera out onto the famous Vancouver Seawall for a ride around Stanley Park.
This is a must-do in the spring, summer or fall. Rent the bike, it’s so easy – just cross the road and you’re there. If you’re doing this in the summer months from June-September definitely take your bathing suit and a towel as Third beach is the perfect spot to stop and take a dip – it’s the halfway point along this flat and amazingly beautiful bike ride.
2. English Bay Beach or Kits Beach.
These beaches don’t have the surf of Bondi or the warmth of Surfers Paradise but they have beautiful, picture-worthy mountains as a backdrop to your shots and are one of the most scenic spots ever to share a hot dog, get your tan on or try a great gelato. Oh, and they’re great for people watching too. And volleyball. And more bike riding.
Vancouver is home to some of the best and cheapest sushi spots in the world! Pop into an all-you-can-eat spot or try a specialty roll at one of the many amazing restaurants downtown. They are literally on every corner and many have $6 specials that include 18 pieces and miso soup too! A must-do in Vancouver.
- High End (but so worth it) – Miku (on Granville St)
- All-You-Can-Eat – Shabusen Yakiniku House (on Burrard St)
- Quick/Easy and Great Value – Jako Sushi (on Davie St)
4. Enjoy the al fresco lifestyle in a beautiful setting.
Grab a seat at one of our great water-side patios for a drink! Whether it’s Cactus Club in English Bay or Mahoney & Sons in Olympic Village or Coal Harbour, there’s no shortage of photo ops to keep you busy (people, seals, boats, even sea planes). Even though Vancouver does get a decent amount of rain, the enjoyment of outdoor living really ratchets up a notch in the hot weather and hitting a good patio on the water is a must. Even if it’s not a perfect 10 you can always get a window seat and take in the view!
5. Get to the North Shore Mountains.
If you like trees and views and like to hike, head to Deep Cove and follow the signs to Quarry Rock, the best (1hr each way) hike in the Vancouver area! The terrain is typical of North Shore hikes; densely wooded areas of Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees, small creeks from mountain runoff, and the smell of fresh forest air. The views are definitely worth it. Want more? The Capilano Suspension Bridge, followed by a gondola ride up Grouse Mountain are musts.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge, built in 1889, crosses to towering evergreens and leads to seven suspended footbridges 110 feet above the forest floor and a cliffwalk that follows a granite precipice along the Capilano River. Up Grouse Mountain in the summertime you can visit the bear sanctuary at the top of the mountain and get incredible views of the city.
If you’ve got two days for your visit you’d be much less rushed. And if you have more than a day or two, your activity options would expand to checking out beautiful Whistler, getting stuck into some adventure activities in Squamish, jumping on a ferry to Vancouver Island or heading up to wine country.