The best things to do in Vancouver

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Granville Island marina
Take the Aquabus to Granville Island's public market,craft shops and choice of over 50 restaurants
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An array of the best things to do in Vancouver for everyone

Vancouver is one city that's difficult to leave. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides, the city's perch beside the Coast Mountain Range and mild climate offers an array of outdoor activities from kayaking, cycling and hiking, to skiing. With over half a million residents, galleries, theaters and museums offer a thriving cultural scene. No matter what type activities you enjoy, you won't run out of things to do in Vancouver

Once your eyes adjust to the backdrop of rugged mountain ranges, the second thing you'll notice about Vancouver are the people. Though Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia, its residents are laid-back and friendly. If you're lost, ask a passerby to point you in the right direction and you'll likely get a few sightseeing suggestions as well.

Invest in a good map and a collection of travel and guide books so that you can plan to catch the sites that most appealing to you. There is so much to do in Vancouver, many tourists who visit once promise themselves a return trip to catch what they missed on earlier trips.

Thing to Do in Vancouver

Stanley Park

Situated on the downtown border, Stanley Park is a forested area that's larger than NYC's Central Park. With over 120 miles of trails and roads, this is a must see for joggers, cyclists, hikers and nature lovers. About 5.5 miles of the park's perimeter is a paved sea wall that offers unobstructed views of the waterfront. The park is also home to a number of recreational and cultural facilities, including the Vancouver Aquarium, Canada's largest aquarium (over 70,000 sea creatures), and a number of monuments and statues throughout.

Granville Island

Across from downtown, take the Aquabus, a cheap electric ferry, over False Creek to the 35-acre peninsula, Granville Island. Stroll around the large marina, then visit the sprawling public market for a taste of the region's best produce, baked goods and flowers. Stop by studios like The Craft House Gallery for a dose of local handmade goods or the Carousel theatre for a play. Or, you can find an empty bench at the waterfront courtyard and people watch as shoppers and local artists go about their day. Hungry? From fine dining to waterfront cafes, there are over 50 places to grab a bite on the island!

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is among the most popular things to do in Vancouver. Popular launch spots that offer kayak and canoe rentals are Jericho Beach, False Creek, Indian Arm and Ecomarine. Beginning kayakers will appreciated the relatively uncrowded waterways and every paddler will love the viewing the Vancouver skyline and Coast Mountains from water level.


Just above Vancouver, hikers have their choice of summits to explore including The Lions, Grouse Mountain, Golden Ears, Mount Seymour, and Cypress Mountain. Trails are marked clearly and most summits have plenty of parking at the trail head. The Lions, for instance, is a 20-minute drive from the city. Bring a day pack with plenty of water and a filling lunch to enjoy once you reach the top.

Eat your heart out

For the quality of living and local produce and seafood, chefs from around the world have begun to set up shop in Vancouver. Frommer's includes the restaurants [C], Italian Kitchen and Annapurna on a list of Best Vancouver Restaurants. If you like seafood, [C] is a contemporary, sustainable seafood restaurant that overlooks False Creek.  Italian Kitchen is a new restaurant that took home the title of Best Italian Restaurant, while Annapurna offers vegetarian cuisine in an intimate setting.

Though you could spend your time in Vancouver moving quickly from attraction to attraction and barely make a dent on your to-do list, try to take your time to absorb every neighborhood and activity you experience. Whether you fall in love with the handmade jewelry, natural scenery or diverse food options, you'll find a level of quality and charm that deserves your full attention. Enjoy your visit to this vibrant city!

Vancouver: Visitors
Tourism Vancouver
Visit Vancouver
Frommer's: Vancouver Restaurants

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