Vancouver is a beautiful city with many great things to do all during the year. Right now because of COVID-19 you will find limited hours, limited dining options, and other changes, but when things go back to normal there will be much to see and do.
Depending on what time of the year you are coming to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, there are different events and celebrations to catch through the year. You might come at a time when you could see some fireworks during the Canada Day celebrations, or you might be here in late summer and want to to go to the Richmond Night Market for example. There is a wide variety of things to find and do around Vancouver if you are visiting or just looking for something new to try.
Here are a list of 10 things to do that aren’t seasonal. You can enjoy these things all through the year and it can offer you a different experience each time that you do.
Here is a list of the 10 best things to do in Vancouver the next time you are looking for some inspiration.
10. Visit Queens Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is a beautiful place that many people go to take wedding photography because of the amazing plant and flower collection here. The scenery gives you some of the best views of the city and it is a great place to go if you are a tourist and looking for that amazing view of Vancouver.
Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver has been referred to as the horticultural jewel of the city and it’s also going to be getting a mega zoo upgrade too that will transform the area in the future and compete with worldwide known zoos in places like San Diego and other regions.
This is a 52 hectare park that offers great views of roses and many other flowers, plants, and there is plenty of parking to be found. You can find free parking nearby if you are not interested in paying. If you want to get closer you should look into the pay parking but there is that free option so no you do not have to pay for parking at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you, visit in spring or summer to see the beautiful garden area. You won’t want to miss a visit here.
9. VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to visit no matter what time of year it is. They have a restaurant there and cafe so you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal. This place gets decorated like you would not believe during the winter season and at Christmas time it is a perfect festive garden to visit with family, friends, or a loved one.
There is a gift shop here that might be closed still because of COVID-19, but it offers a great place to find some great artisan products and more. Visiting VanDusen Botanical Garden gives the perfect opportunity to see some great flowers and nature to take photos and share the beauty that Vancouver offers.
If you are looking for a great garden to visit then VanDusen should be at the top of the list. You will need to book ahead though and buy a ticket, but it is well worth it. Support this beautiful garden space because truly it is considered a top destination in Vancouver to see with locals and tourists alike.
8. Science World
You will find different events being held here during the year. Science World is a place that I not only visited in my off time but also took school field trips to, there is much to learn and see here.
Science World in Vancouver is a great family-friendly venue that is perfect for a visit if you are looking for something fun and entertaining for the kids to do. It can be educational for parents as well.
Right now they’ve got the Arctic Voices exhibition going on, there are different ones to see depending on when you visit the venue. They also have some art displays, a science park, living lab, and other things for families and kids to do. Science World in Vancouver is the perfect place to spend the afternoon or the weekend because there is plenty to see and do here and you really feel like you are getting your dollars worth when you buy a ticket.
Head downtown to the waterfront in Vancouver near the coal harbour area and you will see some spectacular views. Get a glimpse of the Chevron gas station, stanley park in the distance, go for a walk near Canada Place, and see some beautiful buildings that makeup the downtown skyline.
There are many great cafes to find in this area, places to go and grab a bite to eat for breakfast. I would suggest checking out SMAK for breakfast or brunch if you are in this region of downtown Vancouver. They’ve got great choices and healthy smoothies, it’s the perfect lunch spot near the Coal Harbour region. But it isn’t the only one there are plenty to choose from, some with some great ocean and mountain views.
If you are looking to be down by the ocean to capture some of those views, potentially see a few sea planes coming in, then going to the Waterfront area is your best place to be. It’s easy to stay socially distanced still at this time as well and there are many things to see and do down here, areas to shop, and cafes to grab a tea or coffee if you want to rest and chat with friends or read a book.
6. Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a 400 hectare natural public park that surrounds the English Bay and Burrard Inlet area, it truly is the perfect place to see the beauty of Vancouver.
You can rent a bike or some roller blades and go for a stroll along the seawall, or just go for a walk or a quick drive. Along the way in the park you will see many areas to park but they are pay parking. This is one of the most beautiful spaces to see Vancouver and see the downtown skyline, along with some amazing ocean views, mountain views, and more.
Be prepared to do some walking because if you are wondering how long it takes to walk the seawall the answer is several hours. It could easily take 2 or 3 hours to walk it but you will find many people who walk, run, or bike, around this area regularly. It is a stunning place to visit in Vancouver and one of the best places that you do not want to leave off of your list if you are looking for the best of Vancouver.
5. YVR Plane Spotting Flight Path Park
Ever been interested in going to the airport and watching the planes fly in? Well, there are many who really enjoy this activity and if you are one of them then you might be interested in the YVR plane spotting area that is designated for this activity.
Dubbed Flight Path Park it is in-line with one of the runways and gives visitors that chance to see the planes safely flying in. The Larry Berg Flight Path Park is also a great place to have a picnic and bring the kids because there is a play area. You will find Flight Path Park located at Russ Baker Way and Airport Road and it’s the perfect location for a weekend afternoon of plane spotting.
Bring a coffee and some lunch and have picnic at a table nearby, or go for a short walk around the area. If you haven’t been here yet to see some planes come in then it’s worth a visit if you’ve found yourself wanting to get a closer view at the airport to that airport traffic.
4. English Bay
English Bay is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. There are cafes here right by the water that you can grab lunch with your family or friends. You can see the ocean and the sunset from a close distance, making it one of the best places in the city to see the sunrise or sunset. Grab a coffee and go for a walk to the beach or around the seawall in Vancouver, this is a popular place with locals and tourists.
During the summer you will find that English Bay does get very busy and it can be very hard to find parking. It is easy to take public transportation to English Bay though or a taxi, this might be your best bet rather than struggling to find parking and paying more than you want for parking on top of that.
This is where the firework shows have been seen from in the past and that has brought thousands of people down to the downtown Vancouver core region, including thousands of tourists who came to see the show. If you are looking to be near the beach and want to find some place to have lunch or dinner that offers great views then you want to find some place to dine around English Bay.
3. Robson Street
Robson Street is great for shopping in Vancouver if you are looking to spend a little money while in town or looking to bring souvenirs back home. Robston Street has some of the major retailers in the region, including names like LUSH, Banana Republic, Footlocker, La Vie En Rose, Lululemon, Aritzia, Nike, Roots, and more. There is everything to be found here if you are looking to have a great afternoon of shopping.
Check out some small tourism shops for artisan gifts and more, find one of many great restaurants to stop in for lunch or dinner. If you are looking to find a great place to spend a day then Robson Street can easily offer plenty to see and do.
It might not be that fun for kids, unless you are looking to take them shopping though, it’s better for a girls day afternoon or when you want to see what great new products you might be able to find in the city. Vancouver is a top shopping destination and that includes Robson Street.
2. Shopping at CF Pacific Center
CF Pacficic Center is another great shopping location in Vancouver. Robson Street shopping is not the only option. If you want variety then check out the Pacific Center location. Here you will find great options like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Aldo, Aritzia, Apple, Bath & Body Works, Banana Republic, Best Buy, Disney Store, Drybar, Fido, H & M, Hollister, Holt Renfrew, and much more.
If you want tech, food, clothing, anything, then check out CF Pacific Center.
This is a shopping paradise in Vancouver and probably one of the best places to visit if you are looking to do some shopping in Vancouver. It is easy to get to with public transit and there is plenty of parking available at the mall too.
1. Granville Island
Granville Island is the perfect place to spend a great afternoon if you are having some nice weather. Get out and go for a walk around the island and get something to eat, buy some doughnuts, or get some new flowers. In spring and summer this place is going to get busy, it offers beautiful scenery of Vancouver and the surrounding area. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to grab some iconic doughnuts too from Lee’s Donuts.
There are many little shops to find here on Granville Island and there is pay parking if you are looking to drive there. You can find some free parking during certain hours, times, and places. If you are looking to get close to the marina and see some beautiful boats, the ocean, the views of the buildings downtown, then Granville Island offers all of that and much more.
If you want to see a beautiful sunset and have dinner with a loved one or friend, Granville Island will offer some great choices. It’s a popular place with locals and tourists, bringing seaside charm to Vancouver. Catch a ride on an aquabus, get some fresh seafood for lunch, or have dinner and stay at a local hotel like the Granville Island Hotel. This is a perfect Vancouver destination to visit during spring or summer. It’s even equally beautiful during the winter and still offers a variety of things to see and do down by the water.