Vancouver is the biggest city in British Columbia, though Surrey is growing quickly and who knows if it might one day soon surpass Vancouver as being the biggest city in the province.
Millions of tourists come to British Columbia each year from abroad, many of them coming from the United States. However, there has been growing interest in travel from other regions too like Europe, South America, and Africa.
Planning a Vacation in Vancouver isn’t difficult because there is so much to do here. Whether you want a day at the beach, shopping in a high fashion district, sight-seeing up at Whistler, you have many options here in BC.
Find ski slopes, amazing outdoor spaces to explore, wilderness excursions, there is no shortage of adventure to be found in BC.
Here are 20 ideas for a vacation in Vancouver.
20. Plan a Ski Trip To Whistler
Whistler is one of the most popular ski destinations for tourists from around the world.
There are great hotels here to stay at, cafes to have breakfast at, great restaurants, shopping venues, and of course some of the best BC scenery with the mountains all around you. Go for a skip trip, snowboarding, or just for some hot chocolate or iced coffee. A day trip to Whistler is the perfect idea for a Vancouver vacation if you don’t mind going for a little bit of a drive to get there.
19. Stanley Park Bike Riding
There are bike rental venues around Stanley Park that make it easy to rent a bike for the day and go around Stanley Park to explore the amazing mountain views.
There are also some bike rental venues offering guided tours of the city as well. Find a multi-hour Stanley Park bike tour to learn more about the area and get the chance to have a personal guide show you around town.
Discover bike rentals based on the hour, several hours, or rent the bike for all day. Once you’ve got your bike then you can go with your group and make your way around the seawall, along the bike path as far as you would like to explore.
18. Seafood Boil
A seafood boil is a great idea when looking for a fun dinner with friends or family. And you can find some great seafood in Vancouver. One of the best places to go looking for seafood boil options is with The Captains Boil.
17. The Perfect Brunch At Yolks
Yolks is known as being one of the best places in the city to have breakfast or brunch. There are fantastic breakfast and brunch options here and of course that means some great brunch drinks too. Everything on the menu here is yum.
Great Brunch Drinks at Yolks:
- Breakfast Sangria
- Espresso Breakfast Martini
16. Lunch at Stepho’s Greek Taverna
Stepho’s Greek Taverna in Vancouver is one of the best Greek food restaurants in the city. At this restaurant in Vancouver they serve amazing food that tastes great, it’s filling and for a great price.
Plan a lunch or dinner here any time during the year as this is one of the best restaurants to celebrate any occasion.
Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna in Vancouver is a restaurant that has a great atmosphere, great food, and yes there can be a bit of a line-up because this restaurant in Vancouver is so popular.
15. Shopping at CF Pacific Centre
CF Pacific Centre is one of the busiest and best places to do some shopping in Vancouver. This is where you are going to find just about anything you could need. The mall has a wide variety of stores and restaurant options located in this area. Find popular stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Lush, Aritzia, Lululemon, and others here.
The CF Pacific Centre is one of the most popular places for shopping in the city and it is highly accessible and easy to get here by taking a taxi or public transportation. There are also several hotels located nearby in this downtown Vancouver region too.
14. Spa Day For A Massage
There are several spa locations to find around Vancouver. Some of the highest quality spas that you will find are in hotels in the downtown Vancouver core.
The Spa Utopia Health and Wellness Center that’s located in Pan Pacific is one of the best locations to go looking for spa treatments.
Another top spa location to consider is the CHI spa in Vancouver which is the spa that is located at Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver. These are two of the best spa locations to find services like massages, salon services, and more.
13. Grouse Grind
The Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain is one of the most popular attractions for those who want to get outside and get a little exercise in.
The Grind experience offers a 2.9 km trail to hike up Grouse Mountain and is known to be a tough climb that is difficult for many to tackle. It can easily take more than 1 hour to take on the hike and make your way to the top.
12. Science World
There is always a lot going on at Science World in Vancouver with different exhibitions to see. When you want to have fun and do a little learning with the family then a trip to Science World while you are in Vancouver is a must.
This might be just the place you were looking for to have a little bit of fun while on vacation. It’s also easy to get to Science World using public transportation if you are staying in a hotel by the airport or in the downtown core region.
11. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Throughout the year the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a beautiful space to enjoy while on vacation in Vancouver. This is one of the best places to give stunning BC views and an outdoor experience, yes even in winter too. Throughout the year it is worth a visit here to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Get a chance to see and cross the popular suspension bridge that is located here. The bridge crosses the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver, and this bridge is 140 metres long, located roughly 70 meters above the river.
Catch PNE/Playland experiences when you are on vacation in Vancouver because there is so much to see and do here. Whether with friends, family, or on a date, this venue has a lot to offer. Food, fun, and different entertainment options too.
There are a variety of events to find being put on at PNE/Playland throughout the year. This is truly an exciting and fun place to explore in the city.
The Vancouver Aquarium is a great place to plan a visit for anyone looking to have a vacation in Vancouver. It might not be all about relaxing, what if you want to get out and see some amazing creatures too? Then book a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium to support this amazing organization that does so much to help animals in need.
The aquarium is a great place to visit with the family, bring the kids, and do something memorable while on vacation in the city.
8. Bloedel Conservatory
The Bloedel Conservatory is a lush garden paradise. If you love anything to do with plants then you will love a trip to the conservatory in Vancouver. Discover hundreds of different exotic plants and birds here.
There is a gift shop here for you to find something special to take home with you or gift to someone else. It’s also located in a stunning spot with great views of the mountains, and is unlike anything else there is to experience in the city.
This is a popular place surrounding the conservatory building, where many people have gone to take pictures for graduation ceremonies and weddings at Queen Elizabeth Park because of how beautiful the outdoor garden space is here.
7. VanDusen Botanical Garden
Another one of the stunning garden venues to visit in Vancouver is VanDusen Botanical Garden. This is a beautiful garden space that offers many different trees and flowers to enjoy, as well as a lake area.
Get the chance to see over 8,00 plant species here. This is a top spot to bring any true plant lover, they will thoroughly enjoy exploring this area and all that the garden has to offer.
6. Drinks at Blarney Stone
Blarney Stone in Gastown is an iconic Irish pub with a decent patio space that is the longest running Irish Pub in Vancouver. This Vancouver pub destination is great for brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, they’ve got you covered.
Get favorites like the Irish Nachos, Bangers & Mash, Irish Stew, or some delicious Shepherd’s pie. For late night drinks this is a great Vancouver pub to relax at and find great food and drinks.
5. Rent a Boat
There are boat rental options in Vancouver located downtown around Granville Island and they make it easy to book a boat for the day, or for a few hours, and explore the area around the West Coast here.
When the weather is nice out in Vancouver while you are on vacation this can be a great way to do something fun and explore in a new way. Rent a boat and travel along the Coast for the day, before stopping off around Granville Island later for some dinner.
4. Whale Watching in Vancouver
Whale Watching Go out in search of humpback whales and orcas while on vacation in Vancouver. There are different options for finding whale watching adventures in Vancouver and around other parts of BC. This is one of the most popular tourist activities in the area which gives people a chance to enjoy fully guided whale watching tour experiences.
3. Tsawwassen Shopping Day
The Tsawwassen Mills Shopping Centre is one of the most popular places to go shopping in the Lower Mainland but it does require a bit of a drive. There are bus options to catch that come from downtown though and that bus ride would take about an hour before it would reach Tsawwassen Mills Shopping Centre to drop you off.
If you want to see more of the area though that can be a great way to go about it. There are different transportation options that can bring you out to the Tsawwassen shopping area and once you are there you will find no shortage of options of where to browse.
2. Day At The Beach
Wanting to spend a day at the beach in Vancouver? There are several options of beautiful locations to explore and enjoy if that is what you are looking to do. English Bay is one of the easiest locations to get to and brings you right downtown around Stanley Park. If you are staying in a hotel downtown Vancouver anyways then this might be the easiest beach for you to get to.
Spend the day at the beach (there is parking available throughout Stanley Park and around the area) but it can be expensive depending on when you are coming and how long you are staying, as well as what your budget might be. If you are at a hotel nearby though you might enjoy the walk over.
Why English Bay for a beach day? Because the beach here in Vancouver is beautiful here, there are many different cafes and shops nearby, as well as restaurants to enjoy. If you are downtown in this location already on you Vancouver vacation then this beach might be the one that works best for you.
1. Escape Room Adventure
There are multiple escape rooms to find around Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland. If you want more fun and adventure on your trip here then go looking for an escape room to enjoy and you will find multiple options around the city.
This option brings a little more fun and mystery to the vacation agenda and if you want to do something different and explore escape room fun then Vancouver has you covered with several options around.