There are plenty of reasons to love the beautiful Canadian city of Vancouver. From the gorgeous beaches, mountains, and forests to the vibrant culture, exciting nightlife, and delicious restaurants, Vancouver has it all. When you live in Vancouver, you can choose life in the fast lane or you can opt to slow down and take things easy. This unique blend has led more than 675,000 people to proudly call Vancouver home.
If you’re considering relocating to this popular Canadian city or if you just want to visit to see what all the fuss is about, you’ll need to know some of the best things to do in Vancouver. This will help you plan your time wisely and make sure you get a good feel for the city as a whole. Here are some of the top destinations to put on your must-visit list.
Visit Stanley Park
Where else can you spend time in a 1,000 acre park that has a pool and splash park, 17 tennis courts, an aquarium, a golf course, and beaches? Stanley Park
is truly a marvel and a place where you can easily spend an entire day. Located in the middle of the city, Stanley Park is a respite from urban life with its views of trees, mountains, water along the famous Seawall. You can choose to wander the park and take in the sights or take a ride on the Stanley Park train or take a guided tour. All the exploring giving you an appetite? There are several restaurants in the park including the Prospect Point Cafe and The Teahouse Restaurant as well as a variety of food carts. And if looking around isn’t enough excitement for you, you can play a round of golf, visit the water park, or explore the 27 kilometers of forest trails.
Check out Granville Island
A covered outdoor space and pavilion, Granville Island
is touted as a “magical escape within the city.” A former industrial waterfront site, the island was redone in the 1970s to create a space for artist galleries, food shops, a green space, and public market. Here you’ll find everything from a kids’ adventure zone to design studios to pubs, bistros, and organic bakeries. You’ll also find plenty of events taking place throughout the year including bookfests, art exhibits, festivals, and burlesque shows.
Go whale watching
The Vancouver area has a variety of marine life. Dolphins, seals, and humpbacks all call the waters around Vancouver home, but one of the most impressive species is the orca. If you want to see these majestic creatures up close and personal, consider the Vancouver Whale Watch tour
. Their three to five hour tour travels not only focuses on finding orcas, but also humpbacks, bald eagles, porpoises, and other marine life. You can choose to ride in open air Zodiac boats from May to October 31st or semi-covered convertibles from April 1st to October 31st.
Go to a hockey game
If you’re in town during hockey season (October 10th, 2023-April 18th, 2024), you have to put a Vancouver Canucks hockey game on your list. The NHL team plays in Rogers Arena
, which holds more than 18,000 fans and fun places to eat and drink like Carve Hand-Carved Sandwiches, Chop Asian Noodle Stir-Fry, and The Sportsbar that offers drinks in a high-energy environment right by the ice. Not a hockey fan or missed the season? You can still check out the arena for concerts, shows, and other events.
Go out to eat
When you’re in town, you need to make plans to visit a variety of restaurants to get a feel for what Vancouver has to offer. Some musts for upscale dinners include Botanist
in the Fairmont Pacific Rim for a glass of bubbly and butter-poached lobster, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
for happy hour oysters before tucking into filet mignon, or St. Lawrence Restaurant
, a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves delectable French cuisine (if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation).
Looking for a light lunch? Head to The Birds & and The Beets
for some miso barley soup, ricotta toast, or a tofu banh-mi, Phnom Penh
for deep-fried crunchy chicken wings, or Home St. Cafe and Bar for a cobb salad or tomato toast. Want to start your day off right? Popular breakfast spots in Vancouver include Breakfast Table
(try the salmon benedict or challah French toast), Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
, or if you really want to do breakfast right, head to Chambar
for DIY mimosas, ratatouille, or paella made with fried eggs and chorizo sausage.
Explore the nightlife
If you’re the type who comes alive as the sun goes down, you’re in luck as the city has plenty of nightlife options! Things to do in Vancouver after dark include hitting the Granville Entertainment District for nightclubs like Studio Lounge & Nightclub
and The Roxy Cabaret
as well as numerous bars and restaurants, Guilt & Co.
for folk bands, DJs, and a happy hour that lasts until 7 pm, or Fortune Sound Club
, a venue in Chinatown that has a packed menu of DJs and bands.
Want to explore Vancouver after hours in a more laid-back fashion? Check out one of the city’s many speakeasies. Cantina 189
is hidden away on Hastings Street West and innovative craft cocktails as well as a rotating menu of small bites, The Stock Room
is a small venue with tropical vibes tucked behind downtown’s Hundy Burger, and Key Party
exudes 60s and 70s vibes in a dimly lit, cozy spot.
If you’re in the city to consider a home purchase, if you’re already a lucky resident, or if you’re just visiting, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Vancouver
. Want to make this your home and haven’t yet found an agent to help you? Reach out to the experienced local real estate experts at The Ali Group
to learn more about the market and to see what’s available. Search homes for sale in Vancouver here