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Guide to Vancouver Outdoors

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Endless hiking trails, bike paths and walking routes make Vancouver the perfect outdoor playground for adventure seekers. Whether it be hiking up Grouse Mountain or cycling around the picturesque seawall, there is plenty to do and see. As an outdoors enthusiast who grew up in Vancouver, below are my recommendations for you to experience the best of the great outdoors.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

5 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Stanley Park

Parks

English Bay Beach

Beaches

Kitsilano Beach

Beaches

False Creek

Bodies of Water

The Grouse Grind

Hiking Trails

Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Parks

Mount Seymour Provincial Park

State Parks

Lynn Canyon Park

Bridges, Parks, State Parks

Queen Elizabeth Park

Gardens, Parks

Granville Island

Islands, Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Susan S's City Tips

  • Vancouver buses only take exact change. If you plan on taking the bus in Vancouver, ensure you always have Canadian coins on you. Single fares are valid for travel within Vancouver for 90 minutes. For trips to the suburbs from Vancouver, there are different fares for traveling across two and three zones.
  • Always pack a small umbrella as Vancouver is known for unexpected rain. If a sudden downpour happens while you are out, you can easily purchase an umbrella at a nearby convenience store.
  • If it is your first time in Vancouver, I highly recommend cycling around the seawall, which is a 22 km path that lines Vancouver's breathtaking waterfront. You can easily rent a bike for the day at one of the shops along Denman Street near Stanley Park.
  • A tip of at least 15% is recommend for restaurants and bars. You are also encouraged to tip for taxi rides.
  • Wear sunscreen. Vancouver's cloudy skies can fool you, so always pack a small bottle of sunscreen to carry with you and protect your skin.
  • Save
    Stanley Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Stanley Park is a must-see for visitors of all ages, being one of Vancouver's largest and most popular attractions. With so many activities on offer, ranging from beautiful west coast beaches to Canada's largest aquarium, plan to spend at least 3 hours here.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • An easy way to get around the park is to rent a bike for a few hours from one of the bike shops along Denman Street. Don't forget to wear your helmet!
    • The best time to visit the park is during the summer. (If you happen to be visiting Vancouver during the fall, winter or spring, be sure to wear a rain jacket and pack a small umbrella.)
    • The park is easy to get to by bus. The #19 Stanley Park bus will take you directly there. If you are already in downtown, you can also take the #5 or #6 bus, which will take you to the entrance of the park on Denman and Davie.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Central Park of Vancover 22/08/2017
    • We loved Stanley Park! 22/08/2017
    • Stanley Park
    Phone:
    +1 604-681-5115
    Other:
  • Save
    English Bay Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    English Bay is easy to get to and conveniently located in the West End. Whether it be a light stroll or a game of beach volleyball, English Bay is a great place to relax and unwind. The beach is also conveniently located near restaurants and bars along Denman and Davie Street.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be sure to catch the Celebration of Lights Festival if you happen to be in Vancouver on the last week of July or early August. This festival is a must-see international fireworks competition, and is one of Vancouver's largest public events.
    • Watch or participate in the Polar Bear Swim. This is an annual event on January 1st, where participants plunge into the freezing water in celebration of the new year.
    • The beach is easily accessible by bus. If you are already downtown, take the #5 or #6 bus to the Denman and Davie entrance, or you can easily walk to the beach from the center of downtown.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Beach 19/08/2017
    • A Must Do 19/08/2017
    • English Bay Beach
    Address:
    1795 Beach Ave
    West End
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 1Y9
    Canada
  • Save
    Kitsilano Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Kits Beach is a favorite for beach goers, and if you love water sports, this is also the place to go. Get active with a day of windsurfing, skimboarding or stand-up paddleboarding. You can also rent a bike or a pair of rollerblades, and coast along the seawall through Kits Beach. After a long day of outdoor activities, treat yourself to food and drinks along Cornwall Avenue, which is home to many local restaurants and bars.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Kits Beach is easy to get to by bus. Take the #4 bus down to Cornwall Street.
    • The beach is conveniently located near West 4th Avenue. After a nice day at the beach, top it off with some shopping along this street, which is home to many clothing stores and boutiques.
    • As parking can be difficult to find during the summer, I advise taking the bus, or biking down to the beach.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great paddle board and kayak with VWA 21/08/2017
    • Very cool place to visit 16/08/2017
    • Kitsilano Beach
    Address:
    Cornwall Ave
    North End of Yew St
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Canada
    Other:
  • Save
    False Creek
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Enjoy Vancouver's pristine and calm waters by kayaking or canoeing along False Creek. This is the perfect way to explore the spectacular outdoors at your own pace. Start your kayaking or canoeing trip at Granville Island, and make your way through Science World to English Bay.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be sure to make reservations if you plan to kayak or canoe during the summer. Weekends tend to be especially busy.
    • The best time to go is May through September when temperatures are warmer. Try to still wear waterproof clothing however, as Vancouver is known for its rain and unexpected downpours.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great for paddle boarding with Vancouver Waterfront Adventures 21/08/2017
    • Amazing Inner Passage 18/08/2017
    • False Creek
    Other:
  • Save
    The Grouse Grind
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    The 2.9-kilometer (1.8 mile) Grouse Grind trail is one of the most popular mountain hikes for locals and visitors alike. Depending on your pace, the hike can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours, and once you get to the top, you will enjoy a beautiful view of Vancouver.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Pack a bottle of water and light snacks, such as nuts and dried fruits. Be sure to also wear hiking shoes as the trail can be slightly slippery when it rains.
    • Weekends during the summer tend to be the busiest time for the Grind. Try to go early in the morning as it starts to get busy during the afternoon.
    • The hike starts off easy but quickly becomes challenging after the first quarter mark.
    • Very few people finish the hike in 45 minutes so don't be disappointed if you take more than an hour. Take your time and enjoy the hike!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 65 things to do in North Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • More difficult than we thought, but worth it at the top and can enjoy the attractions for free! 22/08/2017
    • Crossed it out of Bucket List 22/08/2017
    • The Grouse Grind
    Address:
    6400 Nancy Greene Way
    North Vancouver, British Columbia V7R 4K9
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-984-0661
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Pacific Spirit Regional Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a must-see for all nature lovers. Covering over 750 hectares (3 sq mi), the park is located on the west-side of Vancouver and is known for its beautiful hiking trails. Whether it be walking, jogging or biking, there are many scenic trails to choose from.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • As some trails travel deep into the park, it is best to pack a bottle of water and snacks to energize yourself throughout your hike or stroll.
    • The park is a favorite for dog owners. Bring yours along with you to enjoy the trails.
    • Bring someone with you. The park is generally safe but it is always best not to hike alone in case of an emergency.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Serenity Now! 22/08/2017
    • Beautiful trails in a large forested park 05/08/2017
    • Pacific Spirit Regional Park
    Address:
    4915 W. 16th Ave.
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 2C9
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-224-5739
    Other:
  • Save
    Mount Seymour Provincial Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Mount Seymour Provincial Park is home to many beautiful and scenic trails. For those who enjoy light trails, plan a 2-kilometer (1.2 mile) hike around Mystery Lake or Goldie Lake; while those who enjoy a challenge (and have extra time in Vancouver) could try Mount Elsay — a 16-kilometer (10 mile) round-trip, only recommended for very experienced hikers.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The best way to get to Mount Seymour is by car. It is an estimated 30 minute drive from Downtown Vancouver.
    • A great way to unwind after a hike is to enjoy a picnic in the park with your family, friends or loved one. Pack plenty of fruits, vegetables, and bottled water in your day bag.
    • If you plan to go into the backcountry, be careful as coyotes, black bears and bobcats have occasionally been spotted. They should never be approached or offered food.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 65 things to do in North Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Simply amazing 02/08/2017
    • Quick visit in the winter 22/07/2017
    • Mount Seymour Provincial Park
    Address:
    Mount Seymour Road
    North Vancouver, British Columbia V7G 1L3
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-986-2261
    Other:
  • Save
    Lynn Canyon Park
    Bridges, Parks, State Parks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Lynn Canyon Park offers many beautiful trails for hikers of all levels. Plan a hike around the Baden Powell Trail, which covers the North Shore Region and goes through Lynn Canyon Park. For those looking for a light stroll along the river, Lynn Headwaters is perfect for you. Don't forget to visit Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge while you are there too.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Another easy way to get to Lynn Canyon Park is by car. It is a 20-30 minute drive over the bridge from Downtown Vancouver.
    • The park is easily accessible by bus. Take the SeaBus from Downtown Vancouver, and then take the #229 bus from Lonsdale Quay.
    • For those traveling with kids, head to the Lynn Canyon Ecology Center. This family-friendly place will keep your young ones entertained with interactive exhibits on animals, plants, and coastal temperate rainforests.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 65 things to do in North Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nature break 22/08/2017
    • Great experience and it is Free 22/08/2017
    • Lynn Canyon Park
    Address:
    993 Peters Road
    North Vancouver, British Columbia V7J 1Y6
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-981-3103
    Other:
  • Save
    Queen Elizabeth Park
    Gardens, Parks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Queen Elizabeth Park is known for its beautiful gardens and views of the North Shore mountains, making it the perfect place for a light afternoon stroll. The park is also home to the Bloedel Conservatory, which features many exotic birds and plants. If you have extra time, have a go at pitch and putt, tennis and lawn bowling during your visit.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The park is conveniently located near Main Street, which is filled with many independent coffee shops and artisan shops.
    • Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit the park. The beautiful cherry blossoms are definitely a must-see if you happen to visit the city during the spring.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A quiet place in busy city 18/08/2017
    • An Elevated Park to see Vancouver 18/08/2017
    • Queen Elizabeth Park
    Address:
    4600 Cambie St
    Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 2M4
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-873-7000
    Other:
  • Save
    Granville Island
    Islands, Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Susan S Says:

    Granville Island is one of Vancouver's most popular tourist attractions. This is a great place for a light stroll after a long bike ride or kayaking trip along False Creek. Enjoy a nice walk and explore its artisan shops, public market, and street performances.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Parking can be hard to find during the summer and weekends. If you are coming from downtown, the easiest and fastest way to get to Granville Island is by the False Creek Ferry. The ferry leaves every few minutes from the Aquatic Center.
    • Restaurants tend to be a bit more expensive here as it is a tourist attraction. If you are on a budget, head along Broadway or West 4th Avenue for more reasonably-priced meals.
    • If you are looking for evening entertainment but don't want to head downtown, check out the improv show or live music offerings on Granville Island.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 356 things to do in Vancouver
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place to visit and shop 22/08/2017
    • Fab 22/08/2017
    • Granville Island
    Address:
    1661 Duranleau Street
    (Underneath the Granville Street Bridge)
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3S3
    Canada
    Phone:
    +1 604-666-6655
    Other:
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