Welcome to the final post of our Vancouver series! Now that we’ve given Vancouver the run around and explored some of the city’s best eats and drinks, it’s time for the ultimate list of things to do in Canada’s playground! Here are my top ten favourite things while touring Vancouver:
1. Picnic at Granville Market
On a sunny day in Vancouver, nothing beats a visit to Granville Island. On the island itself you’ll find many an artisan gift shop or quaint boutique but the highlight is Granville Island Public Market, offering fresh produce, gourmet cheeses, hot coffee, bread straight from the oven and treats to tantalize even the most skeptic of taste buds (it even makes my list of the best eats in Van city). Grab your favourite snack and head outside where, if you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded by a wandering minstrel or street performer. Sit back, relax, and watch the world, and the boats, go by.
2. Walk (or run) the waterfront
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m a huge supporter of exploring a city on foot. Whether you’re running or walking, taking a tour of the city at your own pace will lead you to discover the ins and outs and the many secrets a city has to offer. In Vancouver, there’s only problem: where to start? I suggest grabbing a coffee at one of the many Starbucks (be one with the natives) and do the loop around False Creek from Granville Bridge to Science World and back – it’s the perfect tour for a morning or afternoon walkabout!
Here are some of the stunning sights you’ll see as you tour the creek, at any time of day!
3. Tour Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a landmark in Vancouver. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, it draws everyone from bird watchers to runners, bikers, hikers, chattering friends and strolling lovers, walking hand in hand under the shadows of ancient cedar, hemlock, and fir trees. A stroll in this park means breathing in the fresh air of the Canadian outdoors at it’s very best.
4. Enjoy some delicious sushi
Yes, I know, Vancouver is Canadian and when in Vancouver, one should enjoy typically Canadian fare. Well, after you’ve discovered the best of Canadian food including the beavertail and poutine, our unofficial national dish, you’ll have to be willing to enjoy pseudo Canadian foods which basically means they aren’t Canadian at all – but Canadians eat them, and love them.
Sushi is famous in Vancouver for being the absolute FRESHEST in Canada, and, it’s way more affordable than other meals in the city especially if you’re digging the all-you-can-eat.The Vancouver Sun provides a list of the top 27 Sushi Restaurant in Vancouver! Grab your chopsticks and take your pick.
5. Explore Historic Gastown
Located near Canada Place, Gastown is a hip part of town that is perfect for getting your drink on, or simply swinging by for an afternoon stroll. Walk by the water, discover cute souvenir shops and stop for a bite to eat at the Steamworks Brew Pub for some delicious grub like pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries.
6. Take a day trip to Whistler Blackcomb
Do you love skiing? Or not? Either way, a day trip to Whistler is a great way to escape the city and enjoy some breath-taking sights thousands of feet above ground. The area consists of two mountain – Whistler and Blackbomb – which stand side-by-side and offer a combined 200 runs, meaning there’s something for every skier, no matter your level of expertise. Ski lovers will want to stay the night and hit the slopes while lovers of incredible views can take the gondola up up and over the peaks. Enjoy a hot chocolate at the chalet and make your way back down for a bite to eat in Whistler village, where there’s always something going on. If you’re visiting during the summer months, you can enjoy hiking, biking and sightseeing at the top of the mountain where you can nab a couple panoramic photos of the Canadian rockies.
7. Whale Watching
Between April and October, visitors to Vancouver can head into the open water and try their luck at Whale Watching! While most set out to see some impressive spotting Killer Whales (Orcas), chances are good you’ll run into porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, and seals as well.
photo credit: toryjk
8. Shop Robson Street
Robson Street is the place to shop in Vancouver. From high-end hair salons and sushi stops to staple retailers like Gap, Banana Republic, Zara, Aldo, Lululemon (a must visit when in Vancouver) and so much more. Save your spending for a day strolling on Robson Street and then let loose, and have some fun!
9. Take a water taxi and spot a seal!
It took three visits to the city until I finally spotted the famous seals that are scattered throughout the Vancouver waterfront, and I saw one… in a water taxi! Water taxis in Vancouver are a great way to get around and stop at many a popular attraction! Companies like Auquabus shuffle tourists between Horby Street, Granville Island, David Lam Park, Stamps Landing, Spyglass Place, Yaletown, Plaza of Nations, and the Village. Hop aboard – the fare hovers between $3.35 to $5.50 and is well worth the experience!
10. Attempt the Grouse Grind: Have you got what it takes?
Want to get your blood flowing during your holiday? Take a day and attempt the Grouse Grind, a 2.9 km trek up the face of Grouse Mountain, known to many as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. For a killer view, grab some friends and be one of 100,000 people a year who summit this 3,700 feet mountain, one step at a time (and there are 2,830 of them). It only takes about an hour and a half to do the grind, but bring some supplies to re-charge once you get to the top – you want to have enough energy to really appreciate what you just did, and enjoy the view.
Did we miss your favourite thing to do in Vancouver? Leave it below!