When my father-in-law visits Vancouver, we have to be mindful about where we do our sightseeing: He simply can’t walk well. That means a lot of the traditional “things to do in Vancouver” are off-limits: no biking the seawall or walking into the low tide on Spanish Banks or hiking the famous Grouse Grind.
But you don’t have to walk to have fun and see the best of Vancouver. These are some of my favourite options for touring Vancouver for people with mobility issues or wheelchairs (or who just don’t want to walk).
Driving: If you can drive, Vancouver and it’s neighbouring environs boast some of the best roads for sightseeing by car. You can drive all around the perimeter of Stanley Park—stopping at whatever viewpoints or attractions you like—or drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Trolley Tours: Stanley Park offers a wheelchair-accessible trolley ride that stops at 7 of the Park’s major attractions (you can hop on and off); call 604.801.5515 for info. There are several trolley companies offering tours of downtown Vancouver: Vancouver Trolley Company goes all over Stanley Park, Yaletown and Chinatown.
Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours are wheelchair-accessible, too.
Harbour Cruises: A favourite among the seniors I know—as well as anyone else who loves being on the water while enjoying stunning city views (who doesn’t?)—Harbour Cruises and Events lets you tour Vancouver’s inner harbour in comfort and style.
Trains: If you don’t have a car, you can still see the breathtaking Sea to Sky vistas—plus other sights you just can’t see on the road—on the way to Whistler via the adorable, historic and fun Whistler Mountaineer. Or, take a mini-trip south of the border on the Amtrak train to Seattle and enjoy beautiful coastal views.
Have more options for sightseeing in Vancouver for people with mobility issues and wheelchairs? Please share your experiences below!
For more information on traveling in Vancouver with a disability, check out Accessible Vancouver.