On Wheels: Sightseeing in Vancouver Without Walking

On board the Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour

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 Cruise around Vancouver

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.

Whistler Mountaineer over Howe Sound

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.

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7 Responses to On Wheels: Sightseeing in Vancouver Without Walking

  1. Thank you for this post! I plan to move to Vancouver soon and my mother is a permanent wheelchair user, so this is very helpful for when she visits.

    We read through the page on Accessible Vancouver last night and we were very impressed.

    Aoife x

    • Aoife,

      Glad to hear you found it useful! When your mom arrives, come back and let us know if you find any other great activities!

  2. Teri

    Dana,

    The Stanley Park Trolley is no longer FREE =>

    $10 for adults

    • Teri,

      Thanks for correcting me! I fixed it in the post….

  3. Aoife, large sections of the Seaside path are quite wheelchair accessible, wide and friendly. I live at the foot of this path. There are curb cuts that are generous from parallel roads and crosswalks in the path sections particularily:

    North False Creek segment all the way out past the Science World and through the new Olympic Village.
    See last photo in this link which is the North False Creek section:

    http://insidevancouver.ca/2010/08/05/vancouver-self-guided-walking-and-cycling-routes-with-nature-architecture-history-and-art/ Cafes across the street from the pedestrian-bike path.

    Just this section alone would be a wonderful fresh air experience with great waterfront, skyline and mountain views. About 10 kms. (out of a 30 kms. Seaside/Seawall route) Of course, you could go further to Granville Market if you are accompanying on a bike.

    Your mother (if she has an electric wheelchair) or manual wheelchair accompanied by yourself, etc., do not need to use tight-turning ramps at all.

    In Stanley Park on the Seawall path and at certain path intersections in Coal Harbour it can get busy during middle of day in warm weather.

    But once, you become familiar with the ebb and flow of path traffic, you’ll find good times to enjoy the waterfront with your mother.

  4. Sarah

    Hello from Trolley, thank you for including us Dana.

    A quick note to revise, unfortunately the Trolley’s are not wheelchair accessible with lift. We do welcome guests with wheelchairs however advise that the wheelchair must fold up to store and there are 3 – 4 steps for the guest to board the Trolley.

  5. It was a helpful experience for me to go through your webpage. It definitely stretches the limits with the mind when you learn very good information and make an effort to interpret it properly. I am going to browse this web site oftentimes on my PC. Thanks for sharing

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