125 Favourite things to do in Vancouver

Aquabus on the water

Vancouver’s 125th anniversary and year as Cultural Capital of Canada will be celebrated throughout 2011 with Vancouver 125: a year-long program of anniversary initiatives and events.

We are compiling a list of 125 favourite things to do in Vancouver, and we need your help.

Post a comment below, listing some of your favourite activities or places to go in Vancouver. We will be taking all your great suggestions and sharing them with our visitors.

Congratulations to Alison for winning the gift certificate! Check your email for prize details


Comments are closed for this post

148 Responses to 125 Favourite things to do in Vancouver

  1. Michelle Nguyen

    Grouse Grind on Grouse Mountain !

    • chris

      Walk along the pier in white rock, bc

    • Claire

      January-Vancouver dineout program
      Febuary -Chinese new year celebration and lantern festivals

      March/April-Indian vaisakhi parade in Vancouver and surrey

      May-night markets begins at china town and Richmond

      June-Greek festival, Japanese festival at Powell st.

      July-salmon festival in steveston, carribean festival at lansdale, shakesper play at the beach
      Aug-gay parade

  2. margaret mccormack

    Visit granville Island, it has it all, food, art, entertainment! v

  3. Kelly

    Walk across the Burrard Bridge on a sunny day.

  4. stacey dempsey

    i love to walk along the sea wall at stanely park

  5. Brenda

    Eating at all the amazing restaurant hotspots!

  6. Richard

    Have a walk in Steveston Village and enjoy ice-cream during the summer.

  7. RemarksWalking the seawall around Stanley Park, exploring Steveston, restaurants and people watching on Commercial Drive!

  8. Hayley

    Going to the Vancouver Police Museum, kite flying in Kits, walking the seawall, going for cake at True Confections <3

  9. Danielle Scott

    Shopping on Robson Street, visiting Grouse Mountain, Granville island; entertainment is great there!

  10. linda

    spend the day at granville island, walk through the market and then have lunch by the docks!

  11. Andrew

    basking in the sun at sunset beach!

  12. Andi

    Mountain biking on world-renowned trails in & surrounding Vancouver!

  13. Yoga at Vanier Park; rollerblading on the seawall; clubbing in Vancouver’s awesome entertainment district; frisbee at Locarno Beach & shopping!!! :)

  14. Heidi

    I love to poke around Granville Island munching on island treats and coffee . . .

  15. While in Vancouver, there is nothing more enjoyable than engaging in the breakfast buffet atop the revolving restaurant at the Empire Landmark Hotel. One gets the most splendid and magnificent views of the city, the mountains, Coal Harbour, and English Bay while enjoying some french toast, scrambled eggs, and some coffee (among several other dishes). Vancouver is an *incredible* city. Can’t wait to return again and again and again and again!

  16. James

    Crab Park, the downtown secret.

  17. Jocelyn

    Early evening bbq picnic on Third Beach, away from the much busier meat market of English Bay, the kids of 2nd beach, to the secret of Third Beach with a secret stash of your own: wine or “fun” pre-mixed drinks disguised in red plastic cups. Doesn’t get better.

  18. Sip Wine at a Yaletown Patio!

  19. Julia

    Whistler, baby, Whistler!

  20. Dorothy

    My favorite place in Vancouver has to be the Vancouver Aquarium.

  21. Jill

    We feel in love with Vancouver 10 years ago and the community during the Sun Run–everyone at the race was so friendly and encouraging. It was our first 10k walk and we considered dropping out at the 5k mark but were motivated by the crowds and great bands. My husband got to take the baton of the RCMP band for a few short moment that was a real thrill. Sorry we missed it last year (that Olympic thing) but we will be back.

  22. jennifer

    I love walking through stanley park when the cherry blossoms are in bloom!

  23. Nat Daniels

    Watching the fishers and crabbers do their stuff at Jericho Beach.

  24. Anthony

    ride my bike through stanley park/along the sea wall
    go for a walk along spanish banks
    people watch on granville st downtown!

  25. Irene

    My little boy would say the Vancouver Aquarium is his favourite place in Vancouver!

    We also love exploring Jericho Beach at low tide, eating & playing at Granville Island, and strolling around Steveston with some frozen yogourt in hand.

  26. debbie

    take the seabus over to Lonsdale Quay for lunch!

  27. Joe

    Stanley Park, the Aquarium, and Ice cream cones at Prospect Point – a perfect Vancouver afternoon.

  28. Angie

    Taking the foot ferries to stop, shop and eat along the way: Granville Island, Hornby Street, Stamps Landing, Yaletown.

  29. Harold

    Hiking in the northshore mountain trails.

  30. Joyce Lo

    Visit Deep Cove in North Vancouver. Go kayaking around the cove, relax on the beach, take a hike on the Baden Powell, have a picnic lunch, or stop by Honey’s Cafe for a lunch and their famous donuts. End the evening by dining at the Arm’s Reach Bistro as the sun is setting.

  31. Janice

    Explore the fabulous waterfront seawalls either on foot or by bicycle. Stop along the way and treat yourself to a picnic by the water. (Please don’t feed the wildlife.)

  32. Janice

    Explore the Museum of Anthropology at UBC either before or after wandering through the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. If the weather is warm enough, join the naturalist sunbathers at Wreck Beach.

  33. Paul

    Hot Day Fish and Chips at PAJO’S in Steveston then Ice Cream down the dock

  34. Catherine

    Rent a Kayak at Granville Island and paddle out to Wreck Beach. Stop at one of the beaches for a Fish and Chips lunch.

  35. Nancy

    Exploring the different neighbourhoods that make up Vancouver: Steveston, Commercial Drive, Yaletown, Gastown, Robson Street, South Granville, White Rock.

  36. Christian

    I love taking my dog for a walk along the sea wall to Granville Island. Then from there walking up to Broadway and browsing all the shops on the way home.

  37. Eva

    I love walking around Commercial Drive and Main Street, taking in the atmosphere, the shopping, and the food. Maybe a midnight movie at the Rio theater. Also love English bay in the summer, going for lunch in the shade somewhere and then strolling the beach as the sun sets :)

  38. Sarah Reynolds

    Love Granville Island and all the hidden gems I find in each visit. Strolling along near the ocean makes me feel like I am a million miles away.

  39. Pauline

    Going to the Vancouver Auto Show and also seeing the Cherry blossoms in March/April at Stanley Park and through out Vancouver. Getting the best Beef and Pork Jerky at Frasier and 26th in Vancouver.

  40. Joy

    Richmond Steveton having fish and chips …

  41. Lilian

    Dinner at granville island and then catch the improv show with Vancouver theatre sports!

  42. Denise

    Going to the Vancouver Aquarium and walking on the sea wall

  43. Juliana

    The best thing to do in Vancouver, for me, is to walk around listening to your favorite tunes, watching the mountains kiss the ocean, take a notebook and write away your thoughts, bring a book and be thankful for the wonderful city we live in!

  44. S. kang

    Rollerblading around Stanley park :)

  45. Skim Boarding at Spanish Banks and Wreck Beach in the summer time!

    Walking along Robson and Denman stopping for lunch
    on the way to relax at English Bay.

  46. Drive through Kitsilano, take pictures of the beautiful cherry blossoms, go for a walk at Spanish Banks. Drive to the West End on Georgia and rent a bike to enjoy the sites of Stanley Park. Have a coffee on Denman at one of the many small venues that are great for people watching. Pick up your car and drive to English Bay and go the Sylvia Hotel and have a much earned drink and enjoy the breathtaking view of English Bay and all the other people enjoying the same. Finally to end a lovely day catch a cab to our favourite restaurant The downtown Keg where you can unwind and have a dinner that goes beyond expectation. Service is phenomenal.

  47. luis

    visit deep cove great place and only a few minutes from downtown vancover,you`ll be surprised!

  48. Sarah B

    Take my dog for a walk in Vanier Park and watch the boats, and then go for brunch in Kits or at Granville Island. Or go snowshoeing at Cypress.

  49. luis

    Bowen Island!!departing from horse shoe bay take the ferry like 30min ride and you`ll see what Im talking about,georgeous landscapes and a beautiful island with an awesom lake….

  50. Michelle

    Walk and shop in Gastown, stop for a cocktail and a bite to eat at the Steamworks pub and then continue walking all the way along the waterfront till you get to Cardero’s where you can sit on the patio or inside by the window to rest up and quench your thirst.

  51. Arty

    A walk through the Nitobe Garden on a nice sunny day and the nearby Chan Centre rose garden

  52. Josie

    Eating in all the amazing and diverse restaurants.

  53. Ana

    Canoli, a cup of coffee and the sea at the Granville Island Public Market. A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon with an Italian dessert.

  54. Tracey

    The annual Playhouse International Festival of Tastings is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Vancouver!

  55. Ming

    I love sitting on the pier at Granville Island, watching buskers, while eating a warm bowl of soup from “The Stockmarket”.

  56. Stanley Park, walking the Sea Wall.

  57. Liam

    Walk through the Granville island market!

  58. eileen

    There is no shortage of things to do around Vancouver. During the winter season, it’s bright nights train ride at Stanley Park and dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory for a great night out, or even an amazing array of light displays at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens for the annual Festival of Lights. During the warmer days, it’s walks along the beautiful beaches and parks such as kits or Coal Harbor for a picnic!

  59. jennifer

    i love to spend the day at the aquarium!

  60. Alice C

    Enjoy fresh sashimi and sushi at Shiro
    Taking my baby to the aquarium

  61. maricle

    definitely bike riding at sea wall in Stanley Park during summer time!!

  62. Watching the dogs play at the dog beach in Kits.

  63. Emma

    Before moving to Vancouver we were told how you could ski in the morning and spend the afternoon on the water. And how true! Seymour Mountain skiing and Deep Cove kayaking have got to be an awesome twosome of activities for a day of adventure and if there’s still time and energy afterwards, head down to the beach in English Bay to soak up the atmosphere as the sun goes down.

  64. Katherine

    Walk along any seawall and enjoy the spectacular natural beauty and the cultural diversity…

  65. Gen

    Running around Burnaby lake, relaxing @ buntzen lake, sunsets at Spanish banks & fireworks at English Bay!!!

  66. Jane Putri

    I love eating different kinds of food at different restaurants. I think Vancouver is one of the best foodie destinations! Another favorite thing to do is going to festivals (e.g. cherry blossom, eat! vancouver, canada day, playhouse wine, etc.).

  67. Chris

    Swim at Kits Pool in the summer

  68. Shiela

    Going to Whistler for sightseeing and skiing!

  69. Celine

    On a nice sunny day, spending the afternoon in Granville Island for lunch and walking around the Stanley Park seawall afterwards.

  70. Serena

    Start at Trout Lake and check out the Farmers Market. Walk around the lake a few times and watch the dogs and people. Then walk up Commercial Drive. Stop at Continental Coffee and get the best latte in the city. Continue walking on Commercial, watching more people and stopping for lunch at Marcello to get the best pizza in the city. Continue walking and stop in at Santa Barbara market to check out the amazing deli and pick up some cheeses and deli meats. Pick up delicious produce and bread and stop for wine and head home after an awesome day on the Drive.

  71. Col

    If it’s summer, what’s nicer than visiting the public market on Granville Island? Pick out some fresh bread, cheeses, fruit and make a little picnic outside.

  72. Lindsay

    Vancouver is such a beautiful city, and I am lucky to call it home. My favourite things, of all time, in Vancouver are: walking the Seawall on a nice summer day, strolling around Granville Island – paying a visit to the market and “The Lobster Man,” and hiking in Whistler/Blackcomb.

  73. A few of my favourite things:
    Riding my bike or walking along the Seawall
    Picnics at the beach (Kits, Jericho, etc.)
    Wandering along Main Street with a coffee in hand
    Taking the Seabus across to North Van and exploring Lonsdale
    Weekend brunches at some of my favourite places (Paul’s Place, 9th Avenue Grill, Caffe Barney…)

  74. Erica

    Talking to local jewelers at the Market in Granville Island and learning about the story behind their piece of art.

  75. Kim

    Going on my coffee break in Gastown and surprising visitors with maps by asking them if they need help. The thank you’s and smiles are my favourite things.

  76. Mae

    There’s so many! Here’s a few of my fav things to do:
    – rollerblade around the seawall
    – ski the local hills
    – patio dining in the summer
    – have a coffee & people watch in gloomy weather

  77. Elisabetta

    Taste all the varieties of food Vancouver offers.

    Walk along the seawall in Stanley Park.

    Enjoy the view from Grouse Mountain.

  78. Michelle

    My favourite activities is hiking Grouse Mountain, walking around Stanley Park and Seawall.

    My favourite places is English Bay, Langley, Queen Elizabeth Park, Lighthouse Park, Canada Place, Burnaby library, White Rock, Deep Cove, Lynn Canyon Park, Stevestone.

  79. Steph

    I love hiking up Hollyburn Mountain at Mount Cypress. Great in the summer and winter and amazing views!

  80. Bons

    I love going to Granville Island…visiting the shops, each unique in their own way…going to the Granville Island Market for food/groceries…feeding the birds that gather there…enjoying the beautiful scenery by the waters on a sunny day.

  81. pat

    I love to walk on the West Vancouver Seawalk. Yesterday, I saw 2 young eagles dodging the gulls, spring flowers in bloom, seals frolicking, a seagull dropping a starfish on the walkway, and a beautiful sunset.

  82. Alivia

    Visit the Nitobe Memorial Japanese Garden at UBC, especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom!

  83. Cherie N

    My favorite thing to do in Vancouver spending it by a log at English bay and watching the sunset.

  84. Michelle K.

    VanDusen Gardens in the Spring time and my daughter loves going to see all the animals at Maple Wood Farms in North Vancouver.

  85. Shakespeare in the Park – Bard on the Beach never fails to impress each and every year.

  86. Hasan

    Walking through Stanley Park, with some relaxing music!

  87. Spending a sunny afternoon at Ambleside Park.

  88. Roy Parkinson

    Granville Island a must via aqua bus / the seawall and the aquarium a gotta due ! Vancouver is world class AWESOME !!!

    • Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote ifonrmtaive articles.

  89. Summertime people watching from a patio, restaurant or otherwise, with a tall glass of beer!

  90. stacey dempsey

    the huge fireworks festival at english bay

  91. Sherri

    Rent a cruiser in Yaletown and go cycling around False Creek!

  92. Kim Pike

    Grab some take out Fish N Chips in White Rock. Stroll the sandy beach in your barefeet and take in the scenery. Beautiful!!

  93. Dine-out Vancouver :D Handsdown.

  94. Riding the aquabus to Granville Island on a sunny summer day. Or just having a morning coffee and sitting on a bench at English Bay.

  95. Lynn

    Walking around Lost Lagoon and feeding all the birds. Sitting on a bench around dusk and keeping an eye out for the skunk families!! Very, very, very quietly! LOL!

  96. Christine

    Anything outdoors – hiking, biking, kayaking, running, beach volleyball and swimming to name a few. Vancouver has to many amazing outdoor spaces!

  97. Jason

    – hike the grouse grind
    – hike the stawamus chief
    – farmers markets throughout vancouver
    – pumpkin patch before halloween
    – beach volleyball at kitts and spanish banks
    – jog/run/bike/blade the seawall
    – jog/run/bike/blade seymour demonstration forest
    – enjoy the patio at Bridges Restaurant
    – walk through vandusen gardens
    – walk around Queen Elizabeth Park
    – Taking the aquabus downtown
    – Eating freshly steamed buns in Chinatown
    – Salmon Festival at Steveston Village
    – Nibble and Bites in Richmond
    – Eat Vancouver
    – Vancouver Aquarium

  98. Marli

    Either a Granville Island/Stanley Park day, Main street shopping day, or hopefully soon a Wreck Beach Day!

  99. Viv

    Zip line on Grouse Mountain.

  100. Sandy

    Bike along the seawall

  101. Caryn

    Eating a chocolate Almond croissant while watching the seagulls and listening to jazz at Granville Island during the Jazz Festival.

  102. Louise

    I love a wander through Gastown for shopping, dining and drinks at the many fabulous bars and pubs.

  103. Tasha

    visit the berry farms and vineyards out in langley. Free wine tasting an tours an cheap bottles of bcs best. Or visit the brewery’s and do beer sampling. Granville island brewery…yaletown brewery…Howe sound brewery etc…Make sure to bring a designated driver!

  104. Andrew

    I like strolling to Richmond’s Steveston Harbour on a nice day, and getting the ice cream/fish-and-chips there.

  105. Tasha

    Try something new: stand up paddling! Cheap rentals in deep cove or Jericho beach. Easy for most age groups and fitness levels. A great workout or a relaxing coast. I did it last year… Great views, saw lots of wildlife – saw baby seals napping on logs, eagles, stellar jays, jellyfish. Awesome!

  106. double features and saturday matinees at the Hollywood Theatre on West Broadway in Kits. Great popcorn and family prices.

  107. Doris

    Grab coffee and walk along the seawall in Ambleside, West Vancouver. It’s a refreshing change to look towards the glittering buildings in downtown Vancouver.

  108. Julie

    Skating at Robson Square

  109. Dianna

    Snowboarding on Cypress :)

  110. Jer

    Walk the seawall, go for dim sum in China Town, have dinner at Granville Island!

  111. Jane

    Shopping during sale seasons and boxing day. Some stuff become really cheap when they’re on sale. I love hunting those.. =D

  112. Ursula

    Science World, La Casa Gelato, Boundary Bay beach and exploring the dozens of local playgrounds with my kids.

  113. Ewen

    A shout out for the Classical Chinese Garden, particularly for a summer evening concert like Siddartha, if they do that again.

  114. Mike

    fly over the snow capped peaks of the north shore.

  115. Go to Richmond and check out these 3 sites:
    The Olympic Oval
    Steveston village (fish and chips)
    Minoru Park (take an ice cream and enjoy a stroll)

  116. Tour the International Buddhist Temple in Richmond.

  117. Karla

    Dancing in the streets of Gastown @ Jazz Fest!
    Granville Island early in the morning B4 the crowds!
    Walking/Riding Bike along the Seawall!
    Eat Vancouver Festival…Yummm!
    Taking in the lights of Granville Street late @ night!
    Wreck Beach on a warm sunny summer day!
    Late night pizza on Commercial Drive!
    Walking around downtown after a Canucks Win!
    A hike through Lynn Canyon!
    Picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park!
    Fireworks in English Bay!
    Winter Farmers Market…So good!
    Watching the sunset at Kits Beach!
    Taking the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay!
    Fish n Chips on the dock in Steveston!
    Shopping @ Metrotown or on Robson Street!

  118. donna

    bike the city, into the city, out of the city, on bike routes, during the day, to work, at night, in the rain, over the bridges.

    northshore mountains.

    going to Kid\’s Books!

  119. Amy

    Whale-watching out of Steveson on a sunny day, cycling along the seawall before the crowds arrive, farmers market in the summer, food-crawling my way around the city, attending any number of fantastic events, such as Pecha Kucha, Raincity Chronicles or Alfresco. Too many things to chose from! Love my city!

  120. Watch the glassblowers at Robert Held Art Glass create beautiful pieces and check the gallery for finished products.

  121. Katie

    Hiking up to Quarry Rocks in Deep Cove and then treating yourself to a Honey Doughnut!

  122. Leanne

    A walk along Main street exploring so many interesting and unique stores followed by an espresso on Commercial Drive. The perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

  123. Nilgoun

    Walking around Ambleside park in West Vancouver, having gelato in Newport Village in Port Moody (Rain or Shine!)

  124. Camille

    Eating take out sushi people watching at English Bay.

  125. Jenny N

    Spend the day exploring Granville Island

  126. Samantha

    Walking out of class at UBC to see the beautiful mountains and turn left to see a film crew blocking the path much to harried students’ annoyance. We really have it all here!

  127. stacey dempsey

    going to the vancouver aqaurium, it is really great especially with kids. you can spend all day there

  128. bournestar

    Grab a take out order of delicious oceanwise fish&chips for only $10 (incl tax) at Raincity Grill and then eat it a few feet away at English Bay while watching the sunset.

  129. bournestar

    Visiting Olympic Village, Scienceworld, Granville Island, Yaletown, Sunset Beach, David Lam Park? Take an aqua bus or the false creek ferry!

  130. Sasha

    The Rocky mountaineer train through West Vancouver and along Howe Sound on the way up to Whistler! With visitors coming all year round my top three places to show off are Deep Cove, Kits Beach and the train!

  131. Jody

    Discovering a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant for brunch!

  132. maryanne

    Acadia beach – almost impossible to find on Google.

    It’s between Spanish Banks Extension and Wreck beach. (it morphs into clothing-optional Wreck beach, so be mindful if you’re afraid of naked folks)

    Quiet, walkable, rugged, beautiful. one of my favourite parts of Vancouver.

  133. stacey dempsey

    taking the seabus from the market on the northshore then strolling around gastown

  134. stacey dempsey

    granville island is amazing ! there is entertainment and amazing food

  135. Dilara

    I love spending a day at Granville Island and topping it off with dinner on a gorgeous patio overlooking the water followed by some guaranteed laughs at TheatreSports.

  136. Dennis

    I like to spend the day walking around Coal Harbour with my wife.

  137. Robyn

    Watching a Canucks game with lots of cheering and beer-ing at GM Place!! Always such a treat!

  138. Amanda

    Climb the giant rock and explore the shoreline of Whytecliff Park West Vancouver. Great dive spot as well.

  139. Ken Pearce

    My first visit to Vancouver was August last year and the most awesome thing I did was have a Beluga Experience at the Aquarium. I got absolutely soaked but it was the most unbelievable experience, especially as we do not have Beluga’s in Australia. Vancouver was such a fantastic place to stay, play and relax that I am coming back this August. BC and Vancouver you have the tourist thing smack on and it is worth the 16 hour flight once a year. :-)

  140. Chloe

    Explore the many unique galleries and antique stores on South Granville’s famous Gallery Row!

  141. Chloe

    Catch some live theatre at South Granville’s historic Stanley Theatre! Home of Vancouver’s legendary Arts Club Theatre Company.

  142. donna

    My kids love the huge waterpark on Granville Island right outside the Kids Market. It’s free. I can relax and watch in the sunshine, then go upstairs in the Kids Market for a bite to eat and see all the fun things in there. Great way to spend a day and not spend much money.

  143. Dorian

    Bike ridding to a live taping of Vancouver’s most excellent comedy/variety show TALENT TIME at the Biltmore Cabaret!! Check out how awesome this trailer is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruUnnJuDPTU&feature=channel_video_title

    Lots of other great comedy in this city too. Sunday Service at the Henessey on Broadway is another good one. Vancouver Art Gallery is pay what you can on Tuesdays between 5-9pm. Biking anywhere on the sea wall is exhilarating! The new Waldorf is cool too.

  144. Kim Pike

    Have a dinner picnic at Spanish Banks on a warm day with a light breeze, watching the sailboats and windsurfers and enjoying the view of the mountains and the city.

  145. Pingback: Anniversary: Neil and Cherie Reynolds | Dating