Looking for some adventure? You’ve come to the right city. No matter what time of year, when you start your day in Vancouver, it can take you anywhere.
Part of Vancouver’s huge draw is its proximity to the ocean and all the incredible wild life that lives in the waters along the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the seals, sea lions, cormorants and otters that live here, we are fortunate to have pods of migrant grey whales and orcas passing through in the summer months.
We also have three groups of resident killer whales that live off south of Vancouver in the Gulf Islands known as J-Pod, K-Pod and L-Pod. Whales from all three pods are converging this year to replace an old male orca that recently died, which is why this is a great year to get yourself on a tour boat and head out into Georgia Straight.
What does this mean for visitors? Incredible sightings. We had heard great things about Wild Whales Vancouver and while we were out with them, we saw five breaches, a term used when the whales jump out of the water. Apparently that many in one trip is extremely rare.
Look for a tour that has a naturalist—they will have a lot of insight on what you’re looking at. We’d like to give a special thanks to Chris Cook, the naturalist for our trip.
Depending on the proximity of the whales, a round-trip from Granville Island in Vancouver can take anywhere from 4-7 hours. So come prepared. So bring a lunch and some extra layers in case you get cold.
After a long day on the water, we were pretty thirsty, which is the perfect excuse for a bar tour finished off with some dancing out on the town.
There are three main entertainment districts in Vancouver: Gastown, Yaletown and the Granville strip.
Gastown is the oldest part of Vancouver and also my personal favourite. There are a lot of bars and lounges with character. Pourhouse makes amazing crafted cocktails. Other stops you should make include The Diamond, Guilt & Co and the Irish Heather. If you’re in the mood, make your way towards Chinatown and try Fortune Sound Club.
In Yaletown, make sure you stop at the Opus Hotel and check out the Opus Bar and 100 Nights. This is the money part of Vancouver. Dress up and prepare to be dazzled. Another favourite of mine is Section 3.
There is more to do and see on in the Granville Entertainment District than there is space for me to write here. You may have saw signs for Venue and The Roxy in this video—they are good dance bars. The Commodore Ballroom hosts some of the best bands and musicians that come through Vancouver. You might also want to try the Caprice, Republic and Barcelona if you’re looking for some dance floor mayhem.
Did we miss one of your favourites? Leave us a comment and share your picks with Inside Vancouver.