Paddleboarding and Other Active Ways to Explore Vancouver in the Summer

kayaking Vancouver

Photo Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Personally, I think that visitors to Vancouver have it made as there are so many ways to see the city and its beautiful 360 degree skyline. You can sit and relax while someone takes you around on a bus or horse-drawn carriage, or you can take yourself around with some light to intense outdoor activity (or take a tour that guides you around while you’re getting your workout in.) Here are some great options for the latter, because summer in the city is too nice to not get outside and enjoy!

Photo Credit: @thetokenmale

Stand up paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) has become quite popular in Vancouver, and it’s pretty obvious why. What better way to explore the city’s coastline than while getting an excellent core workout? (From personal experience, I promise you that this is, indeed, also a full body workout!)  Vancouver offers plenty of great areas to SUP, with two particularly beautiful spots: the North Shore with its calm water and stunning scenery, and along the Downtown coastline exploring English Bay, Sunset Beach, and False Creek. Click here to find paddleboard rentals and more info on SUP in Vancouver.

Image via Tourism Vancouver


Fun Fact: Sea kayaks are the smallest and most maneuverable craft on the water – a sleek, stable one-person or tandem boat whose origins can be traced to the baidarkas designed centuries ago by the North Coast indigenous people of the Alaskan Panhandle. Now that you know that, you can be confident that what you are getting yourself into is an amazing and well-crafted experience with great scenery. The most popular places to kayak in the Vancouver area (self-guided or with a tour operator who can take care of all the details for you) are False Creek, English Bay, and the North Shore. For more information on tour operators and rentals, visit the kayaking page of our water sports section.

Image via Tourism Vancouver

Cycling and Mountain Biking

So the saying goes, you never forget how to ride a bike. I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time, but cycling is a very popular way for my fellow Vancouverites to get around, and a fun way for visitors to see the city.

Regular Cycling – Vancouver’s moderate climate makes this activity available to everyone year-round. There are several options for bike rentals, including the popular Mobi Vancouver Bike Share system and because Vancouver is cycle-savvy, the City of Vancouver has a comprehensive system of bike routes, paths, dedicated bike lanes and greenways. Route maps and scenic ride ideas can be found here.

Water Biking – If you’re a water person, this is for you! This is a fun and unique way to get some physical activity and I’m very excited to try this option before the summer is over. BC Water Bike is the provider for this activity and they’ll take you around scenic False Creek, English Bay or Kitsilano.

Mountain Biking – For the adrenaline junkies, we’ve got you there, too. The North Shore mountains are where you want to be and Vancouver has bred world champs and Olympic medallists. So why wouldn’t you want to follow in those two wheels and get on out well-kept trails? For more info on tours and bike rentals, click here.

walking Vancouver

Get your step on in Vancouver | Photo: Yasmine Hardcastle

Walking or Running

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, your feet are the best way to get you around and about in Vancouver. They are free, and there are so many places to stroll around or kick it into a higher gear and go for a run. Running tours are also available.


Make sure to share your Vancouver outdoor city adventures by tagging us @inside_vancouver and #VeryVancouver on Instagram!


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