10 Essentials to Pack for Summer in Vancouver

Vancouver family beach

Photo: Hubert Kang

Every Vancouverite knows what to carry around for summer in the city; and we want to make sure you do, too! Aside from the ultimate summer accessory — sunscreen (wear it, reapply, repeat) — here’s a list of essentials you need for your time in Vancouver!

Vancouver sunglasses female

Be sure to pack your sunglasses for a trip to Vancouver. | Photo: Jana Josue

1. Sunglasses

Your sunnies are your best friend on a bright summer day. No one wants to be squinting in their vacation photos, and protecting your eyes is even more important! There are so many beautiful sights to pose in front of, so make sure your beach photos are on point.

Vancouver beach sunset friends

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

2. Beach towel or picnic blanket

With all our beautiful green spaces and beaches, Vancouver is the perfect place to park yourself — on your own, with your partner, or with a group of friends — for a picnic in the park or a beach day ending with a gorgeous sunset. And if you hadn’t planned on plunking yourself down, it’s best to be prepared with a towel or blanket; the views will inspire you to stay a while.

Some places and upcoming events that you will want to have a blanket handy for are:


water bottle outside

3. Water bottle

With the summer heat, outdoor fun, and possible craft brewery visits, it’s important to get those 4+ glasses a day in. There are outdoor drinking fountains all over the city, and many hotels, shopping malls, and other public places have bottle filling stations or water fountains.

Vancouver Canada Place shoes

Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring Vancouver. | Photo: Jana Josue

4. Good walking shoes

Vancouver is a walking city all year round. Rain or shine, there always people strolling the Seawall or any of these other scenic walking routes. So comfortable shoes are a must. Flip-flops for the beach, comfy sneakers or sandals for everyday, and if you’re a hiker, you know you’d be remiss to not back your hiking boots!

bicycle Vancouver summer

Photo via Tourism Vancouver

5. Bicycle

One of the best ways to see Vancouver in the summer is on a bicycle. Cycling the Seawall or around Downtown is a fantastic way to see the sites. While those competing in the upcoming RBC GranFondo Whistler (September 7) will pack their bicycles, everyone wanting to explore the city can easily rent a bike and take a tour.

beach yoga

Photo via Tourism Vancouver

6. Yoga mat

Vancouver is known for being a yoga hub, so if you’re a practicing yogi, bring your mat. It’s not uncommon to see to see people practicing on the beach or in the park spaces. If you’re looking for a guided outdoor class, check out these free classes from Mat Collective and lululemon!

friends at beach

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

7. Layers

Summer in the city gets very hot, but before and after the sun goes down, the temperature can be a bit chilly. Start and end your day with a light sweater or long sleeve shirt; something you can easily fold up in your backpack or day bag.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Top Tip: If you’ve forgotten anything, the McArthurGlen outlet mall near the airport or any of our shopping districts have got your back.[/perfectpullquote]

man taking photo Thurd beach Vancouver

Remember to pack your camera for your summer trip to Vancouver! | Photo : Two Restless Homebodies

8. Camera

While you’re walking around the city, you will 100% be taking pictures of all the beautiful blossoms; and if you’re like me, you’ll also be taking pictures of your food. (Vancouver’s restaurant scene is an Instagrammable foodie dream!) I don’t want you to miss out on any photo ops!

Vancouver couple Yaletown smartphone

Keep your phone handy for any summer photo ops and to find your way around Vancouver. | Photo Credit: Jade Stone

9. Smartphone

Not only is a smartphone a great camera, it’s also become the way to figure out how to get somewhere, where to eat, etc. No need for a physical map (though Tourism Vancouver has those for you, just in case!) If you’re worried about roaming or using up your data, log on to Vancouver’s free wi-fi hotspots!

Compass card Vancouver Translink

Tap your way around Vancouver withyour Compass card this summer. | Photo Translink

10. Compass Card

Aside from walking and cycling, Vancouver’s public transit options are the best way to get around. Load up a Compass card so you can get around with ease. For info on how to get your Compass card, and for all fare info, click here. And when you get your card, here are some places in the city that are 100% worth taking transit to get to!

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Share your #VeryVancouver summer experiences with us by tagging@inside_vancouver on Instagram![/perfectpullquote]

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