25 Unique Vancouver Experiences to Gift for the Holidays

This year, support local and give the gift of a very Vancouver moment.

Until January 8, in line with the public health order issued on November 20, non-essential travel into and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents let’s do our part by continuing to stay local and support local, with your immediate household or bubble, in accordance with the latest guidelines.

We recommend purchasing a gift certificate for an experience, so you loved-one can experience their very Vancouver moment in the future when restrictions and travel ease.

Bucket List Whale Watching

Vancouver is one of the world’s best locations for whale watching. From March to October, thousands of whales migrate through the waters near Vancouver, including orca, humpbacks, Gray whales, and minke whales. In addition to whales, it is quite common to spot otters, sea lions, dolphins, plus a range of seabirds, such as brown pelicans, harlequin ducks, Pacific loons, tufted puffins, and bald eagles.

Image: Prince of Whales

Guided Outdoor Adventures

For those who always want to leave the city behind and discover their inner explorer, there are a ton of adventures that involve snowmobiles, dogsledding, single-day hiking tours, and frozen waterfall hikes.

Image: BeWild Tours

World-Class Fishing 

Many consider British Columbia to be the best salmon-fishing region in the world. It’s also pretty darn good for steelhead, trout, and halibut fishing. There are world-class deep-sea options as well as pristine river fishing spots that make nature-lovers gush. Canada’s westernmost province is, simply, one of the best places for angling, period. Find a fishing tour.

Image: Chromer Sport Fishing

Explore by Bicycle

No matter how long someone has lived in Vancouver, there will still be corners left to explore. Leave the city behind and embark on a wilderness adventure in Vancouver’s urban wilderness or cruise the city’s neighbourhoods, taking in nature’s views and the city’s must-see attractions. Find a cycling adventure.

Photo Cycle City Tours


Time on the Water

Canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and even jet skis all constitute the very Vancouver experience of spending time on the water. As well as a range of floating devices to choose from, the experience itself can also range greatly, from free-roam paddles around an inlet, expert lessons, guided tours, authentic indigenous experiences, multi-day trips, and moon-lit night paddles! Find on the water experiences.

Image: Takaya Tours


Soak Up Some Culture

If you’re seeking a gift for the creative or curious look no further than a trip to one of Vancouver’s seemingly endless supply of museums and art galleries. From science to the sea, local art to internationally renowned artists, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Image: Museum of Vancouver

Eat Through Vancouver

Culinary tours offer an immersive experience into the flavours of the city. Whether your intended giftee has a passion for distilleries or dim sum, professional guides bring Vancouver’s dining scene to life by helping people discover dishes and insider favourites.

Image: Vancouver Foodie Tours

Heart-Pumping River Rafting

This is a gift for bold hearted who are always seeking their next adventure in the wilderness! Experiences cater to all ages and skill levels, making it a great gift for both adventurous families and individual thrill-seekers. Find a rafting tour.

Image: Canadian Outback Raftung

Relax and Unwind

Given Vancouver’s focus on health and wellness, it’s no wonder spas are flourishing here. Getting wrapped in seaweed, slathered with Moor mud, exfoliated, massaged, and manicured are all part of the experience. You will find European techniques, Asian-influenced therapies, and only-in-BC specialities—all designed to relax, revitalize, and refresh. Find a spa experience.

Spa retreats Vancouver

Image: JW Marriott Parq

Walk Around Town

Ranked as WalkScore’s most walkable Canadian city, Vancouver is pedestrian-friendly with streets that are lively without being crowded. And with the city’s mild weather, taking a walking tour is an option year-round. Walking tours offer an immersive experience while learning about the history and architecture of the city. Subject experts bring their subject to life by helping you discover spot and locales that are off-the-beaten-path.

Image: Forbidden Vancouver


Above the Trees

It’s time to try ziplining! On Vancouver’s North Shore, Grouse Mountain offers a two-hour, five-line ziplining adventure year-round — and at speeds of up to 80km/hr across the peaks of Grouse Mountain and Dam Mountain, you’ll be grinning ear to ear. In Whistler, Ziptrek Ecotours offers the chance to see British Columbia’s enchanting old-growth rainforest while whizzing along suspended steel cables. There are several tours and ziplines to choose from, making the tours last between 2.5 and 4.5 hours.

Image: Grouse Mountain

Tour BC Place 

Did you know: The BC Sports Hall of Fame runs all-access tours, providing an enhanced visit to the Hall of Fame and an exclusive behind the scenes tour of BC Place! The experience begins and finishes at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and includes highlights such as the media lounge, premium suite areas, team lockers room, and access onto the field. Reserve a tour of BC Place.

Image: BC Place Stadium


Splurge-Worthy Heli-Skiing

Vancouver can hold its own when it comes to great ski terrain, but winter sports junkies know that the best runs are on the mountains no one can get to — at least not without a helicopter. Help your loved-one claim a stretch of pristine powder with a day-long session of heli-skiing (or boarding). A helicopter will transport them to the top of Whistler’s snow-covered mountains, where they can unleash their best moves down the powdery slopes, without the hassle of ski-lift lines or running into other skiers.

Image: Whistler Heli-Ski

Views from the Sky

Helicopter rides don’t have to include snow sports! Sky Helicopters offer sightseeing tours that include pristine mountains, sunset views, beer flights, vodka tasting, and proposal packages.

Helicopter over downtown Vancouver

Image: Sky Helicopters


Floatplane Panoramics

Helicopters are not the only way to explore from above! Harbour Air offers plenty of tour packages that range from flight-seeing panoramic tours to customizable packages that include other very Vancouver experiences and overnight stays.

Image: Harbour Air

Jump into 2021

Do you have a loved one who wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at the thought of standing on the ledge of a narrow steel bridge, almost 50m above the ground, as an ice-cold river rushes below, with boulders and jagged rocks churning the water into rapids? Then schedule a jump with Whistler Bungee!

Image: Whistler Bungee


Book a Staycation

We might not have been able to get away this year, but that does not stop us from experiencing the delight of fresh sheets and room service. Find a hotel.

Hotel Vancouver staycation couple

Image: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver


Water Taxi Tickets

Aquabus and False Creek Ferries traverse False Creek taking passengers between stops such as Granville Island, Olympic Village, Science World, and Yaletown. Consider gifting passes to someone who will never tire of the cute little trips offered by these boats.

Image: False Creek Ferry

Under the Sea: Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Sea Dragon Charters offers exciting scuba diving and snorkelling excursions just minutes from Vancouver. British Columbia was voted the best scuba diving destination in North America because of its nutrient-rich waters and vibrant marine diversity. Adventurers will travel by boat and can discover this amazing topography while taking in the striking ocean and mountain scenery of the Sea to Sky region.

Image: Sea Dragon Charters


Escape Routine

Join the thousands of escape artists who have tested their mental might at Vancouver’s premier escape room. SmartyPantz Escape Room is in historic Gastown and features games that are all backed by a story, purpose, and host actors.

Image: SmartyPantz Escape Room


Get a Taste for BC Wine 

Lulu Island Winery is Metro Vancouver’s largest winery, nestled in Richmond’s agricultural land. Tour the winery, view the landmark grape tunnel, see fifteen acres of grapes, and experience a complimentary wine tasting with exceptional wine ambassadors, who are passionate about sharing the varietals of fruit wines, table white and reds, and award-winning Canadian Ice-wines.

Image: Lulu Island Winery

Solve a Mystery

Vancouver Mysteries is Canada’s first mystery game company that allows players to explore downtown Vancouver and collect clues while a mystery unfolds. Alternatively, groups can play together from home with the new virtual game options.


Enjoy the Snow: Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is among the fastest-growing winter sport, and the mountains around Vancouver offer plenty of opportunities for beginners and pros alike. Grouse Mountain’s peak towers over Vancouver and features 10km of scenic trails, ranging from basic loops to more intense mountain circuits with plenty of elevation. Snowshoe trails are also found on Vancouver’s two other urban slopes, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour. Be Wild Adventures offer guided snow-shoe adventures for those who would rather step off the beaten path.

Image: BeWild Adventures

Get on the Ice 

Just because the temperature rarely dips below freezing in Vancouver does not mean there are not plenty of places to skate away the afternoon. Check out these Vancouver skate spots.

Image: Grouse Mountain

Restaurant Gift Card

Vancouverites know their city’s culinary scene well, so if you have a favourite spot for fresh seafood, the finest house-made charcuterie, the most delicious tacos, or the best list of BC wines, share that spot in the shape of a gift card. Not sure where to pick? Explore our favourite restaurants and bars.

Image: Hawksworth Restaurant




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