Your Vancouver Outdoors Summer Bucket List

Vancouver's English Bay Beach

English Bay Beach. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring

Summer in Vancouver is all about sunny weather and warm temperatures. Vancouverites make the most of the season by heading to our beaches, mountains, parks, and lakes. Here are our picks for Vancouver outdoor activities you’ll want to add to your summer bucket list.

Until further notice, in line with the public health order, non-essential travel into, within, and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents, let’s do our part by continuing to stay small and support local with your immediate household, in accordance with the latest guidelines.

 

Take a Hike

Summer is the best time of year to hike near Vancouver. By early July, the snow has melted in the mountains and all the best trails are accessible. If you’re an experienced hiker, check out our list of epic hikes around Vancouver. And if you’re more of a beginner, choose from our list of easy summer hikes or the best Vancouver hikes for kids.

Hikers on the Stawamus Chief

Hikers on the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. Photo: Heath Moffatt

 

Hit the Beach

Vancouver has lots of beautiful beaches to choose from. Relax on the sand, go for a swim, or play a game of beach volleyball with your bubble. Check out our list of Vancouver’s best beaches to pick your sun and sand day trip destination.

 

Try Disc Golf

Have you tried disc golf yet? It’s a fun, low-cost sport that’s easy to try. Depending on who you play with, it can be a laid-back day at the park or a super-competitive challenge. With 12 disc golf courses around Vancouver, there’s sure to be one near you.

 

Visit Grouse Mountain

Heading to Grouse Mountain is the easiest way to access Vancouver’s spectacular mountains. Ride the Skyride gondola to the peak, then visit the grizzly bears, attend an owl talk, go for a hike, or book a zipline or rope adventure tour. Or just sit on the patio and enjoy the incredible view. (Tip: You must book tickets in advance.)

Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain

Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Justa Jeskova Photography

 

Get Out on the Water

On a sunny day, the best views in Vancouver are from the water. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the shoreline. Or head farther afield with a boat rental or tour. If you want to stick closer to home, a ride on the Aquabus or False Creek Ferry is a fun way to experience the waters of False Creek.

 

Explore a New-to-You Park

Did you know that the Vancouver area has lots of pockets of wilderness nestled into the city? You can explore forests, meadows, wetlands, and shorelines, all close to home. Check out our recommendations for 15 urban parks that feel like wilderness. Or use our park guides for Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Lighthouse Park, Belcarra Regional Park, or Capilano River Regional Park.

 

Go on a Bike Ride

Summer is the perfect time to explore Vancouver by bike. With lots of flat and easy bike paths away from traffic, cycling is a great way to get around.  Use our list of the best easy bike rides around Vancouver to plan your trip. Biking with the family? Check out these kid-friendly bike rides.

Cyclists in Coal Harbour

Cyclists in Coal Harbour. Photo: Kate Milford

 

Go Whale Watching

Summer is whale watching season in Vancouver. Whale watching and wildlife watching tours depart from Vancouver, Richmond, and Victoria. You can spot resident orcas as well as migratory humpback, gray, and minke whales, and transient orcas. Porpoises, sea lions, seals, eagles, and pelicans are also common.

 

Try Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is a decades-old Japanese nature meditation practice where you sit or slowly walk in nature, being mindful of what you see, hear, smell, and touch. Scientific research shows that spending time forest bathing can lower stress, increase mood, and reduce fatigue. Use our list of the best forest bathing spots around Vancouver to try it out.

 

Watch the Sunset

Long summer evenings are a great time for a sunset picnic in a beautiful spot. In Vancouver, you can watch the sun go down from the beach, the mountains, or the heart of the city. How many of these gorgeous Vancouver sunset spots have you visited?

Sunset at English Bay

Sunset at English Bay. Photo: Kate Milford

 

Treat Your Dog to an Off-Leash Outing

Many of Vancouver’s parks have off-leash dog areas for Fluffy to run and chase a ball. With off-leash options on hiking trails, beaches, and big fenced enclosures, there are lots of day-trip-worthy destinations. Check out our list of the best off-leash dog parks to plan your day.

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