Best Vancouver Museums for Nature Lovers

A child looks a insects at the Search: Sara Stern Gallery at Science World

A child looks a insects at the Search: Sara Stern Gallery at Science World. Photo: Science World

Surrounded by mountains and ocean, Vancouver is a nature-focused city. This attitude is reflected in the city’s museums too. Crawl inside a replica beaver lodge at a science museum, marvel at a blue whale skeleton at a natural history museum, or enjoy nature-inspired paintings at an art gallery. Soak up some nature in the heart of the city at these Vancouver area museums.

Science World

The interactive exhibits at Science World have lots to offer for nature lovers. The new Backyard Adventures exhibit is designed to help little learners explore nature close to home. You can dig in an augmented reality garden bed, collect pollen from flowers, or listen to birds and frogs. At the Search: Sara Stern Gallery you can crawl into a beaver lodge, visit Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and touch dinosaur bones.

Children inside a replica beaver lodge at the Search: Sara Stern Gallery at Science World

Children inside a replica beaver lodge at the Search: Sara Stern Gallery. Photo: Science World


Beatty Biodiversity Museum

The Beatty Biodiversity Museum at UBC has over 500 natural history exhibits to discover including fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. The stand-out is the giant blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. Don’t miss the short documentary about the skeleton’s long journey from the beaches of PEI to the museum.

Blue whale skeleton at the Beatty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver

Blue whale skelton exhibit. Photo: Beaty Biodiversity Museum


Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery contains over 12,000 works of art with a focus on British Columbia and Canadian art. So it should be no surprise that many of those works are inspired by the beauty of BC’s natural landscape. Be sure to visit the Edith Heath and Emily Carr: From the Earth exhibition, until March 2022. Both artists were inspired by the land and landscape of the West Coast.

Emily Carr's painting Big Raven at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Emily Carr, Big Raven, 1931, oil on canvas, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust
Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery


H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

The HR MacMillan Space Centre is an astronomy museum in Vanier Park next to the Museum of Vancouver. The planetarium lets you lean back in your seat to immerse yourself in a journey through the universe to experience planets, meteor showers, nebulas, black holes, galaxies, and more. You can also visit the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory to peer through a 1/2 metre Cassegrain telescope and observe the night sky.

Planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver

Inside the planetarium. Photo: H.R. MacMillan Space Centre


Vancouver Aquarium

If you love the ocean, be sure to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. You can hang out with barking sea lions or get mesmerized by floating jellyfish. Don’t miss the Graham Amazon Gallery to experience the heat, humidity, and wildlife of the Amazon rainforest. You can even get hands-on with sea cucumbers, green anemones, and other residents of the BC Coast at the Touch Pools exhibit.

A naturalist stands next to the Touch Pool exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium

A naturalist stands next to the Touch Pool exhibit. Photo: Vancouver Aquarium


Bloedel Conservatory

Step inside the dome at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park to spend time with over 100 exotic birds surrounded by over 500 exotic plants and flowers. It’s a temperature-controlled environment, so it’s tropical inside year-round.

Bloedel Conservatory

Photo: VanDusen Botanical Garden Association


Vancouver Maritime Museum

Located in Vanier Park, the Vancouver Maritime Museum has tons of exhibits celebrating the maritime history of British Columbia and the Canadian Arctic. Paddlers will love the Canoe Cultures: Ho’-ku-melh exhibit that showcases indigenous canoeing traditions. Visit the Lighthouses and Shipwrecks exhibit to learn about famous maritime disasters along BC’s coasts. One of the highlights is the shipwreck of the SS Valencia along the West Coast Trail.

Canoe culture: Ho'-ku-melh exhibit at the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Canoe cultures: Ho’-ku-melh exhibit at the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.

  • Insider Access

  • Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube


    Vancouver Event Calendar

    604 Neighbourhoods

    TED Host City