Discover the Past Itinerary

A couple is exploring the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

Vancouver is often celebrated for its beautiful scenery and contemporary culture, but something many visitors may not know is that the region also has a rich and diverse history dating all the way back to 15,000 BC. From museums to walking tours there’s no shortage of ways to learn about the city’s storied past. Leave the history books at home, grab your walking shoes and step into Vancouver’s past.

Day One


Historic Chinatown is a National Historic Site and one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Book an informative and fun walking tour with Historical Chinatown Tours and visit century-old heritage buildings, meet elders from the community and learn about the culture, history, and architecture of the Chinese community in Vancouver. If you’re more interested in a food-focused tour, A Wok Around Chinatown offers a Guided Culinary and Culture walking tour of Chinatown, or choose from one of the many wonderful restaurants in the area like Floata Seafood Restaurant.

Chinatown Gate. Entrance to Chinatown on Pender St

The interactive exhibits at the Chinatown Storytelling Centre filled with stories from the people who lived, worked and played in the community are an experience you won’t want to miss. The centre exhibits feature artifacts, photos, and recordings from the 1880s to present day to create an immersive self-guided storytelling experience for the whole family. A treasure nestled in the heart of Chinatown, visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a historical site of cultural heritage and learning. The garden is home to a jade green pond, koi fish, and an impressive collection of 150-year old miniature trees, and offers guided tours, tea and a range of activities.

Day Two


Only 20 minutes from downtown, visitors can wander through one of the world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations arts at the Museum of Anthropology. Designed by celebrated local architect Arthur Erickson, the museum is located on the grounds of the University of British Columbia, and overlooks mountains and sea. The museum holds the largest collection of works by acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid, and visitors can spend hours in the Museum’s Multiversity Galleries, where 9,000 objects from around the world are displayed.

Museum of Anthropology

Fast forward to the 1940s and take a trip through the area’s seafaring history by visiting the Maritime Museum at Heritage Harbour in Vanier Park (just minutes from Downtown Vancouver). At the Maritime Museum, visitors are invited to climb aboard the historic St. Roch, the first ship to make the west-east traverse of the Northwest Passage. Wander the decks and immerse yourself in the experience of the crew who worked aboard the boat in the ‘40s. The False Creek Ferries is conveniently located in Heritage Harbour, steps from the museum. Once you’ve finished exploring the exhibits, hop a boat across False Creek to Olympic Village and sit on the patio by the water and enjoy a local craft beer and casual dining options at Tap and Barrel, or if you’re looking for something cozy, try the The Flying Pig for an elevated home-style dinner made with fresh, local ingredients.

Day Three


Uncover Vancouver’s hidden history of dark crime, outrageous intrigue and scandal with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours. Offering tours like The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour, The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour and The Really Gay History Tour, you’ll roam areas of downtown, like Gastown or Stanley Park, with expert guides that’ll share the lesser known scintillating stories of Vancouver’s secret past.

From Gastown or Stanley Park, venture into Vancouver’s West End to visit the Roedde House Museum. Tucked into the heart of this vibrant neighbourhood, Roedde House is the city’s only heritage house museum, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the life of an immigrant family in Vancouver at the turn of the twentieth century. Amble down to English Bay (just outside of Stanley Park) and finish your historical adventure at the Bayside where you can end your weekend exploring the past by gazing at the ocean and enjoying classic cocktails and pub fare.



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