7 Ways to Embrace the Rain in Vancouver

Two people wearing rain jackets enjoy the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge. Photo: Destination Canada

Vancouver has many nicknames, including “Raincouver”. But locals embrace the rain, grabbing umbrellas and rain jackets, then heading outside to enjoy it. Here are seven outdoor activities you’ll want to experience on a rainy day in Vancouver.


Take a Hike

Zip yourself into a rain jacket, put on your waterproof hiking boots, then head out into the forest. It’s extra green when it rains, the waterfalls really get going, and the fog makes for some great moody photo moments. Use our list of the best rainy day hikes in Vancouver to choose a trail.

Hikers on the trail to Norvan Falls in North Vancouver

Hikers on the trail to Norvan Falls. Photo credit: Taryn Eyton


Watch for Birds

Did you know that British Columbia is on the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south migration route for birds flying between Alaska and Patagonia? On rainy days, birds often perch in trees, making them easier to see. And the Vancouver area is the winter home for a huge eagle population. Check out our picks for bird watching destinations in Vancouver.

An eagle perches on a branch in Vancouver

Photo: Veronica Dudarev/Unsplash


Check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge

North Vancouver’s famous Capilano Suspension Bridge is arguably even more beautiful in the rain. The water gushes through the canyon far below your feet and the towering rainforest seems extra green. If you get lucky, puffs of mist will roll in and give your photos a great moody vibe.

Treetop adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Treetop Adventure. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


Go Chasin’ Waterfalls

Rain feeds our rivers and streams. And those rivers and streams sometimes come crashing downhill as spectacular waterfalls. There are lots of beautiful waterfalls to visit near Vancouver. A few of them require a short hike, but most are within five minutes of the parking lot.

Tourists look at Shannon Falls in Squamish, BC

Shannon Falls. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Landsea Tours Ltd.


Find Vancouver’s Biggest Trees

Our mild and wet climate means that Vancouver sits in the middle of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, a zone that stretches from Alaska to Northern California. Logging has removed most of the ancient old-growth, but there are still lots of towering giants to be found in the area. Our guide to Vancouver’s big trees will take you right to them.

Rainforest at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Photo: Destination Vancouver/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


Try Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is a Japanese form of nature therapy where participants spend time mindfully experiencing nature. Forest bathing on a rainy day is a full sensory experience as you listen to the rain falling on leaves and drink in the heady scent of the damp forest. Read our guide to forest bathing in Vancouver to get tips for first-timers and recommendations on where to try it.

Lush rainforest in Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver

Photo: Jachan DeVol/Unsplash


Escape to the Snow

In the winter, if it’s raining in the city, there’s a good chance it’s snowing in the mountains. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola or the Grouse Mountain Skyride up to the peaks to experience snowflakes tumbling through the air and a world covered in frost. Just don’t forget to bundle up first!

Snowshoers at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Photo: Sea to Sky Gondola



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