10 Places to Take a #VeryVancouver Photo

Woman taking photo from Queen Elizabeth Park; Destination Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang

With Vancouver’s gorgeous natural environment and lively urban environment, you’ll want to keep your camera handy at all times.

Here are 10 locations for getting you started on your photo adventures. Tag #VeryVancouver on social media for the chance to have your credited photo featured by Destination Vancouver.

Stanley Park

Family at Prospect Point; Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang

Vancouver is incredibly fortunate to have Stanley Park, an expansive 400-hectare rainforest in the downtown core. Not only does it contain stately Douglas fir, red cedar, and hemlock trees, but you’ll also find a pitch and putt course, picnic areas, restaurants, tennis courts, and much more. While basically everywhere in Stanley Park is a #VeryVancouver photo spot, a few particularly stand out.

The Seawall, which winds around the edges of Stanley Park, is the longest unbroken waterfront path in the world. It will take you past key Vancouver landmarks such as English Bay, Brockton Point, Siwash Rock, and the Lions Gate Bridge. Stop at Hallelujah Point, on the southeast of Stanley Park, just past the iconic Nine O’Clock Gun, for a photo. Named after services The Salvation Army used to hold on this grassy location, Hallelujah Point provides views of the city’s sparkly skyline. Another 15 or so minutes past this point, you’ll come to the Vancouver Rowing Club, a great spot to take a pause and soak up views of the clubhouse, the boats, the water, and downtown Vancouver.

The preeminent viewpoint in Stanley Park has long been Prospect Point, situated on Stanley Park’s northern tip. This romantic lookout gives you sightlines of the mountains, Lions Gate Bridge, and Burrard Inlet. It’s truly a breathtaking sight.

English Bay

English Bay beach; Destination Vancouver/Tanya Goehring

Vancouver has many spectacular beaches, including Kitsilano, Jericho, Spanish Banks, Sunset, Wreck, and Third Beach. Found along the Stanley Park Seawall, English Bay Beach (First Beach) is a popular West End hang out. It’s especially busy during the Celebration of Light (summer fireworks competition) as well as the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim. It provides views of Stanley Park and downtown buildings as well as the city’s west side (e.g., Vanier Park) and also features a concession stand and volleyball courts. A picture as the sun is setting is very beautiful. Or, for a more playful shot, pose with A-maze-ing Laughter, bronze sculptures by Yue Minjun that have become beloved in the city.

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park; Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic

Another must-visit scenic location, Queen Elizabeth Park is found on Little Mountain roughly at Cambie Street and West 33rd Avenue. The Park offers an abundance of activities, including tennis and pickleball courts, a pitch and putt golf course, and the Bloedel Conservatory. The Park is beautiful, featuring a rose garden, quarry gardens, sculptures, a fountain, and an arboretum. A restaurant, Seasons in the Park, serves West Coast fare, with a patio that offers stunning views. The restaurant is a great place for taking a photo of the Park, the mountains, and the city, but another ideal spot is next to statues by J. Seward Johnson, Jr., which fittingly portrays a photographer taking a pic of 3 people. They’re found between the Conservatory and Seasons in the Park.


Close up of the Steamclock in Gastown; Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic

As Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhood, Gastown is steeped in lore and charm. The area began with the relocation of a bar and was later incorporated as the City of Vancouver. Gastown has gone through many changes but its heritage architecture, cobblestone streets, and quaint lamp posts remain. It also continues to be a destination for great drinking and food establishments. Key spots for #VeryVancouver photographs include the crowd favourite steam clock, nearly five decades old and known for its whistling and shooting out steam every quarter of an hour. Maple Tree Square, at the intersection of Alexander, Powell, Carrall, and Water Streets, is also a great spot for photos, especially after sunset when the lamp posts are lit up.

The Shipyards in North Vancouver

Pier at the Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver

Pier at the Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay. Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Vision Event Photography Inc.

For a view of Vancouver’s downtown skyline from the other side of the water, consider taking the SeaBus from Waterfront Terminal to Lonsdale Quay. During the 12-minute ride, you can take some gorgeous photos. Once across, you’ll arrive at North Vancouver’s lively and rapidly evolving Shipyards District (also known as Lower Lonsdale). The name of this area reflects its history of shipbuilding, which came to especial prominence during the war years.

Now, the area is the site for The Quay Market & Food Hall, restaurants, boutiques, The Polygon Gallery, public meeting/activity areas, outdoor ice skating in the winter, and a weekly Night Market during the spring and summer. Other events and concerts take place at The Shipyards throughout the year, especially in its Pipe Shop. This waterfront area affords stunning views of the North Shore mountains, the Burrard Inlet, and downtown Vancouver.

Granville Island

Family walking outside at Granville Island; Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang

Formerly an industrial area, Granville Island (which is actually a peninsula now) is one of the top places to visit in Vancouver. Anchoring the Island, the Public Market features an array of produce and specialty food vendors, in addition to stalls for purchasing meals for enjoying inside or at one of the many picnic tables outside. You can spend a whole day on Granville Island browsing its many stores (many of them located in the Net Loft building) and artist studios, eating and drinking at its restaurants, brewery, and distillery, and attending live theatre.

The Market, with its bustling atmosphere and delicious local food options, offers many photo opportunities. You can photograph and take video of the many musicians and performers who are found singing and mounting outdoor shows on the Island. The brightly hued corrugated tin buildings are also very photo-worthy. A prime photo spot is just outside the Market, by the waterfront where you can take shots of downtown Vancouver, the Granville Street Bridge, False Creek, as well as the many boats travelling along the water (including the Aquabus).

Cypress Mountain

A couple explores Cypress Mountain and is hiking the terrain; Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout

Vancouver is fortunate to have mountains for winter sports just a short drive from the city. Cypress Mountain is one of them. It’s also perfect for a summer visit with its Eagle Coaster, axe throwing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. While pulling out your phone for a pic in between ski runs is #VeryVancouver, Cypress Mountain does have some especially pretty areas for photographs. On a clear day, the Cypress Mountain Lookout on Cypress Bowl Road gives panoramic views of downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, Burrard Inlet, and even Vancouver Island and Mount Baker in the States.

A newer viewpoint near Cypress Mountain is a Trestle Bridge, also on Cypress Bowl Road. The Bridge is 200 metres long and takes its inspiration from bridges for railways. You’ll have phenomenal views of the city below, which is lovely at night when the Bridge and the city are lit up. The Bridge is part of a development of trails and a Village for the area, and can be accessed via a trail from the Cypress Pop-up Village or another closer parkade (note: a section of the Mountain Path is closed until September 15, 2023). Similar to the Cypress Mountain Lookout, you’ll be able to photograph areas like downtown Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park; Photo: Destination Vancouver

North Vancouver has two suspension bridges for you to cross and photograph: the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The first is more low-key but still gives you views of the canyon from your vantage 50 metres above it, as well as the forested surrounding area. There are trails, a café, and an ecology centre in the park to explore and visit.

Capilano Suspension Bridge is definitely the most visited of the two. The bridge is 137 metres (450 feet) long and 70 metres (230 feet) above the rushing Capilano River. Crossing it is quite the thrill and a #VeryVancouver photo opportunity. With a Treetops Adventure, a Cliffwalk, many other walking areas, and a rainforest ecosystem, you’ll find so many different places to photograph at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.


Chinatown Gate. Entrance to Chinatown on Pender St; Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic

Vancouver’s Chinatown remains the heart of the city’s Chinese Canadian community. Dating back to the 1880s, it first served as a cultural home-away-from-home for early Chinese workers, eventually becoming a hub for dining and nightlife. More recently, the neighbourhood has been undergoing a revival with the opening of new restaurants, shops, and businesses. Events such as Light Up Chinatown! and the Chinatown Festival bring people to the area to eat, drink, and play.

As the largest historical Chinatown in the nation, and the third largest on the continent, Chinatown is truly special. The many historical buildings and streets and the vendors (e.g., herbal shops) make for unique photo opportunities, as does the impressive millennium entrance gate flanked by lion statues. Meanwhile, you’ll find tranquility as well as considerable beauty to photograph at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, which features pagodas, ponds, ornamental greenery, and decorative pathways and walls.

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain gondola; Destination Vancouver/Grouse Mountain

With tons of activities to do—both in the summer and winter—Grouse Mountain is the ultimate Vancouver destination. While skiing/snowboarding and snowshoeing are popular during the snowy months, you can head there when it’s warmer to do the Grouse Grind (a challenging hike), ride the ziplines, or learn about wildlife. Grouse Mountain has five official look-outs: the Peak of Vancouver, the Georgia Strait, the Wilderness, the Cascade Mountains, and the Grizzly Lookout. Each of them affords a different view; for example, the Peak of Vancouver gives the ultimate sightlines of Metro Vancouver from high up. Relax in an Adirondack chair once you’ve taken a photo or two, and soak up the mountain setting. Dining establishments such as Altitudes Bistro and the more upscale Observatory give you great views to pair with your food and drink.

And that’s just the start of photo-pretty spots in Vancouver. Don’t forget to tag #VeryVancouver!

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