Cherry Blossom Cycling Routes in Vancouver

A woman walks her bike underneath cherry blossoms.

Photo: Destination Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang

With over 40,000 cherry trees blooming in Vancouver, each year, it’s impossible to see them all. But one of the best ways to see a ton of them is on a cherry blossom bike ride.

 

Vancouver is cycle-friendly with bike routes crisscrossing the city. You can bike through tunnels of blooms as “pink snow” petals rain down around you. It’s easy to rent a bike and explore on your own, but you can also sign up for a guided tour. Cycle City Vancouver‘s Stanley Park tour and private tours will take you to some gorgeous cherry blossom viewing spots.

While biking in Vancouver is fairly straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning a cherry blossom bike ride:

  • Under British Columbia law, you must wear a helmet when you ride.
  • Bring a blanket so you can relax and have a picnic under the blossoms.
  • Fallen cherry blossoms can be slippery. Be careful when riding through “pink snow”, especially after it has rained.
  • If you stop for photos, be safe and pull over to let traffic pass.
  • Many of these bike routes are in quiet residential areas that see a sudden influx of visitors during cherry blossom season. Be respectful.

 

Stanley Park Seawall

Close up of cherry blossoms against blue sky.

Photo: Destination Vancouver/Kazutoshi Yoshimura

The Stanley Park Seawall is Vancouver’s signature bike route. But in spring, you can also spot lots of pretty pink cherry blossoms. The best ones are along at Lumberman’s Arch and at Lost Lagoon and near the Lost Lagoon underpass. You can also find more blossoms near Coal Harbour Community Centre along the nearby Coal Harbour Seawall just east of Stanley Park.

Pick up some yummy treats at Breka Bakery on Denman Street on your way into the park, then have a picnic under the trees. If you worked up an appetite, after your ride visit Jingle Bao near the corner of Denman and Robson Streets for made-to-order Chinese dumplings and dim sum. Be sure to try their specialty, xiao long bao (soup dumplings).

 

UBC Campus

Cherry blossoms at Nitobe Memorial Garden

Cherry blossoms at Nitobe Memorial Gardens. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Destination Canada (CTC)

The University of British Columbia campus has lots of beautiful cherry trees. The quiet streets have few cars, so they are great for biking. You’ll just have to keep your eye out for students rushing between classes! There is a gorgeous grove of trees at Regent College near the entrance to campus on University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall.

From there, bike over to Lower Mall which is lined with cherry trees. Finish your ride at Nitobe Memorial Garden, considered one of the most authentic gardens outside of Japan. You’ll need to lock up your bike outside and buy a ticket online before you go in. The carefully manicured grounds are spectacular in spring with cherry blossoms dripping from the boughs. Food isn’t allowed in the garden, but you shouldn’t leave campus without trying the decadent cookies at Blue Chip Cookies at The Nest student centre.

If you don’t want to bike all the way to UBC from downtown Vancouver, you and your bike can both take the bus. The #4 UBC and #44 UBC bus routes both go to UBC from downtown Vancouver. Each bus can take two bikes.

 

Arbutus Greenway and Queen Elizabeth Park

Cherry blossoms at Queen Elizabeth Park

Cherry blossoms at Queen Elizabeth Park. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang

The car-free Arbutus Greenway follows an old rail line through the middle of Vancouver. Since it has gentle hills, it is one of the best ways to explore the city. Pick up some to-go French pastries to enjoy later at Faubourg Bakery in Kerrisdale, then go east on the 37th Avenue bike route towards Queen Elizabeth Park.

Detour south for a few blocks onto Willow, Baillie, and Heather Streets to spot some gorgeous cherry blossoms. Back on 37th, carry on for a few blocks and then turn left onto Cambie Street into the bike lane. Turn right at 33rd Street to enter Queen Elizabeth Park.

You’ll spot lots of cherry blossoms as soon as you enter the park. Find a place to set up for a picnic under the trees and enjoy the canopy of pink blossoms overhead. Be sure to explore the rest of the park to find even more cherry blossoms.

 

False Creek Seawall

Cherry blossoms at False Creek.

Spring-time cherry blossoms on the False Creek Seawall. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Nina Vis

You can cycle around False Creek on the car-free False Creek Seawall. Start your trip in Yaletown at David Lam Park which has 100 Akebono cherry trees. From there, follow the seawall around the back of False Creek past Science World and Olympic Village to Granville Island.

You’ll find lots of cherry blossoms on Granville Island. Head inside the Public Market to grab a treat from Lee’s Donuts. This classic spot has been making donuts since 1979 and is a favourite of celebs like Seth Rogen and David Chang. Get your donuts to go and bike over to Sutcliffe Park near the community centre to eat under the blossoms of Akebono and Kanzan cherry trees. After, head to Ron Basford Park at the east end of the island for a great photo op with more cherry trees.

When you are ready to continue biking, follow the seawall west through Creekside Park near Fishermen’s Wharf, where you’ll spot more cherry blossoms. You can also stop for fish and chips at Go Fish. Ride under the Burrard Street Bridge, then cycle to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vanier Park. The spray of cherry blossoms against the unique architecture of the planetarium is a popular photo spot.

Cherry blossoms outside HR MacMillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver

Cherry blossoms outside HR MacMillan Space. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Vision Event Photography Inc.

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