You might be surprised to learn that one of North America’s most popular rising tourist destinations is Vancouver. It’s Canada’s third-largest city, but what has visitors flocking is much more than that. Not only does it occupy a prized spot on the country’s western coast, but also it’s less than an hour from stunning wildlife in Mount Seymour Provincial Park and Coquitlam Mountain. Take a look at some of the unforgettable things to do in Vancouver on your next visit.
For those who prefer to explore the more urban side to Vancouver, Yaletown offers a trendy food and shopping scene. What was once the city’s warehouse district is now a flourishing hot spot, especially for late night entertainment. Yaletown is sometimes compared to the Big Apple’s SoHo district, with a similar edgy vibe and thriving cocktail lounges. Make time to experience this area if you love staying out late and partying with your friends.
Vancouver’s largest urban park is Stanley Park, a pristine greenscape covering almost one thousand acres. In addition to a range of memorial plaques and monuments, the park houses totem poles from First Nations people, a variety of nature trails and scenic gardens. Stanley Park is also full of wildlife. Visitors have the opportunity to see Great Blue Herons, beavers and harbor seals in addition to other more commonly viewed creatures, like raccoons. Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of chances to see a variety of local residents during your visit.
East of Stanley Park is the popular Vancouver Aquarium, an especially big hit with kids. This attraction features over 50,000 fish and animals from an impressive 734 species. It’s the ideal location to learn more about marine life—the aquarium doesn’t put on choreographed animal shows driven for profit; rather, the aquarium emphasizes educational experiences for its visitors. Interactive exhibits showcase the unique attributes to each species and the tanks mimic the fish’s natural habitat. See everything from black-tip reef sharks to slow-moving three-toed sloths. Check out the day’s special events for a well-rounded visit to the aquarium.
Lovers of the outdoors will appreciate the ample opportunity to connect with nature that Grouse Mountain presents. Popular activities include trekking the Grouse Grind, a two-mile path known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” due to almost 3,000 steps along the trail to reach the sweeping vistas at the summit. The snowshoeing trail and ski and snowboard runs are all popular activities during the winter, and the zip-line and Skyride gondola operate year-round. Please note that downhill hiking is not allowed, and you’ll need to plan on taking the Skyride back to the bottom of the mountain.
If you favor more educational things to do in Vancouver, opt for the Museum of Anthropology, housed in the University of British Columbia. This museum features an astounding collection of First Nations artifacts, especially those from tribes heralding from the Northwest Coast of Canada. Visitors will get to see totem poles, ritual dress and local art. Additionally, the museum has various relics from Europe’s Renaissance period and other assorted objects. While you have the option to tour the museum on your own, to get the most out of the experience, request a docent to give you an in-depth tour.
The city’s oldest and one of its most popular attractions is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It was built in 1889 and spans across 450 feet with verdant evergreen blanketing the forest floor a dizzying 230 feet below. Crossing the bridge isn’t for the faint-of-heart but results in unforgettable memories and an optimal picture-taking viewpoint to capture your feat. After your canopy walk, there are several other daredevil activities available to get your adrenaline flowing, including a treetops adventure, a cliff walk and an educational opportunity at Raptors Ridge.
There’s no better way to experience the many things to do in Vancouver than by cruise. Take in the beautiful expanse of the city lay stretched out before you—from the twinkling city lights at the forefront to the immense mountain backdrop—as the ship approaches the harbor. We recommend opting for a Crystal Cruises voyage to get the most out of your experience. Contact one of our experienced travel agents to begin planning your vacation today.