Driving two Slingshots in Vancouver, by VanCity Slingshots

The Top 30 things to do in Vancouver (No Boring BS!)

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or gastronomical delights, our roundup of the best things to do in Vancouver is your ticket to experiencing everything this city has to offer. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime, all while taking in the rich tapestry of landscapes, flavours, and traditions that define Vancouver.

Outdoor Adventures

1. Explore Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Stanley Park, a vast urban oasis at the heart of Vancouver, Canada, is celebrated for its expansive 400-hectare landscape, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. The park is a hub of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural richness, offering a variety of activities for all ages. Its famed Seawall, the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world, invites visitors to enjoy cycling, running, or walking while taking in the scenic views of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. Attractions within the park include the Vancouver Aquarium, numerous gardens like the Stanley Park Rose Garden, First Nations totem poles at Brockton Point, and inviting beaches such as Second Beach and Third Beach. Additionally, the park boasts a golf course, tennis courts, and a myriad of trails that meander through its dense forests. The Stanley Park Nature House, along with various dining venues, provides educational insights and culinary delights with a view. The park is also a venue for cultural and sporting events, offering horse-drawn carriage tours for a unique exploration of its landmarks.

Overall, Stanley Park serves as a multifaceted destination where visitors can engage in adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences, solidifying its reputation as a must-visit location in Vancouver.

2. Renting a Slingshot in Vancouver

Imagine the thrill of cruising down Vancouver’s scenic roads, the wind in your hair, as you command the sleek curves of a Polaris Slingshot. Renting one of these open-air roadsters offers an unparalleled driving experience, blending the thrill of a motorcycle with the stability of a sports car. Feel the engine roar to life and your pulse quicken, as you slide into the low-lying, bucket seat – ready for an adventure across the cityscape or along the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway.

Whether it’s feeling the sunshine on your skin as you navigate through Stanley Park or attracting gazes along bustling Davie Street, a Slingshot rental is about grabbing attention and feeling the rush of adrenaline. As you push the pedal down and the RPMs climb, relish the instantaneous connection between man, machine, and nature. The Vancouver backdrop —a tapestry of deep blue skies, verdant greenery, and urban sophistication— becomes much more exciting from the cockpit of a Slingshot.

For those looking to amp up their Vancouver visit, renting a Slingshot is an experience not just about the destination but the pure joy of the ride. — This is an experience you won’t want to miss!

3. Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver is a celebrated destination known for its breathtaking scenery and adventurous experiences. The park’s main attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, extends 137 meters across and hovers 70 meters above the Capilano River, offering visitors stunning views of the surrounding rainforest and river. Since its initial construction in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, the bridge has seen several upgrades to enhance safety while preserving its historical allure. Beyond the bridge, the park features the Treetops Adventure with suspension bridges among Douglas firs, the thrilling Cliffwalk over Capilano Canyon, and the Rainforest Explorer Program for educational exploration. The Story Centre and Totem Park delve into the area’s history and indigenous culture, while Raptors Ridge introduces visitors to local birds of prey. Seasonal events like ‘Canyon Lights’ transform the park with festive illuminations, and dining and shopping options provide places to eat and souvenirs to take home. The park encourages visitors to wear sturdy shoes for comfortable navigation and to bring cameras to capture the scenic beauty.

Offering a mix of culture, nature, and adventure, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is an essential experience for those visiting Vancouver.

4. Explore Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain Gondola

Grouse Mountain, known as ‘The Peak of Vancouver,’ is a year-round destination for outdoor activities, located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Standing at an elevation of 1,231 meters, the mountain offers diverse winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding across 33 runs suitable for all levels, ice skating on an 8,000-square-foot rink, snowshoeing along tranquil trails, and various terrain parks for freestyle enthusiasts. In summer, activities shift to hiking the challenging Grouse Grind, ziplining across scenic vistas, and downhill mountain biking. Year-round attractions feature the Skyride gondola offering stunning views, a wildlife refuge for endangered animals like grizzly bears, seasonal lumberjack shows, and the Theatre in the Sky for educational films. Dining options range from casual to fine dining, with The Observatory providing spectacular views. Grouse Mountain also hosts special events like Mountain Top Christmas and 24 Hours of Winter, enhancing its appeal as a versatile destination for adventure, leisure, and cultural experiences against the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful backdrop. Visitors are advised to dress accordingly, purchase appropriate tickets or passes, and note that the Skyride and facilities are wheelchair-accessible, making

Grouse Mountain a vibrant and accessible destination throughout the year.

5. Kayak in Deep Cove

Deep Cove kayaks

Deep Cove, a scenic seaside village near Vancouver, British Columbia, is a haven for kayaking enthusiasts of all levels. Nestled on the eastern shore of the Indian Arm and surrounded by forested mountains, its calm waters provide an ideal setting for both novice and experienced paddlers. Local outfitters offer kayak rentals, including both single and double options, along with paddles, life jackets, and basic instructions. Beginners can enjoy the safe, sheltered bay, while more adventurous kayakers can explore the natural beauty of the Indian Arm, spotting wildlife such as seals and sea birds along the way. To ensure a smooth experience, it’s advised to book kayaks in advance, check weather and sea conditions, always wear a life jacket, respect the local environment, and be aware of accessibility options.

Deep Cove’s tranquil waters and stunning surroundings make it a perfect spot for a kayaking adventure, complemented by the village’s quaint charm.

6. Sea-to-Sky Gondola Ride

Sea to Sky Gondola Summit

The Sea-to-Sky Gondola, located near Squamish, British Columbia, halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, offers a breathtaking 10-minute journey over 885 meters (2,900 feet) in elevation, showcasing spectacular views of Howe Sound, Stawamus Chief Mountain, and Shannon Falls. Opened in 2014, this attraction features a variety of summit activities including dining and shopping at the Summit Lodge, walking across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, hiking along trails for all levels, and learning on the Spirit Trail with interpretive signage. Adventure seekers can tackle the Via Ferrata for a unique climbing experience. Seasonally, the gondola offers distinct activities like snowshoeing in winter and outdoor yoga in summer, along with events such as the Friday Sunset Music Series. It’s also a sought-after venue for weddings, providing a dramatic backdrop for special occasions. Visitors are advised to book tickets in advance, dress for changing mountaintop weather, and note that the site is pet-friendly and accessible.

The Sea-to-Sky Gondola is an unforgettable way to experience the natural beauty and outdoor adventures of the Pacific Northwest.

Cultural Experiences

1. Explore Granville Island

Granville Island Public Market

  • Located at: 1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3R9

Granville Island Public Market, nestled under the Granville Street Bridge in Vancouver, is a bustling hub of culture and gastronomy, beloved for its eclectic mix of artisan goods, fresh local produce, and lively atmosphere. Once an industrial wasteland, it has been transformed into a culinary and artistic haven, featuring an indoor marketplace that operates daily. Here, food enthusiasts can revel in a variety of stalls offering everything from seafood and baked goods to artisanal cheeses and handmade chocolates, while the scents of fresh bread and ripe berries fill the air. The island also serves as a creative space for artists and craftsmen, hosting studios for glassblowers, potters, and more, where visitors can observe their craft and purchase unique items. Adding to the vibrant ambiance are live performances, art galleries, theatres, and activities for children, including a water park and the Kids Market.

With a range of dining options and accessible by various modes of transport, including the scenic Aquabus, Granville Island offers a rich tapestry of experiences that embody the spirit of the Pacific Northwest, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists.

2. Visit the Museum of Anthropology (seismic upgrades until June 2024)

Museum of Anthropology

  • Located at: University of British Columbia, 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver stands as a premier institution globally recognized for its dedication to the research, preservation, and exhibition of ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, with a particular emphasis on indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest. Designed by Arthur Erickson, its architecture draws inspiration from the traditional post-and-beam structures of the Northwest Coast First Nations, housing an extensive collection that includes totem poles, carvings, and ceremonial items in the Great Hall and an outdoor Haida House. The museum showcases a diverse range of artifacts from across the world, highlighted by works from the acclaimed artist Bill Reid, such as “The Raven and the First Men.” MOA enriches visitor experiences with multimedia presentations, guided tours exploring specific cultural or thematic exhibit aspects, and public programs like artist talks and workshops. Additionally, the MOA Shop offers unique gifts and artwork, often from indigenous creators, making the museum not only a center for cultural education but also a source of ethically sourced keepsakes.
MOA serves as a vibrant platform connecting visitors with the artistic and cultural achievements of global communities, offering deep, thought-provoking insights into diverse human expressions and histories.

3. Discover the Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

  • Located at: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2H7

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG), located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is celebrated as a pivotal institution in the visual arts scene, housed in an eye-catching neoclassical building designed by Francis Rattenbury. As the largest gallery in Western Canada, VAG plays a crucial role in the city’s cultural fabric, offering access to a vast collection of over 12,000 artworks. It prominently features pieces by Emily Carr, showcasing her iconic depictions of the Pacific Northwest’s landscapes and indigenous cultures, alongside a broad spectrum of Canadian and international artists through both permanent and rotating exhibitions. VAG’s dynamic schedule includes temporary exhibitions spanning historical to contemporary art across various mediums, complemented by an extensive public program of artist talks, workshops, and tours. Special events like art auctions and the FUSE evening mixers enrich the gallery’s offerings, while the Gallery Shop and onsite café enhance visitor experiences.

VAG stands as a vibrant hub for art enthusiasts and novices alike, promoting engagement with art through interactive and educational initiatives, making it a cornerstone for community involvement and artistic exploration in Vancouver.

4. Tour the Historic Gastown District

Historic Gastown District

  • Located at: 305 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1B9 (Historical Steam Clock)

Historic Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, is celebrated for its distinctive character, cobblestone streets, and Victorian architecture, earning its status as a National Historic Site. It skillfully merges old-world charm with modern culture, highlighted by landmarks such as the steam-powered Steam Clock and the statue of “Gassy” Jack Deighton, the area’s pioneering saloon owner. Gastown offers a diverse shopping and dining scene, with independent boutiques, art galleries, and a variety of restaurants and cafes catering to every taste. As night falls, the neighbourhood buzzes with live music and entertainment across its pubs and bars, while architecture and heritage tours during the day provide insights into its storied past. Art studios and galleries enrich the cultural landscape, and frequent events and festivals add to the vibrant atmosphere.

Gastown represents a harmonious blend of history and contemporary urban life, making it an essential experience for both visitors and locals in Vancouver.

5. Experience the Richmond Night Market

Richmond Night Market

  • Located at: 8351 River Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 1Y4

The Richmond Night Market, located near Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, stands as one of North America’s largest and most attended night markets, operating seasonally from spring to fall. Celebrated for its vibrant multicultural atmosphere, the market offers an extensive selection of Asian street food, ranging from traditional Chinese delicacies to Japanese, Taiwanese, and inventive fusion dishes, providing a unique culinary journey. Beyond the culinary delights, visitors can explore a variety of merchandise stalls selling everything from clothing to gadgets and trinkets, often at affordable prices. The market also features live entertainment, including music, dance, and martial arts, alongside carnival-style games, rides, and an interactive children’s area, creating a festive and lively atmosphere. With whimsical light installations and artistic displays, the market is not only a feast for the palate but also a visual spectacle. Easily accessible by public transit and located a short walk from the Bridgeport SkyTrain Station, the Richmond Night Market is a must-visit for those looking to experience the dynamic culture and flavours of traditional Asian night markets within the Vancouver metropolitan area.

Visitors are advised to check the market’s schedule in advance, prepare for crowds, and bring cash for transactions.

Food and Drink

1. Explore the Diverse Food Cart Scene

Japadog food truck

Vancouver’s vibrant food cart scene epitomizes the city’s cultural diversity and culinary innovation, featuring over 100 food trucks that offer a wide array of global flavours. Downtown Vancouver streets are alive with the tastes of Asian fusion, gourmet burgers, sustainable seafood, and plant-based options, allowing visitors and locals alike to take a gastronomic tour of the world. Highlights include creatively topped poutines and fluffy bao buns filled with a variety of savoury ingredients. The strong Asian influence is evident in offerings such as Japanese takoyaki, Korean bibimbap, and Filipino adobo, alongside Latin American favourites like tacos and empanadas. Food carts also venture into fusion cuisine, mixing traditional dishes to create novel flavours, such as Korean-Mexican tacos.

For those looking to dive into this culinary landscape, resources like the Vancouver Street Food app and food truck festivals provide an accessible way to explore the dynamic and ever-evolving street food culture.

2. Attend a Secret Supper Soiree

Secret Dinner

Attending a Secret Supper Soiree in Vancouver offers a unique and exclusive dining experience that combines the excitement of a mysterious event with gourmet cuisine in unexpected locations. The intrigue begins with the invitation, as details regarding the venue and menu are only revealed to guests shortly before the event, ensuring an element of surprise. These soirees are designed to foster a sense of community among attendees, who might be food enthusiasts, adventure seekers, or those celebrating a special occasion. The events are held in carefully selected, diverse settings such as hidden courtyards, private lofts, art galleries, or even transformed public spaces. Chefs craft multi-course meals featuring local, seasonal ingredients, with an emphasis on creativity and presentation. The communal dining setup encourages interaction and connection among guests, enhancing the overall experience. With options for premium wine pairings and non-alcoholic alternatives, the soirees cater to a range of preferences. To participate, prospective guests must sign up for notifications and purchase tickets in advance, with the exclusivity and popularity of the events often leading to quick sell-outs.

This dining adventure promises a memorable evening of fine food, unique ambiance, and new connections.

3. Indigenous Culinary Experience

Indigenous Culinary Experience

An Indigenous culinary experience in Vancouver provides a deep connection to First Nations traditions and heritage through food, offering diners the opportunity to taste and learn about the indigenous foods of the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver’s notable First Nations restaurant, Salmon n’ Bannock, and other culinary events, such as cooking classes or catered events led by indigenous chefs, showcase traditional ingredients like game meats, wild salmon, bannock, and foraged berries. These experiences combine ancestral cooking methods with contemporary culinary techniques, emphasizing the cultural significance of each dish. Ingredients are often sourced from local indigenous suppliers, supporting native communities and highlighting sustainable practices intrinsic to indigenous food systems. Beyond delicious meals, these culinary experiences are educational, sharing the stories, customs, and sustainable practices behind the dishes, and are complemented by events like the Talking Stick Festival and National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations, which further celebrate indigenous culture.

Engaging in these culinary experiences offers an immersive way to honour the history, culture, and land stewardship of the First Nations people in Vancouver.

4. Forage and Cook with a Locavore Chef

Forage and Cook with a locavore chef

Engaging in a foraging and cooking experience with a locavore chef in Vancouver offers an immersive way to explore British Columbia’s natural pantry and sustainable culinary practices. Led by chefs knowledgeable in local and wild foods, participants learn to identify and sustainably harvest edible plants, mushrooms, and seaweeds from the region’s diverse ecosystems. Following the foraging adventure, the experience shifts to a cooking lesson where these wild ingredients are transformed into delectable dishes, often complemented by locally sourced meats and produce. This unique combination of outdoor exploration and hands-on cooking not only results in a delicious meal but also imparts a deeper understanding of local food systems, the nutritional benefits of wild ingredients, and the importance of respecting seasonal cycles and ecosystems.

Offered through culinary schools, adventure tour companies, or private bookings, this experience is a meaningful dive into food origins and the practice of foraging, providing participants with a connection to the environment and its seasonal offerings in Vancouver.

5. Dim Sum Dine Around

Dim Sum

A Dim Sum Dine Around in Vancouver offers a unique culinary exploration through one of the city’s hallmark gastronomic experiences, especially in the neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Richmond, renowned for their exceptional Asian cuisine. This journey into the world of dim sum, which translates to ‘touch the heart,’ presents an opportunity to indulge in a variety of traditional Chinese small plates shared among friends and family, embodying a communal dining tradition. Participants can delight in an assortment of dumplings, steamed buns, rice noodle rolls, and more adventurous selections like chicken feet, along with vegetarian and modern twists on classic dishes. These tastings, often accompanied by Chinese teas, provide a comprehensive taste of both classic and contemporary dim sum.

Ideal for groups, the Dine Around experience can be self-guided or part of a structured food tour, offering a deep dive into the cultural and social essence of dim sum while highlighting Vancouver’s vibrant Asian culinary scene.

Nature and Wildlife

1. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium

  • Located at: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC, V6G 3E2

The Vancouver Aquarium, nestled within Stanley Park, stands as Canada’s largest and a leading facility for marine research, conservation, and rehabilitation. It offers visitors engaging encounters with a diverse array of marine life from various global ecosystems. Highlights include vibrant tropical waters with coral reefs, the Tropic Zone with rainforest inhabitants, the interactive Discovery Centre, and The Wild Coast, showcasing sea otters and seals. While the iconic Beluga exhibit’s status may vary, the aquarium provides a comprehensive educational experience with behind-the-scenes tours, informative talks, and feeding demonstrations. Its commitment to conservation is evident in its active involvement in marine life care, research, and rescue efforts. The gift shop allows visitors to take a piece of their experience home, emphasizing eco-friendly products.

A visit to the Vancouver Aquarium is an enlightening journey into marine conservation, offering insights into the importance of preserving our oceans and their inhabitants.

2. Explore the VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden

  • Located at: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, V6M 4H1

VanDusen Botanical Garden, a 55-acre sanctuary in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a verdant tapestry of plants from across the globe, meticulously curated into a variety of themed landscapes that demonstrate the richness of Vancouver’s temperate climate. Visitors can wander through diverse areas, such as the colourful Rhododendron Walk, the East Asian-inspired Sino Himalayan Garden, the fragrant Rose Garden, and the Mediterranean Garden, showcasing flora from drier climates. Highlights include an Elizabethan Hedge Maze, a Scottish Shelter, and centuries-old Heritage Trees. VanDusen offers beauty in every season, from spring blooms to winter’s tranquillity, making it a haven for wildlife and a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers. The garden provides educational workshops, guided tours, and seasonal events like the Festival of Lights, alongside dining options and a gift shop with botanical-themed items.

VanDusen Botanical Garden not only offers a space for relaxation and enjoyment but also educates visitors on the importance of plants and conservation, encouraging a deeper connection with nature.

3. Go Whale Watching

Vancouver Whale Watching

  • Located at: Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue, Richmond, BC, V7E 3L8

Whale watching in Vancouver offers an exhilarating opportunity to observe the diverse marine life of the Pacific Northwest, with the best viewing season extending from April to October. The surrounding waters are a haven for various whale species, including orcas, humpbacks, grays, minkes, and occasionally blues. Local tour operators provide 3 to 5-hour excursions from various ports, utilizing boats equipped with viewing decks and hydrophones for an immersive experience. Knowledgeable guides enrich the tours with insights into whale behaviour, conservation, and ecology. Beyond whales, participants can expect to see dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and seabirds, adhering to respectful wildlife viewing guidelines. While sightings are not guaranteed, many companies offer return trips if no whales are spotted. For the best experience, guests are advised to dress warmly, use binoculars, and apply sun protection.

Whale watching tours not only offer the thrill of witnessing these majestic creatures up close but also foster a deeper understanding of the need to protect ocean ecosystems, making it a memorable and impactful adventure.

4. Stroll through Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

  • Located at: 4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 2Z1

Queen Elizabeth Park, spanning 130 acres in Vancouver, British Columbia, stands as the city’s highest point, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the skyline and North Shore mountains. Renowned for its beautifully landscaped gardens, the park boasts a variety of plants and flowers that flourish year-round, including the transformed Quarry Garden and an expansive arboretum with native and exotic trees. The Bloedel Conservatory, a warm, humid dome, is home to over 200 exotic birds and 500 plant species, providing a tropical retreat in the heart of the city. Visitors can engage in activities such as disc golf, tennis, and lawn bowling, or enjoy the tranquil spaces for picnics and relaxation. The park is adorned with modern sculptures and is a favoured spot for photography, weddings, and special events, featuring dining options like the upscale Seasons in the Park restaurant.

Queen Elizabeth Park serves as a horticultural haven and a recreational venue, merging nature’s beauty with leisure opportunities in one of Canada’s most scenic urban settings.

5. Bird Watching at Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Reifel Bird Sanctuary

  • Located at: 5191 Robertson Road, Delta, BC, V4K 3N2

The Reifel Bird Sanctuary, nestled in the Fraser River Estuary of Delta, British Columbia, and part of the Alaksen National Wildlife Area, spans nearly 300 hectares (740 acres) of protected land dedicated to the conservation of hundreds of bird species, both migratory and resident. This peaceful sanctuary, managed by the British Columbia Waterfowl Society, features over 8.5 kilometres (5.3 miles) of walking trails through diverse habitats such as marshes, wetlands, and ponds, making it accessible and enjoyable for all visitors, regardless of their bird-watching expertise. With the opportunity to see an array of species, including the rare Sandhill Crane and Snow Goose, birdwatchers can utilize bird blinds and viewing platforms for observation and photography. The sanctuary also offers guided tours, educational programs, a gift shop, and bird-feeding areas, providing a comprehensive nature experience. Ideal for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts alike, a visit to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary is both an educational and immersive outdoor activity that underscores the value of wildlife conservation and offers a serene escape into the avian world.

Historical Sites and Museums

1. Tour the Britannia Mine Museum

Britannia Mine Museum

  • Located at: 150 Copper Dr, Britannia Beach, BC V8B 1J1

The Britannia Mine Museum, a National Historic Site located along the Sea-to-Sky Highway about 45 minutes north of Vancouver, provides an intriguing exploration of British Columbia’s mining heritage, once home to the largest copper mine in the British Empire. Visitors can marvel at the iconic 20-story Mill No. 3, explore various exhibits across the historical townsite, and embark on an underground mine train tour to experience the miners’ environment firsthand. Highlights include the Terra Lab with interactive earth science exhibits, the Copper Quest for hands-on mineral discovery, and the 1908 Machine Shop showcasing mining-era tools and vehicles. The Beaty Lundin Visitor Centre offers insights into the mine’s history, geology, and environmental legacies, while gold panning activities allow visitors to find real gold flecks.

With scenic views of Howe Sound, the museum not only educates on the mining process and its impact but also provides a comprehensive, engaging experience for history enthusiasts, families, and the curious alike, deepening appreciation for the mining industry’s significance.

2. Visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver Maritime Museum

  • Located at: 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6J 1A3

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, nestled in Vanier Park near downtown Vancouver, is a treasure trove of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic’s maritime history, offering insights into the coastal lifestyle, maritime trade, and the traditions of the area’s First Peoples. Highlighted by the iconic RCMP schooner St. Roch, a National Historic Site known for its groundbreaking voyages through the Northwest Passage and around North America, the museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the life of Arctic explorers. Its extensive galleries display ship models, nautical equipment, and artwork, reflecting the sea’s impact on culture and history, with a special focus on indigenous maritime heritage. Interactive areas for children and educational programs enrich the experience, making the museum a comprehensive educational destination.

Through its exhibits and workshops, the Vancouver Maritime Museum vividly brings to life the sea’s romance and reality, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by maritime history and the sea’s influence on human civilization.

3. Explore the Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum

  • Located at: 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 3T6

The Burnaby Village Museum, located just east of Vancouver in British Columbia, is a captivating open-air museum that brings the 1920s Canadian village life to the modern-day audience. Spanning 10 acres, the museum is home to over 30 exhibits and heritage buildings, including original and replica structures like a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and general store, centered around the historically significant 1912 C.W. Parker Carousel. The staff, often dressed in period costumes, enhance the authenticity of the experience by demonstrating historical crafts, engaging in role-playing, and educating visitors on the cultural and social aspects of the era. Key attractions include the operational Interurban Tram No. 1223 and the Elworth house, providing insights into transportation and domestic life of the 1920s, respectively. The museum is not just a static display but a hub of activity with special events, seasonal celebrations, educational programs, and an Ice Cream Parlour that offers a taste of nostalgia.

It stands as a dynamic educational facility, offering a window into British Columbia’s past in an engaging and interactive manner, making it an enriching experience for history enthusiasts, families, and anyone interested in stepping back in time.

4. Discover the Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Beaty Biodiversity Museum

  • Located at: Vancouver Campus, 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum, situated on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, serves as a natural history museum aimed at fostering an appreciation for the planet’s vast biodiversity. Highlighted by the striking display of a 25-meter-long blue whale skeleton, the largest exhibit of its kind in Canada, the museum offers an educational journey through more than 2 million specimens covering a wide spectrum of life, from minuscule insects to ancient fossils. Its collections, organized into thematic areas like marine invertebrates and tetrapods, along with the Herbarium and the Cowan Tetrapod Collection, illustrate the diversity of life and its evolutionary history. The museum enriches visitor experiences with public programming, including talks, tours, and workshops on biodiversity topics, as well as hands-on activities in the Discovery Lab.

It stands as a vibrant educational hub, inviting exploration and engagement with the natural world, emphasizing the importance of conservation and the interconnectedness of Earth’s life forms.

5. Learn at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

  • Located at: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC, V6J 3J9

The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vanier Park, Vancouver, is a hub for space science and astronomy, offering an engaging experience through its public observatory and astronomy museum. Named after a notable local philanthropist, the centre aims to spark and maintain interest in space exploration with features like the Planetarium Star Theatre, which offers 360-degree dome shows on cosmic journeys and phenomena. The GroundStation Canada Theatre presents live, interactive sessions on space news and satellite communication, while the Cosmic Courtyard gallery provides hands-on exhibits, including a touchable moon rock. Additionally, the Gordon Southam Observatory allows visitors to observe celestial objects through a significant telescope, supported by knowledgeable staff.

The centre enriches the learning experience with workshops, speaker events, and observatory evenings tailored to celestial events, making it an ideal destination for space enthusiasts of all ages, complete with a gift shop that caters to the interests of aspiring astronomers.

Entertainment and Nightlife

1. Enjoy Views from the Vancouver Lookout

Vancouver Lookout

  • Located at: 555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 4N6

The Vancouver Lookout, situated at Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver, offers visitors a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the city, the ocean, and the mountains from its observation deck 167 meters (553 feet) high. Accessible via a 40-second ride in a glass elevator, the deck presents a unique vantage point to view Vancouver’s landmarks, with informative panels detailing points of interest like Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. The Lookout provides stunning vistas both day and night, from the activity of seaplanes and cruise ships to the serene beauty of the city lights after dusk. Beyond its role as a prime spot for sightseeing and photography, it hosts guided tours and functions, making it a comprehensive tourist destination.

Its central location makes it a perfect starting point for visitors to get oriented with Vancouver’s diverse urban and natural landscapes, offering a memorable and picturesque experience of the city’s sprawling beauty.

2. Catch a Game at Rogers Arena

Game at Rogers Arena

  • Located at: 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC, V6B 6G1

Rogers Arena, nestled in downtown Vancouver, stands as a hub of sports and entertainment, notably housing the city’s NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks. Game nights here are electric, with the fervour of hockey fans setting the tone even before the action starts. The arena’s state-of-the-art design amplifies the excitement, featuring a high-definition scoreboard that captures every moment of the game. It’s not just about the hockey; Rogers Arena also boasts a plethora of amenities, including diverse food options reflecting Vancouver’s culinary culture, and a team store packed with merchandise. Beyond hockey, the venue hosts a variety of other sports events and major concerts, offering something for everyone.

Luxury suites provide a VIP experience, making Rogers Arena a prime spot for enjoying top-tier entertainment and sports in a vibrant community atmosphere, showcasing the Canadian passion for hockey and live events.

3. See a Show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

  • Located at: 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5N6

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, located in Vancouver’s Entertainment District, stands as a pivotal cultural hub with a seating capacity of nearly 2,800, hosting a diverse range of events including Broadway musicals, theatrical productions, opera, ballet, and concerts. Celebrated for its outstanding acoustics and mid-century modern architecture, the venue enriches the cultural landscape of the city since its inauguration in 1959, named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. It features resident companies like Vancouver Opera and Ballet BC, alongside guest performances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, offering a rich array of operatic, balletic, and classical concerts. Touring Broadway productions also find a home here, presenting both contemporary hits and timeless classics. Patrons can enjoy pre-show and intermission amenities at the theatre’s bars, with some events offering further engagement through pre-show talks or post-show Q&As.

Conveniently accessible by public transit and with available on-site parking, a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre promises a memorable evening of entertainment, showcasing the vibrancy and talent of Vancouver’s performing arts scene.

4. Experience Granville Street Nightlife

Granville Street Nightlife

  • Located at: 800 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC (Central Granville St. Area)

Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, stands as a bustling hub of nightlife, drawing both locals and tourists to its array of bars, clubs, and live music venues. The street comes alive in the evenings, particularly on weekends, with neon lights and the vibrant sounds of music and crowds. Offering a diverse mix of nightclubs with guest DJs and themed nights, bars and pubs with craft beers and cocktails, and live music venues hosting both local talents and well-known artists, Granville Street caters to a wide range of entertainment preferences. The lively atmosphere is further enriched by street performers and pop-up events, enhancing the cultural experience. With numerous dining options available for late-night snacks or full meals, visitors are well-served, though planning for transportation is advised due to the crowded nature of the area.

Granville Street embodies the dynamic spirit of Vancouver’s after-dark scene, making it a quintessential destination for nightlife enthusiasts.

5. Attend the Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival

  • Located at: VIFF Centre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3M7

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), one of North America’s largest film festivals, is a prominent annual event held in Vancouver, British Columbia, showcasing over 300 films from more than 70 countries over two weeks from late September to early October. VIFF is celebrated for its eclectic mix of cinema, including feature films, documentaries, and shorts across various genres, with a particular focus on Canadian, East Asian, and non-fiction works. The festival offers film enthusiasts not only high-quality screenings across multiple city venues but also gala events, premieres, and special presentations. Beyond viewing, VIFF engages attendees with its Industry Conference, featuring panels, masterclasses, and networking opportunities for film professionals. It serves as a vibrant social platform for discussions, Q&As with filmmakers, and audience participation in awards, enriching the community’s cultural landscape.

Tickets are available for individual shows or via festival passes, with details on scheduling and attendance protocols accessible through the VIFF website, making it an unmissable event for cinema lovers.