For a fun day out, head to Ambleside Beach and Dundarave or why not check out one of the city’s best parks. Cypress Provincial Park offers scenic views of Howe Sound and the metro area.
1. Cactus Club
Cactus Club is a great place to go for a casual meal and enjoy some good music. The restaurant has a patio with live music every Friday and Saturday night.
The restaurant has a variety of appetizers and main entrees that are prepared in unique ways. They also offer a range of desserts and drinks.
In addition, the restaurant has a kid-friendly atmosphere and is a great place to meet with friends. This makes it a perfect place for families to go for a lunch or dinner.
The Cactus Club Cafe focuses on global cuisine and offers a wide variety of dishes. They also have a large selection of signature drinks, including martinis and beers.
2. Top of Vancouver
Easily one of Vancouver’s best views, the Top of Vancouver observation deck offers panoramic views of Downtown and well-known places like Gastown, Coal Harbour, Canada Place, Stanley Park and more. This is a must-visit for anyone looking to take in the beautiful landscape of Vancouver, and tickets include all-day admission.
There’s a high-speed exterior glass elevator that takes you to the top in around 40 seconds, and it’s also an excellent spot for vistas of the mountain at night! If you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, there’s a revolving restaurant at the top of the lookout that serves up tasty bites all day long.
This former industrial area is now a hip neighborhood full of unique shopping, dining and art galleries. It’s a must-visit for lovers of vintage clothing, jewellery and other design accessories, as well as those seeking a taste of the city’s lively cocktail culture. The neighbourhood also boasts a popular public market and a cute Aquabus.
3. Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a 400-hectare natural forest and seaside paradise that’s brimming with fun and adventure for the whole family. The park is a popular Vancouver attraction, incorporating First Nations culture and heritage, woodland and waterfront trails, a world-class aquarium and spectacular views of the city and ocean.
With kilometres of trails, beaches and local wildlife, it’s easy to lose yourself in this green oasis. Whether you’re exploring Stanley Park by foot, bike, or car, it’s the perfect destination for anyone wanting to escape from the busy city life and experience a true West Coast rainforest.
Take a walk along the Seawall or rent bikes to see all the park has to offer. You can cycle a circular route that circles the whole park, passing Brockton Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Third Beach and Second Beach and then end your journey in the Lost Lagoon which is an artificial lake (see below). This is one of my favourite walks in Vancouver!
4. Capilano Suspension Bridge
One of the most popular attractions in North Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge combines nature, history and culture into a single destination that attracts over 1 million visitors each year. Founded in 1889, the park features an iconic 137 metre (450 ft) suspension bridge that spans a 70 metre (230 ft) canyon above the Capilano River in the West Coast rainforest.
The bridge is accompanied by rope bridges, paths through the trees, Indigenous art, and a Cliffwalk at the edge of the canyon. In addition, the park offers guided nature tours, explorer programs for kids, First Nations carvings demos and a totem pole park, as well as gift shops and three restaurants.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a must-visit during your trip to Vancouver. It also hosts an annual holiday event, Canyon Lights, where hundreds of thousands of lights adorn the bridge, cliffwalk and rainforest throughout December.
5. Celebration of Light
The Honda Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver’s largest annual events, featuring 3 nights of fireworks syncronized to music. The event typically attracts hundreds of thousands of people and many boats to English Bay every night.
As well as the fireworks, there are also concerts and other shows happening all around the area. If you’re looking for something a little different, there’s also SHOREFEST which is Vancouver’s biggest free community concert series.
The fireworks are generally pretty safe, but you should take precautions if you have respiratory conditions. They can cause some smoke and dust, which can sometimes drift ashore and into the town centre.
6. Grouse Grind
Vancouver is a beautiful coastal city that boasts a number of outdoor attractions. One of the most popular is the infamous Grouse Grind, which offers a challenging workout that pays off with a stunning view of the city below.
The trail, which climbs more than 850 meters in less than three kilometers, is also considered a local bucket list hike. While it is a bit of a physical challenge, the summit can be reached in as little as an hour by very fit people.
After the trail is completed, visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal activities and entertainment at the top of Grouse Mountain. From chairlift rides to disk golf, a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge, there’s something for everyone.
7. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Located on Burrard Street, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a popular attraction for Vancouver tourists. There are many things to do here, including taking a free tour and visiting the crypt.
The cathedral is also home to some gorgeous art pieces. From Henry Moore’s Madonna and Child sculpture to Victorian mosaics, these artworks are sure to enchant visitors.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the church, take a free 60-minute guided tour to learn all about its important areas. These tours are held at 11:00 am and 15:00 pm each day.
Another great way to save on entrance fees is to get a tourist pass that will give you access to hundreds of attractions around the city. Check out our post on London Tourist Passes to find out more about these deals and which one might be best for you.
8. Science World
Science World is a great family-friendly museum that features fun, interactive exhibits. It is also home to the OMNIMAX Theatre.
Located at the east end of False Creek, this building is shaped like a giant ball with a domed roof. It was built for the 1986 World’s Fair and is a modern landmark in Vancouver.
Inside the dome are galleries focusing on human performance and nature. There’s a popular hands-on area called Eureka where you can play with water, light, sound and motion.
There are also a number of educational science movies that are shown in the free OMNIMAX Theatre throughout the day. In addition, there is an After Dark event once a month that allows 19+ visitors to enjoy the centre after regular closing time.
Founded in 1982, Science World has a long history of inspiring curiosity and nurturing future scientists. Its staff travel extensively to schools and communities to conduct workshops and present science-themed shows. They also run a number of outreach programs, including Super Science Club and Opening the Door.
9. Richmond Chinatown
Chinatown is one of the most vibrant and unique neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Its blend of history and modern development attracts people looking for a distinctive space.
Founded in the 1800s, this bustling area has seen numerous waves of immigrants, and today it is overflowing with shops, restaurants and nightclubs. It also offers a wide variety of unique housing options, including Single Resident Occupancy buildings and not for profit housing coops.
Inner Richmond is a multicultural neighborhood that has not suffered the same kind of gentrification as some of its neighbors to the west and south. It has a number of produce markets along its streets and a large selection of inexpensive eateries, ranging from Vietnamese to Chinese and Burmese cuisines.
It is home to a few highrises, but most of the area has been restructured so that traffic flows smoothly and new construction can be built without damaging old historic buildings. In addition, new zoning controls should insure that a significant proportion of all future residential construction includes affordable housing.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.