If you are ever looking to open your front door to the beach and your backdoor to the forest, Vancouver is the place for you. I visited Vancouver, Canada, for a week, and it still wasn’t enough time to explore the entire place. Despite Vancouver being characterized as a city, the locals have a small-town southern charm.
After an adventurous week there, I knew this wouldn’t be last my time seeing Vancouver. If you are looking to explore the city and want to know what to do from someone who experienced it themselves, read on.
Bike in Stanley Park
Located towards the West End of Downtown Vancouver, there are vast amounts of bike shops. I rented one for only eight bucks an hour and cycled down an accessible path into Stanly Park. The miraculous park is broad enough to spend your entire day there.
While on your bike adventure within the park, you will run into some of nature’s most beautiful animals like ducks and raccoons. Stanley Park has numerous bike paths, tall-towered looking trees, and a forest ambiance. It’s easy to say that my favorite part is how some of the trails led you straight into the beach.
Go for a swim at the beach
The best part of Vancouver is that the beaches are easily attainable no matter what part of the city you are in. Vancouver has beautiful and various types of beaches like The Kitsilano, Third, Wreck, Jericho, Second, Sunset Beach Park, Spanish Banks, and so many more.
What’s cool is that each beach has its own ambiance. For example, if you are looking to relax and like to go nude at the beach, you can go to the one called Wreck Beach also known as the hippie beach.
Walk Around in Granville Island
Granville Island is a “peninsula and shopping district in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.” The island consists of shopping, art galleries, historical culture, a public market, and has tons of food and drink!
From my host’s house, where I was staying, getting to Granville Island was a piece of a cake. I just took a short bus ride to the shoreline of Vancouver, jumped on a five-dollar ferry, and arrived at the island in less than ten minutes
Note, since the island isn’t too big, locals are accustomed to walking around versus driving within. I had the chance to check out specialty stores, gift shops, the Granville Island Brewery, art galleries, and a tasty restaurant. The island also has a theater, hotel, and beautiful art structures.
Hike up the Grouse Mountain
When you are ready for some real organic nature, you can head on over to the Grouse Mountain.
Like most travelers, you most likely won’t have a vehicle, but thankfully, Vancouver offers a free shuttle service that takes you up to the mountain. The service is at Canada Place, which is the pickup and drop-off point. The best part about the shuttle is that as you’re on your way to the mountain, the driver shares the historical stories of Vancouver.
Once you arrive at the mountain, to get to the top point, you have two choices: either take a tram up the mountain, or you can take a hike.
An important thing to remember, if you decide to visit the Grouse Mountain, I suggest asking your host or someone at your hotel if they have a local badge of the Grouse facility. The reason being is that locals get free entry. Otherwise, you will be stuck paying fifty-nine dollars to enter Grouse Mountain and for using the tram.
On top of the mountain, you will find restaurants and have the option to watch outdoor shows, do some ziplining, maybe even spot real live bears, and experience pristine landscape views.
Canoe in the North of Vancouver
Located in the Northern part of Vancouver is Deep Cove Kayak Centre. My host specifically recommended this place since it’s a great way to see beautiful views of the city while on water.
If you decide to go, Deep Cove offers different rates starting at 2 hours for thirty-nine dollars up to a full day for a hundred. If you are not located close by, per usual, there are reliable and clean public transportation options available to take you there.
Have a drink in Gastown
One of my top favorites places to visit was Gastown. It’s best known for its whistling Steam Clock and mix of souvenir shops, indie art galleries and decor stores in Victorian buildings.
When I went, I checked out The Cambie Bar, which featured live music, games, had an outside patio, and had vegan food options. The bar attracted diverse crowds which consisted mostly of travelers. This place is great to meet other people from other countries and enjoy lovely music.
Other than The Cambie Bar, Gastown is full of trendy places alike; however, if you aren’t looking to drink, no worries, it also features chic restaurants.