I want to be honest with you and let you know that I may be biased because Vancouver is my hometown, but I truly believe it is one of the most spectacular destinations in the world! There is so much to do in and around Vancouver from winter sports, river rafting, city life and clubbing, whale watching, rock climbing, sailing etc etc. Vancouver is a city where modern meets wilderness. This perfectly contrasting collision is what captures my heart most about this city.
I could write “1,000 Things To Do in Vancouver”, but given this is based on a two week trip, here are my Must Do’s (some of the experiences are subject to time of year). In no particular order:
1. Sea to Sky Highway
In just 1.5 hours the Sea to Sky Highway does exactly that, it takes you from the sparkling ocean up into the mountains. The views are absolutely stunning on a clear, sunny day and you can make stops along the way at lakes and waterfalls, including Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls. If you’re up for it, discover the old Copper Mine Museum, a National Historic Site, at Britannia Beach. The best part is ending up in Whistler!
If you’re looking to get out of the city and experience some wild sports, Whistler is a great option for excitement in both summer and winter. In the summer you can go downhill mountain biking, take the gondola to the top of the mountain and potentially spot bears and their cubs below, hiking, ziplining, horseback riding etc. In the winter you will experience some of the best snowboarding/skiing in the world and if you want a bit more excitement, you can go HELISKIING! If you want to try something new you can go snowshoeing, dog sledding or take a Ziptrek Ecotour and zipline from Whistler to Blackcomb, fly over the sparkling river and walk from tree top to tree top on wooden suspension bridges in an ancient forest. The best hotel with the best location, just steps from the Whistler gondola is the Hilton Hotel, I stay there every time!
3. Local Mountain city view
If you’re not up for the Sea to Sky drive to Whistler, you can have just as much fun on the local mountains, Cypress Mountain , Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour where you can ski/snowboard in the winter, or go on hikes, biking or meet the local Grizzly bears at the top of Grouse Mountain in the summer. A must-try highlight in the winter is night skiing on Grouse or Seymour where you will get breathtaking views of Vancouver city below.
4. Revolving Restaurant
There are tons of nature activities and sports around Vancouver, but you can’t miss being in the heart of the city! I highly recommend at least one dinner at the Cloud 9 or Top of Vancouver revolving restaurants. Both have stunning views and reasonably priced food considering the setting. Go just before sunset so you can see the mountain and ocean views during daylight and watch as the sun sinks and all the lights shine throughout the city. I promise you’ve never seen city night views like this before.
5. Fly Over Canada
Just because you’re in Vancouver for two weeks doesn’t mean you should miss the rest of Canada. Head down to Canada Place and make time for this short but unforgettable 4D experience. Take the Fly Over Canada ride from east to west across Canada. After this experience you’ll be booking your next trip to see more of Canada’s breathtaking scenery.
6. Sleep in the City
Book at least one night in the heart of Vancouver. I can recommend The Hyatt Regency Hotel from first hand experience. Ask for a top floor to get the best views of the city. It’s great to be able to be part of the big city and explore on foot during the day and night.
7. Roller Blade Stanley Park or Drink a Beer in English Bay
Depending on the time of year you visit, rollerblading or biking in Stanley Park will offer you beautiful city and seawall ocean views. You will spot Canadian geese and even seals and otters playing in the harbour. If you’re looking for more of a relaxing time, take a stroll and drink a beer in English Bay. Enjoy watching the everyday life of local Vancouverites, with the lovely mesh of the ocean, mountains and modern city around you.
8. Eat Sushi
Bears aren’t the only ones crazy about salmon in this city. Right alongside McDonalds and Starbucks you will spot a sushi bar on every corner in Vancouver. Because of the high demand and competition in the city, sushi is shockingly cheap and DELICIOUS. The servings are large, the fish is fresh and if you love sushi, it’s a MUST when visiting this sushi loving city.
9. Day trip to Victoria
If you have the energy left over, a day trip to Victoria would be another highlight. Take a float-plane from the harbour and you will be amazed by the city and nature views below as you fly east to Vancouver Island. Visit the very interesting Royal BC Museum. I know the word “museum” sounds boring to many people and I can admit I’m not much of a museum person myself, but I promise you, this one is worth a visit! Discover the European style buildings from a horse-drawn carriage and depending on the season, visit Butchart Garden’s amazing flower displays! If you are up for some more adventure, whale watching is an absolute MUST. My last whale watching experience was filled with dozens of jumping killer whales as we found ourselves in the middle of a super pod (where three pods come together!). Whale watching season is April to October. Return via float-plane and you have had yourself a marvellous day!
Of course this list could go on and on. But if you plan on getting any rest during this AMAZING holiday, I’m going to have to cut it off at that. Do not miss these Vancouver highlights on your next two week trip!
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Categories: Savannah Grace