Vancouver is the perfect city for outdoor adventurers and city slickers alike. With something for everyone, the options for fun summer activities are endless! We polled our local photographers to give you the scoop on some of their sunny weather favourites! Flytographer Rose fills us in on all of the fun and adventurous things to do in Vancouver this summer.
Granville Island is a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. It can get very busy on summer weekends and even during the week so be prepared for a fun and bustling time. If you are interested in the arts, you can visit any number of artist’s studios here that range from pottery to textile arts. There are many unique shops to browse and of course, the market is a real draw for fresh produce and high quality ingredients. There are even a few floral shops that always have beautiful blooms. As for food, the options are many and varied! There are bakeries, coffee roasters, ethnic eateries, create your own picnic lunch or if you want an elegant meal on a sun-drenched patio, head over to Bridges Restaurant. Afterwards, the afternoon can be topped off with a trip across the water to downtown on the iconic rainbow trimmed False Creek Ferries.
Lighthouse Park is a favourite spot for Vancouverites to get away from the city for a few hours. Roughly a half hour drive from downtown, this park is incredibly special because it’s the ideal combination of forest walking trails, oceanside rock scrambling and city views. A 10 minute downhill walk will take you to the lighthouse and the West Beach trail will take you to a rock outcropping that is fun to explore. You might even want to bring a small picnic to really enjoy the day. Be sure to come early in the day to get a parking spot!
Ferry Ride to Bowen Island
A short distance from Vancouver is a tiny little place called Bowen Island. It is serviced by a ferry from Horseshoe Bay with frequent sailings and this makes for a wonderful day trip. You can park your car or take transit to Horseshoe Bay and walk/bike on the ferry for a real adventure. The crossing is about a half an hour and once you reach Snug Cove, the cutest little town will greet you. There are many little shops to peruse and if you are feeling like a hike, there are trails to Killarney Lake that are accessible from the village. There are plenty of places to eat once lunch rolls around. Check out the BC Ferries dock for casual fare or head into town for some more options.
Beach Day at Spanish Banks
Vancouver has many beaches and some of the nicest are near UBC at Spanish Banks. The beaches are long with a large grassy area towards Spanish Banks East for picnics and large groups. Further towards the west, the beaches turn sandy and become a favourite place to relax and enjoy the sun. When the tide goes out, it’s fun to walk out along the sand and watch the skimboarders. The views from Spanish Banks are spectacular; the North Shore is directly across from the beach and the city line is visible in the distance. You can bring your own picnic or have some fish and chips from one of the concession stands that dot along the shore. Parking is free but weekends do tend to get busy!
Kayaking in Deep Cove
A little village at the beginning of the Indian Arm called Deep Cove is an excellent place to spend a warm summer’s day. The town is perched on the edge of the ocean with a lovely oceanside park and marina to explore. The town itself has some cute retail shops and also some of the best donuts at Honey’s that are locally famous. If you are feeling like you want an adventure, you can rent kayaks from the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Center, located right on the water. The inlet is a great place to explore or just take in the views from a different perspective on the water.