Vancouver, B.C.: A Nature Lover’s Guide

Vancouver is a popular Pacific Northwest destination, to be sure, but why? Because it’s the largest Canadian City on the west coast? Because lots of films and TV shows are filmed here? Because it’s a cosmopolitan city rich in diversity and culture?

No.

Vancouver is a popular Pacific Northwest destination because of its natural beauty. I can think of no other city in the world (not even Seattle!) that offers so much in the way of stunning natural scenery, and outdoorsy activities. (However, I’m always open to being proven wrong, so tell me if you can think of another one!) Allow me to give you some examples:

Stanley Park and the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Of course, this tops everyone’s Vancouver list, and with good reason. There’s just so much to do here: the Aquarium, the suspension bridge, the harrowing cliff walk, and nature trails galore. The best time to come is first thing in the morning, or mid week, so you get fewer crowds.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Cliff Walk Vancover

The Cliff Walk at Stanley Park – not for the faint of heart.

 

Lynn Canyon Park

A less expensive alternative to the suspension bridge at Stanley Park, is Lynn Canyon Park suspension bridge (it’s FREE!). The park also offers a swimming hole and breathtaking waterfalls.

Lynn Canyon Bridge

Get your suspension kicks in for less here.

 

The Sea Wall

At just over 13.5 miles, the Seawall is part of the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world. It covers the perimeter of Stanley Park and stretch southward on both sides into the city. There is room for all: walkers, joggers, bikers and skaters. 

Vancouver Sea Wall - photo by Gabriel Santiago

photo by Gabriel Santiago

Van Dusen Botanical Garden

This botanical garden has year-round events, educational programs and even an observatory! 

vanDusen Gardens

 

Pacific Spirit Park

Pacific Spirit Park Another stunning urban park with a wide variety of plants and small animals. Several trails provide a sweet respite from the weary city-goer.

Lighthouse Park

This park offers easy hiking trails breathtaking views of the city, and Lions Bridge leading to North Vancouver. Get your cameras out for this hike!

Lighthouse Park Vancouver

 

English Bay Beach

Also known as First Beachis popular with both tourists and locals, since its easily accessible from downtown Vancouver. With a cafe, beach/chair rentals, kayak rentals and two sand volleyball courts, what’s not to love (except for the crowds!)

English Bay Beach

 

Deep Cove

Just east of North Vancouver is Deep Cove, a lovely recreational area with park and trails, restaurants, and events held throughout the year. 

Deep Cover, British Columbia

 

Grouse Mountain

This is Vancouver’s premier skiing mecca. Just a 20 minute drive north of Vancouver, the views of this ski resort are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Lessons, training and ski rentals are always available.

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

 

Whale Watching

Tours can be booked for any time of the year, as different species of whales make their way to and from Vancouver’s surrounding waters, but the peak season is generally May – October. 

Whale Sculpture Vancouver

Vancouver Dusk - photo by gabriel-santiago

Vancouver Dusk – photo by gabriel-santiago

 

Other Things to do in Vancouver, B.C.

And when you’ve had enough nature (gasp!)  here are other things to do in Vancouver:

 

 

Vancouver, British Columbia public market

Granville Island public market

Vancouver Nature Lovers

 

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