With a position alongside the Pacific and a local culture that’s blended from multiple nationalities, Vancouver has earned a reputation of being one of the world’s most fascinating cities. The people are genial, collectively giving the city a very welcoming appeal. Thanks to the eclectic nature of Vancouver, you’ll enjoy the diversity in the food and entertainment scene and will be enchanted by its art scene. With sites like the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver Aquarium, and the Museum of Vancouver, there are more than enough places to visit and things to do here. However, these aren’t the only things this city is known for. Below, we’ve put together a list of the famous things to see and do in Vancouver, Canada. Scroll down to find out more.
This 1000-acre (400-hectare) park is unlike any other: it’s a haven of nature and tranquility, with its expanse dotted with walking and running trails, a water park, several beaches, a train, numerous dining spots, and the largest aquarium in Canada. This is why Stanley Park welcomes millions of visitors annually. In fact, the number inches closer to the 10-million mark every year. It’s no wonder the park is one of Vancouver’s most popular attractions, a worthy escape from the cacophony of the city center.
Stanley Park Small-Group Bike Tour with E-Bike Option
Duration: 3 hours
2. Kitsilano Beach
No doubt, Kitsilano Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the country, attracting millions of locals and visitors alike. Canadians refer to it as “Kits”, which is more of a term of endearment than just a nickname. Kits has the usual beach appeal: sun, sand, and the azure waters of the Pacific. However, what sets this beach apart is the fact that it’ll keep you active, with numerous activities other than just lying on the sand.
You can swim right in the ocean or in the designated Kitsilano Pool. You can try out some kayaking, paddleboarding, or the more intense water aerobics. You could also visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum, found right in the Kits area.
Address: Vancouver, Canada
Website: Kitsilano Beach
3. Diverse cuisine
Cuisine in Vancouver is inspired by several world cultures that eventually converged in this eclectic city. What you may not have known is that the locals are huge foodies and a stroll through the city streets will reveal this. Eateries are around every corner, ranging from casual diners to fine-dining establishments to food trucks.
One beloved treat you can find in finer supermarkets includes “salmon candy”, a honey-glazed smoked salmon that’s inspired by West Coast indigenous First Nations fish smoking techniques. You must also try a “JapaDog” which is basically a Japanese-inspired hotdog. Finally, you’ve not tried Vancouver cuisine without indulging in some West Coast seafood, like Dungeness crab, spot prawns, and oysters, among others. We’ve got more on seafood, below.
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4. Summer festivals
What makes Vancouver such a vibrant city is its love for pomp and color and nothing reveals this more than its boisterous summer festivals. As soon as the days get longer and the sun shines with zeal, the fun begins, with a series of festivals that sometimes coincide with one another. Fiestas of music, food, and fun, these festivals feature both local and international artists and appeal to people of all ages.
But, it’s not just music festivals you’ll find here. There are also food festivals, like BerryFest, children’s festivals, and the Shakespeare Festival, among others. If you want to be a part of these fun events, visit Vancouver in July.
Three towering mountains feature in Vancouver’s background - the peaks of the North Shore are the city’s pride and joy. Named Grouse, Seymour, and Cypress, these towering masses of rock attract visitors throughout the year. In summer, their hiking trails offer an unforgettable experience through enchanting forests and meadows, whether you intend to trek or cycle. In winter, the snow-covered slopes become a playground for skiers and snowboarders.
Grouse Mountain Admission
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a 460-foot (140-meter) bridge that is suspended above the Capilano River, allowing visitors to walk not just across the river but over a rainforest, as well. Sitting at about 230 feet (70 meters) above the river, you’ll get a breathtaking view from above. This bridge was first built in 1889 and it has, since then, been reinforced with modern materials to become the major attraction it is today.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
7. Local seafood and salmon
Vancouver’s seafood deserves its own section, a testament to the hallmark status it has acquired. As we mentioned earlier, Vancouverites love their food and they hold seafood in high regard. Among their favorites are wild salmon, oysters, and mussels. With the Pacific right next door, this city enjoys the abundance that the sea gifts it and you’ll certainly love trying out the locally-caught cuisine.
8. Vancouver Seawall
Found partially in Stanley Park, (see number 1, above), the Seawall is a 28-km (17-mile) paved walkway alongside the ocean and boasts the title of the “Longest Waterfront Path in the World”. It loops around the park but also trickles outside the park, into English Bay. Though first built in 1917, the Seawall was recently renewed to modern standards. There are designated sections for cyclists and skaters and a separate section for joggers and trekkers, allowing you to explore the Seawall however you deem fit.
Not just another Chinatown, this one is the country’s largest and also one of the most expansive in the world. Because of this, it earns a place on our list of famous things in Vancouver. Just like other Chinatowns, shopping and dining take center stage here, but at a much grander scale. With hundreds of shops and eateries, a visit to this part of the city should keep you on your toes throughout the day.
There are several landmarks that warrant a photo session: top of the list is the Millenium Gate, which acts as Chinatown’s entrance. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll also encounter the narrowest building in the world, known as the Sam Kee Building. And, while you’re still in Chinatown, visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden.
Gastown & Chinatown Night Photography
Duration: 2 hours
A vibrant city
Vancouver’s allure comes from its diversity that gives the city a vibrant atmosphere. One of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, this city’s many famous sites and attractions, as well as its modern culture, ensures it receives millions of visitors annually. The list above is just a fraction of the fascinating things to expect when you visit Vancouver.
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