Friday, July 12, 2024

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10 Outdoorsy Things To Do Around Vancouver This Canada Day Weekend

Paddleboarding in False Creek. Image credit: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring

Summer in Vancouver is all about outdoor fun. And Canada Day weekend is the perfect time to spend a day in nature. Use our list of the best outdoorsy things to do around Vancouver to plan your long weekend adventures.


Until further notice, in line with the public health order, non-essential travel into, within, and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents, let’s do our part by continuing to stay small and support local with your immediate household, in accordance with the latest guidelines.


Plan a Picnic

Now that outdoor gatherings are permitted again, it’s a great time to get together for a picnic. Head to a nearby park or beach, or use our list of the best places to picnic in nature around Vancouver. If you don’t feel like cooking, grab take-out from your favourite local restaurant instead.

A couple picnicking in a garden

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Andrew Chin Photography


Take a Whale-Watching and Wildlife Tour

Summer is prime whale-watching season in Vancouver. But whales aren’t the only attraction. You can also spot dolphins, harbour seals, sea lions, river otters, porpoises, eagles, and lots of sea birds. Check out our guide to Vancouver whale-watching to start planning your trip.

A child points at wildlife in the ocean on a boat tour near Vanocuver

Photo: Kate Milford


Take a Hike

There is still a lot of snow in the mountains, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer to hike the high peaks. But Vancouver has dozens of lower elevation trails that head through the rainforest to viewpoints, lakes, and waterfalls. Use our lists of snow-free hikesspring hikessuspension bridge hikes, and wheelchair-accessible hikes to find a trail. Or delve into our “hike of the month” archives for even more ideas.

Hikers on the Grouse Grind

Hikers on the Grouse Grind. Photo: Mike Seehagel


Go for a Bike Ride

Canada Day is a great time for a bike ride. With lots of bike lanes and separated bike paths, Vancouver has lots of places to cycle. Use our list of easy bike rides around Vancouver to get you started. This might also be the weekend to try an e-bike. Electric bikes make pedalling easier, so you can bike further with less effort. If trails are your thing, our city has that too. Check out some of the places to mountain bike around Vancouver.

Biking on the seawall in Vancouver

Biking on the seawall at English Bay. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Cycle City Tours


Hit the Beach

Did you know that Vancouver has twenty different beaches to choose from? Hit the sand at iconic English Bay, ride your bike around the seawall to laid-back Third Beach, or head to White Rock to stroll along the famous pier. If saltwater isn’t your style, go jump in a lake. Use our list of Vancouver area swimming lakes to plan your plunge.

English Bay Beach in Vancouver

English Bay Beach. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring


Visit a New-to-You Park

Since it’s surrounded by nature, Vancouver has lots of pockets of wilderness nestled into the city. You can explore forests, meadows, wetlands, and shorelines, all close to home. Check out our recommendations for 15 urban parks that feel like wilderness. Or use our park guides for Pacific Spirit Regional ParkLighthouse ParkBelcarra Regional Park, and Capilano River Regional Park.

View of the Lions from the picnic area at Capilano River Regional Park near Vancouver

View of the Lions from the picnic area at Capilano River Regional Park near Vancouver. Photo: Kazutoshi Yoshimura


Pick Your Own Berries

Get that sweet summer feeling at a berry farm. In early July strawberry season is winding down, and raspberry season is in full swing. Some early blueberries might be ready too! Head to one of Vancouver’s berry farms to pick your own berries.

Family berry picking at Krause Berry Farms in Langley

Family berry picking at Krause Berry Farms in Langley. Photo: Destination BC/Hubert Kang


Swing Through the Trees

Did you know that there are three places to experience the thrill of ziplines and ropes courses around Vancouver? You can fly through the air, balance on swinging obstacles far above the ground, and walk on suspension bridges through the forest canopy. Advance booking is recommended.

Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain

Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Justa Jeskova Photography


Visit the Sea to Sky Gondola

Visit the newly reopened Sea to Sky Gondola this Canada Day weekend for easy access to nature. Ride the scenic gondola up to the summit area, then enjoy the views from the patio, check out the Sky Pilot suspension bridge, or go for a hike. Don’t miss the easy Panorama Trail which leads to a jaw-dropping view at the Chief Overlook Platform.

Viewing platform on the Panorama Trail at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC

Panorama Trail at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Photo Credit: Tara O’Grady


Go Paddling

Get out on the water this long weekend. Vancouver has lots of great places to go kayaking and most have rentals too. If you want to stand instead of sit, try out stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP). If it’s your first time, consider signing up for lessons or a tour.

A kayak near the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Rishad Daroowala


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