Thursday, July 18, 2024

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10 Outdoorsy Things To Do Around Vancouver This BC Day Weekend

The view of Garibaldi Lake from Panorama Ridge. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

BC Day weekend is a great time to get outside in Vancouver with tons of adventure options to choose from. Use our list of the best outdoorsy things to do around Vancouver to plan your long weekend.


Go for a Hike

August is prime hiking season in Vancouver. The snow in the mountains has melted so you can reach the highest peaks. It’s also the best time of year to do a wildflower hike. If you’re up for a challenge, choose from our list of epic hikes around Vancouver. But if you want something more mellow, we have a list of easy summer hikes. Or delve into our “hike of the month” archives for even more ideas.

Hikers on the Stawamus Chief

Hikers on the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. Photo: Heath Moffatt


Fly Like an Eagle on Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain has a new attraction this summer: the Eagle Coaster. You’ll ride the Eagle Express Quad Chair up to the top of Black Mountain, then hurtle downhill on one of the coaster’s passenger carts. The track is 1.7 kilometres long and you can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour!

Eagle Coaster at Cypress Mountain

Photo: Cypress Mountain


Hit the Beach

Located on the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver has twenty different beaches to visit. Check out a new-t0-you beach this BC Day, then use our list of the best things to do at Vancouver’s beaches to plan the day’s activities.

English Bay Beach in Vancouver

English Bay Beach. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring


Swim and Splash

Cool off with a refreshing swim at one of Vancouver’s many beaches. If salt water isn’t your style, go jump in a lake. Use our list of Vancouver area swimming lakes to plan your plunge. Or hit up one of the local outdoor pools or kid-friendly spray parks.

Kengsington Outdoor Pool near Vancouver

Photo: City of Burnaby


Head to a 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 ParkCapilano River Regional Park, and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Canoes lined up on the beach at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park Photo: BC Parks


Pick Blackberries and Blueberries

Vancouver’s berry farms are known for delicious blueberries and blackberries. Visit a local farm to buy a flat of freshly picked berries or head out into the fields to pick your own. Use our list of Vancouver’s berry farms to find a farm near you.

Family berry picking at Krause Berry Farms in Langley

Photo: Destination BC/Hubert Kang


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


Plan a Kid-Friendly Adventure

There are tons of fun ways to spend time with your family outdoors in Vancouver. Plan a trip to a spray park to cool off. Use our list of kid-friendly bike rides to explore on two wheels. Head into the mountains on one of the best Vancouver area hikes for kids. Plan a trip to a destination-worthy playground. Or go searching for treasure by trying out geocaching.

Children hiking in the forest near Vancouver, BC

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Hubert Kang


Ride a Gondola High Into the Mountains

While most Vancouver-area peaks can only be reached on foot, a few have gondolas that whisk you from valley bottom to mountain top in just a few minutes. North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain Skyride takes you up to the Peak of Vancouver where you can enjoy great views, a wildlife refuge, lumberjack shows, restaurants, and more. In Squamish, ride the newly reopened Sea to Sky Gondola to experience a suspension bridge, walking trails to jaw-dropping viewpoints, and panoramic views from their patio. Or ride Whistler Blackcomb’s gondolas for access to alpine hiking trails, mountain top dining, and the thrill of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which connects the two mountains and travels over 400 metres above the valley floor.

Photo: Sea to Sky Gondola


Go for a Bike Ride

BC 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


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