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Enjoy Vancouver’s great outdoors through these spectacular nature experiences and city activities

Get up close and personal with nature, right in the city. Whether you want to get out in nature or explore the urban lifestyle, there are so many outdoor adventures to be had in Vancouver.
DV Sea to Sky
Sea-to-Sky

Summer 2021 may be winding down, but we still have at least a month (or two months, if we’re lucky) of summer weather to take advantage of.

Here in Vancouver, locals and visitors don’t have to venture out very far to discover great experiences in the great outdoors.

Whether you want to get out in nature or explore the city outside, there are so many outdoor adventures to be had in Vancouver.


Takaya Tours. Photo provided by Destination Vancouver.

OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES IN NATURE

The waterways of Greater Vancouver are best experienced by watercraft. 

Set sail when you book a boat through Granville Island Boat Rentals, and in minutes, you will be sailing along English Bay and soaking in the amazing views of Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, and the downtown skyline. You can even continue onwards to the Seal Colony in West Vancouver, which is home to over 150 seals and some spectacular waterfalls.

For a water adventure that doubles as a workout, try kayaking. You can book a kayak rental and/or tour at Deep Cove with Deep Cove Kayak Centre, or go canoeing with Takaya Tours, led by guides from the Coast Salish tribe, and spend the day exploring the paddler's paradise of Indian Arm. Kayak adventures are also bookable through Sea Dragon Charters in West Vancouver, and with Vancouver Water Adventures from Granville Island and Kitsilano Beach.

To see B.C.’s marine wildlife up close, book a whale watching tour with Prince of Whales and Wild Whales Vancouver, or go on a Sea Safari Eco-Tour in Howe Sound with Sewell’s Marina, where you will find yourself racing beside steep cliffs, exploring sea caves, and watching seals in action.


Bowen Lookout at Cypress Mountain. Photo: Cypress Mountain.

Even in the summer months, Vancouver’s mountains still provide plenty of outdoor adventures.

At Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, explorers can zip along a dual-circuit zipline (at speeds of up to 80 km/hr) across the peaks of Grouse and Dam Mountain, play at the 18 hole disc golf course with epic views, or jump, climb, and swing their way through a treetop mountain ropes adventure. For an intense, all-uphill workout to remember, push yourself through the Grouse Grind to the top of the mountain.

Up on West Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain, you can go for a ride on the Eagle Coaster — the longest mountain coaster in Canada — on Black Mountain with forested vistas and exciting bends along the track. For hikes with memorable views, scope out Bowen Lookout and Saint Marks Summit via Howe Sound Crest Trail and Eagleridge Bluffs via Black Mountain Trail.

Or, to reach even greater heights, venture out to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola on Highway 99 (just south of Squamish), where you'll witness sweeping views of the islands of Howe Sound to the snow-capped mountains of the north.


Cycling in Vancouver. Photo: Hubert Kang.

OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES IN THE CITY

The best way to explore Vancouver and its diverse neighbourhoods (and get some solid exercise while you’re at it) is by cycling around the city.

You can rent a bike and get a tour from Cycle City Rentals & Tours and Van City Bikes (located downtown) and ride through Gastown and along the Stanley Park seawall, and from Vancouver E-Bike Adventures in Kitsilano, where you can take an electric bike and cycle through Kits, False Creek, Science World, Olympic Village, Granville Island, Mount Pleasant, and beyond. Or, hop aboard a Horse-Drawn Tour in Stanley Park for an old-fashioned ride around the park. 


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Photo: Grant Harder

If walking is more your speed, sign up for the Street Art & Craft Beer Walking Tour guided by Toonie Tours. Or, if you dare, embark on a Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tour and discover the darker side of the city by uncovering hidden secrets in Gastown and Stanley Park. For the history buffs and foodies, join an informative and/or delicious walking tour of Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood with Historical Chinatown Tours and A Wok Around Chinatown.

And, for a nice and breezy summer afternoon, explore the flora and fauna within the gardens of Vancouver at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park, UBC Botanical Garden & Greenheart TreeWalk, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and then head to the beach at Kitsilano, Jericho, Sunset Beach, English Bay, and Stanley Park’s Second and Third Beaches.

For a limited time, you can enjoy 25% off select Vancouver tours, sightseeing, and attractions with Viator using the promo code LOVETRANSIT. 

Take advantage of this chance to rediscover all of the Vancouver outdoor adventures that are available!

For more reasons to get outside and explore Vancouver, visit destinationvancouver.com/love-to-explore.