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Plan out your dream summer vacation itinerary with these ideas for incredible experiences in Vancouver

Whether you’re in search of family-friendly fun or outdoor experiences, these Vancouver travel itineraries for locals and visitors alike will guide you through the best ideas for activities, dining, and accommodations in the city!
Tourism Vancouver Walking Bikes Along the Sea Wall
Walking bikes along the seawall

Our love of B.C. has increased tenfold since spending more time close to home over these past months. What better way to pass the summer days than by discovering all that the amazing city of Vancouver has to offer?

This summer, you will Love to Explore Vancouver even more when checking out the city’s best attractions and activities, along with dining and hotel experiences.

For some inspiration, these itineraries for different traveller types will give you ideas on where to play, stay, and dine in Vancouver, proving that you don’t have to venture outside of the province to have a real summer vacation.


Granville Island. Photo provided by Tourism Vancouver.

FOR THE FAMILY

Throughout the city, there are many family-friendly outings that both kids and parents will enjoy together!

PLAY — Take flight at FlyOver Canada in a simulation ride that will have you soaring from coast to coast or flying above the Hawaiian islands. Or, see exotic birds in flight up close at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. For ice cream and screaming-inducing rides, enjoy the summer fair experience at Playland. Or for a more relaxing day trip, take the aquabus across False Creek to Granville Island, where the kids will entertain themselves at the Kids Market and the Water Park, followed by a stroll through the Public Market with its culinary and artisan delights. 

STAY — Located on the waterfront, Granville Island Hotel is within walking distance to the Kids Market and all of the island’s attractions. Over by the Coal Harbour waterfront near Stanley Park, Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver has a pool for taking a swim and Prestons Restaurant + Lounge on-site, featuring Mediteranean and Asian-influnced West Coast cuisine and with a kids’ menu.

DINE — The Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown is a fun spot for a variety of pasta entrees, including the classic spaghetti and meatballs. The kids will want a seat in the trolley car, with its historic (and spooky) origins... A longstanding fixture on Commercial Drive, Cafe Deux Soleils offers comfort food for adults and for children alike, with an area where the kids can play.


Sea to Sky Gondola. Photo provided by Tourism Vancouver.

FOR THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURER

Those curious and adventurous types who are always looking for new things to do outside and to connect with B.C.’s unique spirit have no shortage of experiences to draw from in Vancouver. 

PLAY — Hike up the Grind or hop aboard the Skyride for panoramic views on top of Grouse Mountain. See Canada’s oldest botanical garden and be one with the trees at UBC Botanical Garden & Greenheart Treewalk. See great heights on the Sea to Sky Gondola. For fun times on the water, rent a kayak or canoe from Vancouver Water Adventures and paddle along False Creek or Kitsilano Beach.

STAY — Located on the edge of Yaletown and the West End, The Burrard has a courtyard oasis for outdoor lounging and free cruiser bike rentals. As Canada's first Indigenous Arts Hotel, Skwachays Lodge in Gastown and Chinatown has one-of-a-kind guest suites designed by local Aboriginal artists, along with a peaceful rooftop patio where guests can retreat and reconnect with nature.

DINE — There are plenty of restaurants overlooking beautiful views of Vancouver. Pier 7 in Lonsdale Quay sits at the end of the Burrard Inlet dry dock, placing you right at the ocean's edge. Seasons in the Park in Queen Elizabeth’s Park happens to be Vancouver’s highest point, giving you a prime viewing spot for skylines and sunsets. 


Robson Street. Photo provided by Tourism Vancouver. 

FOR THOSE IN NEED IN SOME TLC

If you’re in need of a relaxing getaway where you can completely unwind and have some much-needed me-time, Vancouver is a peaceful, self-care paradise with a laid-back urban vibe.

PLAY — Take a mindful stroll through the city’s beautiful gardens and green spaces, including the flora and plants of VanDusen Botanical Garden and the world-famous seawall at Stanley Park. Then, treat and spoil yourself with a  shopping trip on Robson Street.

STAY — With Stanley Park, Coal Harbour, and the North Shore mountains in sight, The Westin Bayshore has breathtaking surroundings, and the resort-style hotel has the on-site Vida Spa and an outdoor pool for revitalization. The definitive luxury hotel in Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim is home to the award-winning Willow Stream Spa, an outdoor terrace with a Jacuzzi, and a rooftop pool.

DINE — Vancouver is a haven for healthy dining options. The Naam in Kitsilano is Vancouver’s premier vegetarian restaurant, serving the best salads to be enjoyed in their open-air garden patio. Try Do Chay for modern, vegetarian/vegan twists on Vietnamese classics. And because you wouldn’t dare to skip the sweets, get a scoop of a healthy dessert from Uno Gelato, which uses fresh organic milk, Vancouver Island sea salt, and local fruits and herbs in their gelato ingredients.

 

Bill Reid Gallery. Photo provided by Tourism Vancouver.

FOR THE CULTURAL EXPLORER 

The city is rich with arts and culture, and much Indigenous and international influences. From history lessons to contemporary stories and art, learn all about the people and communities that make Vancouver such a diverse place. 

PLAY — See the rotating and permanent art exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery, featuring international, national, and B.C. artists. Marvel over the collection of Indigenous works at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, and world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations arts at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. Those into street art can check out the public art installations in districts around the city — see Vancouver Biennale and Vancouver Mural Festival for a list of artworks and murals and where to find them.

STAY — Built in 1898, the Victorian Hotel has been restored with period furniture and hardwood floors, so you can feel like you’re going back in time without sacrificing comfort and luxury. A fixture in 1920s Vancouver, The Rosewood Hotel Georgia mixes legacy and luxury, with its history of famous guests like Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Ginger Rogers.

DINE — Travel around the world with Vancouver’s mix of international cuisine representing Vancouver’s multi-cultural population. Miku and Minami specialize in lightly seared Aburi-style sushi, the closest thing the city has to a signature dish. For a taste of Peru, head to Ancora and its picturesque waterfront patio. Davie Dosa Company, the first Indian restaurant to showcase Dosas in Vancouver, serves up unique South Indian specialties on Davie.

For more Vancouver summer vacation ideas, visit tourismvancouver.com/love.