Why You Definitely Need to Visit Vancouver

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For a quick getaway from Seattle that still boasts the best of the Pacific Northwest, cross the Canadian border and Vancouver!

Known for its natural beauty, you’ll never run out of things to do in Vancouver if you stay outside. And when you’re ready to take a break from exploring the great outdoors, visit Vancouver’s excellent restaurants and breweries to refuel for more fun. Be sure to spend some time strolling through the shops on Granville Island, too.

Let us show you all Vancouver sights every visitor must see!

Explore the Great Outdoors in Vancouver

Stanley Park

The jewel of Vancouver is Stanley Park. This 1000-acre park covers a peninsula just north of downtown Vancouver and is home to so many attractions that you could easily spend your whole day (and more!) here. Wander along the trails to see what you find, or follow a map to discover the West Coast rainforest, the totem poles at Brockton Point, the Rose Garden, and so many more treasures. The world-renowned Vancouver Aquarium is even located in the park. The easiest way to get to Stanley Park is by walking or biking, since it is right next to downtown and surrounded by the Seawall path. You can also take the Translink #19 bus, which will drop you near the Lost Lagoon or near the Aquarium.

Northern Peninsula of Vancouver, http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx

The Seawall

Speaking of the Seawall, this path that runs around the peninsula is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, making it a great way to explore Vancouver. Walking or biking from Canada Place, you will pass Coal Harbor, watch the sea planes take off and land, catch a great view of Lions Gate Bridge, circumnavigate Stanley Park, discover the beauty of False Creek, see the Science World dome, go around Granville Island, and end up along Kitsilano Beach. So you can easily access the Seawall from pretty much anywhere in Vancouver!

From Canada Place to Kitsilano Beach, http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx

Kitsilano Beach

For summer fun in Vancouver, Kitsilano Beach is the place to be. Referred to as Kits Beach by locals, this is the stretch of sand where you’ll find everyone soaking in the sun. You can start up a game of volleyball, jog along the Seawall, take advantage of the tennis courts, have a picnic on one of the grassy spots, or take a dip in the water. You also should swim in Kits Pool, which is the longest pool in Canada and is located right along the water’s edge. To get to Kitsilano Beach, catch the SkyTrain to Burrard Station or take the #22 bus and get off along Cornwall Ave.

Cornwall Ave (North side of Yew St), http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/kitsilano-beach.aspx

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

One of the coolest outdoor Vancouver sights, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located just 10 minutes from downtown. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can walk 450 feet across the Capilano River while suspended 230 feet in the air on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You can also traverse the Cliff Walk, a series of suspended walkways attached to the cliff face above the river. Some of the walkways are made of glass, so you get a breath-taking view straight down! You can get another great view from the Treetops Adventure, seven bridges connected to Douglas Fir trees up to 110 feet in the air. You can head to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on one of the frequent free shuttle buses from downtown Vancouver or by taking the Seabus or the #246 bus to Lonsdale Quay, then transferring to the #236 bus to the park.

3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, https://www.capbridge.com/

Grouse Grind

If you’re up for a big physical challenge, try to summit the Grouse Grind, a 1.8-mile trail running up the face of Grouse Mountain. As you hike from the base to the peak, you’ll gain 2,800 feet in elevation, which is why the trail is often referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stair Master.” In fact, the trail is so steep that you’re not allowed to hike downhill – you have to take the Skyride back down to the base. Still up for the challenge? Than take the #232 or #236 bus out to Grouse Mountain and add this adventure to your must do in Vancouver list.

6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, https://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

Sample Vancouver’s Culinary Scene

The Eatery

For a funky sushi experience that you won’t forget, have a meal at The Eatery in Kitsilano. The menu is full of crazy combinations and creatively named rolls, and the decor of the restaurant is definitely something special. On weekend evenings, a DJ spins to take the atmosphere even more over the top. And every day from “Manic Monday” to “Sunday Funday,” you’ll find themed daily specials.

3431 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6R 2B4, http://theeatery.ca/

Brassneck Brewery

The craft beer scene in Vancouver is full of local breweries, and one of the very best has to be Brassneck. With rotating beer selection constantly changing on the chalkboard menu, you never know what you’ll find when you walk in, but you know that it will be good! The space is small (but very cool), and they only serve beer, but you’ll often find a food truck outside if you need a snack.

2148 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C5, http://brassneck.ca/

33 Acres

If you love brunch and beer, you’ll get the best of both worlds at this brewery in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Though your weekend brunch options are limited to either waffles (get these topped with a scoop of local ice cream!) or avocado toast, this is because they are both exceptional, especially when paired with a flight of seasonal brews. You’ll also find a small menu of carefully curated snacks all week and often a food truck outside. 33 acres has also expanded its coffee program with Pilot Coffee Roasters, so you can grab a bag of exceptional beans to go with your growler to-go.

15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1M8, http://33acresbrewing.com/

Brix & Mortar

Make your way to the Yaletown neighborhood in Vancouver to visit this expansive wine bar. A year-round patio oasis with a Canadian cedar walls and a glass cover is a stunning space to sip on one of more than 60 wines by the glass. Complement your wine selection with one of the delicious small plates like Humboldt squid or pickled pineapple and pork belly.

1138 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2X6, http://www.brixandmortar.ca/

A Little Bit of Everything on Granville Island

Granville Public Market

Continue to explore Vancouver to discover the best locally-farmed food and artisan-made products at Granville Public Market. From fresh produce – especially when the Farmers Market is open seasonally from June through September – to seafood just out of the ocean to handmade bread to specially prepared foods, along with handmade jewelry, candles and other products, the market is filled with so many things that you’ll definitely want to take some time to stroll through the stalls.

1661 Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3, http://granvilleisland.com/public-market

Liberty Distillery

Microbreweries have been popping up for awhile, and now the trend is turning to micro-distilleries. Liberty Distillery brings small-batch spirits (like white whiskey and pink gin) to Granville Island. You can sip a well-crafted cocktail in the full-service lounge, take a tour of the distillery to see how the liquor is hand-crafted, or take part in a tasting to find your favorite spirit.

1494 Old Bridge Road, Granville Isl, Vancouver BC, V6H 3S6, http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Ainsworth Custom Design

To add another check mark to your things to see in Vancouver list, check out this charming shop which serves as a way for a collective of local artists to sell their wares. If you’re looking for a small piece of jewelry or a large painting for your wall, you can find it here, along with all sorts of other adorable things from greeting cards to magnets to notebooks. It’s the perfect place to find a Vancouver souvenir!

1243 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3R7, http://ainsworthcustomdesign.com/

Granville Island Brewing

Canada’s first microbrewery, Granville Island Brewing is a great place to take a break from walking around the island while enjoying a pint – or a flight! – from the signature beer lineup. From the classic Island Lager to the Maple Shack Cream Ale to the intriguing flavors of the Black Notebook small batch series, you’ll definitely find a brew that’s right for you on the island.

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R7, http://gib.ca/

Go Fish

For the freshest fish in town, it’s hard to beat this little shack right on the waterfront next to Granville Island. Go Fish serves up signature fish & chips along with fish tacos, fish sandwiches, grilled fish and more. The line is always long, but it’s worth the wait, and if it’s a nice day, you can enjoy your delicious seafood on the patio with a view of the boats in the harbor.

1505 W 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1E8

With abundant nature and so much more to explore, you’ll find so many things to do in Vancouver that you might have to make more than one trip! Luckily, it’s so close to Seattle that this won’t be a problem. Book a ticket to Vancouver from Seattle on Wanderu.com or by downloading the Wanderu app to explore the city yourself! 

Have you visited Vancouver? What was your favorite thing to do? Let us know below!

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About the author
Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski is on a mission to spread delight while inspiring and encouraging people to travel. Her favorite travel companion is her teddy bear, and her favorite souvenir is the scar from the broken nose she got in a snowball fight in Québec City.
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