Explore > British Columbia > British Columbia Spotlight
spotlight header

Places Welcoming You

gs logo Capilano River RV Park
West Vancouver, British Columbia
gs logo Burnaby Cariboo RV Park
Burnaby, British Columbia

Vancouver Area

Big city charm blends with outdoor thrills

From mild, relaxing summers to invigorating winters, every season in Vancouver offers something special to its guests. This Pacific Coast melting pot is a one-stop destination for adventure, arts and culture, history and outdoor exploration.

Situated between Burrard Inlet to the north and Fraser River to the south, the city showcases an unusual combination of vibrant city life and easy access to natural wonders. While summers are the most pleasant time to visit, it’s really a year-round destination. Vancouver has remarkably mild weather during all four seasons, with mean temperatures of 39 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 64 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.

Find the Hidden Stories

Vancouver boasts a vibrant downtown that rivals other cosmopolitan centers, and its vast open spaces inspire wonder. The city’s impressive collection of public parks and gardens is highlighted by Stanley Park, a 1,001-acre park featuring mile upon mile of hiking, biking and walking trails, along with a water park, a miniature railway and around half a million evergreen trees.

Hello BC

Located on a peninsula between Vancouver Harbor and English Bay, the park’s beaches are hot spots in warm summer months. The Stanley Park Train invites railway enthusiasts to hop on board for a trip through the park on a replica 19th-century passenger train engine. Themed rides are offered for Easter, Halloween and Christmas, when the train and its plaza are ablaze with three million twinkle lights.

If you like a bit of mystery and mischief on your outing, take a Forbidden Vancouver guided tour. Tour guides dressed in period costumes lead groups on lively jaunts through the streets of the town, recounting tales of bootlegging, murder and opium dens.

Gather at Granville

From the park, cross Granville Bridge over False Creek to Granville Island, a lively destination that boasts a public market, live events and year-round arts and entertainment. Vancouver’s diverse community brings exotic flavors to the public market in both food and handmade crafts, and the adjacent Kids Market features an indoor Adventure Zone for little ones, as well as a water park. Granville Island also hosts a lantern festival each year to mark the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.

Vancouver’s perch on the edge of the water means prime boating and fishing, both out on the open water and from the shore. A short trip from town lands you on the Capilano River, where you can fish below the dam in the rich waters of the Capilano River Hatchery between early spring and late fall. Folks who enjoy great heights can walk the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, highlighted by a 460-foot span that crosses a river gorge and leads to treehouses, high walkways and other arboreal adventures.

For on-the-water adventure, a guided charter will take you out into English Bay, the Georgia Straight and to the Gulf Islands for a half or full day, or even an overnight excursion to angle for salmon.

Get Your Sea Legs Ready

If you fancy a day out on the waves without the added challenge of hooking a chinook, Vancouver offers several options for renting boats. Whether it’s a bobbing dinghy or a sleek sailboat you’re after, head to any of the local shops near the city’s West End for a helping hand.

Of course, the best way to see Vancouver from the water without doing any of the work is a day cruise. From Granville Island ferries to inflatable speed boats to vintage paddleboats, there are myriad ways to take in the sights while letting someone else steer.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Beautiful Buildings

Catch a glimpse of Vancouver’s architectural ancestry on a self-guided walking tour, starting at the Marine Building on Burrard Street. This Art Deco skyscraper, opened in 1930, is a city icon, designed with wedding cake “icing” and a tower reflective of Mayan inspiration.

From there, travel south a few blocks to Christ Church Cathedral. Now home to a modern Anglican community, the building itself has served churchgoers in Vancouver since 1889. It was built in the Gothic style with wood ceilings and ceiling beams. Next, pop into — or just gaze upon the exterior — of the Fairmont Hotel. This elegant railway hotel opened in 1939, the night before England’s King George VI came to visit the city.

Just a block east of the cathedral sits the Vancouver Art Gallery.  The gallery is home to classic and contemporary works by creatives from around the globe, with special attention paid to local and regional Canadian artists. This pristine space is one of several venues that showcase the best of Vancouver’s fine arts world. Pay a visit to the Vancouver Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to complete your experience of world-class arts and musical performance.

For a lively downtown experience, walk the streets of Gastown, known for its indie art galleries, offbeat shops and trendy restaurants.

Brave the Back Nine

Back on dry land, pick up your clubs and head to one of Vancouver’s great public golf courses. At Musqueam Golf & Learning Academy, you can choose from an 80-stall driving range, a short game area, a par 60 course and even 18-hole mini golf. McCleery Golf Course features expertly designed greens that are surrounded by mature trees and feature several water hazards, for a target-style game; Langara Golf Course boasts a traditional style layout with large, rolling greens and narrow fairways.

Travel back in time and to the grounds of Fort Langley National Historic Site. Established as a trading post, Fort Langley prospered in large part due to the Kwantlen First Nation, who brought salmon to trade, provided cranberries and helped harvest crops. Now, visitors can experience First Nations traditional cuisine at the café on site, after having worked up an appetite panning for gold.

For More Information

Metro Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau



Destination British Columbia