Whether you live in the US or Canada, I think it’s safe to say that everyone has been affected by the rising costs of goods and inflation. Don’t let that stop you from having a budget-friendly vacation this summer! We’ve rounded up a list of free or relatively cheap activities you and your family can enjoy on your next trip to Vancouver.
Where to Stay in Vancouver
First things first – where to stay! If you are looking for accommodations that don’t break the bank, give Sunset Inn a try! Sunset Inn offers plenty of discounts, including a discount for Western Canadian residents maybe looking to get a staycation, a discount for international travelers, and an advance purchase discount if you’re a planner and want to book early. There’s also a members-only discount, which offers at least a 10% discount if you sign up to become a Sunset Inn member and receive emails.
Another way that makes Sunset Inn & Suites more economical? Every suite comes with a full kitchen and dining area, so if you’d like to save some $$ by eating in some meals, you have the option to do so! And with free wifi, you can even “work from home” at the hotel all day!
Things to Do
Visit H.R. Macmillan Space Centre
The H.R. MacMillan Space Center is a museum of astronomy located in the beautiful Vanier Park in Vancouver. It is a non-profit community attraction that features several interactive exhibits, including a flight simulator. The museum also has a few theatres, including a Planetarium Star Theatre where you’ll experience planets, meteor showers, black holes, and more. There’s also the GroundStar Theatre, where you can enjoy live science in front of your eyes. There’s also an observatory that holds a telescope where you can observe the Vancouver skies with a staff nearby to answer your questions.
It is recommended that you book a time slot in advance. For more information, check out their website! https://www.spacecentre.ca/
Go Hiking in Vancouver!
Vancouver offers many beautiful hikes all over the city, including Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park, and more.
Grouse Mountain is probably the most popular hiking spot in the city, and is well known for it’s incredible views as the tallest point in Vancouver.
Stanley Park is easy to explore, with many trails to explore. It’s centrally located and has hikes for all levels. Plus during your hike you are sure to see historical landmarks, artifacts, and monuments.
A bit off the path is Deep Cove, a neighborhood in Northeast Vancouver. While you’ll most likely have to catch an Uber or taxi to drive the 30ish minutes to get there, once you arrive you won’t be disappointed. There you’ll find the Quarry Rock hiking trail, an easy hike that begins in Deep Cove, passes through a forest of beautiful fir trees, and ends with stunning views of the bay. The area also has cute boutiques for shopping and a beach that offers rentals for kayaks and paddleboards.
Explore Lynn Headwaters Park
While we’ve mentioned Capilano Suspension Bridge Park before, admission can get pricey. For a free alternative, head to Lynn Headwaters Park, Vancouver’s largest regional park. In addition to offering many hiking trails for all skill levels, it also features a similar suspension bridge known as the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Unlike Capilano Suspension Bridge Park though, it is free! It is a bit further north though, so make sure to plan for transportation accordingly!
Check out the Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is held in the summer months (May through October) in the Richmond neighborhood in Vancouver. Held at night (obviously), it hosts over 100 food stalls and more than 200 retail vendors.
You’ll be sure to find some interesting dishes, but eating isn’t the only thing to do here. Enjoy many of the musical and dance performances, carnival games, and other rides. If you decide to drive, plan for it to take about 20-25 minutes, or you can access it by taking the Canada Line SkyTrain to Bridgeport Station.
Go to a Vancouver Beach
There are no shortage of beaches that you can visit during your time in Vancouver. And what’s amazing about Vancouver beaches is that they are free! Grab a picnic basket, blanket, and a sports ball and head to beach either in the afternoon to enjoy some sun or in the evening to enjoy a gorgeous Vancouver sunset over the water. Here are just a few to check out!
- Sunset Beach
- Kit’s Beach
- Jericho Beach
- Wreck Beach
- English Bay Beach
- Ambleside Beach
- Second Beach
- Third Beach
Learn more about some of the popular Vancouver beaches in our blog post here.