Do you ever get asked the question, are you a beach or a mountain person? What if you didn’t have to choose between a place that has one or the other?
Welcome to Vancouver, British Columbia, a beautiful destination that’s home to the ocean, mountains, and forest. There’s something here for everyone!
The summer in Vancouver is especially pleasant, with an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius (64 Fahrenheit) during the month of July. It also has the least amount of rainy days during this month.
There are so many different fun activities and places to explore in Vancouver, but we’ve rounded up a list of top things to do in Vancouver this summer. Enjoy!
Explore Grouse Mountain
While you won’t get a chance to ski or snowboard during the summer months in Vancouver, visiting the top of Grouse Mountain in the summer offers a spectacular view of the city and the ocean and is well worth the ticket via the Skyride. A roundtrip ticket for an adult is $61, but there are discounted tickets for full families. For those that are a bit more adventurous, during the summer months Grouse Mountain skyride offers a “Surf Adventure” ride, where you can be a part of a small group that rides on top of the skiride on a special viewing platform.
Included in your Mountain Admission ticket (your skyride pass) is the refuge for endangered wildlife for grizzly bears, owls, and other animals. During the summer months at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm, you can also attend one of the Ranger Talks, led by a wildlife expert in the refuge.
Another attraction is the theatre in the sky, where you can learn more about Grouse Mountain and the culture. Additionally, there are shops both at the base and the top of the mountain for you to explore!
After you’ve had some time to take pictures and walk around the top of the mountain, grab a bite at the Altitude Bistro while overlooking the mainland below from over 3,000 feet up. This restaurant offers a selection of soups, salads, and handhelds, but is most known for their huge plate of Mountain Nachos. The Altitude Bistro is located on the upper floor of the Peak Chalet.
Sightsee by Boat
The mountains and forests aren’t the only breathtaking parts of Vancouver! For an amazing view of the city, take a cruise of Vancouver’s inner harbour via Harbour Cruises. This 1 hour narrated tour takes you through the Burrard Inlet and passes through many of the city’s top landmarks, including Stanley Park, historic Gastown, and the North Shore Mountains. Tours depart daily at 11 am, 12:15 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:45 pm in the summer months. Sip on a cocktail either outside in the fresh air or find a seat in the fully heated indoor deck while taking in the view. An adult ticket costs $42.95, while a child’s ticket costs $16.
And if you want something really special, opt for the Sunset Dinner cruise or one of the other dinner cruises offered by Harbour Cruises. It’s a 2.5 hour leisurely ride through the same sights mentioned above, but you get to enjoy live music, great cuisine, and a view of the sun setting over the Pacific.
Go on a Hike
Vancouver offers plenty of spots to get active while enjoying some incredible views. Our first suggestion is to hike around the Vancouver Seawall, a 22 km (13.5 mile) path that winds throughout the city. There are great dining and shopping options that are close to the seawall, so you can take many stops along the way and you can choose to go as far out as you want!
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first, largest, and most beloved urban park, boasting a temperate rainforest in the midst of the city. It has a number of great hikes for all ability levels and is home to historic artifacts, landmarks, and monuments! If you visit, you’ll have to check out the First Nations art and totem poles!
Capilano River Regional Park is a park with a 2.6 km (1.6 mile) loop that winds through Capilano Canyon. It offers stunning views of both the mountains, the Capilano River, along with Douglas fir and Western red cedar trees. This trail passes through the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, a free attraction that allows you to watch migrating salmon in the Capilano river.
If you decide to hike Capilano River Regional Park, make sure you allow at least a few hours to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park! One of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, this bridge was built in 1889 and now offers a cliffwalk, suspension bridge, and a treetops adventure. This park is open from 9 am to 7 pm in the summer and tickets are $59.95 for adults, and $21.95 for children.
Relax at one of Vancouver’s Beaches
You probably want to mix in some relaxation time during your trip to Vancouver, and visiting one of the many beaches is a great way to do that! There are plenty of beaches to post up at, and below are a few of our favorites. The waterfront walk around the seawall goes around most of Vancouver and through most of the beaches listed below.
Vancouver’s version of Venice Beach, this beach is great for sports and activity. There are plenty of sports being played here – including volleyball, tennis, and frisbee! There’s also Kits Pool, which is a huge heated salt-water pool that boasts fantastic views of the city, ocean, and mountains.
Jericho Beach and park offers great views of the sparkling waters of the English Bay. While here, you are sure to see some sailboats as there is a sailing club located in Jericho Beach! You can also play tennis or volleyball here, or opt for something a little more chill such as bird-watching or enjoying a picnic.
Ambleside Beach is great for families, as it offers great sand and a playground with lifeguards on duty during the summer. It’s located over the Lions Gate Bridge in West Vancouver.
This less populous, designated quiet beach offers recreational sports such as volleyball, along with access to the seawall and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. And one of the best parts of Sunset Beach? It’s less than a 5 minute walk from Sunset Inn’s doors!
Whatever you decide to do on your trip to Vancouver this summer, we hope you have an amazing time exploring this amazing city!