So we’ve given you a 3-day Vancouver weekend itinerary, a guide to the different beaches in Vancouver, and even family-friendly activities for a summer vacation in Vancouver with the fam. But what about the different areas of Vancouver besides downtown? If you have a few extra days to spend in Vancouver, definitely add these three areas to your list of places to visit.
Vancouver Area #1 – Granville Island
Granville Island was once home to many of Vancouver’s factories and sawmills. These days, it’s a great spot to check out some shopping at either the Public Market or one of the many shops in the area, as well as the theaters, craft studios, and workshop spaces.
The Public Market is an indoor market featuring many food and produce stores. Here you’ll also find handcrafted products and unique gifts! There are tons of places to eat in the market as well, so make sure you come hungry – there’s different types of food stalls within the market that feature all different types of cuisines.
In the summer, the Granville Island Water Park is open, which offers multiple sprays and fountains. Plus it’s free! There are also tons of events taking place in the summer, from the Southern Killer Whale Outreach, the Vancouver Salon, and Light in the Night.
And looking for your next Instagram post? There are plenty of murals you can spot throughout the island.
Since Granville Island is across the water from the main part of Vancouver, we recommend getting there by boat! You can either travel via the aquabus, which travels around False Creek with stops at Horby Street, Stamp’s Landing, Yaletown, and Science World or taking the False Creek Ferry. You’ll get a great view of the city while enjoying the fresh ocean breeze!
Note: Granville Island is also accessible by bus, by car, or even on foot! Learn more about getting to Granville Island here.
Vancouver Area #2 – Gastown
Gastown is a beautiful neighborhood in Vancouver about 1 km (or 5 minutes by car) away from downtown. As Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, it features Old Victorian houses, vintage lamp posts, and cobblestone streets. It’s definitely a spot you’ll want to walk around and explore – just make sure you bring some comfy shoes!
While in Gastown, make sure to stop and check out the Steam Clock, a clock that uses a steam engine and electric motors to operate. It displays the time on four faces and even announces the quarter hours with a whistle chime! It’s one of the few steam clocks that exist in the world. If you are a history buff, you may consider taking a walking tour of the area to further explore the architecture and learn more about the history of the area.
Make sure to also stop and take a picture outside Hotel Europe, a six-story building that resembles a tiny version of a flatiron building.
Gastown has plenty of other things to do as well, including shopping in one of the many trendy boutiques or checking out one of the many art galleries. There’s also plenty of places to catch a bite or stop for a cocktail. In fact, the neighborhood is known for its cocktail scene! Learn more about Gastown via the link here.
Vancouver Area #3 – Yaletown
Only about 1.5 km from downtown, Yaletown is a chic area and now a new hotspot in Vancouver. Yaletown used to be a warehouse district where the Canadian Pacific Railroad would transport its products. It also was the spot that hosted the World’s Fair in 1986. Now, it’s considered the “trendy” place to live, work, and do business. Its youthful vibe can be attributed to the many young professionals and families that live and work there. As a result, there is a trendy nightlife scene and plenty of dining options, boutiques, and terraced cafes.
Yaletown is also known for it’s waterfront parks. The seawall runs along the water which connects two parks – David Lam Park and George Wainborn Park. It’s a great place to walk, run, or rent a bike.
If you have time, we suggest making two stops in Yaletown – one during the day for a walk in the park and to explore some of the cute boutiques, then again at night through for eating, drinking and entertainment. Don’t believe us? Just check the many reviews on Yaletown on TripAdvisor – they all boast about how chic and trendy Yaletown is – so make sure to add it to your list!