Since we live in the area and consider it to be one of the most beautiful places in the World, we are delighted today to share a piece of it with you! 🙂
When is the best time to visit Vancouver you ask?
Any month is fine as typically we do not get snow… except up in the Mountains.
The beauty of Vancouver is that you can ski (at Grouse Mountain or in Whistler) and jog (along the Pacific Ocean on the “Sea Wall”) in the same day during the winter months which is December to early April but make sure to bring a rain jacket & umbrella as we do live in a rain forest which is why it is so lush here.
Spring starts in April and summer ends at the end of September so anytime between spring and summer when the rains have ended is a great time to be here.
That’s also the BEST time to come here as it’s during Alaska Cruise season (May-September) and a few days to a week in Vancouver is the perfect add on to your Alaska adventure!!
The must do’s in Vancouver are to:
Visit Stanley Park by foot or Hop on Hop off bus
Visit Granville Island
Ride the Gondola to visit Grouse Mountain
Take a day trip to Whistler
Today though, we want to highlight some of the other wonderful things to do here in Vancouver, British Columbia since we had a unique opportunity to try some of them out recently.
Tourism Vancouver was kind enough to give us an “Experience Pass” which is an educational tool for travel agents to experience the attractions and activities in and around Vancouver in hopes to promote Vancouver tourism.
Voila! It worked. 🙂
…we DO NOT get compensated for the recommendations below. If we loved it, we simply mention it as an idea, ok?
We thought it would be both fun and a good thing for us to report back to you, our wonderful readers & Cruise clients, as you may possibly be planning an Alaska Cruise or Cruise Tour from or to Vancouver (if you haven’t done this yet- it is a must) or a Transitional Cruise where you may want to site see before or after your cruise.
After reading this blog you will no longer have to wonder “what shall I do in Vancouver for one to three days or more???”.
Be sure to read to the end because following our review of the activities we attended we will also post a list of many more things you can do in Vancouver as well as Out-of-Town Experiences so you have a full list to choose from.
Ok, here we go!
Fun Things We Experienced in Vancouver, British Columbia:
From Horseshoe Bay (approximately a 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver) we boarded a large rigid hull inflatable boat for the journey that was incredibly smooth on the water. The survival suits they provide keep you warm and dry on this two hour round trip tour as Shawn is modelling above. 🙂
Our captain took us up Howe Sound and showed us many interesting places and shared current and historic facts about the points of interest. The scenery and wildlife sightings were incredible. You have to experience it for yourself!
Side note about it: For a little thrill, they do a few donuts along the way to keep things interesting. It was fun but for those of you who don’t like that kind of thing, we thought we would warn you in advance as it may not be for you.
Thank you to Sharon Kay, our guide, for these pictures! (she snapped while we left our phones in our bags to fully appreciate the moments below)
Want to see Orcas… aka killer whales? Than this tour may be for you!
We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend it.
The literature says the tour is 3-5 hours, ours was 3.5 hours long… the length all depends on how far you need to sail to find whales but sightings are guaranteed!
Departing from downtown Vancouver, we got to explore some of the many islands in British Columbia in a large boat. From the water we could see seals, eagles and we spent a great deal of time watching two pods of killer Whales playfully breaching the water… it was incredible!!
You could buy snacks onboard but they encouraged us to bring a lunch, so we did and would recommend the same.
This was our very first Escape Room experience and we had no idea what to expect. But since we had such a good time (and no, we did not Escape) we have gone to several since… we’re definitely hooked!! 🙂
The staff were wonderful and engaging. Would highly recommend going to Smarty Pants Escape Room on your next visit to Vancouver!
The Richmond Olympic Experience inside the Richmond Olympic Oval is the first of it’s kind in North America. We had so much fun in simulators, getting to “really” see what Olympians are truly capable of. We couldn’t believe how high they could jump or fly on skis when we compared them to our own abilities. An interesting and eye opening experience!! FYI, this is about 30mins from downtown.
The Vancouver Aquarium is a public aquarium located in Stanley Park. With over 50,000 animals from across the world, there’s no shortage of incredible things to see and various learning opportunities through shows, etc. You will need a half day for a visit here and it is well worth it!
Located at the Vancouver Port, Fly over Canada is as it sounds. Seated, it feels as if you are flying as you experience the most magical places throughout Canada. We loved it! If you’ve been to “Soarin” in Disneyworld or Disneyland, the technology used is almost exact.
Tip: Groupon will save you a little money by buying the ticket there in advance.
Below is a list (in no particular order) of more wonderful experiences to be had in and around Vancouver, British Columbia:
10 Additional Vancouver Experiences:
1. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
2. Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours
3. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown
4. Cycle City Tours
5. Vancouver Art Gallery
6. At UBC/University of British Columbia visit: Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC Botanical Garden & Greenheart TreeWalk and the Museum of Anthropology
7. Rode House Museum
8. Bloedel Conservatory
9. Paddleboard with EcoMarine Paddlesport Centres
10. Vancouver Mysteries (get clues from the street and solve the case!)
- Audain Art Museum (Whistler)
- The Adventure Group (Whistler) (zipline, snowshoe, rafting, etc.)
- Ziptrek Ecotours (Whistler)
- Burnaby Village Museum (Burnaby)
- Burnaby Art Gallery (Burnaby)
- Britannia Mine Museum (Squamish)
- Sea to Sky Gondola (Squamish)
- Craigdarroch Castle (Victoria)
- “Butchart Gardens” in Victoria: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/LandTourVacations/Tauck-Pacific-Northwest-Tour/i-mWhLZ7S
- Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Tours (Victoria)
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (Richmond)
- Vine and Hops Tour (Fraser Valley)
- Fort Langley Historical Site of Canada (Fort Langley)
There you have it! We hope you enjoy your time here in Vancouver as much as we do!
Any questions, let us know.
Want to learn more about taking an Alaska Cruise or Cruise Tour or a Rocky Mountaineer Train Ride… all of which we have done and are Happy to share our experiences… then let us know and we will be happy to help book your next adventure.
We Appreciate You!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!