Despite having lived in North America my entire life I somehow managed to exist for 27 years before I made it over the border to either Mexico or Canada. But in May of this year I finally added Canada to the list of countries I’ve visited! Vancouver is a short three hour flight from Phoenix and made for a perfect weekend escape. After experiencing the beauty that is Vancouver I’m sure that I’ll be making a return trip in the future.
Things To Do In Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
One of the most popular things I saw advertised to do in Vancouver was the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Located in North Vancouver it’s a quick shuttle ride away and they pick up from numerous locations in the downtown area for free so it’s a breeze to get there. I have to admit it looked a lot “scarier” online than I felt it was in person but I still really enjoyed it. And some people will be completely freaked out either way, as evidenced by this woman who wouldn’t let go of her grip on her husband the entire time they were crossing the suspension bridge. ;)
You have to cross the suspension bridge to get to the rest of the park and while it did sway and bounce some it really isn’t too bad to cross at all. Here are some more views of it:
As you can see, it’s pretty solid and not too scary at all. =D Here’s a view from further away that I took later from within the park:
According to the website it’s 230 feet above the river. The park also has a lot of other things to check out and is very kid friendly. I’d recommend it to families with young children as there are tons of education and kid friendly things to do. My personal favorites were the treetop adventure and the cliffwalk.
The cliff walk was the only time I ever came close to being nervous about being up so high. But for whatever reason I’m totally fine with heights as long as I have railings. Take me to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona or open spots of the Grand Canyon and suddenly I have a fear of heights! ;)
Here’s what the cliffwalk looks like from one of the vantage points in the park:
In summary, I highly recommend Capilano as a fun way to experience the beauty in Vancouver!
Bike Around Stanley Park’s Seawall
My favorite activity turning my time in Vancouver was renting a bike and biking around Stanley Park. There’s a beautiful one direction path that goes around the entire length of the park and the views of the city, the forest, and everything else are just stunning. The entire route is beautiful and so easy to enjoy. Plus unlike the middle of the park where there are plenty of hills the outer wall is relatively flat which makes for a nice easy ride.
I rented a bike from Spokes which is right by Stanley Park and had a great experience with them. I highly recommend taking the free attachable basket and putting your purse/bag in it. Next time I go back to Vancouver I’ll probably spend some more time exploring inside the massive park but my top recommendation for visitors is biking around the outer part!
If you’re looking for a high level view of the city then you’ll enjoy Vancouver Lookout. It’s in downtown Vancouver and has fantastic views of both the downtown area and everything else around. The ride up is in an elevator with glass doors that face out so if you’re afraid of heights I’d recommend standing towards the back of the elevator.
They also have lots of information signs telling you what you’re looking at and pointing out points of interest. It’s a great way to learn a lot about Vancouver.
I didn’t end up having much time for shopping while I was there but if shopping is your goal than Vancouver will not disappoint. Robson Street is the most notable (and world famous) area of Vancouver for shopping and since it’s downtown I did end up walking through it. Someday I’ll go back and spend more time there!
This one won’t appeal to everyone as it’s definitely a bit ho-hum but I was excited about it. I’ve never been to a city that has hosted the Olympics before so I thought it was cool to go see the Olympic torch even if there’s not much else in the area anymore (at least as far as the Olympics go).
Granville Island Public Market
I had a bit of time on Sunday before I had to head to the airport and I decided to use that time to go explore the Granville Island Public Market. Coming from the downtown area you can take an adorable little ferry over to Granville. I forget how much it cost but it was only a couple of bucks round trip and was a fun mode of transportation.
Here’s what the dock looked like on the Granville side:
On Sunday morning everything was still a bit sleepy feeling but the market was up and running for the day. Talk about amazing looking options! If I lived close to this market I would come every weekend just to buy produce if nothing else.
Granville Island is a fantastic place to explore. Lots of cute shops and it’s just all around a fun and relaxed place to hang out. And if you have kids they also have a Kids Public Market which was super cute inside.
Other notable things to do in Vancouver that I didn’t squeeze into this trip:
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Vancouver Canucks game
- Grouse Mountain
- Vancouver Aquarium
- Botanical Garden
I’d love to hear from you guys! If you’ve been to Vancouver what was your favorite thing to do?