It seems as though when major news outlets like Global, CBC, and The DailyHive warn Vancouverites of the high temperature forecast, the public sees this as a signal to take full advantage of the summer sun - and who can blame them? We don't always get this type of weather in Vancouver.
But, just like anywhere in the world, if you've lived in a particular area for a long time, you begin to exhaust your options for activities & ideas around the area. Either you've seen this or done that.. multiple times, the question always begs - what is there to do?
We've listed our Best Summer Activities Around Vancouver that you and your friends + family can enjoy. It covers ideas from ticketed events, public festivals, and enjoying the best of the best found only in the city!
Take a Picture, It'll Last Longer
In the age of technology, the phrase "Picture or it didn't happen" is all too common. Our first suggested summer activity is to grab a picture of the many iconic destinations found around Vancouver.
These places are a collection of what makes Vancouver, Vancouver. They are most often seen by tourists around the world and photographed by many professionals, content creators, and film studios like Netflix. But have you seen them?
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Stanley Park - The crowning jewel of the city of Vancouver. Originally settled by the Coast Salish First Nations (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil Waututh), the area has since been dubbed Vancouver's first park in 1886.
Its vast history and subtle remodelling of the original state of the land has kept many of its natural features such as densely forested trees, hiking trails, and iconic monuments. All you need to do is take a stroll along the seawall to see for yourself.
Capilano Suspension Bridge - Located in North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is Vancouver, BC's top destination. Known for its 450ft long swinging connector, the suspension bridge is situated in a paradise within the forest - both beautiful and breathtakingly thrilling. The name itself comes from the name "Kia'palano"given by the Squamish Nation who settled the area, which translates to "beautiful river".
Since then, the destination has developed into other attractions around the site including Cliff Walks, Tree Top Adventures, Educational Tours, and annual events such as the famous Canyon Lights during the Holiday season.
Check the Calendar
Now that Vancouver has eased on restrictions and opened up again, events around town have been booming. Many of these events range from large networking summits filled with crowds in the hundreds to more local and intimate workshops, where creation and relaxation is the goal. Either way, these local events can give you an understanding of what the beautiful city has to offer.
Tech Summit in Vancouver - Did you know, Vancouver is the Silicon Valley of Canada? If you did, then you probably work in the industry. But for those who don't, this can come as a shock and a jolt of excitement as well. The upcoming conference held in Vancouver looks to connect the local talent with outside investors and stakeholders to flourish the tech sector that is currently expanding.
Wa Moga 29 workshop, Secret Location Concept Store
Attend the Floral Herbarium Workshop - A more serene and elegant atmosphere is not far from home. This in-person workshop is held at One Water Street, in historic Gastown, Vancouver. You'll meet with the Founder of the local Vancouver-based brand Wa Moga 29, Reiko Katayama, where she will teach Japanese techniques to create your own custom herbarium that you get to take home afterwards.
Attend Public Markets & Festivals
Joining public markets and festivals around Vancouver is a local favourite. They often bring different communities together that share a passion for either art, food, culture, or different hobbies. These are individuals who may otherwise never meet.
Music on Main - Taking live music to new dimensions, Music on Main connects music enthusiasts, composers, local venues, and digital avenues. The organization hosts more than 500 events along Main Street and around the Vancouver area with over 1,000 musicians involved. With live recordings being a mainstay channel, digital performances have become a great way that not only offers an accessible conduit for those who cannot physically attend, but also lets artists and audiences connect in a new capacity.
Vancouver Mural Festival - Have you ever noticed the tall buildings around the city with beautiful and vibrant pieces of artwork on their sides? Or the round columns with Indigenous or Indigenous-inspired motifs? You can thank the independent, non-profit art organization (VMF) that dedicates its efforts to artistic and cultural development in the city. "We create experiences that connect people through art". Bring your family, friends, or canine-friend to the many upcoming events hosted by the Vancouver Mural Festival Organization.
Vancouver Mural Festival
The Richmond Night Market - The largest night market in North America in Richmond B.C is held annually during the summer months. Since its introduction, the night market has become a renowned event attracting over 1 million visitors each year.
Thanks to the plethora of Asian culinary kiosks serving takoyaki, hurricane potatoes, and of course, the mango shaved-ice brings many visitors always coming back for more. To add, the night market also has booths of other merchandise and local entertainment such as singing and dance performances.
Kitsilano Farmers Market - When you think of a farmers market, you can instantly imagine the smell of fresh produce, handmade keepsakes, and fantastic food! Look no further than the Farmers Market in Kitsilano every Sunday 10AM - 2PM.
Here, you can quickly grab a fresh bunch of vegetables grown locally or stick around and enjoy the food trucks and live music. And the best part? The famous Kitsilano Beach is just a short walk from the Farmers Market. You'll find a playground for the kids, volleyball in session, and a view that faces English Bay and the North shore Mountains.
Wine & Dine at the Best of the Best
With its culturally diverse citizens and a nation that allows freedom of expression, Vancouver has become a hot spot for culinary excellence. Throughout the city, as you walk about you may come across the Italian bistros, fabulous Japanese izakaya, Mediterranean restaurants, elegant Steakhouses, and even fusion-inspired eats; there are literally too many to name (I had to stop there).
The Tasting Room
Don't worry though, the overwhelming feeling of options will soon fade. The most renowned awarding system in the culinary industry is travelling to Vancouver - The Michelin Guide. Here, they (secretly) wine and dine at the best of the best, tasting and experiencing each restaurant from beginning to end. Being awarded one of these stars (out of three) plays a large role in the success of their establishment. Be on the lookout, the results are in the works!
Visit A Nearby Neighbourhood
When it comes to visiting nearby neighbourhoods around Vancouver, there are some around the Lower Mainland that are beginning to develop into new heights. These particular areas showcase a different kind of atmosphere.
With an old-world feel, you can look to Gastown for a sense of Western-style architecture; think brick and mortar, narrow alleys, cobblestone streets, a steam clock, and a scenic harbour to boast. You can find a plethora of shops from luxury boutiques, to cozy cafés and eateries.
Abbotsford, the city with a vast landscape that was first home to the residents of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation, now boasts an international airport and the exciting expansion to becoming the next startup hub in the regionsince its establishment in 1892.
Because its location is just bordering the United States, the city has a naturally beautiful view of Mount Baker. This makes visiting our family and friends that much easier.
Of course, you can't visit Vancouver without passing by the Downtown core. The centre where you'll find the largest brand names and businesses around brings in a vast majority of the population - and with so many things to do and enjoy, it's hard not to visit the area.
Summer isn't over just yet, and as everyone is still in the midst of enjoying theirs, we hope you've been inspired to try some of our suggested summer activities around the Vancouver area. Whether you're looking for a nature day in the park, trying local eats, or attending a special event - Vancouver has plenty to offer!
Stay tuned for our next blog post. It's one full of inspiration, art, and travel.