Vancouver's Top 20
Collected by Lisa Cheng, AFAR Contributor
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Gastown neighborhood dates back to the Victorian era when “Gassy Jack” Deighton opened a saloon in a burgeoning sawmilling settlement. Now its grand heritage buildings—in Romanesque, Edwardian and Victorian Italianate styles—and brick-paved...
1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9, Canada
Thousands of humpback, orca, gray and minke whales migrate through the waters surrounding Vancouver from March to October. Although you can occasionally spot these giant creatures off the coast, the best way to view them is to book a cruise or a...
4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1, Canada
A manicured space of shrubs, cascading streams and flowers in bloom, Queen Elizabeth Park is the garden of choice for meditative walks and games of lawn bowling and pitch and putt. The grounds are studded with fountains and sculptures, and a rose...
Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Vancouver’s most famous urban space, the thousand-acre Stanley Park, epitomizes everything that locals here love about the outdoors, and visitors have many ways to explore the expansive grounds. Hiking trails weave around totem poles and hemlock...
555 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4N6, Canada
It’s not the Burj Khalifa or even the Empire State Building, but the Vancouver Lookout still has a lot of height—it’s a good 169 meters to the top of the needle tower. A glass elevator whisks you upward to the observation deck, where you can soak...
639 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3, Canada
One of Canada’s most revered artists—and once the face on the Canadian $20 bill—Bill Reid was born to a European father and a Haida mother. This gallery displays a collection of his sculptural masterpieces, and gold and silver jewelry which...
5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1, Canada
This 22-hectare green space in the Shaughnessy neighborhood is an assemblage of stylized gardens with connecting paths. Different sections spotlight plants from ecosystems as diverse as a Louisiana swamp and the coastal Mediterranean. Evergreen...
Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, BC, Canada
A popular hangout, Kits Beach—as the locals call it—faces English Bay, and in the summertime it buzzes with beach activities. Volleyball players and Frisbee tossers mingle with sun worshippers, windsurfers and skim boarders. For sand-free dips and...
750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada
Western Canada’s largest public art museum weighs in at almost 12,000 works. The collection here is strong on Emily Carr, a modernist compatriot of the Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s who were deeply...
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Part of the North Shore mountain range, this 4,039-foot peak offers jaw-dropping views of the city. It’s busiest in the winter, when four chairlifts service 33 ski runs, but remains popular in the summer thanks to the steep, 1.8-mile Grouse...
3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
This 27-acre attraction in North Vancouver gets the heart racing with a suspension bridge that bounces 230 feet above a forested river gorge. Even more spectacular, however, is the Cliffwalk, a labyrinth of walkways along the granite flank of...
6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
Part of the University of British Columbia, this museum houses one of the finest collections of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art, including bentwood boxes, feast dishes, totem poles, and canoes from the Haida and Coast Salish people. Some of...
201 - 999 Canada Place, Canada, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1, Canada
This is such a fun attraction and despite being only 8 minutes long (the rest of the time is taken up with a pre-show and boarding) it’s honestly worth the ticket price. FlyOver Canada is a virtual flight experience which takes you gliding from...
6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6, Canada
This open-air museum is a replica of a 1920s pioneer town complete with a one-room schoolhouse, an ice cream parlor and a restored tram with oak and cherrywood trim. Grab a map of the village and stop by the print store or blacksmith shop for a...
Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6C 3C1, Canada
This sandy expanse near Stanley Park in the West End neighborhood is one of Vancouver’s most popular downtown beaches. Also called First Beach, it offers easy access to the Seawall, which runs along the beach’s eastern edge. Kayaking and...
2645 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1B1, Canada
Forty minutes from downtown Vancouver, this 300-acre nature sanctuary makes a good day trip for nature lovers, particularly for bird-watchers. The area’s woodlands, wetland beaches and tidal marshes harbor 230 avian species, including ospreys and...
8700 McKim Way #3063, Richmond, BC V6X 4A5, Canada
Twenty minutes south of downtown, Richmond is a celebration of Vancouver’s ethnically diverse population. Head to one of the 400-some restaurants for a tasty array of Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Malaysian cuisines. In the summer, Richmond hosts...
3511 Moncton St, Richmond, BC V7E 3A3, Canada
This fishing village on the Fraser River was once a thriving community with numerous salmon canneries. Today, its heritage is still on proud display at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which preserves West Coast fishing history; the London Heritage...
845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
Presiding over Stanley Park, Canada’s largest aquarium houses more than 50,000 creatures, from penguins to sea otters to three-toed sloths. Don’t miss the star turns from the rescued Steller sea lions Izzy and Rogue, who swoop...
121 Lower Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2T4, Canada
Downshift on this groovy Gulf Island, just a 35-minute seaplane ride from the city. Here, artist studios abound, as do makers of artisanal food and beverages. Classic stops include the summertime Saturday Market, the Blue Horse Folk Art Gallery,...
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