Short of buying one of the floating water homes on Granville Island, there are dozens of ways to get out on the water in Vancouver. After all, our great city is famous for the amount of H20 we have -- and all the great activities that we can do on it. Water sports, boating and fishing, plus less conventional activities such as skim boarding, are just a few ways to enjoy Vancouver's water. Here are five that we particularly like.
Hail a Taxi
Possibly the easiest way to get some time on the water is to hop on one of Vancouver's water taxis. Aquabus Ferries, rainbow coloured and super cute, scoot across False Creek and shuttle visitors to Granville Island and other destinations. False Creek Ferries operates nearby, featuring 10 vessels and four bigger ferries for mini-cruises -- day-long cruises that make stops at various Vancouver attractions. To get outside of Vancouver, a number of ferry services oblige. BC Ferries shuttles passengers to Vancouver Island, Granville Island Water Taxi heads to Bowen Island and Victoria Clipper makes trips to beautiful Victoria.
Catch a Rainbow (Trout, That Is)
Perhaps one of the most gorgeous places to witness the scenery of British Columbia, the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is just minutes from downtown Vancouver. Although it's known for its world-class North Shore-style mountain biking, it's also a popular site for canoeing. The Seymour River has Class 1 sections for some amazing canoeing opportunities, but for the real gem, pick up your rod and head to Rice Lake, which is stocked with more than 5,000 rainbow trout a year. Check out more fishing spots in Vancouver.
Few multiday trips are more epic or memorable than kayaking into Indian Arm. You'll come across century-old hydroelectric stations and aboriginal pictographs, but the main draw of the trip is the majesty of this glacial fjord and its cascading waterfalls, brilliant sunsets, lounging seals and sea lions. Campsites include Twin Islands, Racoon Islands, Granite Falls and Bishop Creek. Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre runs guided tours out of Deep Cove. For a guided kayaking day tour of Indian Arm with beach barbecue and hotel pick-up call Lotus Land Tours Inc.
If you want to see more centralized Vancouver sights, get hooked up at Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre, which offers rentals and tours from three oceanfront locations -- Jericho Beach, English Bay and Granville Island. Experienced guides lead two-and-a-half-hour paddles, including an incredible full moon paddle from English Bay to Jericho Beach.
Given Vancouver's location, the city has always been a gateway to Alaska's spectacular scenery. In fact, the Vancouver to Alaska route is the third most popular in the world. Seven to 14-day Alaska cruises typically depart from Canada Place, and although each cruise line features a slightly different itinerary, passengers experience the same beauty and awe as they live on the water and stop in places such as the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, Yakutat Bay, Valdez and other attractive destinations.
Be Tom Sawyer
Whitewater rafting fits the get-on-the-water bill, but keep in mind that there's also a chance that you'll end up in the water. The Thompson, Nahatlatch, Squamish, Elaho and Chilliwack rivers rage during the summers, and they are guaranteed ways to get your adrenaline going. Several river rafting companies tackle the rapids and can set you up for an awesome time.