Thaw Out with These 7 Ways to Enjoy Spring in Vancouverby Dana Lynch
Spring in Vancouver is the season of rejuvenation. Gardens bloom, whales migrate and the entire city comes alive. In March, April and May, Vancouver’s special mix of cosmopolitan living and outdoor adventure is at its best. From dining and shopping to kayaking, golfing and exploring nature, Vancouver has the ultimate remedy for spring fever.
1. Stroll Through the Gardens
Nowhere is spring more evident -- or more beautifully realized -- than at Vancouver’s gorgeous public gardens. The roses at the Stanley Park Rose Garden are at peak bloom at the end of March through the beginning of April, while the first two weeks of May are the best times to see the 4,500 hybrid rhododendron and azalea plants at Stanley Park’s Ted & Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden. Spend a day touring gardens by combining trips to Stanley Park with visits to the lush VanDusen Botanical Garden, the enchanting spaces at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the free quarry gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park.
2. Watch the Whales
Whale-watching season starts in March, and the spring months are among the best to see these magnificent creatures in action. Experience the thrill of watching migrating orcas and gray whales up-close-and-personal with the professional naturalists onboard one of Vancouver’s whale-watching tour operators.
3. Shop for Spring Fashions
For fashion-lovers, every new season is an excuse to shop, and spring in Vancouver means new finds at the city’s best boutiques and fashion hot pots. Shop downtown’s Robson Street for name brands, historic Gastown for cutting-edge fashion or Main Street between 20th and 22nd avenues for the best in local and independent Canadian designs.
4. Kayak on False Creek
Situated in the heart of Vancouver, the False Creek inlet is the perfect spot for springtime kayaking. Take a kayak tour with Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre and see seals, otters, eagles, and fish while enjoying exercise, fresh sea air and amazing views of downtown Vancouver.
5. Dine on the Patio
What is it about outdoor dining that makes even five-star food taste better? Enjoy the warmer spring weather by dining outdoors under the iconic yellow umbrellas at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island, on the urban patio of Yaletown’s Blue Water Café + Raw Bar (the perfect spot to see-and-be-seen), or on Raincity Grill’s terrace overlooking the majestic English Bay.
6. Hit the Links
Vancouver’s public golf courses combine lush fairways and rolling greens with awesome mountain and water views -- and they’re inexpensive, too! Hit the links at the challenging McCleery Golf Course, or play the Fraserview Golf Course, a true hidden gem and one of the best public golf courses in all of Canada. For more choice golf courses, click here.
7. Experience Nature Hands-On
If spring is the time to experience nature hands-on, then Stanley Park is the place to do it, guided by the naturalists of the Stanley Park Ecology Society. Along with operating the Stanley Park Nature House -- Vancouver’s only ecological centre -- the Ecology Society also offers inexpensive, guided “Discovery Walks” for learning about the park’s biodiversity, as well as programs for bird-watching and coyote-spotting.
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