5 Ways to Get Out on the Water

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, as well as all the great activities that we can do on it and in it! Water sports, boating and fishing, as well as less conventional activities such as skim boarding, are just a few ways to enjoy Vancouver's water. Here are five that we’re particularly fond of.

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, shuttling visitors to Granville Island and other destinations. False Creek Ferries operates nearby, featuring 10 vessels and four bigger ferries for mini-cruises along the water. To get outside of Vancouver, try BC Ferries for trip to Bowen Island, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast.

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 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.

Paddles Up

Few multi-day 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, consider a trip like those offered by Lotus Land Tours.

If you want to see more centralized Vancouver sights, get hooked up at Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres, which offers rentals and tours from two oceanfront locations: Jericho Beach and and Granville Island. Experienced guides lead two-and-a-half-hour paddles, including an incredible full moon paddle from English Bay to Jericho Beach.

Another great option for exploring Vancouver by water is with Vancouver Water Adventures. Take one of their kayaks or paddle boards for a spin around False Creek or English Bay. 

Cool Cruising

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. Alaska cruises, from 7 to 14 days long, typically depart from the cruise terminal at downtown’s 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

White water rafting will definitely get you on the water, 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.