5 Top Photo Ops

You won’t have to travel far to find an attractive photo op or backdrop for a selfie while you’re in Vancouver. But if you’re looking to snap that quintessential photo of Vancouver to share with all your Facebook friends, this list will lead you to the right places for getting those brag-worthy shots.

1. False Creek

From the Granville Island side of False Creek, downtown Vancouver’s distinctive green glass buildings rise up from the banks and reflect on the water. Frame the shot with rows of sailboat masts in the foreground or with the Granville Bridge running along one side to add some interesting lines. Nearby, the Granville Island Public Market, with its colorful vegetable, seafood and flower stands, provides plenty of additional fodder for photogs.

2. Stanley Park

Situated on a lush peninsula at the northwestern edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is overloaded with picturesque beaches, hiking trails. Additionally, the 9-kilometre (5.5-mile) seawall, which borders the entire park and affords city, water and mountain views in all directions. From the seawall on the southeast side of the park near the Nine O’Clock Gun, the five sails of Canada Place across Burrard Inlet reflect the changing light in early morning and late afternoon. Other interesting subjects include a selection of totem poles, the Brockton Point Lighthouse, the “Girl in a Wetsuit” and other sculptures, towering collections of trees and the Lions Gate Bridge.

3. English Bay Beach

Now’s your chance to get a shot of the inukshuk, the stone sculpture that served as inspiration for the official emblem of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This ancient symbol of Inuit culture traditionally acted as a landmark or directional guide and represents a human form with outstretched arms. The inukshuk at English Bay Beach has all the right ingredients to make a beautifully composed image: a backdrop of water and mountains, a west-facing position great for sunset shots and a well-proportioned shape. Nearby, large logs serve as benches on the beach, where people sitting to enjoy sunset, make for another photo op: silhouetted figures against the golden, shimmering water and sky.

4. Lighthouse Park

Located in West Vancouver off Marine Drive, Lighthouse Park holds enough intriguing perspectives to keep a photographer clicking away for hours. A virgin temperate rainforest habitat, one of the few places in the area immediately surrounding Vancouver that was never completely logged, provides towering trees and lush undergrowth. Additionally, 60 different bird species are known to frequent the area. Stunning natural beauty aside, the real reason to come here is the classic white and red lighthouse. Poised atop an outcropping of granite with waves crashing ashore, it’s the perfect chance to get that frame-worthy lighthouse shot you always wanted.

5. Grouse Mountain

You might feel your stomach do a little flip as you rise up high above the hillside on the Skyride tram that takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain. Rest assured, it’s totally worth it. There are few places in the area where you can get this high above the city while still having it in full view, and therefore, Grouse Mountain provides one of the most unique vantage points of Vancouver. The panorama extends to neighbouring peaks, the Pacific Ocean, inlets and bays, and the Gulf Islands. There are lots of other activities to explore atop the mountain: visit the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife to snap a shot of the grizzlies, ride the Screaming Eagle chairlift (in summertime) for more views, capture the twirling skaters on the ice rink in winter or visit during the Peak of Christmas celebration to experience a twinkling winter wonderland.