Any day of the week, among the cruise ships, freighters and sailboats, graceful sea kayaks gliding along the shores of Burrard Inlet. Sea kayaks are the smallest and most maneuverable craft on the water - a sleek, stable one-person (or tandem) boat whose origins can be traced to the baidarkas designed centuries ago by the North Coast indigenous people of the Alaskan Panhandle.
Vancouver's three most popular paddling destinations are all unique, and whether you’re an experienced paddler or enthusiastic beginner, you’ll find something to suit you. Many outfitters offer rentals as well as lessons and guided tours. Or go with a tour operators who will pick you up at your hotel and take care of all of the details for you.
The placid waters of False Creek, ringed by bustling Yaletown to the north and Granville Island to the south, offers lots of sights on land and on sea! Start from Granville Island and experience the gleaming glass buildings around False Creek from sea-level, offering a unique perspective on the city’s urban environment.
Or start your kayaking adventure down at English Bay for a mix of city and nature. Push off from the popular West End beachfront, and paddle your way over to Stanley Park to enjoy the natural vistas of the park’s forest, along with views to the North Shore Mountains. Better yet, take a guided tour and learn about the park’s history while you’re at it.
On the North Shore, kayakers paddle from Deep Cove to explore Indian Arm, a finger-shaped fjord which bends northward for 30-kilometres (18.8-miles) deep into the heart of the Coast Mountains. On the way, paddlers can stop to appreciate old-growth forests and lacy waterfalls while gulls, ravens and bald eagles soar overhead. It's the kind of wilderness trip that eco-tourists pay thousands of dollars for, and you can take a bus right to the starting point!