Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, temperate rainforests and beautiful foliage throughout all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Whether you’re a foodie looking for your next great plate, an adventurer seeking an adrenaline rush, a history buff searching for city secrets, or you’re in need of an urban escape—Vancouver has something for everyone.
Scenic Mountain Biking at Grouse Mountain
One of the best places to get a spectacular view of Vancouver is at Grouse Mountain, also known as the Peak of Vancouver. This June, Grouse Mountain is set to launch their Scenic Mountain Biking experience where guests can rent a bike and enjoy a 2-hour guided mountaintop tour of scenic viewpoints or access marked trails on a self-guided excursion. Focusing on a cross-country style experience, this adventure includes rentals of state-of-the-art pedal assist bikes and is the ideal excursion for those experiencing cross-country mountain biking for the first time. Non-pedal assist bikes are also available for bikers who like a bit of a climb or want to earn that post-ride meal. Visit grousemountain.com to learn more.
Canada Day at Granville Island
Explore Granville Island on Canada Day, which is bursting with culturally diverse celebrations from entertainment, to food, to local artwork. Grab a Canadian treat or bite to eat at the Granville Public Market, let your kids splash around in the largest free water park in North America, dance to the Island’s musical buskers, explore the artisan markets, and make a craft of your own. Find out more at granvilleisland.com.
Vancouver Mural Festival
Founded in 2016 by David Vertesi (of Vancouver band Hey Ocean!) and Gabriel Hall, the Vancouver Mural Festival aims to foster local artistic talent and promote Vancouver as a major contributor to the international art scene—and it shows! In the last two years over a hundred stunning murals have popped up in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood and along South Main Street, with 60 murals produced for the 2017 festival alone. And there’s more to come: the 3rd annual festival will take place August 6-11, with private and public walking tours available year-round, and weekly tours starting in the spring of each year. Locals and visitors alike can also download a map to go on a self-guided tour of the murals at vanmuralfest.ca.
Not only is the Aquarium in Vancouver’s Stanley Park home to rescued ocean species and aquatic life of all kinds, but its also the birthplace to the world-famous Ocean Wise initiative, aiming to promote ocean conservation, research, and education across the globe. Get up close and personal with Stellar sea lions or hang out with penguins and travel from Canada’s arctic to the Amazonian tropics. With over 50,000 animals and dozens of interactive experiences, you’ll have plenty of incredible things to do, see, and learn during your aquarium adventure. Also make sure to catch Douglas Coupland’s contemporary art exhibition “Vortex,” launching May 18, demonstrating the detrimental impact plastic has on marine life, while providing positive solutions to protect the health of our oceans. Visit vanaqua.org for tickets and details.
Car Free Day
Each summer sections of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods are blocked off from traffic for artists, performers, non-profits, and everyone in between to eat, engage, and be merry in spaces normally reserved for cars and other transportation. Car Free Day is volunteer-run by local residents and is an excellent way for visitors and locals alike to connect with the city and each other on foot—the festival draws thousands of people each year! Check out the festival on these dates: West End, June 16; Main Street, June 17; Commercial Drive, July 8. For more information visit carfreevancouver.org.