Summer Meetings in Vancouver - Know Before You Go!
Summer is peak season for a visit to Vancouver, with the city alive with festivals, outdoor adventure and activities! Even if you have just a couple of hours between sessions to do some sightseeing, you’ll want to make the most of your time, and we’re happy to help you do just that with this guide we’ve put together.
- What To Wear
- Getting Around
- Grab A Deal
- Vancouver's Summer Highlights
- Top Sightseeing Options
- More Information
Vancouver’s summer months of June, July and August are the city’s hottest, but they’re still very mild compared to many other destinations. In June, you can expect a mix of lovely blue skies and rain, but July and August are usually fairly sunny. Temperatures hover between 19˚C – 23˚C (66˚F – 73˚F) during the day, dipping by about 5˚C (10˚F) overnight. Check Vancouver’s current and historical weather conditions online here.
Because Vancouver’s climate is quite mild even in the middle of the summer, it’s best to dress in light layers. Make sure to pack your sunglasses and sunscreen, as well as an umbrella to deal with any summer showers. At night, remember to bring a light sweater with you as it can still feel quite cool down by the water. And you’ll want to bring some good walking shoes – Vancouver is a great place to explore on foot!
- You’ll most likely be flying into Vancouver International Airport, and you’ll find that the easiest way to get to downtown is by hopping on the Canada Line light-rail service – just look for the “Trains to the City” signs! The 30-minute trip is CAD $9.25, and tickets can be purchased by credit card on the platform. Alternatively, taxis are available and charge a flat fee from $31 - $35 for downtown zones.
- Once you’re downtown, walking is often the best option in our compact, very walkable city, especially during the summer. Most hotels are within a 10-minute stroll of the Vancouver Convention Centre, and you can easily walk to many downtown attractions including those in Gastown, Stanley Park and Robson Street. Just ask your concierge for a map.
- Taxis are plentiful; you can ask your bell desk to call one for you, or hail one on the street.
Your delegate badge comes with perks! When you’re out exploring the city, shopping and dining, remember to bring it with you to enjoy exclusive discounts and offers. See a list of offers here.
- With sunny days and mild temperatures, summer is perfect for exploring Vancouver’s outdoor adventure options. Go for a run through Stanley Park, take a stand-up paddleboarding lesson on English Bay, kayak up Indian Arm, rent a bicycle to pedal the seawall, hike a trail, or play 18-holes at one of Vancouver’s spectacular golf courses.
- During summer, it can seem like every week brings a new musical festival to enjoy! Vancouver International Jazz Festival is one of North America’s largest, and it’s hard to beat the waterfront location of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival down at Jericho Beach. And fans of classical music will want to catch a performance or two during the Vancouver Bach Festival.
- Summer is also when Vancouver celebrates the city’s diverse population with a series of festivals ranging from 5X Fest formerly City of Bhangra dance celebration, Greek Summerfest, the Japanese-focused Powell Street Festival, and the Vancouver Chinatown Festival, through to the Vancouver Pride Parade and Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
- During the summer, Vancouver’s arts and culture scene steps outside for a series of al fresco performances. Over in Vanier Park, catch a performance at Bard on the Beach, the city’s annual Shakespeare festival, or head to Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park to see one of two classic musicals at Theatre Under the Stars. But for many, the highlight of the city’s summer events is Honda Celebration of Light, a fireworks festival held over three nights with locals and visitors flocking to the shores of English Bay to watch.
- Even if you’re not a baseball fan, an afternoon spent at our old-fashioned ballpark, Nat Bailey Stadium, cheering on the city’s “Single A” team, the Vancouver Canadians, is a treat. Vancouver’s Canadian Football League team, the BC Lions, also kick off their season, playing at downtown’s BC Place Stadium - also home to the Vancouver Whitecaps MLS soccer team playing through the summer. If you’re not able to score tickets, the next best thing is to catch a Whitecaps or Lions game on the big screen, surrounded by local diehard fans. Try The Sports Bar LIVE! at Rogers Arena, or The Blackbird.
- Even with a couple of hours of free time during your stay, you’ll have plenty of time to get an authentic Vancouver experience. Grab a False Creek Ferries mini-tugboat over False Creek to Granville Island, stroll around Stanley Park, or hop on board a hop-on, hop-off bus.
- While many of Vancouver’s top attractions can be visited at any time of the year, there are certain sightseeing highlights that you can only catch during the summer. Grouse Mountain’s famous orphaned grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, can be spied playing, swimming and relaxing in their habitat at this time of year. This is also the prime time for whale watching – companies such as Steveston Seabreeze Adventures and Vancouver Whale Watch can pick you up at your hotel before taking you out on the ocean. If you’re keen on some seafaring thrills but short on time, a Sea Vancouver adventure will take you cruising around the harbour in a Zodiac in just 90 minutes.
- Organized sightseeing tours can be a great way to take in as much as possible in a limited amount of time. Hop-on, hop-off tours such the one offered by Westcoast Sightseeing have stops at most of the city’s top attractions. But with the lovely summer weather, perhaps you want to explore by foot or cycle instead. Cycle City and Vancouver Bike Tours offer a range of sightseeing options via bike. And there are lots of walking tours on offer, from exploring the city with The Tour Guys, through to brushing up on your camera skills with Vancouver Photowalks, and discovering the city’s past with Forbidden Vancouver.
- Vancouver’s shopping scene will not disappoint. Downtown shopping is centred around Robson Street, with Pacific Centre mall (home to both Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom department stores) anchoring one end. Stroll nearby neighbourhoods like Yaletown and Gastown for independent boutiques and shops, or hit McArthurGlen Designer Outlet (just two train stops from the airport) to fill your suitcase with deals.
- Exploring Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods is a great way to spend the afternoon, hanging out with the locals. Grab a coffee and wander downtown areas such as hip Yaletown, the beach-side West End, or historic Gastown. If you’ve got some extra time to head further afield, check out our neighbourhood guide for other suggestions.
- Vancouver makes a great starting point for exploring British Columbia, so you might want to extend your stay by a couple of days to see more of our province. Head north on Landsea Tours’ Sea to Sky day trip to experience the waterfront village of Horseshoe Bay, the historic Britannia Mine Museum and the Sea to Sky Gondola. A little further along the highway is the world-class ski resort of Whistler, just two hours from downtown Vancouver. Whistler is a true four-season destination, with lakes, trails, mountain biking and golf courses waiting for the summer visitor, not to mention the charming, walkable village. The province’s capital city, Victoria makes an excellent day trip at this time of year, especially if accessed via a scenic 35-minute float plane ride. For a unique way to make the trip, consider Prince of Whales’ “Ultimate Day Tour” which combines a whale watching excursion over to Victoria, time to explore Butchart Gardens, and then a sunset cruise back to Vancouver at the end of the day.
We know that there’s a lot of information here, but there’s so much more than we could fit in this guide. So if we’ve missed something that you’re especially interested in, check out Inside Vancouver – Tourism Vancouver’s blog dedicated to what’s going on the city and tips from locals. We’re looking forward to seeing you in our city soon, so follow us on social media for further trip inspiration or to ask a questions or two: