Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city full of life and festivals, great bars and restaurants, friendly people, summer concerts, and favorite spots to practice winter sports. It is also an area rich in breathtaking natural parks, beaches, mountains, and waterways. Both outdoors activities enthusiasts and families looking to enjoy a different experience during their vacation will find something rather amazing to do in the city and its marvelous natural surroundings.
Driving Along the Sea to Sky Highway
This scenic drive goes from Van to Whistler, passing by numerous amazing viewpoints, a waterfall park. The area offers magnificent mountain views, a rich fauna and flora, and beautiful waterways for fishing. Photography enthusiasts will be delighted by the views that make the name Sea to Sky more than well-deserved. Hiking is also possible in this area, and the Stawamus Chief trail is the most popular one.
You can stop at Squamish to lounge by the river or do some recreational fishing. Shannon Falls is a very visitor-friendly spot, with great facilities and nice and accessible viewing platforms. At Brittania Bay, you can visit an interesting mining museum, some art galleries, and a few historical landmarks. If you plan to return in the evening, you can enjoy the beauty of the sunset on the water around the numerous islands that can be found along the way. There are many viewpoint signs along the road, and each one of them is worth a stop for taking photos or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Kayaking at Indian Arm
Indian arm is a glacial fjord which is carved into a mountain. It provides an ideal setup for a spectacular kayaking adventure. Along 20 Kms of calm ocean waters between Deep Cove and Indian Arm´s tip, you can experience the area´s magnificent wildlife, including harbour seals, nearly 80 different bird species, as well black-tailed deer and black bears along the shore. There is a access to numerous shoreside camp sites that make the journey sufficiently safe and comfortable.
Camping by Garibaldi Lake
Set against a spectacular glacier, this turquoise lake of crystalline waters offers many opportunities to relax, swim, fly fish, and admire the view of the surrounding mountains. With two great hikes available, namely Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Lake has everything to keep you busy during a camping stay.
Access to the lake is from the Rubble Creek parking lot, which is located South of Whistler. the hike begins at the wooden steps along the top section of the parking lot. You can reach the lake after a 6km uphill trail through a dense forest. There is a map after the 6km mark, and the lake is just on the right. Those looking for a more intense workout can take the left to the beautiful and colorful Taylor Meadows, which are covered in alpine flowers from Summer through Fall.
The access to the Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge hikes is further ahead. These hikes are also lined with beautiful scenery, and they are thrilling enough for an expert hiker. Besides Garibaldi, there are many beautiful smaller lakes and waterways along the main trail.
Snowshoeing in the North Shore
The North Shore offers has many resorts that offer snowshoeing. As the mountains are covered in snow during most of the year, this is a great way to experience the most elevated sections during the months when hiking is not possible. The Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour and Cypress Mountain resorts have some really cool snowshoeing trails, but some experts have a preference for Grouse. Both Cypress and Seymour offer some public-access trails.
Biking Along the Stanley Park Seawall
Stanley Park is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Canada. The 10-kilometre seawall offers a beautiful backdrop for biking, rollerblading, walking or simply lounging in the Vancouver sunshine during the summer. Originally constructed to prevent the erosion along the park’s foreshore, the Seawall is Stanley park´s most popular feature. The park also offers many beautiful trail, some of the nicest ones are located around the Lost Lagoon are.