Things to do in

Vancouver

Enjoying adventurous activities doesn't always have to mean missing out on city life. Not in Vancouver, anyway.

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Our most recommended Vancouver Water Sports

  • Vancouver, BC: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

    1. Vancouver, BC: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

    Experience whale watching in true comfort and style along the waters off Vancouver. See several types of whales, as well as an assortment of sea birds and other marine species. Marvel at the beauty of the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Howe Sound on this 3-6 hour adventure. An informative crew will tell you about the history of the area and about the marine wildlife. Board the Salish Sea Freedom, a 62-foot covered vessel built for whale watching, and designed to minimize its ecological footprint. You can choose to be inside or outside, and can choose from 3 viewing areas on 2 levels.

    Whale watching is something I’ve always wanted to do but having a fear of boats and the ocean has prevented me in the past. My partner and I were only 8hours drive away so I decided to bite the bullet and do it. I booked a hotel, booked the trip, bought ginger gravol and pressure bands for my wrists and off we went! No sea sickness; the water was smooth and the boat just glided over it nicely than a car on the road! The whole experience was an enjoyable and positive one that I will always remember and to see these wonderful creatures in real life was just breathtaking!

  • From Vancouver: Victoria Whale Watching Adventure

    2. From Vancouver: Victoria Whale Watching Adventure

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see killer whales with your own eyes! Become a real explorer on this full day air safari including a 3-hour whale-watching trip. Guests meet at the Vancouver Seaplane Terminal. From here you will fly from Vancouver Harbor to Victoria. This is an opportunity to see the mesmerizing views of the Gulf Islands from above. With over 50 aircrafts, Harbor Air Seaplanes operate the largest all-seaplane fleet in the world. Guest will take part in a unique whale watching expedition from Victoria's Inner Harbour. Led by expert guides, you will learn about this ecologically diverse area and the whales that inhabit it. See these magnificent creatures in their own waters. This is an experience that no aquarium can provide. You can also spot seals, birds and the spectacular vistas of Southern Vancouver Island. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

    Nice and fast service on the flight there and back. We saw 23 orcas on our whale tour! And got a bunch of hours to walk around Victoria! Lovely day highly recommend :)

  • Vancouver Whale Watching Safari

    3. Vancouver Whale Watching Safari

    Experience the thrill of the high seas as you embark on the search for the famous Killer Whales. Benefit from the experience of your tour guide and sighting chances of around 85%. Keep an eye out for the notorious Killer Whale, grey whales, seals, dolphins, sea lions, bald eagles and many other aquatic animals. Before you set sail, enjoy pick up from your accommodation in Vancouver and drive to the place where the covered boat is docked. Enjoy the adventure onboard the boat, equipped with many facilities including toilets. Marvel at the magical islands of the Canadian Pacific coast as you travel and experience a truly spectacular natural event. A visit to Vancouver's Granville Island is also included.

    It was a very informative and enjoyable experience. Our guide was very helpful, and we did see the orcas--which was quite exciting.

  • Vancouver and Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

    4. Vancouver and Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

    Start your holiday tour of Vancouver by exploring the highlights of downtown. See landmark monuments and locations, such as the home of the 2010 Olympic Cauldron at Canada Place. Wind through impressive modern and historic architecture, and go to the Vancouver Arts District, where community awareness is raised for public arts through diverse creative expressions. Look at the high-rise buildings of the Financial District and discover the fashion hub of Robson Street. Enter the 1,000-acre urban rainforest of Stanley Park to get a unique perspective of the city from a quiet wooded setting. Visit the First Nations Totem Poles as you continue along the water across English Bay to Granville Island. Spend some time at Granville Island Market and its many shops and eateries. Then, go to Lions Gate Bridge and explore Vancouver’s scenic North Shore. Approach Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to e...

    A great 5 hours spent touring Vancouver. As it was raining going by coach to see the sights was comfortable and we covered so much ground - a lot more than if we tried to do it all ourselves.

  • Vancouver: Ocean Jetski Morning Tour

    5. Vancouver: Ocean Jetski Morning Tour

    Arrive at Granville Island at 7:45 AM and begin your morning jetski tour - perfect for early-risers who are eager to explore the city. Meet your experienced guides who will assist you with wetsuits and life jackets. Before heading out, guests will go through a detailed safety chat with thorough information about machine use, rules and regulations, making this tour perfect for first-time riders and veterans alike. Set off to explore some of the beautiful islands of Vancouver including Bowen Island, Anvil Island, and Gambier Island. Visit a populous and vibrant seal colony, making this tour truly memorable for any wildlife lovers. Listen to a vivid history of the city, indulge in fun facts, and create lasting memories. After the tour, return to Granville Island just as the city wakes up, leaving with a newfound appreciation for the beautiful city of Vancouver.

    Loads of fun. Great tour guides. If you enjoy sun, water, waves and speed then this tour is highly recommended.

  • Canada 7–Day National Parks Camping Tour from Seattle

    6. Canada 7–Day National Parks Camping Tour from Seattle

    Day 1: Seattle to Kamloops Kamloops British Columbia is abundant with stunning scenery and great wildlife . Cougars, bears, elk, and more inhabit the Thomson River Valley. Stop for a short walk and picnic at Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. Spend your evening under the stars with your provided camping equipment. Day 2: Yoho National Park Explore trails around the magnificent Emerald Lake or simply relax in the lakeshore cafe and enjoy the views. Drive along the Kicking Horse Pass across the Continental Divide into Alberta. Enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada's Glacier National Park en route to Banff, where you will spend your night camping. Day 3:  Banff National Park - Lake Louise Lake Louise is an alpine lake known for its stunning turquoise glacier-fed waters, surrounded ...

  • Canadian Rockies 7–Day National Parks Group Tour

    7. Canadian Rockies 7–Day National Parks Group Tour

    Day 1: Seattle to Kamloops Kamloops British Columbia is abundant with stunning scenery and great wildlife . Cougars, bears, elk, and more inhabit the Thomson River Valley. Stop for a short walk and picnic at Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.  Day 2: Yoho National Park Explore trails around the magnificent Emerald Lake or simply relax in the lakeshore cafe and enjoy the views. Drive along the Kicking Horse Pass across the Continental Divide into Alberta. Enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada's Glacier National Park en route to Banff, your night stop. Day 3:  Banff National Park - Lake Louise Lake Louise is an alpine lake known for its stunning turquoise glacier-fed waters, surrounded by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau. Multiple hiking trails lead to the Lake Agne...

  • Vancouver: 1.5-Hour Guided Sunset Tour

    8. Vancouver: 1.5-Hour Guided Sunset Tour

    Explore Vancouver as the sky changes color and the sun goes down, seeing the city from two different perspectives. This 1.5-hour guided tour will take you to the most beautiful parts of the city in a coach with panoramic view windows. Start at Prospect Point in Stanley Park and look out over the Burrard Inlet, Vancouver’s North Shore, and Lionsgate Bridge.  Then, it’s off to the popular English Bay where many people will still be catching some of the last rays of sun. The highlight will be stopping at Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in Vancouver, where you can get views of the park, the city, and North Shore.   Historic Gastown will be the last stop in your evening — this original settlement is now a National Historic Site. Cobble-stone streets, the original working steam clock, and local artisans will be there to greet you as you enter the area. End your tour here to continue ...

    Local young man as our guide who has lived in Canada since his childhood. He loves Vancouver & it showed in his enthusiasm to share information. Bought our tickets online & it was an easy efficient process. Enjoyed our evening tour very much.

  • Victoria & Butchard Gardens Private Tour from Vancouver

    9. Victoria & Butchard Gardens Private Tour from Vancouver

    Enjoy complimentary pick-up from your hotel in Vancouver. At Tsawwassen, board the ferry and enjoy a spectacular 1.5-hour ferry ride through the Gulf Islands. Lookout for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Be enchanted by the beautiful islands, and enjoy feeling the wind in your face on the top deck.  Make your first stop at Butchard Gardens, where you will be wowed by this oasis of lush green and colorful blooms, stretching for 55 acres of flowers, trees, pathways, and creeks. The garden features a sunken garden, a world-famous rose garden, and a wonderful restaurant serving high tea daily.  Take a scenic tour by the ocean en route to the city center of Victoria. Drive by the University of Victoria, Oak Bay, the Uplands, Beacon Hill Park, and finally Downtown Victoria with its BC Parliament Building, Empress Hotel, Chinatown, and Craigdarroch Castle. Have lunch or a small bite, at your ...

  • The Gulf Islands: Kayak Outing with Seaplane Experience

    10. The Gulf Islands: Kayak Outing with Seaplane Experience

    Experience the idyllic island paradise between continental Canada and Vancouver Island: the Gulf Islands. These coastal waters are some of the most diverse in the world. See bald eagles, seals, dolphins, otters, oystercatchers, colorful starfish and many more. Discover this natural paradise on a paddleboat tour along the rock formations and remote beaches in comfortable seafaring double kayaks. The day begins with a flight in the seaplane to Saltspring Island. After a short introduction to the handling of the kayaks, your paddle adventure begins. Learn about the way the ecosystems depend upon and interact with one another from your informative English-speaking guide. The high point of the outing is a picnic on a deserted beach. After a 5-hour outing, return to the mainland to be picked up and returned to your accommodation in Vancouver by a chauffeur.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

What top attractions are a must-see in Vancouver?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to pack

    Temperatures in Vancouver are mild and rarely drop below freezing with average temperature sitting at 51. Pack layers, a windbreaker or raincoat, depending on the season, and a comfortable pair of shoes for hiking.

  • When to visit

    The only downside to the coastal climate is the rainy season, which can start in October and last all through March. The city will provide no shortage of indoor activity, but spring and summer in Vancouver are ideal. In fact, during the summer months it is the second driest city in Canada.

  • How many days to visit

    Spend at least four days in Vancouver - you won’t be able to fit in all the attractions, but it's enough to gain a sense of the city's character.

  • Take a trip to Victoria

    Not far from Vancouver is British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, located on Vancouver Island. Strikingly different to Vancouver, it’s filled with quaint cafes, antique shops, and an overall British feel. The ferry is 90 minutes and getting to the port from each city can take from 45-75 minutes, so it may be worth staying overnight.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    Canadian Dollar ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-08:00)
  • Country Code
    1
  • Best time to visit
    All year is great, due to the mild weather.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver

Want to discover all there is to do in Vancouver? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Vancouver

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,294 reviews

Whale watching is something I’ve always wanted to do but having a fear of boats and the ocean has prevented me in the past. My partner and I were only 8hours drive away so I decided to bite the bullet and do it. I booked a hotel, booked the trip, bought ginger gravol and pressure bands for my wrists and off we went! No sea sickness; the water was smooth and the boat just glided over it nicely than a car on the road! The whole experience was an enjoyable and positive one that I will always remember and to see these wonderful creatures in real life was just breathtaking!

The weather wasn’t great, but the experience was still fabulous! Loved the quirkiness of the harbour airport, and the ride itself was breathtaking. Amazing views, felt totally safe and comfortable, a very nice birthday treat :)

Christine our tour guide was fantastic. We really enjoyed the food and had a blast with the new people we met on our tour.

Great experience. About 20 min long. 10 passenger plane. Over all scenic. Exactly what you would expect.

Excellent guide and interesting tour! E bikes make it enjoyable for all levels of fitness