Whether it's outdoor activities in parks or on the water, Tourism Vancouver offers visitors lots to see and do and great summer deals.
Things to do in Stanley Park
Covering 405 hectares, Stanley Park is larger than Central Park in New York City. Vancouver office workers come here for lunch breaks, after-work exercise and fun on the beaches.
For orientation, visitors can ride a Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour carriage to view the park and its sights, or ride a miniature replica of Locomotive Engine #374. In 1886, it was the first transcontinental passenger train to arrive in Vancouver. The ride lasts 15 minutes.
Stanley Park offers lots of family activities. For swimming, there are two options: a free kids' water park and a heated pool at Second Beach. Children love to feed the beluga whales at Beluga Encounter, in the Vancouver Aquarium. At the Children's Farmyard, kids can pet ponies, goats and a llama.
Sport-lovers watch cricket or rugby games at Brockton Oval and play golf on an 18-hole pitch and putt course. Hikers will find numerous trails. You can also rent bicycles and rollerblades to view the park from the nine-kilometer Seawall.
Restaurants at Stanley Park range from the Sequoia Grill and the Fish House in Stanley Park to the Prospect Point Café.
On summer afternoons, Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre brings visitors on guided Deep Cove Explorer & Natural History Tours. Visitors paddle along Indian Arm, looking for salmon, seals and eagles. Instructors provide training in paddling techniques and water safety.
A half-hour from downtown Vancouver, Lotus Land Tours bring visitors on six-hour wilderness kayak trips to an uninhabited island for a salmon barbecue lunch, included in the tour price.
Visitors paddle a 13-metre cedar canoe on a Takaya Tours First Nations Experience trip. First Nations guides from the Coast Salish nation sing traditional songs, tell stories and point out ancient village sites on this two-hour canoe trip up Indian Arm.
Simplicity Sailing Charters offers a three-hour sailing trip around English Bay at sunset. The S.V. Simplicity carries up to six people onboard to enjoy the Vancouver skyline and coastal mountains. Passengers can bring wine to accompany the cheese and strawberries included in the price of the charter.
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures brings passengers by boat to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary for bird-watching. Located in the Fraser River estuary, the 300-hectare bird sanctuary is home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, sandpipers, guillemots, red-tailed hawks, cormorants, tufted puffins and great blue herons. The habitat ranges from managed wetlands and natural marshes to low dikes.
Queen Elizabeth Park Plaza offers free dance classes and outdoor dancing at sunset, weather permitting, from June 18 to August 22. The Scottish Country Dance Society gives Scottish country dance lessons on Mondays. Vancouver International Folk Dancers teach international folk dances from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East on Tuesdays. Instructors teach ballroom dancing, including jive, swing, samba, cha-cha, rumba and mambo on Wednesdays.
Partners are not required. Dance instruction is available for all ages and levels of skill.
Robson Square has hosted free public dance lessons every summer since 1979. Held on Friday nights, until August 31, dance classes are open to participants of all ages and all levels of dance experience. Instructors give free dance lessons followed by a dance demonstration and open dancing for everyone.
The yearly 100 Days of Summer guide, published by Tourism Vancouver, includes special events and travel discounts for things to see and do in Vancouver. Examples? Festival Vancouver performance tickets are available at a $5 discount when bought at Tickets Tonight. A second ticket for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival sells for a 50 per cent discount when the first ticket is bought at Tickets Tonight.
Visitors can buy Vancouver Canadians tickets at discount prices. BC Lions and Whitecaps game tickets are two for one on specific days.
Throughout the year, the Vancouver Touristinfo Centre sells discounted tickets to major attractions like the Vancouver Art Gallery, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, HR Macmillan Space Centre and IMAX Theatre.