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15 Outdoor Activities in Vancouver

From ocean kayaking to hiking in the mountains, Vancouver has lots of amazing outdoor activities. It's located in beautiful British Colombia, a province famous for its breathtaking landscapes. The region attracts more than 5.7 million visitors annually. It offers a variety of outdoor opportunities to choose from, including camping, biking, and trekking. On sunny days, you can easily venture out to one of the many parks in Vancouver or take a trip to the beach.

People on a beach during summer in Vancouver and city buildings behind

The travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations will help you plan the perfect itinerary for a memorable Vancouver trip! So here are the 15 best outdoor things to do in Vancouver for an unforgettable West Coast experience. We have put together a detailed list to make it easy to have the best vacation possible.

1.  Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour

Want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life into someplace quiet? The Sea to Sky Tour offers an unparalleled experience. Take in the scenic beauty of British Columbia’s fjords and mountains on the gondola. You can see the coastal mountains, Squamish River, Whistler village, and much more. This tour is one of the best outdoor activities in Vancouver.

Why visit here?

Wander about Whistler village and view the peaks, forests, and rivers. 

  • Average time spent here: Full-day trip.
  • Hours of operation: Opens at 9 am
  • Fees: Approx. $200 per adult and $100 per child

Experience: Train Across Canada

A green gondola cabin of the Sea to Sky Gondola above mountains and a fjord

2.  Capilano Suspension Bridge

Swaying 230 feet above the Capilano River, this Suspension Bridge is made of plank and cable. Located inside the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Capilano park has various family-friendly activities like totem carving demonstrations and hiking trails. Suspension bridge offers the best Vancouver outdoor activities.

Why visit here?

Capilano Suspension Bridge has various hiking trails for hikers and totem exhibitions.

  • Average time spent here: 6-8 hours
  • Hours of operation: Varies according to season
  • Fees: $63 for adults

Checkout: Canadian Rockies Train Vacation Packages

Light coming through the trees above a long suspension bridge over the Capilano River

3. Wildplay Elements Park

Located just outside Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge, Wildplay Elements Park offers various activities for kids and adults. Wildplay Elements Park has many thrilling activities for children above 12 years. Want to get outside the city? We recommend spending the day at this place. Wildplay Elements Park is one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver.

Why visit here?

Wildplay Elements Park has popular Vancouver outdoor activities like hanging nets, zip lines, suspended ladders, axe throwing and more.

  • Average time spent here: Anything from a couple of hours to a full day
  • Hours of operation: Hours depend on the season
  • Fees: Variable
    You can book your passes at Wildplay’s website.

Explore: The Rocky Mountain Train

View of two people watching a friend throw an axe at a Wildplay Park

4. Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park is located in West Vancouver and covers an area of about 75 hectares. Lighthouse Park is also a national historic site. You can reach this beautiful place in Vancouver via public transport or car. Lighthouse Park is one of the most photographed locations in Lower Mainland. It is one of the most famous spots for picnics, to enjoy nature walks and medium-to-challenging hikes.

Why visit here?

Lighthouse park is a rockfish protection area, making the water clear blue —ideal for a picnic.

  • Average time spent here: 4-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 7 am to 10 pm
  • Fees: Free
A lighthouse on the rocky coastline at Lighthouse Park on a clear day

5. Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a year-round beautiful place in Vancouver. During the warmer months, this trail hosts unique flora and fauna, while it gets picturesque in winter. There are various dining options and an observatory at the top of the mountain. You can also partake in different winter activities.

Why visit here?

Grouse Mountain offers many outdoor winter activities in Vancouver - skating, skiing, snowshoeing, and ziplining. The view from the observatory is mesmerising.

  • Average time spent here: 2-6 hours.
  • Hours of operation: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Fees: Variable

Note: You can take a gondola, the Skyride, to the top of the mountain if you don't want to hike.

Visitors on the Grouse Mountain gondola looking at the forest as they travel up the mountain

6. Vancouver Seawall

Located around Stanley Park, this lovely walkway follows the 17.5-mile-long wall along the waterfront. If you wish to enjoy the beautiful shoreline of Canada, this is the perfect place for you.

Why visit here?

Walking or running the seawall is a popular outdoor activity in Vancouver. It is all-age-appropriate, and there are many budget-friendly restaurants or cafes along the way.

  • Time spent: 2-4 hours.
  • Timings: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Fees: free
A person running on a section of the seawall in Stanley Park

7. Stanley Park

We have already mentioned one of the attractions in Stanley Park, but being one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver, it deserves its own write up. Spread over 1,000 acres, Stanley Park was first opened in 1888, and ever since then, it has been a  popular outdoor activity spot in Vancouver. Apart from the seawall, this place has an aquarium, monuments, beaches, and a lighthouse. The lush greenery and sandy beaches make Stanley Park a crowd favourite.

Why visit here?

The famous Stanley Park has engaging activities for everyone!

  • Average time spent here: 2-4 hours
  • Fees: It's free to enter the park but certain attractions, such as the aquarium, have an entrance fee

Explore: Best Luxury Train Trips in Canada

A row of colourful totem poles at Stanley Park, Vancouver

8. Locarno and Jericho Beaches

Want to enjoy a warm day out? Head out to some of the most beautiful beaches in Canada: Locarno and Jericho Beaches. Being less popular than the other beaches, these two are much cleaner and less crowded. This white sandy beach has plenty of options for cafes and restaurants to relish a good meal. This beautiful place in Vancouver is a perfect fit for all age groups.

Why visit here?

It is a quiet spot with an enchanting view, exceptional facilities, and delicious food.

  • Average time spent here: 2-4 hours
Two women sitting on a log at Jericho beach with Vancouver city skyline behind

9. Whistler Blackcomb

If you are a fan of skiing, Whistler Blackcomb is the place for you. Offering the best outdoor winter activities in Vancouver this place has the most popular ski resorts in Canada. Situated near two mountains, this location offers more than 200 runs and trails. The snowboarding parks are perfect for youngsters and those learning to ski. You can also try fishing, hiking, and biking during summer.

Why visit here?

Whistler Blackcomb is an excellent weekend getaway. It offers some of the most fun outdoor activities in Vancouver.

  • Average time spent here: It is recommended to take a 2-day trip to this location.
  • Fees – variable, depending on activities

Experience: Train Trips from Vancouver 

Person in red jacket skiing down Whistler Mountain with gondola in the distance

10. Skiing or snowboarding at Cypress Mountain

Another exceptional option for all adventure-sport lovers is Cyprus Mountain. It is one of the largest skiing resorts in Canada and has various activities for you to choose from. If you are a seasoned nordic skier, try the cross-country skiing contest. The mountain is located 30 minutes outside Vancouver and can be reached via car or public transport.

Why visit here?

Cypress Mountain has trails for people with various skill sets, thus making it a perfect fit for outdoor winter activities in Vancouver.

  • Average time spent here: 1-5 hours.
  • Hours of operation: 9 am to 10 pm
  • Fees: Variable: $32 for a full day and $26 for night skiiing (adults)
A person skiing down Cypress Mountain on a clear day with views of the ocean in the distance

11.   Whale watching around the Gulf Islands

Possibly the most fun outdoor activity in Vancouver would be a whale-watching tour in the Gulf Islands. These tours will bring you as close to a whale as possible. The guides will tell you everything about whales and their lifestyle. Whale watching is one of the best outdoor activities near Vancouver Island, especially if you want to try something new. This tour is popular amongst all age groups.

Why visit here?

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch a whale up close.

  • Average time spent: 3-5 hours
  • Fees: Depends on the tour operator but average around $150.
An orca half out of the water with mountain range in distance

12. Kayaking at Deep Cove

To all sports enthusiasts, have you tried kayaking at Deep Cove? If you are a beginner, you can take a lesson with a tour to learn the skill of kayaking. Other than kayaking, you can also enjoy surf skiing, paddleboarding, and other activities. Deep Cove also offers tutorials if you want to up your skill level.

Why visit here?

You can develop the skills for kayaking or enjoy a day out on the water with captivating scenery.

  • Average time spent here: 3-5 hours
  • Season: May to September only
  • Fees: Depend on tour operator
Kayaks and swimmers next to a red lifeguard chair on Deep Cove beach in summer

13. Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge

Located in North Vancouver, Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge were opened in 1912. This place offers some fun outdoor activities in Vancouver that you should try this summer. Lynn Canyon Park has various hiking and nature walk trails. Whether a beginner or a seasoned hiker, you can find a hiking trail that meets your skillset. You can also take part in cliff diving or swimming. Not interested in the activities? Just sit around and bask in the beauty of this ethereal place.

Why visit here?

As one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver, Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge is amongst the most popular tourist spots and has a range of activities for adults to indulge in.

  • Average time spent here: 2-8 hours.
  • Hours of operation: 7 am to 6 pm
  • Fees: Free
View along the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in the forest

14. Whitewater rafting down Squamish River

Calling all the adventurous water sports lovers out there! Whitewater rafting makes it to our list of best outdoor things to do in Vancouver for all the right reasons. Squamish River is a short river with a large drainage basin, making it perfect for river rafting. You can choose from various river rafting opportunities available. It's a splashy Class 2 rapid – which means it is safe and has calm sections.

Why visit here?

Whitewater rafting will be an exceptional experience.

  • Average time spent here: 1-4 hours for half day or 5-7 hours for full-day tours
  • Fees: Variable (depending on your package)
Close up rear view of people whitewater rafting down a river in Squamish

15. Mountain biking at Mount Fromme

Situated on the northern shores of Vancouver, Mt. Fromme is a cycling lovers' paradise. With numerous options like single-track, double-track, and freestyle trails, this place offers everything from classic to technical mountain biking trails. Try easy trails if you are a novice bike rider. This Vancouver outdoor activity is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Why visit here?

Mount Fromme has an exciting biking trail for each one of you!

  • Season: summer, fall, and spring
  • Fees: Free
POV of a mountain biker riding through the lush forest in North Vancouver with family

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of outdoor activities in Vancouver to explore this season. While we have mentioned the best outdoor activities in Vancouver, there are many more you can try. If you are looking to travel to Canada, consult Canadian Train Vacations to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good outdoor activities in Vancouver?

Vancouver offers a range of outdoor activities like river rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, snowboarding, and skiing. You can also indulge in activities like guided nature walks.

What is the most beautiful part of Vancouver?

Vancouver is famous for its parks and beaches. Therefore, Locarno and Jericho Beaches and Light House Park are the most beautiful places in Vancouver.

What are fun activities in Vancouver?

Some fun outdoor activities in Vancouver are mountain biking, Whitewater rafting at Squamish River, and Gondola Tour.

What's Vancouver famous for?

Vancouver is famous for its breathtaking beauty. From beaches to mountains, Vancouver has it all.

How many days in Vancouver is enough?

3-5 days are enough to explore Vancouver. However, if you want to dive deep into the local cuisine, culture, and nature, you should spend at least 8-10 days in Vancouver.

What is the best month to visit Vancouver?

Summer months like July and August are the peak tourist season in Canada.

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