Posted March 2, 2011 by Adam Toren in City Guides

Vancouver Attractions – Enjoy the Unparalleled Natural Vancouver Attractions

There are a number of wonderful attractions in Vancouver, B.C., but perhaps some of the largest draws to the city are its various natural attractions. If you enjoy hiking, biking, beach going, picnicking, kayaking or other outdoor activities, check out the Vancouver attractions in nature. Summertime activities include kayaking, canoeing, beach volleyball, paddle boating, rollerblading, biking and hiking, as well as wandering through the elaborate gardens, exploring the expansive parks, and jogging your way into shape along the Seawall. Winters in Vancouver are cold, but the snow affords no shortage of winter fun, and nearby Whistler helps make winters a prime time to enjoy Vancouver with its incredible ski runs. The Pacific Ocean provides its own share of activities, as well as one of the gorgeous backdrops Vancouver offers, which include the North Shore Mountains and wilderness. Vancouverites are rather eco-conscious and strive to keep their city clean, so enjoying the various natural Vancouver attractions is an easy undertaking all year round.


The Pacific Coast is home to several beaches that locals and tourists flock to, particularly in the warm summer months. These beaches are great for afternoon family fun, romantic evening dates, and big barbecues with friends and family. Kitsilano Beach is a popular spot for students and young families all year round, and along with English Bay Beach, is a great place for spotting the area’s best sunsets. English Bay Beach, in the quieter and laid-back West End, offers a slew of activities including beach volleyball and tennis. If you hate tan lines, you may want to consider Wreck Beach, Canada’s largest nude beach. Walk your dog on Sunset Beach, join the locals over at Jericho Beach, or enjoy beautiful Spanish Banks with the University of British Columbia crowd. Second and Third Beaches are part of gigantic Stanley Park; Second Beach attracts families with children with its playground and heated pool, while Third Beach is a popular spot for barbecuing, playing sports with friends, and just hanging out when the sun is out.


You can’t visit Vancouver without stumbling across Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre park which extends from the West End into the Pacific Ocean and has served locals and tourists since 1888. Gorgeous Stanley Park is the perfect spot for romantic picnics, family outings, morning runs, bird watching, and more. Numerous trails snake through the forested park, and visitors can enjoy open-air displays, trolley tours, wildlife, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the Stanley Park Children’s Farm featuring a kids’ petting zoo. There’s always something to do. There are a number of smaller parks as well, though some are quite large in their own right. The West End has some safe, clean parks great for a peaceful afternoon outdoors with your significant other, a good book, or kids. Clinton Park and Connaught Park are great parks for families with children, as they feature lit fields, playgrounds, and sport-friendly areas. Granville Island often serves as a playground in of itself.


Gardens serve as some of the most stunning Vancouver attractions. Both foreign and native flora and fauna are grown, displayed, studied and admired in a variety of beautiful gardens throughout the region. To help you slow down and relax, check out the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden, a replica of a classic Chinese garden that features bamboo, serene ponds, large rock formations, carvings, and plenty of lovely flora. The Queen Elizabeth Garden features some of the best panoramic views in the area, so don’t forget your camera and give yourself some time to look out of the garden as well as around the garden. Located on an inactive volcano, it attracts people with its selection of vibrant, colourful flowers and lush greenery. It’s a hotspot for wedding and engagement photos, and is a short distance from other gardens and attractions within the city. Visit Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island to see The Butchart Gardens, with stunning displays throughout the year. With its large collection of varying specimens, the UBC Bontanical Gardens is a good place for studying plants, but its Nitobe Japanese Garden provides one of many ways to just relax. You may want to consider VanDusen Botanical Garden for your wedding, or simply enjoy its tall trees, walking trails, Sino-Himalayan and Northern California sequoia gardens, and more. Lighthouse Park and Cypress Provincial Park are great spots for hiking and taking photographs of the city.


The seawall is a good example of a way in which Vancouver has incorporated nature into its boundaries. The stone wall, which was built to help prevent further erosion and serves as the perimeter to Stanley Park, is considered one of the more important Vancouver attractions, particularly for locals and long-term visitors. It’s a great way to burn off the calories and keep in shape with its 8.85km. It’s one of the more popular options for leisurely walks, rollerblading, and bicycling.

Hiking Trails

Hiking is a scenic and healthy way to enjoy the beauty of Vancouver. A number of trails for all levels of hikers help you explore the mountains, parks, beaches, and city. Grouse Mountain is one of the more adventurous natural Vancouver attractions, and Grouse Grind, located on the North Shore at Grouse Mountain, is one of the most popular trails for advanced hikers. It’s quite the climb, and has inspired an annual competition. For beginners and families, the Lighthouse Park hike is a great choice. Among the spectacular views are English Bay and Stanley Park, and hikers can visit the early twentieth-century Point Atkinson Lighthouse.


Nearby Whistler will soon play host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but its attractions are there to enjoy year round. Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are now connected by the new Peak 2 Peak Gondola (a scenic 11-minute ride) and boast fantastic ski and snowboard runs, as well as breathtaking views and fantastic photo opportunities. ZipTrek Tours are great for an adrenaline rush, and Garibaldi Provincial Park offers a number of activities from hiking, picnics in beautiful meadows, and spotting wildlife. Not far from Whistler is enchanting Lost Lake, perfect for picnicking or taking in the scenery-and for swimming in the summertime.


Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.