Posted March 2, 2011 by Adam Toren in City Guides

Vancouver Things to Do – Discover Fantastic Vancouver Things to Do for Water Lovers

Being a city right on the water as it is, Vancouver offers water lovers a plethora of activities to keep you busy for days, and often has the weather to accommodate it. Whether you’re more of a watcher than a doer, Vancouver Things to Do for Water Lovers will tell you where to go and what to do if you wanna get wet or stay dry on a boat.

Fishing isn’t considered a sport for nothing. Fishing is a pastime that has brought families together, put food on the table, and made men money in tournaments. Vancouver is no exception. Charter yourself a boat from one of the many agencies in Vancouver, or stand on the bank and cast your line. The highest concentration of charter companies can be found in Granville Island, Coal Harbour, and Horseshoe Bay. Choose to have a captain or you can steer yourself, but either way, get out on the water! Don’t forget to get your fishing license, as they are required for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. These can be acquired at tackle shops and marinas. For saltwater fishing information contact the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and for freshwater fishing information contact the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks. For an interesting and memorable experience, contact M&M Salmon Fishing Charters. They provide boats and well-experienced fisherman to aid you on your salmon-catching quest. If you’re staying at one of the downtown Vancouver hotels, they’ll even pick you up.

If you have more fun just jetting around on the water, boating is an option too. Spending time on the water is a relaxing and beautiful experience. Catch sights of fish jumping, feel the cool breeze on your face, and just chill out enjoying the fresh air for awhile. Vancouver things to do on the water include sea-kayaking, Native cedar canoeing, and even windsurfing. Take a dinner cruise and let someone else steer the way, or charter a yacht and enjoy being a sailor for a day, or even a couple days; there’s also motorboat rentals if that’s more your speed. You can also catch a cruise up to Alaska and back for some breathtaking sights, or navigate the waters in a zodiac on a Sea Safari for photo-taking opportunities and chances to learn about Vancouver’s native wild life. Check out Harbour Cruises and Events to secure your spot on the Sunset Dinner Cruise, Vancouver’s most popular, or perhaps their Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise. Vancouverites love the annual event of the Carol Ship Parade of Lights Festival. Plan your trip for December and join in the festivities! Ferry rides are also fun, and a low-key way to just spend some time on the water without wasting a whole day. Use them to get back and forth from Granville Island to False Creek, or enjoy a ride on the Seabus. You’ll get great views of Stanley Park, watch seaplanes taking off and landing, and enjoy the seagulls soaring above your head.

Water sports are where it’s at for many Vancouver residents and tourists. Head down to one of the city’s many beaches or marinas for Vancouver things to do and try your hand at water skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking, or swimming. Body surf or grab a boogie board and delight in the waves the ocean is more than glad to provide every day. Beach-goers also enjoy playing in the sand. Build sand castles with the kids, play some volleyball with your friends, or toss the Frisbee with your dog. There are many local pools if you’d rather steer clear of ending up with sandy body parts and just wanna do some laps. The popular Kitsilano Beach features a heated saltwater pool with wrap-around views of the city, mountains, and Pacific Ocean. Granville Island offers the largest free water park in North America and its open all summer. Pack a picnic lunch and take the kids for a carefree day of water fun. Stanley Park also features a pool with water slides.

It has been said that Vancouver has some of the best cold water scuba diving in the world. Popular diving sites are Cates Park in Deep Cove and Whytecliff Park near Horseshoe Bay. If sea-kayaking sounds more fun, Burrard Inlet is where you’ll find the most action. Paddle among cruise ships and freighters and marvel at the sheer size of their vessels in comparison to yours. Kayaks can accommodate either one person or two, and always provide an enjoyable experience. Cruise along False Creek or explore Indian Arm off of Deep Cove and bring your camera for pictures of the Coast Range mountains. Rent yourself a windsurfer and take some lessons if you’re new to it, or head out on English Bay for some fun. Winds in Vancouver are not consistent, so it’s a great place to learn and brush up on your skills. Check out the Squamish Windsurfing Society for more information and tips on where to go. Did you ever think Vancouver things to do would include white water rafting? Be sure that it does, and there are several rivers to choose from depending on your taste and experience level. Join the throng of West Coast salmon and partake in an exhilarating ride you won’t soon forget. Prince of Whales Whale Watching is great for those with kids or aching to catch wildlife doing what they do best. Espy mammals like Orcas, Minke Whales, or friendly porpoises to name a few. Prince of Whales does provide waterproof gear called Cruiser Suits but they also advise you to dress warmly. Choose from one of their many different cruise options and make sure to bring your camera! Cruises leave Victoria’s Inner Harbour on a regular schedule from spring through fall. Packages can even mix in ferry rides and seaplane flights.

Vancouver things to do for water lovers don’t necessarily have to take place in the outdoors. Pampering spas offer water therapy, pools, and Jacuzzis to use and relax your day away. Take a mud bath or soak your feet for a pedicure. Local recreation facilities often offer water aerobics classes that don’t necessarily require a membership, but do ask a fee in order to participate. Another great indoor activity for the whole family is the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Learn Pacific Coast history and tour historic vessels. Located at the south end of Burrard Street Bridge, give a day and take away an education. The Vancouver Aquarium hosts a home to over 70,000 animals that you can come face-to-face with. Sea lions, otters, and beluga whales are only a few of the 7,000+ species you will find here. Go meet their newest beluga addition, baby Tiqa (pronounced TEE-kah), whose name was chosen by Vancouver Aquarium members. The Capilano Salmon Hatchery makes a fun trip for kids to learn about the salmon’s life cycle and witness jumping salmon and baby fish swimming in their pools.

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.