Best Things to do in Vancouver, BC (Winter and Summer Edition!)

Check out or top things to do in Vancouver 2021!


We just got back from our Vancouver trip, It was one of the best trips I've ever had. Here's a list of things we did, most of these are a 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. We visited the week of Christmas, so you'll see plenty of Christmas posts.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (Year Round)

140 meter long suspension bridge

Winter Time: The Capilano Suspension Bridge is about 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, there’s paid parking near the park and there's also a gift shop. We bought tickets online ahead of time for 54.95 per person. You purchase the tickets for different time slots and we recommend buying tickets for 2:30 PM if you’re going during the winter time because in the winter they also do an event where they decorate the Bridges with Christmas lights. There is a restaurant and cafe in the park as well. Here is the website.

Cliff Walk with Christmas Lights

If you go at 2:30 you still get to see the park during sunlight and then you also get to see the Christmas lights around 4:30. While in the park there’s a super large suspension bridge that’s over 140 meters long on top of a river. There’s also a cliff walk and different suspended rope bridges that you can take walks on. A lot of the bridges are suspended in the trees which make for some really good photo ops. They did not check for vaccine cards but they did request that visitors wear masks when on the suspension bridge. The only negative is that the bridge gets pretty crowded at nightfall because of the Christmas lights event, at 2:30 there wasn’t many people and there were plenty of opportunities to take great photos. I will warn that the bridge is a little wobbly so it’s hard to get a photos sometimes.

Tree top park.

This attraction is also on the way to Grouse mountain so if you time it right, you can do both in one day.

Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada

Grouse Mountain (Year Round)

View from the Gondola going up Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain that’s about a 30 to 40 minute drive from downtown Vancouver we paid $61 each for a ticket. The ticket includes a gondola ride to the top of Grouse Mountain. the gondola is shared with other guests so It can get a little bit crowded but the views from the gondola are just beautiful. Once you get to the top you’ll come to the main building where they rent out ski equipment and there’s also a restaurant called Altitude.

Falafel Sandwich at Altitude

I recommend joining the waitlist for this restaurant I said you get here because the wait times can be long there’s also a café and a fast food restaurant and plenty of souvenir shops. When you’re on top of grouse Mountain depending on the season you can do different events like skiing, a rope course, you can also participate in different activities like skating on the pond, doing a light walk with snowshoes, and there’s also a theater in the sky event.

Snow on the Light Walk

Because we went on Christmas time there’s also the peak of Christmas going on but honestly because there is so much snow we could not see any of the lights. It can get really chilly on top of the mountain so make sure you dress accordingly and wear the proper snow shoes and also snow attire. They do offer ski instructors and ski rentals on top of the mountain but we did not partake in that.

Address: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada

Stanley Park (Year round)

Lion's Gate Bridge

Winter: Stanley park is quite possibly the largest park I've ever seen. This park is huge and includes beautiful beach trails, the famous seawall, there’s also restaurants, and aquarium, and also cultural and historical landmarks. One of the top things to do in Stanley Park is to rent a bike and go bike riding along the seawall and see all the natural scenery and also the statues. Because it was snowing so hard we didn’t have time to walk along seawall so instead we drove through out the parks, stopping at different vantage points to take photos. One of our favorite spots we stopped at was Prospect Point, it’s a spot where tourist can take photos of the famous Lions Gate bridge, you can also get one of the most beautiful views of Vancouver. If you're hungry and willing to splurge a bit, you can also stop by Tea House, it’s one of the most famous restaurants in Stanley park. It’s really really beautiful and they’re usually open for dinner. If you have an abundance of time you can also just drive along the park like we did and make stops every time you see something cool, for the most part parking was not free and you have to pay for every parking stop you make.

summer: The summer is the perfect time to visit Stanley Park. I recommend renting a bike at any of the nearby bike shops and doing a loop around the island. The loop is flat trailed and relatively easy. It took about 1 hr. We rented bikes from Jo-E Bikes and then biked to Stanley Park from their shop!

Vancouver Christmas Market (Winter)

The Vancouver Christmas market is a once a year event during Christmas time in Vancouver. It is a ticketed event and they recommend you purchase your tickets online for a time slot. we did walk up to purchase our tickets with no problem. The tickets were about $15 each. At the Christmas market there’s plenty of German food vendors and local artists from the Vancouver city. Some of the more popular stalls were the stalls that sold pork hocks, chimney cakes, and more. There were a lot of places for you to purchase Christmas gifts and souvenirs like Russian nesting dolls. I think that it was a great event to experience but It can get pricey since you have to pay for the ticket as well as all the food and the souvenirs. Make sure to come hungry to this event.

Pork Hocks

Goes on from November 13- December 24th

Address: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3G3, Canada

Granville Island Public Market (Year Round)

Granville Public Market

The Granville public market is a market that you can go to in Vancouver thats pretty much open daily. What’s cool about the Granville Public Market is that this is actually a collection of different markets on top of Granville Island. There’s a craft section which features various local artists and crafters selling local goods. There’s also a Children’s market that features a large building of a bunch of children stores and activities and even toy shops. My favorite part of the market was a Granville Public Market because they featured fresh produce local food vendors and even the famous Lee’s donuts. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, souvenirs, or just looking for a place to grab lunch, Granville Island is a really neat place to visit during your stay in Vancouver.

Fresh Pastries at the Market

Address: Public Market, 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada

Sea to Sky Highway (Year Round) 

Porteau Cove

The Sea to Sky highway is a really scenic Highway that you take on the way to either Whistler‘s or the Sea to Sky gondola. We went on this highway because we are driving towards the sea to sky gondola, since we had tickets. Unfortunately the sea to sky gondola did not open that day because of the weather. We did however take multiple pitstops during our visit to see the sky highway and took plenty of photos.

This was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on. There plenty of spots where you could see plenty of glaciers, mountains, and beautiful piers. I highly recommend going on the drive, it’s about a 30 minute 2 Hour Drive from Vancouver but even if you are on your way to Whistler’s this is a great place to drive if you want to get plenty of nature views.

Sky Gondola and Shannon Falls (Year Round) 

Shannon Falls in Squamish
Shannon Falls in the Summer time

You can reach this trail head directly in front of the Sky Gondola making it a worthwhile detour, We went in the Winter time and in the Summer. The falls are beautiful in the Summer time.

Sea To Sky Gondola, broke down in the Winter

Address: 36800 BC-99, Squamish, BC V8B 0B6, Canada

View from the Top

Allocate 2-3 hours for the top. The view alone is worth it but there's quite a few trails at the top to visit and a beautiful suspension bridge. We revisited in the summer time after the gondola was shut down in the Winter. The tickets were about 50-60 USD if I remember correctly. Here is their website.

Queen Elizabeth Park (Year long) 

Trees in Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth park is home to the Bloedel Conservatory it’s about a 10 min drive from downtown Vancouver. This park features a lot of rose gardens, statues and different flower gardens. This park would be beautiful to visit in the spring time however because it was in the winter, it basically became a winter wonderland with beautiful tall snow trees, and fields of white snow. The conservatory is open inside year round and home to many species of exotic birds and plants. Tickets were only about 7 cad each too.

Bloedel Conservatory

Address: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1, Canada