101 Things to Do While in Vancouver

Nobody gets asked the question “What’s going on in Vancouver?” more than the Pan Pacific Vancouver’s Concierge Team.

English Bay Vancouver

Everyday the Team is busy keeping up to date with the latest hot spots and hidden gems around the city.

The staff are considered leaders in the biz’ and have a wealth of knowledge about the city of Vancouver. Below is a list compiled by the Team for tourists and locals to discover some of the best activities and attractions.

If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to test their knolwedge – feel free to stop by the lobby and put them to the test!

101 Things to Do While in Vancouver

1. Enjoy the stunning views over Vancouver from the top of Grouse Mountain – the Peak of Vancouver.

Grouse Mountain, BC Canada

Make sure to visit the Grizzly Bear Habitat and catch a Lumberjack show (summer) while visiting.

2. Don’t miss a tour of the “Eye of the Wind” turbine at the top; the world’s first and only wind turbine that allows you to stand on top of the tower in a clear glass viewPOD.

3. Explore Vancouver on foot. Many sights and lovely neighbourhoods are within easy walking distance. Just stop by the Concierge for great walking maps and suggestions.

Granville and Nelson Street, Vancouver / Long Exposure

4. Get a bird’s eye view of Vancouver on a seaplane tour. Various tours are available year round or take a short helicopter flight leaving from the top of Grouse Mountain.

5. Try LaStone Therapy, an original stone massage, at Pan Pacific Vancouver’s Spa Utopia.

6. Take an Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise or Sunset Cruise with Harbour Cruises and see the city from a different perspective. Enjoy spectacular scenery, right in our backyard.

7. Encounter Beluga Whales at the Vancouver Aquarium (newest arrival born in June 2009).

Beluga Whale at Vancouver Aquarium

8. Feel more curious about Vancouver? Go on one of the fabulous guided Vancouver City Tours, where you will learn lots from the very knowledgeable and professional tour guides. Just visit the Concierge.

9. Afraid of heights? Tackle the Cliffwalk, Capilano Suspension Bridge; and the Treetops Adventure all in one location!

10. Take one of the 2 Hop-On-Hop-Off tour buses available in Vancouver. The closest pick up point is conveniently located right in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel.

11. Go Whale watching and view the majestic Orca Whales. Tours are available from Vancouver & Victoria. (Summer months only).

12. Explore the delights of Granville Island with its public market, many arts and crafts shops, artisan galleries, fresh produce and the famous Kids Only Market.

Saturday morning shopping

13. Take a Walking Tour of Vancouver’s oldest and most historic City, Gastown…don’t miss the steam clock and be sure to have a cup of coffee in one of the many coffee shops in the old part of the neighborhood’s surroundings.

Water Street Cafe

14. Learn more about our First Nation’s culture at the Vancouver Museum at Vanier Park or the Bill Reid Gallery downtown.

15. Take a seaplane ride to Victoria on Vancouver Island, spend the day exploring and visit the world famous Butchart Gardens. Return by ferry back to Vancouver, to enjoy the sunset as you sail through the Gulf Islands

Aerial view of beatiful Vancouver, BC.

16. Just for Fun: Ride our brand new Canada Line to Oakridge Mall, a beautiful shopping centre. You can also take it all the way to Richmond or even to the airport.

17. Five Sails invites you to experience their unforgettable combination of breathtaking views of Vancouver, award winning West Coast cuisine and gracious hospitality in their newly renovated restaurant with a view located at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

Five Sails Restaurant, Vancouver B.C.

18. For our shoppers: Treat yourself to a high-end shopping experiences in LEONE or L2 below for our young fashionistas, beautifully located in the historic Sinclair Centre just one block from the hotel.

19. Continue to the Pacific Centre downtown mall for more ways to indulge yourself.

20. Sunny Patios and shopping galore awaits you at “The Village at Park Royal” in West Vancouver next to Park Royal shopping mall. Beautifully designed Village style shops and services, coffee shops and restaurants await you there.

21. Wondering about shows in town, just visit www.ticketmaster.ca for upcoming entertainment or just visit the Concierge Department.

22. Get a great workout with stunning views as a reward – climb the Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain.

23. Make it a point to explore some of Vancouver’s lovely neighborhoods:  Visit Kitsilano along 4th Avenue west of Burrard for independent shops and delicious restaurants. Visit the colourful West End by walking along Denman and Davie Streets. Find high end boutiques and Art galleries on South Granville or enjoy bargain shopping on Main Street’s funky boutiques and second hand antique stores from Broadway to 30th. Make sure to include our trendy Yaletown district for great dining, boutiques and people watching.

24. Explore the city’s fascinating beginnings at the Museum of Anthropology, located at the University of British Columbia campus.

25. Rent a bicycle and ride around Stanley Park – you can also turn it into a picnic outing with delicious lunch boxes especially prepared by our culinary Department, Bike tours are available in the summer book with the concierge desk

26. Explore Chinatown on a walking tour or take a guided tour of the area.

27. Bowl them over at the funky Commodore Lanes & Billiards in downtown Vancouver (5 pin bowling).

28. Rent rollerblades and whiz along the famous sea wall that extends all the way to Granville Island.

29. Pop into Mountain Equipment Co-Op on West Broadway, a paradise for Outdoor Enthusiasts. Here you’ll find all the gear you need to explore Vancouver’s outdoors.

30. Pack a picnic to enjoy in Queen Elizabeth Park and the famous Bloedel Bird Sanctuary or have a bite to eat at their famous Seasons in the Park restaurant, enjoying the spectacular city and mountain views.

31. Visit Commercial Drive and sip café with the locals at an authentic Italian Coffee Bar.

32. Rent a convertible and cruise the beautiful coastline, from Kits Beach to Spanish Banks.

33. Tour the Granville Island Brewery where you may sample some of their wonderful micro beer.

34. Find some vintage vinyl at Zulu Records, Vancouver’s best-known record emporium

35. Hop a ferry over to Bowen Island for a hike in the unspoiled forest lands.

36. Buy native art at one of the several Native Art Galleries located in Vancouver.

37. Visit the newly renovated Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach for a blast to the past.

38. Take a trip to Whistler and visit some of the 2010 Olympic sites. Take a stroll through the picturesque Swiss style village or a gondola ride up the mountain for gorgeous mountain views. Make sure (if time allows it) to visit the one-of-a-kind Lilwat First Nations Cultural centre while in Whistler. www.slcc.ca

39. Take an invigorating dip in the indoor heated pool at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, or enjoy our very own heated outdoor pool. The scenery is stunning & we are the only hotel with a saltwater pool in Vancouver!

40. Feeling daring? Take a trip to Wreck Beach, Vancouver’s nudist hot spot (summertime only!).

41. Discover Vancouver’s best kept secret…visit Jericho Sailing Club and admire the views.

42. Take a kayaking lesson at the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island.

43. Discover all the unique and different treasures in our shopping gallery on the 3rd floor, from beautiful antiques to one of a kind jewelry or exotic silks from Japan.

44. Go night skiing at Grouse Mountain. The mountain is open until 10pm 365 days a year! (winter only)

45. Take windsurfing lessons on Spanish Banks. Everyone has been to a beach, but can everyone actually say they were ON the water blasting away with the city skyline as the background?

46. Treat yourself to a moment from the past, go for an early morning jog through the ancient trees of Light House Park, West Vancouver. Listen to the crashing waves on granite pier through the fog to watch the lights and take in the savory scent of the coastal waters.

47. Vancouver is home to several professional sports teams, the most famous being the Vancouver Canucks Hockey team. Hockey season runs from September-April (or longer if the Canucks make the playoffs)! Be sure to see a live game to experience the great atmosphere at the always-packed Rogers Arena.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

48. Sit on the beach of English Bay and watch the International Fireworks Competition in July and August.

49. Go cross country skiing or snow shoeing on Cypress or Grouse Mountain and end the day with a hot toddy or cheese and chocolate fondue. (winter only)

50. Check out Bard on the Beach during the summer evenings, where tents are set up in Vanier Park with stunning ocean views, so that spectators can enjoy Shakespearean performances that take place within the open tent.

51. Take in the flora and fauna at the beautiful Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.

52. View the Romanesque architecture of the Vancouver Public library, inspired by the Roman Coliseum.

53. Visit Point Atkinson Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. Hike the area a little on foot.

54. Sit on a log at English Bay or Sunset Beach and soak in the views while enjoying a delicious ice cream cone from Mondo Gelato on Denman Street. Don’t miss the breathtaking sunsets.

55. Further explore Vancouver on Transit by taking the Expo line to Metrotown, British Columbia’s largest shopping mall. During the summer months you can continue to explore further by taking a 20 minute bus ride from Metrotown station to visit the beautiful and historic Burnaby Village Museum; open daily except Mondays (May 7 – Sep 5).

56.  Drive to Whytecliff Park near Horseshoe Bay, stop and enjoy the views overlooking Howe Sound.

Whytecliff Park

57. Visit Science World, inspiring future science and technology. Great fun for the entire family.

58. Shop ‘till you drop on Robson Street – our very own Rodeo Drive.

59. Enjoy Vancouver-based eco tours, the best way to see beautiful sea life, landscapes, sceneries and wilderness of Canada.

60. Visit Mount Seymour in North Vancouver for tobogganing or snow tubing. (winter season)

61. Visit the salmon hatchery and walk up to Cleveland Dam, then just sit and take in the world.

62. Relax in your hotel room at Pan Pacific Vancouver and watch the giant cruise ships come in and out with happy faces on the deck. (one of Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite pastimes).

63. Visit UBC’s Nitobe Garden to view the beautiful cherry blossoms and Japanese gazebos. Then continue to UBC Botanical Gardens and have fun on their Greenheart Canopy Walkway in the woods.

Nitobe Gardens

64. Go salmon fishing in Howe Sound.

65. For something a little different, visit the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum. The heritage building once housed both the Coroner’s Court and the City Analyst’s Laboratory. The museum now encompasses the original Coroner’s Courtroom offices, morgue and autopsy facilities. The museum also offers a ‘Sins of the City’ walking tour.

66. Ride in style…take a horse-drawn tour in the city’s famous Stanley Park.

67. Rent a speedboat from Granville Island and enjoy the beautiful views of the Vancouver skyline and the Georgia Strait.

68. Kayak from Deep Cove to Indian Arm or join a guided tour of Indian Arm and the Burrard Inlet. Departures from Deep Cove in North Vancouver.

69. Enjoy the marvelous and delicious Italian Opera Buffet at the Pan Pacific on Saturday nights or enjoy a cocktail from the cascade lounge with spectacular view of Stanley Park

70. Check out the Van Dusen Botanical Garden anytime of the year for a colourful display of nature in bloom. Roam the 55-hectare gardens and finish with a light lunch in the Shaughnessy Restaurant.

71. Sample wine, cold cuts and local cheeses at Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley, Gastown.

Salt Tasting Room - Interior

72. Go to Lynn Canyon and enjoy its natural splendor. The park is free to use and it has a suspension bridge, a picturesque creek that fills into a 30-foot pool, a waterfall, many trails and the ecology centre for a great learning experience.

73. Utilize the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries to commute between downtown and the False Creek area.  For cyclists, Aquabus also offers a Cyquabus ferry that can accommodate your bicycle at no additional charge (service runs from the foot of Hornby St and Granville Island).

74. Rent a speed boat (valid drivers license needed) from Horseshoe Bay and have some Clam Chowder afterwards in the small fishing community.  www.sewellsmarina.com/boatrentals

75. On a rainy day, enjoy a show at the Omnimax Theatre at Telus world of Science or enjoy a simulated flight of Canada with Fly Over Canada – opening in May 2013 at Canada Place.

76. While in Burnaby on a sunny day, venture out to Central Park, which is not too far away from Metrotown Shopping Mall.

77. On your return from Burnaby, take the skytrain up to Waterfront station and visit the Harbour Centre Lookout for a high up view of greater Vancouver, North Shore Mountains and on a clear day even Mount Baker in the US.

78. Enjoy a variety of (over 200) gelato flavors at La Casa Gelato.

79. Visit the Olympic cauldron next to the Vancouver Convention Centre. This cauldron was lit by Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to mark the beginning of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver. It is still lit at times during special events.

Testing Vancouver 2010 Olympic Cauldron Flames While Setting Up Pool at Base

80. Visit the Night Market in Richmond and enjoy the spectacle. Indulge in the exhibitors’ cuisine or browse through the various products for sale…it is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (summer only)

81. Take the train for a scenic day trip to Whistler and back to Vancouver. May through September only.

82. The Vancouver Art Gallery is always very interesting. Enjoy the exhibits of local artist Emily Carr and many other artists as well as special exhibits. Finish your visit in the delightful Gallery Café for a light snack or dessert.

83. Enjoy Broadway performances in majestic Stanley Park at the outdoor Theatre under the Stars (Tuts). (summer)

84. For food lovers who want to learn more about the local cuisine, take a cooking class or partake in other culinary experiences at Granville Island.

85. Visit historic Steveston Village, which used to be one of the largest salmon canning facilities in North America, and go whale watching. Buy fresh fish from docked fishing boats or sample some of the best fish and chips in town at the Steveston Pier. Go for a nice jog or bike ride on the dike or have a picnic at Garry Point and fly a kite.

86. Enjoy the local beaches; including Third Beach, which is Stanley Park’s nicest. Another choice would be Kitsilano Beach, which is the best in Vancouver. A bit further away from Vancouver, down in White Rock, Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach are arguably the greatest beaches in the area because the water is warmer and the area is delightful for a nice restful afternoon adventure.

87. Watch the sun set from the Cascades Lounge at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

88. Go biking or hiking in Stanley Park. Bicycle rentals are available at the float plane terminal downtown (summer months only) and year-round on Denman St, near the entrance of Stanley Park.

89. Zip away with Grouse Zipline at the top of Grouse Mountain.

90. Take a Sea Safari on a Zodiac from Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay. Tours depart daily from April-October.

91. Take a Whalewatching / Victoria tour from Vancouver’s Waterfront station by Prince of Whales, combining Whale watching on the way there with a visit to Victoria and the famous Butchart Gardens.

92. Feeling squeezy about speed boats, no problem, just take one of the wonderful Victoria Excursions by bus and ferry. Pick up is conveniently located outside of the hotel. Reservations are necessary.

93. Rent a car and enjoy some stunning views of Howe Sound on the Hwy up towards Whistler or enjoy the beautiful beaches of the University area.

94. Go horseback riding in Squamish, and enjoy beautiful views as you ride along the gorgeous Squamish and Cheakamus rivers.

95. Enjoy a picnic on Locarno Beach, Jericho Beach or Spanish Banks close to the UBC area.

96. Enjoy a nice nine-hole round at the pitch n’ putt at Stanley Park.

97. At lunch time join the line up for a ‘Japadog’. The Japanese style hotdogs have become famous in this town for their unusual toppings (seaweed and wasabi mayo). 3 locations.

98. Return to the Vancouver airport in style with Legacy Limousine.  Concierge can assist with bookings.

99. Vancouver is a seafood lover’s paradise. Don’t miss the spectacular Pacific Northwest cuisine offered, especially the several different kinds of wild salmon from our region. Our Concierge team would be happy to make reservations for you.

100. Be adventurous! Blind dining at Kitsilano’s Dark Table. Immersing your tastebud & other senses in total darkness.

101. Wine enthusiasts are in for a treat at a nearby winery in Gastown called Vancouver Urban Winery

….Only in Vancouver can one snowboard, golf and kayak in the same day!