95 Things You (May) Have Never Done in Vancouver

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Always working hard and often flying under the radar is our award winning concierge team at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

Led by the Chief Concierge Miriam Edwards, the team at the Pan Pacific are knowledgeable, friendly and SUPER resourceful when helping you plan your stay in Vancouver. Whether it’s places to sight see, things to do or even pointing out the closest Japa Dog stand – the concierge has you covered.

Recently, they put together this clever list of interesting things to do in the city of Vancouver. Some are touristy and some are hidden gems. Even if you’re a local, you’ll be sure to find a few things you’ve never done before in beautiful VanCity.

Personally, my favourites are #22, #86 and #91.

Got any new suggestions or things you want to add? Our concierge is always updating the list, so let them know in the comments!

1. Get a workout with stunning views – climb the Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain.

2. Explore the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This Ming Dynasty-style garden is tucked away behind protective walls in the heart of Chinatown.

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

4. Take the Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise with Harbour Cruises, and see the city from a different perspective. Enjoy spectacular scenery along 18km of coastal mountain fjords, right in our backyard.

5. Afraid of heights? Tackle the Capilano Suspension Bridge, then enjoy the Treetops walk on the other side of the bridge.

6. Explore the delights of the Kids Only Market on Granville Island.

7. Go whale watching and view the majestic Orca Whales. Tours available from Vancouver and Victoria (Summer months only).

8. 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.

9. Learn more about our First Nations’ culture at the Vancouver Museum at Vanier Park.

10. Immerse yourselves in the rich cultural products of the Punjabi Market located 15 minutes away from downtown and accessible via public transportation.

11. Escape the tourist traps and shop Main Street’s funky boutiques from Broadway to 30th.

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

13. Rent a bicycle and cruise the forested trails of UBC’s Endowment Lands.

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

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

16. Get a bird’s eye view of Vancouver on a helicopter or seaplane tour.

17. Rent rollerblades and whiz through Stanley Park along the famous sea wall.

18. Sip a martini in a rainstorm during happy hour at the Bridge’s Restaurant.

19. Pack a picnic to enjoy in Queen Elizabeth Park.

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

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

22. Tour the Granville Island Brewery.

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

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

25. Buy native art at Hills Native Art Galleries located in Vancouver.

26. Encounter a baby Beluga Whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, plus a one of a kind film watching experience awaits you at the Vancouver Aquarium’s 4D Experience! A thrilling sensory experience that both kids and adults will love!

27. Visit the Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach for a blast to the past.

28. 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 and we are the only Hotel with a saltwater swimming pool in Vancouver.

29. Be naughty…visit the Does Your Mother Know magazine store on 4th Avenue.

30. Discover Vancouver’s best kept secret…visitJericho Sailing Club and admire the view.

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

32. Think you know it all? Stump the clerk at Videomatica, Vancouver’s most knowledgeable video store.

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

34. Go night skiing at Grouse Mountain. The mountain is open until 10:00pm, 365 days a year!

35. 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?

36. 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.

37. Classical music enthusiasts can indulge with the seasons offerings of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (www.vancouversymphony.ca) or search through a treasure throve of classical CDs and records at Sikora Classical.

38. 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 play offs)! Be sure to see a live game to experience the great atmosphere at the always-packed GM place stadium.

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

40. The annual Vancouver Pride Parade is a celebration of pride, diversity and equality organized by Vancouver’s GLBT community.

41. Take a sea plane ride out 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.

42. Check out Bard on the Beach during the summer evenings, where tents are set up in Vanier Park (right on the water) so that spectators can enjoy Shakespearean performances that take place within the open tent.

43. Take in the floral and fauna at theVan Dusen Botanical Garden.

44. View the interesting Romanesque architecture of the Vancouver Public Library.

45. Visit Point Atkinson Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, and explore the area a little on foot.

46. Sit on a log at Spanish Banks or Kitsilano Beach and soak in the views of English Bay.

47. Take one of the 3 Hop-On-Hop Off tour buses available in Vancouver. The closet pick up point is conveniently located right in front of the Hotel.

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

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

50. Shop on Robson till you drop.

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

52. On a clear evening, take a snowshoe hike on Grouse Mountain during winter.

53. For those who want to enjoy the sensation of flying, head over to Mount Seymour in North Vancouver for tobogganing or snow tubing.

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

55. 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)

56. Visit UBC’c Nitobe Garden to view the beautiful cherry blossoms and Japanese gazebos.

57. Go salmon fishing in Howe Sound.

58. For something different, visit the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum. The heritage building once housed both the Coroner’s Court and 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.

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

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

61. Enjoy the Italian Opera Buffet at the Pan Pacific on Saturday nights.

62. Go to a concert at the Commodore Ballroom and then out for a Roxy Burger which is right next door.

63. Kayak in Deep Cove followed by ice cream in Deep Cove Village.

64. Check out the Van Dusen Botanical Garden anytime of the year for a colourful display of nature in bloom. Roam the 55-hectare gardens. Bentall Garden even offers a special Thirsty Thursdays Social Irrigation event to refresh.

65. Sample wine, cold cuts and cheese at Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley, Gastown.

66. 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.http://www.dnv.org/ecology/index.htm

67. Utilize the aquabus to commute between downtown and 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). Granville Island ferries also operate in the False Creek area.. www.theaquabus.com

68. Rent a speed boat (valid boat license is needed).

69. On a rainy day, enjoy a movie at the theatres on Granville Street.

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

71. On your return from Burnaby, take the skytrain up to the Waterfront station and visit the Harbour Centre for a view of greater Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains at the Lookout Centre. www.vancouverlookout.com

72. Enjoy a variety of (over 200) gelato flavors at la casa gelato.

73. Kayak on the Indian Arm or join a guided tour of Indian Arm and the Burrard Inlet.

74. Visit the Richmond Night Market 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. www.summernightmarket.com. Also, find “treasures” in the Vancouver Flea Market’s 40,000 sq ft area that features 360 tables all under one roof. The market is open Saturdays and Sundays 9:00am to 17:00.

75. Take the train for a scenic day trip to Whistler and back to Vancouver.(May through October only)

76. TheVancouver Art Gallery is always interesting especially if they are hosting a special event like Fuse. On select Fridays, they transform the Art Gallery into a posh social event. They have a DJ that spins tunes and live performances.

77. Enjoy theatre under the stars in Stanley Park.

78. 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.

79. 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. www.steveston.bc.ca.

80. 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.

81. Take a walk in the woods at Pacific Spirit Park near UBC. Even when the weather is wet, the trails are protected from the rain by all the trees and plants. It’s also a mountain bikers’ paradise.

82. Go biking 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.

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

84. Take a Sea Safari on a Zodiac from Sewell’s marina in Horseshoe Bay. Tours depart daily from April – October.

85. For the voracious bookworm, bargain second hand books can be purchased either at MacLeod’s Books or at Canterbury Tales in the Kitsilano neighborhood.

86. Rent kyaks and canoes at Deer Lake in Burnaby.

87. Go horseback riding along the gorgeous Squamish and Cheakamus rivers.

88. Enjoy a picnic on the beach at Spanish Banks.

89. View the Emily Carr Exhibit at The Vancouver Art Gallery.

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

91. At lunch time, join the line up for a “Japadog“. The Japanses style hotdogs have become famous in this town for their unusual toppings (seaweed and wasabi mayo) 3 locations.

92. Enjoy a nice nine-hole round at the pitch n put at Stanley Park.

93. Take a nice long walk or roller blade through Stanley Park up to English Bay and having a wonderful ocean view dinner at the Crab Co.

94. Window shop on Commercial Drive.

95. Attend dance performances at the Scotia Bank Dance Center.