Vacation is always a good idea – but if you can't get away from Vancouver this summer, no worries because there's honestly still so much to do here. People come from all around the world to visit beautiful British Columbia so why not make do like a tourist and explore your own city?
Vancouver is absolutely stunning in the summer, and every month brings new events, activities, festivals and more! If you can't travel this summer, we're here to bring some major vacation vibes your way. These activities will have you feeling like you're on vacay mode in no time!
1. Watch The Celebration Of Lights fireworks
Watch different countries bring the best of their firework skills to Vancouver at The Celebration Of Lights. This year, teams from South Africa, Sweden, and South Korea will dazzle you with their fireworks performances. The fireworks take place at English Bay at 10 pm on Saturday, July 28, Wednesday, August 1 and Saturday, August 4.
2. Try the Omakase Long Table Sushi Experience at the Lobby Lounge RawBar Fairmont Pacific Rim
Escape to Japan with an absolutely divine meal at the Lobby Lounge RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Chef Taka’s new Omakase Long Table Sushi Experience is definetly one to remember. It is served at the signature Bob Dylan-inspired communal tables. The dining experience consists of house-made traditional Miso Soup and 100% Ocean Wise signature such as Maki rolls, sashimi, nigiri and chef favourites. The whole meal is served on a sustainably crafted driftwood long board to complete an Insta-perfect experience.
3. Visit Mystic Beach
This beach is aptly named because it is so magical. At Mystic Beach, there is even a picture perfect rope swing so you can swing over the Pacific Ocean. Located on Vancouver Island, Mystic Beach is located along the scenic Juan de Fuca Trail. This beach boasts rugged cliffs, beautiful waters, and even a waterfall. It only takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach with a 2 km length and minimal elevation gain.
4. Experience Provence at Market by Jean-Georges Vancouver
Market always brings delectable cuisine and adorable flower walls to Vancouver and this summer is no exception. You'll feel transported to Provence, France with their new brunch and happy hour series, Belle Provence. The Market Terrace will be reminiscent of the South of France, with Provençale-inspired dishes and live music during weekend brunch, as well as cocktail and food specials during daily Apéro. There's even an adorable floral wall that says Belle Provence – it'll look perfect on your Instagram. The series runs from June 17 until mid-September.
5. Visit these lavender fields
Pretend you're in Provence, France and prance around stunning lavender fields. B.C.'s biggest lavender field is only two hours away from Vancouver on Salt Spring Island. Sacred Mountain Lavender is a boutique lavender farm with 60 varieties of lavender.
6. Have amazing food at Adesso Bistro
This amazing Italian restaurant recently relaunched with a new Executive Chef, Pekka Tavela, and new General Manger, Bradley Sample. Located in the West-End, Adesso serves delicious Modernist cuisine and delectable drinks that draws inspiration from a wide range of cuisines, taking the best of different food cultures. Their menu brings a fresh take to the food scene in Vancouver and emphasizes the multiculturalism prevalent in the city. Adesso's ambiance is just as impressive as their food – their relaxing garden patio is adorable and perfect for patio pictures. Adesso believes in fresh and Modernist cuisine, which means they only use fresh, prime ingredients. Also their fried chicken is to die for – a must try in Vancouver! They change their menu frequently in their continual strive for excellence.
7. Try one of a kind food at the Richmond Night Market
Feel like you're at a night market in Asia as you try insane foods and drinks at the Richmond Night Market. This popular summer event is always a hit will have over 100 vendors of food, drinks and shops, as well as nightly live performances. Admission is $4.25 and the market only takes place on weekends.
8. Have a spa day at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
Escape to a luxurious spa for a perfect day of relaxing and pampering. Treat yourself because you deserve it! The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim is one of the best spas in the city and even the world, having been named one of the Best Spas in the World by CN Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards 2015. With beautiful views of downtown Vancouver, the waterfront and mountains, this day spa boasts 8,500 square foot of treatment space. There are nine treatment areas, a Nail Spa, three lounges, a full fitness centre and spa terrace.
9. Visit Playland's Adult Only Nights
Want to have some childhood fun but also want the privileges of being an adult (aka alcohol)? Get the best of both worlds at Playland's adult only nights with booze. Every Friday evening from June 22 to July 27, Playland will be open for 19+ adults-only. You can buy tickets at Ticketleader for $31 or $34 at the gate. There will be guest DJs, Playland-inspired cocktails, craft beer, wine, rides and more!
10. Get beauty services delivered straight to your doorsteps by Tianna Tran
Looking to get pampered this summer? You can convienently get beauty services brought right to you with B.C.'s first mobile and makeup and hair studio, Rollin' Beauty. The creative mastermind behind this is the sweetheart Tianna Tran, a talented professional makeup artist who has been working in the industry for years. You can get a long lasting YUMI Lash Lift or makeup and hair services with Tianna in her Rollin' Beauty.
11. Go for a spa getaway at the Sparkling Hill Resort
When you arrive at Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa in Vernon, it will feel like you've escaped to a luxurious vacation complete with an infinity pool and spa – and that's because you have. Boasting B.C.'s nicest infinity pool that comes with incredible mountain and lake views, Sparkling Hill Resort has several boujee elements for a spa getaway that will allow you to escape all your worries. Their spa, KurSpa, is one of the largest luxury spas in the country with over 40,000 sq. ft. of treatment space.
12. Go on a scenic hike
The hikes in B.C. are out of this world – so you'll definetly feel like you've left the city. From hikes with spectacular views, waterfall walks, and more, there's no shortage of insanely breathtaking hikes near Vancouver.
13. Have a picnic and watch free outdoor movies
Escape to another world through film at the annual outdoor cinema events in Vancouver. Free outdoor movies will return to popular venues such as Second Beach in Stanley Park and Canada Place for July and August.
14. Get day drunk at the wineries in the Okanagan
Wine time please! Pretend you're in the vineyards of Tuscany at the scenic wineries of the Okanagan, which is only a few hours away from Vancouver. These wineries have amazing scenery of lakes and mountains.
15. Explore a surreal waterfall
Go on an outdoor adventure! The tallest waterfalls in Canada (and much taller than Niagara Falls) are in B.C. such as Della Falls, which is one of the top 10 tallest waterfalls in the whole world!
16. Go jetskiing with Vancouver Water Adventures
We might not be in the tropics, but that doesn't mean you still can't have some watersports fun. You can rent a Seadoo with Vancouver Water Adventures on Granville Island. You can rent one and cruise on your own to wherever you like or you can take a guided tour, such as the Bowen Island Dinner Tour.
17. Catch some waves in Tofino
If you want to go surf some waves in B.C. or want to go on a beach vacation, check out explore Tofino. This surf town is an amazing place to visit with tons of outdoor activities – even Neil Patrick Harris raves about it!
18. Go berry picking at a U-Pick farm
This is an adorable summer activity that is also super cheap – a win-win scenario. Pick your own berries from a farm in B.C. There are several farms to choose from, here are some adorable U-pick farms for you to explore this summer!
19. Float down a 7 km lazy river
Have a chill day in the sun and tube for free at this unique 7 km lazy river in Penticton. The river is only a few hours from Vancouver and is a perfect channel for tubing. To go down the whole river will take three to four hours. If you need to rent a tube, it costs $6 at the tube rental shop, Coyote Cruises.
20. Go on a camping trip
Getaway from the city with a camping trip. You can camp in the backcountry or reserve a campsite at many locations.If you haven't reserved a site in advance, many popular camping spots may already be booked up, so check out these beautiful free campsites that are no reservation required.
21. Escape to this tiki bar
Can't vacay in the tropics this year? Find a slice of Hawaii in Vancouver! The Shameful Tiki Room is a tiki themed bar located on Main Street that is bringing tropical tiki experience to the city. They have some of the coolest (and biggest) drinks in the city, such as flaming punch bowls.
22. Go whitewater rafting
Want to experience some adrenaline this summer? Try whitewater rafting in rushing rapids with The Adventure Group Whistler. Their Whistler Whitewater Rafting tours offer different levels of adrenline, between Classes 1 and 4 rapids. Go on a wild adventure with a professional raft guide.
24. Have some fun at the Harrison Watersports Water Park
This inflatable water park in B.C. will make for some seriously fun times this summer. Harrison Watersports' Water Park is located in Harrison Hot Springs. It opens for the season on June 23 and admission costs $33.33.
25. Go ziplining with Superfly Ziplines
Get a dose of adrenaline by zipling through the mountains and valleys of Whistler. Superfly Ziplines takes you ziplining through the air and you'll be able to see Cougar Mountain. You can ride side by side with your BF or BFF with their zipline system. The experience will include several dual ziplines, trails and boardwalks.
26. Swim at Kitsilano Pool
This waterfront outdoor pool in Vancouver is a serious gem – it will remind you of the famous Bondi Icebergs swimming pool in Australia! The newly renovated Kitsilano saltwater pool is open for the 2018 season, from May 19 to September 16.
27. Make the most of patio season
No summer in Vancouver is complete with several visits to the amazing outdoor patios here in the city. There are so many great ones to choose from, so if you're unsure where to start or want to try something other than the most popular ones, check out our list for the 2018 season!
28. Visit Cultus Lake Waterpark
Go on a waterpark adventure and slide into Cultus Lake Waterpark. B.C.'s biggest waterpark is located only an hour away from Vancouver. There are a variety of slides and both body and tube and raft slides. Admission costs $30.48 for a day pass and the park is open every day of the summer.
29. Escape to an outdoor hot springs resort
Halcyon Hot Springs is a hidden gem in B.C. This gorgeous hot springs resort doesn't come with a hefty price tag – a dip is only $12 for students and $13 for adults and a day pass is $20 for students and $22 for adults. You can also stay overnight; they have a variety of accomodation options, such as a cabin, chalet or cottage.
30. Go paddleboarding with Vancouver Water Adventures
Paddleboarding always brings those beloved summer feels. You can rent paddleboards with Vancouver Water Adventures at multiple scenic locations in Vancouver: Kitsilano Beach, English Bay Beach or Granville Island. A one hour rental costs $20, plus tax, and a two hour rental costs $30, plus tax.