Some of the best ones were free! 💸
This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Moving to Vancouver six months ago was a huge change, and as soon as I arrived I was ready to explore everything around me. I've discovered some super fun activities to do in and around the city, and lots of them are totally free.
I got off the plane beaming with excitement for all of the fun adventures I had planned for B.C already. Moving to Vancouver from New Brunswick, it was like a whole new world with so many restaurants to choose from, hikes to do, and activities to try.
Like most things, some activities were hits and some were big misses. Luckily, I'm here to tell you which are actually worth it for you to try out.
With summer upon us, I know that I'll have a whole new list of favourites on the way, but here are some of my highlights so far.
Exploring Filming Locations
One of the first things I did in Vancouver was to track down some filming locations. My friends and I drove an hour to Squamish and not only got to do a beautiful hike — but also were in the same place where Edward married Bella.
I quickly learned that Vancouver is the best city in Canada for a fangirl.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver.
These stunning gardens are in Chinatown and it's like stepping into a peaceful oasis inside a bustling city.
You feel like you're in a completely different world when you go inside and see the beauty all around you.
Watching The Sunset At Lighthouse Park
A person watching the sunset at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.
I live in East Vancouver, which actually is not ideal for watching the sunset. I've made it my mission to find the best spots in the city to see if though.
However, I did accomplish that mission.
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver gives you a full unobstructed view of the bright blue ocean. You can watch the sun disappear and the sky light up with red and orange.
Camping In Tofino
Tents set up on a camping site in Tofino.
Since the day I got home from my visit to Tofino, I have been dying to go back. I fell in love with the lush nature, kind people, and small town.
Waking up to the sound of waves crashing and walking out of my tent onto the beach was a surreal experience.
One of the best parts about Vancouver is that it's actually easy to run into people you see on TV. I was watching Canada's Drag Race and got to go see one of the stars, Kendell Gender, in action at Celebrities Nightclub.
If you're in Vancouver definitely keep an eye out for cool events to attend like this, and celeb spottings!
Hiking Tunnel Bluff
Spring comes early in Vancouver, so it's the perfect time to go and find some views.
Some friends and I went to Tunnel Bluffs in West Vancouver, and it was hands-down my favourite hikes I've ever done. It wasn't too hard to get up, and there was a huge lookout area where we sat and soaked up some sun.
Especially for the effort required, the view is so worth the journey.
Taking The Floatplane To Victoria
This actually scared the sh*t out of me — I'm not going to lie. Even if you're a chicken like me though, it is worth trying this at least once.
I took the floatplane over from Vancouver to Victoria, and it was the most beautiful flight I've ever had.
The plane rides low enough that you can see all of the little islands scattered throughout the ocean as you fly. In the distance, you can spot the incredibly tall mountains — which will take your breathe away.
Plus, it takes a total of only 30 minutes to get to Victoria.
Brace yourself though, the landing is bumpy.
A photo of Canada's longest pier at White Rock in BC.
I stopped at White Rock on my way back from a trip to the U.S., because it's conveniently located right at the border.
Even though it was a rainy evening, I fell in love with the little beach town. It has amazing restaurants, and — to my surprise — the longest pier in Canada.
You can walk out far into the ocean, and look back at the bustling little town.
After our mini-adventure on the water, we grabbed some fish and chips and ate with a view of the ocean.
The Cold Plunge
People wearing swimming clothing as they walk to Wreck Beach in BC.
You may not think of this as 'fun' exactly, but it honestly was a great experience.
Going to Wreck Beach in the winter and jumping into the chilly waves was something I won't forget anytime soon.
The weirdest part about doing this in Vancouver is that it's not uncommon. Almost every time I went I saw other people daring to do the same thing.
Biking The Seawall
Cyclists bike along the Vancouver seawall.
This was another one I got recommended so many times and yet still managed to impress me. We rented bikes and rode along the entire seawall at sunset — which was magical.
You could see the mountains and ocean the entire way. For one of my first tastes of Vancouver, it set the bar high.
North Vancouver Walks
A close-up photo of a dog sticking out its tongue in a wooded forest in North Vancouver.
This is not actually my dog, unfortunately, but I find any excuse I can to head out to the North Shore for a walk.
You can drive 10 minutes from the downtown North Vancouver area and suddenly feel like you're in the middle of a rainforest.
Even on rainy days, it's a go-to activity for me that never disappoints. Lynn Valley has amazing trails that range from super difficult to really easy.
Everyone told me I had to do the Grouse Grind when I first came to Vancouver.
What they failed to tell me is that it is actually incredibly hard and that I would just be sweating the entire time.
I dragged all of my friends along with me thinking it would be a fun activity. By the halfway mark they were all ready to never speak to me again.
Once we got to the top though, all was forgiven because the view was stunning.
This is definitely a must-try activity, but go prepared.
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