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As part of Carpe Travel’s BC Wine Country Guide we’ve included several fun things to do that go beyond the vines. As such, we wanted to share recommendations on seriously fun things to do in Vancouver and Victoria. If you’re visiting British Columbia, make sure to sip in our BC Wine Country Guide for the best places to sip, stay and information on the wines and the regions.
10 Seriously Fun Things to do in Vancouver and Victoria...
Vancouver regularly tops the most beautiful and most liveable city in Canada and the world lists. With that said, there is a lot to see and do in Vancouver. Here are a few of the top things I recommend you check out on your next visit.
1. Stanley Park & Paved Seawall pedestrian and biking path. Stanley Park is situated on a tiny outcropping to the north west of downtown Vancouver. It is 1001 acres of Hemlock and Red Cedar forest and beautiful landscaped scenery contained by a 5.5 mile paved seawall walking and cycle path and a series of sandy beaches on the southern coast. One of the best ways to see the area is to take a horse drawn carriage ride through the park.
2. Granville Island Public Farmers Market is just a short ferry ride from downtown Vancouver and well worth the visit. Transformed from a logging industry center; it is a popular shopping, dining, and entertainment district best known for its incredible Public Farmers & Producers Market.
Go for the afternoon for shopping, music and revelry and then watch the sunset over the bay and a gloriously fresh meal with a BC wine. Better yet, take boat tour to really sip in the area.
3. Steveston Village is a historic fishing village known as the Salmon Capital of the World. On Canada Day (1 July 1867), Canada’s national holiday, Steveston hosts its annual Salmon Festival at the Community Center. Founded in 1946, the festival earned Steveston the title of Salmon Capital of the World. Steveston is adjacent to Richmond, just outside of Vancouver proper.
4. Hollywood North in Vancouver is considered Hollywood North because it is the regular filming location for hundreds of popular television shows, movies, and other film projects each year. Filming began in Vancouver in 1910 but the city came into its own in 1977 by establishing a film development board dedicated to expanding the industry in British Columbia. As of 2019, Vancouver is third in the world for production, just behind New York City and Los Angeles. One of the popular things to do in Vancouver it to immerse yourself in Hollywood North via a walking tour of all the styled landmarks.
5. Locavore dining is a popular – and delicious – thing to do in Vancouver BC. Home to dozens of “Farm to Table” restaurants and with the region’s naturally lush environment, it is easy to see why. Learn more by reading this trio of books about Vancouver’s dedication to local dining: The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith, Cedar & Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes From Forest, Farm, Field, & Sea by Acken & Lycopolus, and Food Artisans of Vancouver Island by Don Genova.
6. Vancouver Aquarium is located on the picturesque Stanly Island adjacent to Stanley Park. Nestled in a forest and hidden from street view, the Vancouver Aquarium spans 97,000 square feet and contains 2.5 million gallons of water across 166 aquatic displays. These displays depict 9 different oceanic macroclimates. 300 species of fish, 30,000 invertebrates, 56 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 56 mammals and birds call the aquarium home. Vancouver Aquarium has a long relationship with Orca and Beluga whales leading to the creation of the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program.
7. Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program has brought the beauty of whales into classrooms and homes around the world for more than 25 years. WKWAP is an educational, conservation, and research program focused on creating a healthier environment for whales and removing their violent stigmas. The adoption program raises funds for the Marine Mammal Research Program and other marine-life research organizations.
8. Ziplines. Tourists and locals love to see British Columbia by Zipline and the country is studded with dozens of zipline operators. West Coast Wild Zipline, Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours, and Wild Play Element Park are just a few of the top providers of these adrenaline surging experiences.
9. Explore Canada’s First Nation & Indeginous Populations. This is a popular activity throughout Canada and particularly in British Columbia. Vancouver is home to nearly 60, 000 First Nation citizens and boasts multiple cultural and edutainment activities across the city including museums, art galleries, and craft stores.
10. Sailing. Vancouver is a sailors paradise with the bay studded with yachts, boats, sail boats, and catamarans. Book a Sailing in Vancouver adventure or jet off on a Harbour Air seaplane to explore the coast. Check out the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.