Fall is just around the corner, but summer ain’t over yet. Don’t let a minute go by without enjoying one (or all) of these ten things to do in Vancouver in summer, before it ends.
Things to do in Vancouver in Summer
1. Walk or bike around Stanley Park
Stanley Park has just been voted the best park in the world via TripAdvisor. I think that we locals sometimes forget the awesomeness of the green heart of the city – when was the last time you visited? Gather the family, meet up with friends, and plan a walk or bike ride around the Park’s Seawall. You’ll remember why you love Vancouver – guaranteed.
2. Eat an ice cream cone
The ice cream scene has exploded in Vancouver and we dessert lovers are the lucky beneficiaries. There’s nothing sweeter than a creamy cone or cup on a still-hot summer day or evening. Whether you love gelato, fro yo or artisanal hand made old-fashioned cones, enjoy some tasty treats while the living is easy.
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3. Picnic at Jericho or Spanish Banks Beach
We recently enjoyed a summer picnic with visiting relatives at Jericho Beach, and it was so delightful to be eating al fresco at the beach. The view is priceless and FREE – how great is that? Pack along a soccer ball or frisbee for fun play, and don’t forget the swimsuits (and towels), just in case anyone wants to go for a dip. This is one of the best spots in Vancouver for free family fun.
4. Hike the Grouse Grind
If conquering this mountain hike has been your goal all summer long, now’s the time to hit the Grouse Grind! Choose early morning for fewer climbers and cooler temperatures, and don’t forget some cash for a celebratory cool drink and the ride down on the Skyride Gondola.
5. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola
If you haven’t yet, venture 30 minutes up the Sea to Sky Highway and enjoy a ten-minute ride on the Sea or Sky Gondola. Amazing views of Howe Sound Fjord, the Chief, and local Garibaldi mountains, as well as easy walks and hikes from the Mountain Station for everyone in the family. The new Via Ferrata is also worth a try, if you’re brave enough!
6. View the Treetops at UBC Greenheart Canopy Walkway
Capture a bird’s eye view of the coastal forest at the UBC Garden’s Greenheart Canopy Walkway. The 310 m long walkway is carefully suspended 20 m above the forest floor, allowing you to experience the forest of 100-year old trees in an entirely new and adventurous way. You can choose a guided tour, or walk at your pace along the walkway. Don’t miss walking along the beautiful UBC Garden trails during your visit, or popping into one of the campus museums.
7. Pick fresh BC Blueberries in the Fraser Valley
The crop of BC Blueberries has been outstanding this year. The warm weather has meant an early and continuous crop for nature’s candy, so visit a local U-Pick farm in Abbotsford or Langley and stock up for the winter! Blueberries freeze incredibly well, (if they make it there). My favorite blueberry recipe this season? A delicious summer salad of blueberries, watermelon, cucumber and feta cheese.
8. Eat popcorn at a Free Outdoor Movie
While we may no longer have drive-in theaters in the city, the next best thing are the many chances to enjoy outdoor movies with the family. Several opportunities remain to catch some family-oriented films through the Lower Mainland. Bring your blankets and fleece, and yes, some popcorn too of course!
9. Ride the Wooden Coaster at the Fair at the PNE
Built in 1958, the Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland at the PNE attracts speed enthusiasts from miles around! The 105th PNE opened August 22nd through until Labour Day, and you can enjoy the coaster, mini donuts and agricultural fair along with the all the Playland rides for the next two weeks.
10. Plane Spotting at YVR
The Vancouver International Airport is a busy place these days! Watch planes come and go from inside at YVR’s Observation Deck, or outside (and underneath) at the Larry Berg Flight Path Park. Both locations are in Richmond.
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Are you finishing the summer holidays with a bang? Share your favorite activities in the comments below.