Rent a bike and cycle around the Stanley Park Seawall. After cycling the 10 km Stanley Park seawall (about 1 hour), keep cycling. You can bike all of Vancouver’s waterfront on a paved, separated bike path. It’s the best way to see the city and the quintessential Vancouver experience.
Rent a little speed boat from Granville Island Boat Rentals and spend the day zipping around the harbour and swimming. Cruise up False Creek and along English Bay then go over to Bowen Island and have an icecream at Snug Cove Marina. You can also rent kayaks and Stand-Up Paddle Boards from Granville Island and various other beaches.
Shop, dine and stroll the boutique districts of Gastown, West Fourth Avenue (Kitsilano) and Main Street.
Eat from a food truck. Vancouver’s food truck scene is considered among the best in North America with options ranging from JapaDog (Japanese insired hot dogs) to Fresh, Local, Wild (they have a local line caught fish and chips). Check the Street Food Vancouver website for daily locations or do the $39 “Eat Your Cart Out” tour.
Take a float plane to Victoria (Vancouver Island) for the day or overnight. The 30 minute flight is absolutely stunning and departs Vancouver harbour and lands in Victoria harbour. Victoria is a great city to shop and stroll. It’s also a great place to whale watching. From Victoria, you can take a boat to Seattle or fly direct to Whistler. Or, you could rent a car and drive north up Vancouver Island to Tofino, a fabulous little pacific northwest surf town with great hotels and restaurants.
Go wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley. A five hour drive from Vancouver is BC’s stunning wine region, the Okanagan Valley. Rent a car and spend two or three days exploring the wineries around Penticton and the Naramata Bench. Make reservations for a Joy Road Catering Dinner at God’s Mountain (amazing!!) and spend lots of time swimming in the lake. Be prepared for heat! Parts of the Okanagan include the top end of the Sonoma desert. Don’t forget to look for “OGO POGO” in Lake Okanagan.
Spend a few nights hiking, biking and lake-swimming in Whistler. Just 90-minutes drive up the Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver is Whistler, rated one of North America’s top ski resorts and part of the 2010 Olympic Games. In the summer it’s an awesome outdoor playground with amazing downhill mountain biking, great hikes, a great village atmosphere, and five lakes to swim in. It’s handy to have a car in Whistler although the village is actually very walkable. You can get to Whistler from Vancouver by car, bus or you can take the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer Train (3 hours).
Do some sailing around BC. Outershores offers multi-day sailing excursions around British Columbia. Pacific Yellowfin is an historic luxury motor yacht. Or, you can befriend an RVYC member with a cruising boat and make lifelong memories along the rugged coast of Desolation Sound!