There’s no better place to be in the summertime than Vancouver. Locals and tourists can experience a number of popular attractions, festivals, family-friendly activities, and restaurants. When the weather reaches is sunniest and warmest in July through September, there’s always something to do outside. If the weather’s too hot, there are plenty of indoor activities, as well! No matter what your interests, there’s bound to be something for you to experience this summer in Vancouver. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to summer fun, so you can make the most out of the season.
Vancouver’s Most Popular Summer Attractions
If you’re looking for a new attraction to hit up in Vancouver, we’ve got the list for you. Below you’ll find the most popular summer attractions the city has to offer. Many of these attractions are in their prime during the summer months.
- Vancouver Lookout. For a great view of the city, check out Vancouver Lookout. You’ll be treated to a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from more than 168 metres off the ground.
- Gastown. Gastown is a neighborhood in Vancouver named after John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton, who opened a pub in the area in 1867. Visitors can check out the Steam Clock, vintage lamp posts, old buildings, and more.
- VanDusen Botanical Garden. The 55-hectare outdoor VanDusen Botanical Garden houses over 7,500 plant species and varieties. Visitors can spot and photograph plants and local wildlife. There is also a hedge maze for kids to enjoy.
- Richmond Night Market. The Night Market in Richmond runs on weekend and holiday evening from May 10 to October 14. With over 100 different food vendors, it’s guaranteed to be a fun night out for everyone.
- Chinatown. Vancouver houses the largest Chinatown in Canada. You can learn about the Chinese culture or experience new food.
- Vancouver Aquarium. When visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, you can see over 50,000 creatures from the Amazon to the Arctic. There are also daily shark, dolphin, and sea otter shows.
- Stanley Park and the Seawall. Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first and largest urban park. You can explore the 400-hectare natural rainforest and the scenic views along the Seawall. While visiting, you can enjoy a game of pitch and putt, relax on the beat, grab a bite to eat, or take a train ride.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches for 137 metres across a canyon. The Capilano River sits 70 metres below. Visitors can explore the lush, foliage-carpeted forests via a series of elevated suspension bridges in the Treetops Adventure and the Cliffwalk.
- Granville Island. Separating downtown Vancouver from the rest of the city, Granville Island is a peninsula in False Creek. There are shops and markets to explore. It’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat.
- Whale Watching. When you board a whale watching boat from Vancouver, you’ll be able to spot dolphins, humpback whales, killer whales, and more in the waterway between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The summer months are a great time for a tour because it’s when many species migrate north.
- Grouse Mountain. Only 15 minutes from downtown, Grouse Mountain has a variety of cultural, educational, and outdoor activities for guests to participate in.
Summertime Festivals in Vancouver
Festivals are a crucial part of summer in Vancouver. Whether you’re looking to try new foods, learn about cultures, or listen to music, there’s a festival to attend practically every weekend. Some of the city’s most popular are listed below.
- Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival. From June 21-23, the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival takes places on the shores of False Creek. During the three day event, there will be dragon boat racing, music performances, cultural installations, interactive performances, food, family-friendly activities, and more.
- 34th TD International Jazz Festival. The International Jazz Festival is held in multiple locations around Vancouver. The festival takes place from June 21 to July 1. Attendees can experience music from 1,800 artists, with over 300 performances, 35 venues, and more than 150 free shows.
- Golden Spike Days Festival. The Golden Spike Days Festival is one of the oldest in British Columbia. This community festival is fun for the whole family. There’s a variety of entertainment, food, and activities for everyone to enjoy. This year’s festival runs from June 28 to July 1.
- Vancouver International Guitar Festival. On June 29 and 30, you can join guitar builders, players, collectors, and aficionados for live music, special events, and master classes at the Vancouver International Guitar Festival. The festival is held at the Creekside Community Center.
- Canada Day. Celebrate Canada Day at the Fort Langley National Historic Site on July 1. Friends and family can enjoy multicultural music, cake, family activities, and a ceremony at noon.
- Greek Summerfest 2019. Back for its 33rd consecutive year, Greek Summerfest runs from July 4-14. The festival celebrates Greek culture with food, entertainment, and activities for the whole family.
- Dancing on the Edge Festival. From July 4-13, the Dancing on Edge Festival takes place. This is the longest running contemporary dance festival in Canada. Attendees can enjoy over 30 performances.
- Deighton Cup. The Deighton Cup takes place on July 20. Visitors come dressed in their best fascinators and ties to bet on ponies and enjoy the day with friends. This year, the Earls Restaurant is catering the event to provide lunch for festival guests and box and suite purchasers.
- African Descent Festival. The African Descent Festival celebrates the cultural diversity of people of African descent in Vancouver. It focuses on activating public spaces and bringing a diverse range of programming to promote long term sustainability for the population. Visitors can learn about different cultures and countries from Africa. It takes place from July 20-21.
- Maple Ridge Country Fest. The Maple Ridge Country Festival, which takes place on July 27 and 28, features horse shows, a blueberry pie eating contest, food trucks, kids activities, farming demos, and more.
- Rockin’ River Music Fest. From August 1-4, you can see over 30 acts across multiple stages at the Rockin’ River Music Fest. This year there will be more onsite amenities, including food options, bars, and bathrooms. The lineup features artists like Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, and more.
- 43rd Annual Powell Street Festival. The Powell Street Festival runs August 3 and 4. It is the largest Japanese Canadian Festival in the country. Guests can enjoy traditional and contemporary Japanese Canadian performances and demonstrations. Food, crafts, and displays will also be available.
- Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival. On August 4 in the West End, LGBTQAI2S+ communities will be celebrated and advocated for through an intersectional lens. There will be parties, dances, cruises, and parades at the Pride Parade and Festival.
- Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival 2019. This year’s Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival returns to Deer Lake Park with a lineup of world-class musicians. Festival-goers can enjoy music, food vendors, and activities for all ages on August 10.
- 19th Annual Vancouver Chinatown Festival 2019. Stop in Chinatown on August 10 to visit the Annual Vancouver Chinatown Festival. Every year, over 50,000 locals and tourists attend to experience Chinatown heritage walking tours, multicultural folk art demonstrations, stage performances, and Kung Fu competitions. Visitors can also enjoy food trucks, a mobile aquarium, photo booth, and an activity area for kids.
Activities for the Whole Family in Vancouver
Sometimes, trying to find family-friendly activities can be a challenge. Fortunately for those in Vancouver, this is never a problem! If you’re looking for experiences and places to take the whole family, we’ve got you covered.
- Granville Island Water Park. Granville Island Water Park features two slides and spray fountains. This park is free for the whole family to enjoy. From July through Labour Day in September they’re open seven days a week.
- Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tours. With the Hop-on, Hop-off bus tours, you can decide your own itinerary while visiting places like Canada Place, English Bay Beach, and Chinatown. The buses operate on two routes that cover the length and breadth of the city.
- Kitsilano Pool. The Kitsilano Pool is North America’s longest saltwater pool. It’s located near the beach, cafes, and neighbourhood of Kitsilano. Swimmers can enjoy the pool from May to mid-September.
- Playland at the PNE. Vancouver’s favorite amusement park is Playland at the PNE. Admission to Playland gives you access to over 35 rides and attractions. There is also a variety of food options and games for the whole family.
- Jericho Beach. Jericho Beach caters to swimmers, sailboats, windsurfers, and sunbathers alike. The beach features concessions, public washrooms, playing fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, swimming rafts, water wheelchairs, and the Jericho Sailing Centre.
- Sunset Cinema at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. On Wednesdays in July and August, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza holds outdoor movies. The films begin at dusk, but arrive early for the pre-show activities.
- Kids Market. Located at the entrance to Granville Island, the Kids Market is the place to shop, play, and eat. You’ll find shops for toys, games, clothes, shoes, and accessories. There are also a number of activities to participate in, like the Circuit Circus arcade and the Let Go bumper cars.
- Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel. At the Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel, visitors are greeted by period costumed townsfolk who provide demonstrations in their homes, businesses, and shops. Guests can also take a ride on the historic 1912 CW Parker Carousel.
- Deer Lake Park. Deer Lake Park is situated in a natural environment that serves as the cultural precinct for Burnaby’s arts and heritage amenities. Walking trails connect the lake to the Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Village Museum, and Hart House Restaurant.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Built in 1894, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery was once the largest buildings of its kind. They were the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia. Visitors can learn about the history of this place through interactive exhibits, films, and guided tours.
Vancouver’s Summer Dining Options
The restaurant scene in Vancouver is like nowhere else. From small plates to multicultural cuisine, you can find somewhere new to eat every day of the week. Some of our favorite summer dining options are listed below.
- Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio. Embracing Peruvian and Japanese cultures, Ancora is a chic, bi-level space for seafood and fantastic views overlooking Granville Island.
- Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House. For 30 years, Joe Fortes has earned and maintained its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Vancouver. Guests can enjoy a selection of over 300 wines to pair with their food.
- The Rise Eatery. The Rise Eatery strives to push the boundaries of culinary ingenuity by bringing together flavors from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond. The food is crafted with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
- Reflections: The Garden Terrace. Reflections: The Garden Terrace offers a variety of light tapas-inspired dishes in an outdoor bar and lounge setting. Situated on the inner courtyard of the Rosewood, this restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for casual dining and private events.
- Dockside Restaurant. At the Dockside Restaurant, you can enjoy a relaxed brunch, afternoon or evening meal, or coffee and wine while overlooking the waterfront on False Creek.
- Nosh. Nosh is a one-of-a-kind eatery and patisserie. They serve all-day dining, artisanal pastries, breakfast, and lunch. They also offer catering service for downtown Vancouver.
- Chambar. Chambar provides their guests with a unique dining experience. Their menus change seasonally, and their head chef strives to have their food reflect the rugged nature and climate of Canada.
- Local Public Eatery. The Local Public Eatery in Gastown is the perfect place for lunch and dinner or weekend brunch. They have a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Guests can also check out the daily drink specials.
- Giardino Restaurant. Guests can journey through Italy while eating the cuisine at Giardino. The Tuscan-inspired restaurant has a Florentine-styled courtyard and sidewalk for guests to enjoy.
Wishart Brain & Spine Law Wishes You a Happy, Healthy Summer
We hope that you’re able to utilize the list above to its fullest potential this summer. Whether you’re looking to spend some time with your family or friends or want to experience something completely new, there’s always something to do or see in Vancouver. Our personal injury lawyers will be sure to set aside some time this summer to enjoy everything Vancouver has to offer. You should too.