One week in Vancouver, BC is definitely not enough time to explore its many beaches and trails, but its a good place to start. During our week long visit we had the opportunity to visit some really wonderful places, some of them were popular tourist destinations and others less so. Below is a round-up of our favourite outdoor adventures on our recent trip to Vancouver, BC.
Deep cove is a quaint community nestled in a small bay on the eastern edge of North Vancouver. Locals and tourist come here to paddle up the Indian Arm fjord, explore the popular Quarry Rock trail and eat donuts! Quarry Rock trail is a relatively short hike, 3.8 km round trip, that’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping. Despite the challenge of this hike our family loved it.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a 763 hectare park that surrounds the University of British Columbia (UBC). The park’s fabulous network of multi-use trails is perfect for biking, hiking, running and walking. We enjoyed a family bike through the lush rainforest at the south end of the park. The trails are wide, mostly flat, and quiet making this park a great place for young children to learn how to ride trails.
Lynn Canyon Park is located in North Vancouver, BC. After Stanley Park it is probably one of the most popular parks to visit in the Vancouver area. The various boardwalks, trails and bridges through the surrounding rainforest and canyon are great for exploring and offer exciting views of the area. The park can be very crowded in the summer but despite the crowds we enjoyed hiking through the park.
Stanley Park is a 400 hectare urban park situated on a peninsula north-west of downtown Vancouver, BC. It is the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver because of its great location and numerous attractions. Biking the Seawall is a great way to experience Stanley Park as a family, one that I recommend despite the business. Be sure to save some time and visit the Vancouver Aquarium too!
Queen Elizabeth Park is one of Vancouver’s prized jewels. As the highest place in Vancouver it offers great views of the surrounding city, as well as some of the most beautiful ornamental gardens in the area. There are many recreational opportunities at this park including easy walking trails, tennis courts, lawn bowling, pitch and putt as well as others. To top it off the Bloedel Conservatory, which sits atop the park, houses numerous species of exotic plants and birds. My children loved watching the exotic free flying birds at the conservatory as well as playing in the small waterfall in the main quarry garden. This park is a great place for a family picnic.
Whytecliff Park is located in West Vancouver near Horseshoe Bay. This park is a Marine Protected Area and a popular spot for scuba diving. The park can be busy with family picnickers but the rocky beach is relatively quiet even on weekends. My children enjoyed scrambling up the large outcroping of rocks, searching for crabs along shore and chatting with the scuba divers.
MetroVancouver offers family-friendly watershed tours of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. These FREE tours are a fun way to learn about where drinking water comes from and how to conserve it. Since our tour my children are constantly reminding each other to conserve water! Sign-up for the tour on the MetroVancouver website. There is also a great network of hike and bike trail that go through the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.