Hello folks, and welcome to our roundup of all the amazing bucket list activities in Vancouver to try out this summer. After all, Vancouver and the surrounding area are filled to the brim with amazing experiences, events, and other options for you to enjoy. And, we’ve rounded up some of our absolute top picks to help you out.

Here’s our summer bucket list for Vancouver this year.

Outdoors

Hit the beach

That’s right, the beach! Vancouver has no shortage of incredible beaches, and there’s no better time to enjoy them than in the summer. If there’s absolutely one thing you need to do this summer, it’s to check out our list of the best beaches in the city and visit at least 2 of them. That’s our stance.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Go on a quick camping trip

Without a doubt, a camping trip pretty much anywhere in BC is always a must for outdoors enthusiasts. Whether you’re sticking close to home or exploring our province’s wild side, there are tons of options waiting out there for you, including the iconic Joffre Lakes campsite.

When: Available pending travel restrictions
Where: Click the link above for our picks!

Or head out on a hike

kennedy falls
Via Shutterstock

That’s right folks, we’ve also got hikes, aka the day trip cousin of going camping! Our advice is to check out some of the most popular provincial parks around Vancouver. Why? Honestly, the new day pass system means they’ll be less busy than during a regular summer.

Where: Click the link above for more info

Splash around in the Kits pool

Vancouver’s public pools are some of the prettiest in Canada. After all, where else can you take a dip mere feet away from the ocean? Plus, the new booking system in place means you won’t have to deal with massive crowds once you actually do visit. While all the pools are open, the Kits location is our must-visit pick.

When: Open throughout June
Where: Click the link above for more info
Cost: $4.22 and up

Visit a U-Pick farm

Know what makes a homemade dessert taste that much better? If you’re using fruits and berries picked earlier that day! And with a wide variety of u-pick farms located around the city, we think this is a must for an outdoorsy activity this summer.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Explore the Capilano Suspension Bridge

capilano suspension bridge
Via Curiocity Group

While it’s a bucket list option for any tourist, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is also a must-visit for Vancouverites. Yes, Canyon Lights are amazing, but there’s something so fun about a summer visit to this woodland wonderland. Not to mention that a photo on the bridge is practically ID in the city.

When: Open daily
Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Cost: $54.95 (same price as an annual pass)

Hike up Grouse Mountain

Of course, we couldn’t forget the Grouse Grind in this roundup. Not so easy that you’ll cruise through it, but not so hard that you’ll be wondering if heading there was a good idea in the first place. Plus, the need to purchase a download ticket assures some rest and relaxation once your climb is complete.

When: Open throughout June
Where: Grouse Mountain
Cost: $20 (for the download ticket)

Explore Vancouver’s incredible Gardens

From huge gardens that would take days to fully explore to hidden neighbourhood gems, Vancouver’s urban garden scene is absolutely incredible. Our top pick? The overrated and relatively private Nitobe Memorial Garden, but that’s only after we checked the other ones out.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Take in a summer sunset

Something about a perfect sunset on a summer day just hits different, you know? Next time one happens, be prepared with a list of some truly incredible viewpoints around the city. Our must-visit spots? The various North Shore mountains, and specifically Cypress. Take in Vancouver in all it’s summer glory!

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Major Attractions

Have some fun at Playland

A trip to the amusement park is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. Especially when the alternative is screaming in fear as you enjoy some downright thrilling rides. Playland has hinted that it’s bringing back the PNE Fair this year, but even a regular visit is a great idea.

When: Now open
Where: 2901 E Hastings Street
Tickets: $39.50 for GA

Get back on the Sea to Sky Gondola

The Sea to Sky Gondola is back, and just in time for summer! This incredible attraction along the Sea to Sky Highway offers incredible views, mountaintop trails to explore, and food and drink options so that you can kick back and take it all in. As far as day trips go, this is top-notch.

When: Now open
Where: 36800 BC-99, Squamish
Tickets: $55.95 for GA, $14.29 for Ride-Down Only

Cultus Lake Waterpark

cultus lake waterpark
Photo via Cultus Lake Waterpark/Facebook

Speaking of day trips, the Cultus Lake Waterpark is another destination that’s more than worth the drive. While it too has an amusement park option, the waterpark is the obvious pick here. Hurtle down some super-fast slides, lounge around in the lazy river, and enjoy a classic summer option!

When: Opens Thursday, June 24th
Where: 4150 Columbia Valley Hwy, Cultus Lake

Step into a tropical paradise

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean there won’t be a couple of rainy days mixed in. And when that happens, an even way to escape it is with a trip to the Bloedel Conservatory. What can we say? There’s something special about a glass dome filled with tropical birds and plants.

When: Open throughout the weekend
Where: 4600 Cambie Street
Cost: $7.05

Food and Drink

Have a Gourmet Picnic at VanDusen Garden

VanDusen Garden may have one of the best food experiences of the summer going on, so it’s a no-brainer to add to your Vancouver summer bucket list. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy a private picnic (with alcohol available as well) plus 2 hours of admission to the garden itself. If you’re trying to feel like royalty, this is an easy way to do it.

When: Starts Wednesday, June 16th
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $98 per person

Find your favourite kind of ice cream

vancouver
Photo via Shutterstock

Nothing sums up summer more than a scoop of delicious ice cream, and Vancouver is absolutely filled to the bring with options. From plant-based treats to some truly zany flavours, you can have a scoop a week and still have stuff left on your list when summer ends.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Go for a patio beer

Yes, a patio beer (or non-alcoholic alternative) is something we consider to be worthy of a bucket list. After all, Vancouver has got maybe the best craft beer scene in Canada, and that extends to the patio options. Need some spots? We rounded up some of our absolute favourites for you.

When: Open throughout the summer
Where: Click the link above for our picks

Try a new restaurant

In the same vein, trying a new restaurant during the summer just hits different than in the winter. Plus, Vancouver has seen a huge influx of new names in the city. We’ve got a list of places for you to start out with, but of course, just keep following along as we learn about more and more!

When: Opening throughout the summer
Where: Click the links above for our picks

Richmond Night Market

richmond night market 2021
Photo via @richmondnightmarket Instagram

If (and when) the Richmond Night Market returns, it is undoubtedly a rite of passage for any self-proclaimed food lover in the city. We have to abide by it, because where else will you get literally dozens, if not hundreds, of unique concepts and cuisines in one place?

When: Slated to come back this summer

Head to a Farmers’ Market

Something about a trip to the farmers’ market before a backyard BBQ or patio hangout just screams quintessential Vancouver option. Skip the trips to your local grocery store this summer, and instead, go straight to the source for your fruits and veggies. You won’t regret it!

Where: Click the link above for more info

Arts and Culture

Listen to live music concerts once more

That’s right folks, live music is back! While the size will stay pretty small for the foreseeable future, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will be safe enough to check out some larger events before the summer is over. Either way, you’ve got tons of options.

When: Available pending restrictions
Where: Click the link above for our picks!

Check out Vancouver Mural Festival

vancouver mural festival
Photo via Vancouver Mural Festival

Speaking of live events, we’re happy to let you know that the Vancouver Mural Festival is more or less back to form this year! You can expect tons of options ranging from daily mural tours to live concerts and artist talks. The VMF has transformed the city over the years, and now it’s time to take it all in!

When: August 4th to August 22nd
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: Varies per event

Watch a movie

There’s no better way to spend a rainy day than at the movies! We like supporting local businesses, so we recommend that you check out the showtimes at The Cinematheque, the Rio Theatre, and VanCity Theatre. The added bonus? These often show older movies, which are perfect if you’re not in the mood for a summer blockbuster.

When: Showtimes throughout summer
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: Varies

Take a trip to the art gallery

We’re never disappointed with a trip to Vancouver’s local art galleries, but we do have a favourite. The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver combines great architecture, interesting exhibits, and stunning views of Vancouver into one amazing experience. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that there’s a Nemesis Coffee in the building, which makes lunch/dinner plans afterward a breeze.

When: Open through the summer
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court
Cost: Admission by donation

Other

Spend a day at Granville Island

A day at Granville Island is really whatever you want it to be. Explore the amazing food spots, do a little shopping, or use the nearby trails to burn off a few calories walking around. Whatever activities you pick, you’ll be happy you visited this iconic Vancouver destination. And, don’t forget to stop at Lee’s Donuts!

When: Available throughout the summer

Play a round of disc golf

For some reason, we see Vancouver as the frolf capital of Canada. Maybe it’s because this is one of the few spots where the game can be played year-round. But, let’s be honest, it’s about three times more fun on a summer day than in the dead of winter.

When: Open throughout the summer
Where: Locations around Vancouver

Or go for a bike ride

vancouver bike rides cycling routes
Photo via Shutterstock

In a similar way, Vancouver’s cycling scene is second to none. From quick trips to full-day expeditions, we’ve rounded up some of the absolute best routes not just in Vancouver, but the surrounding areas as well. Let’s face it, there’s a reason roughly half the people we know ‘got into biking’- it’s a great hobby.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Plan a romantic summer day

Vancouver is a great city for love? From its stunning waterfront views and surrounding nature to explore to the great restaurants and activities you can experience, there really is enough romance for everyone. Don’t believe us? Just hit that link above to snag some delightful summer date ideas!

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Alright folks, that’s our roundup of all the summer bucket list things to do in Vancouver this year! We hope you’re able to scratch a few of these off your own list- we’re going to try and do as many as we can!