Hello folks, and welcome to our roundup of all the amazing bucket list activities in Vancouver to try out this summer. We know this is coming well into the season – but with all the Juneuary weather we had, can you blame us?? Now that it officially looks and feels like summer in Van, we thought we’d go over some amazing experiences, events, and adventures you can go on over the next couple of months.

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

Plan a 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

BC summer hikes summer bucket list vancouver

Photo 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

Check out a public pool or splash park

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

Go on a glacial kayaking tour

While tickets don’t come cheap, this is a major summertime bucket list item to cross off. Compass Heli Tours is hosting kayak tours of BC’s stunning, crystal blue glacial waters – check it out at the link above!

When: 21 Days per calendar year per location, starting Friday, July 15th and ending on Friday, September 30th
Where: Various
Cost: $1,750+

Explore the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

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)

Picnic at a park

David Lam Park Vancouver picnic spots

Photo via Arturijo / Shutterstock

We all love a good beach BBQ (before wildfire season, that is), but if you’re trying to avoid the possibility of sand mixed in with your food, you’ll probably want to opt for one of Vancouver’s many parks instead. Thankfully, there are plenty of prime picnic spots in and around Vancouver that boast stunning views, and large, grassy areas to sprawl out on.

Want to make it a boozy picnic? Check out these alcohol-friendly spots around Vancouver.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Go on an adrenaline-inducing adventure

Don’t get us wrong, we love a casual beach day and picnic at the park. But nothing gets the summer season going in BC like ziplining through Whistler or diving head-first into Lions Bay. Of course, caution is paramount with extreme sports & activities – but a little risk-taking never hurt anyone!

Where: Click the link above for our picks

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

Check out some waterfalls

Nairn Falls BC summer bucket list

Photo via Jon marc Lyttle / Shutterstock

BC is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country, and we think they deserve their fair attention this summer! Pack some lunches and a picnic blanket and hike up/down to some gorgeous falls. As always, be sure to study up on the safety regulations before you go.

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 a classic summertime destination for many reasons – the main being the mountain and ocean views. There are also some great options by way of eats & drinks to check out – and even Mountain Music performances by the fiery Whiskeydicks. Talk about a headliner!

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

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

Try some new ice cream spots

Nothing sums up summer more than a scoop of delicious ice cream, and Vancouver is absolutely filled to the brim 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! The newest one to hit Vancouver’s food scene is this Kits French-inspired eatery.

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

Richmond Night Market

 

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Not only is the Richmond Night Market a summertime staple for foodies, but they also have an array of live performances, art installations, and interactive games to take part in!

When: Open Friday-Sunday until October 10th

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

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Arts and Culture

Check out a concert at the PNE

That’s right folks, the PNE is buzzing with options this year – and plenty of them are slated to perform this month. Plus, there’s always their iconic Summer Night Concert Series, which makes its grand return this year on Saturday, August 20th. Check out the lineup of incredible options above & head to the PNE for a quintessential summer night in Vancouver.

When: Various
Where: Click the link above for our picks!

Check out Vancouver Mural Festival

 

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Vancouver’s coveted Mural Fest is back and better than ever this year – with a ton of exciting mural walks, dance parties, food vendors, and live entertainment slated for next month. Honestly, if there’s one summer event we’re most looking forward to this year, it’s the mural fest.

When: Thursday, August 4th to August 14th
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: Varies per event

Watch an outdoor movie

While catching a movie at The Cinematheque, the Rio Theatre, or VanCity Theatre is always an option (especially on rainy days), there are also a ton of outdoor movies being shown around Vancouver this summer – so why not take advantage?!

When: Showtimes throughout the summer
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: Varies – some are free!

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

 

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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 in 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

This might be a hot take, but we think Vancouver is a great place 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 to go around for everyone! If you need some ideas to get the ball rolling, don’t worry. We’ve got you.

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 of your own list- we’re going to try and do as many as we can!