Ready for one of the most beautiful times of year in Vancouver? The Summer Solstice 2023 marks the official start of summer, and on Wednesday, June 21st, we’re getting the longest day of the year (as well as National Indigenous Peoples Day!) Whether you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure on the Island, or want to stay local and enjoy 16-some hours of daylight from the beach, we’ve got you covered. Here are 12 ways to enjoy the longest day of the year in and around Vancouver.

Visit a Japanese garden

The Nitobe Memorial Japanese Garden is the perfect setting for your sun salutations this year. Located at UBC, this incredible garden prompted the former Japanese Emperor to say “I am in Japan” during a visit. If that’s not a mark of authenticity, then we don’t know what is. Plus, admission is just $7 per person.

When: Open throughout the spring
Where: 1895 Lower Mall, UBC
Cost: $7 per person

Summer Solstice Celebration with Logan Staats 

It’s not too late to snag tickets to an evening of Indigenous art and culture on Granville Island with Full Circle: First Nations Performance at Performance Works. The event will feature a diverse mix of ceremony, storytelling, dance, music, and fashion, along with headliner Logan Staats’ soulful melodies and artist Ila Barker.

You can check out even more events occurring through the Talking Stick Festival this summer.

When: Wednesday, June 21st
Where: 1218 Cartwright Street
Cost: $20

Solstice Beach Party at Kits Beach 

From 6:30 to 9:30 pm, Vancouver is getting a Solstice Beach Party courtesy of Meatless Meetup. Bring your beach towels and a vegan snack to share, and get ready to enjoy the sunshine with friends old and new.

When: Friday, June 23rd
Where: The Boathouse, Kitsilano Beach
Cost: Free

Enjoy a picnic

Summer Solstice DIY charcuterie board, anyone? If you want to mix in some quality picnicking with your beach days, we’ve got just the list for you. From the grassy hills and killer views at Queen Elizabeth Park to the shady spots at Trout Lake, here are some amazing summer picnic spots around Vancouver to check out.

Where: Check out our picks above

Go ziplining at Whistler or Grouse


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Shaking things up with a thrilling adventure – Grouse Mountain offers unparalleled city + nature views, it’s true. Lucky for Vancouverites, they also offer two-hour ziplining adventures all year long, so buckle up and get ready to zip through the peaks of Grouse and Dam Mountains at a speedy 80 km/hour!

If Whistler is more your jam, Ziptrek has your back. The summer season is soon upon us, and it’s the 20th anniversary of Ziptreck’s operations. Time to celebrate with a little high-speed ziplining!

Catch some waves on the island

Catch a couple of waves on Vancouver Island for the real west coast experience. Although Tofino is a popular choice, there are also surfing options around Jordan River, Raft Cove, and Nootka Island that are definitely worth exploring. Put on your wetsuit and enjoy BC’s cool, clear waters this summer – it’s going to be an extra hot one!

Those who go north to Haida Gwaii or Sombrio Beach are rewarded with wilderness surfing experiences – accompanied by stretches of pristine beaches, practically untouched by tourists.

Visit the outdoor pool at Kits Beach

Now back to local: Since the beloved outdoor pool at Kits Beach just reopened after a season of repairs, we think a dip or a lap swim is very much needed this month. Folks can view the pool’s schedule and book a time slot at the link above.

When: Now open
Where: Click the link above for more info

Hit up a patio happy hour

It probably goes without saying that patio-hopping is a must this summer, but we know it’s easy to rack up quite the bill. Thankfully, there are a ton of stunning patios with equally amazing happy hours to take advantage of – whether it’s on the longest day of the year or any other time you fancy this summer!

Where: Check out our picks above

Cool off at a spray park

Ready to cool off after a hot start to summer? We sure are, so much so that we’ve rounded up a ton of great options for you. Whether you’re just heading out on a day trip or need an option for your next weekend getaway, there are quite a few spray parks in the Vancouver area (as well as waterparks) to stay cool.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola

An iconic BC attraction that’s always worth the hype is, of course, the stunning Sea to Sky Gondola. This one takes a little longer to get to, but the views are oh-so-worth-it. Plus, once you’re up there, you can explore some trails, take a mountaintop yoga class, check out multiple viewpoints, and indulge in a beverage before heading back down.

Every Friday this summer until September 8th, visitors can also enjoy live music on the mountain – which definitely sets the mood for some mountaintop dancing, if you ask us.

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

Discover a hidden beach 

Whether you’re looking for a quieter alternative to Kits Beach or Ambleside – or just want to check out a lesser-known spot in BC for the Summer Solstice, there are lots of beautiful hidden beaches scattered across Metro Vancouver to discover. And what better time to explore than on the longest day of the year?

Where: See our picks above

Go on a scenic hike


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From gentle hikes like Cypress Falls to more challenging trails like the Chief in Squamish, there are plenty of scenic spring hikes to check out near Vancouver for all skill levels. Though if you want to show off your hiking game, we definitely suggest the latter!

Where: Click the link above for our picks

And there you have it, BC. If you’re looking to stay within Vancouver or venture out elsewhere on the longest day of the year, you know where to look. Happy Summer Solstice 2023!