Walkable avenues, cobblestone streets, and a haven of hidden gems. You’re not in Europe – you’re in Vancouver, and there’s so much to do on a summer day in Gastown!

This charming neighbourhood is home to Vancouver’s first downtown core which dates back to the late 19th century. What started as an area that catered to loggers and mill workers quickly became the hotspot of the community, transforming it into a bustling hub for work, life, and play. 

All this time later, Gastown is still one of the coolest spots in Vancouver.

While you’re more likely to find creatives and young professionals there now, Gastown keeps up its appeal with a vibrant arts scene, fantastic eateries, and lots to do – especially after the sun goes down. 

If the summer weather has you ready to get outside and stretch your legs, here are a few suggestions on how to spend a day in Gastown – don’t worry, we leave the obvious, touristy things out of it. 

Gastown in the Summer

A Day Guide to Gastown

Getting There

The great part about Gastown is that it’s super accessible! You can bike, walk, take a free ride on transit, or park for free at the 151 W. Cordova Parkade. From here, the rest of the neighbourhood is easy to cover on foot – and strolling is honestly half the fun. 

Drop Off Your Pup

If you can’t leave your best friend at home unattended, we know just the place. Drop off your furry friend at EZ Dog for a day of pampering and play while you explore the neighbourhood. That way you both get a fun day off!

Freshen Up

Why not start off the day right? Get a luxurious shave from FortKnight Barbers or a fresh cut and style at M Prive Salon and Spa. If your hair is already on point, but you’ve been planning on some fresh ink, there’s the acclaimed Brass Harpy Tattoo nearby. Of course, make sure you make an appointment first!

Gastown in the summer

Get A Book

Everything’s better when you’ve got a book in your bag! Swing by Neighbour Object to find your latest read from the Neighbour Book Club collection. Here you’ll find new and vintage formats hand-selected by friends which range from Japanese photography to French novels. This pairs great with our next suggestion…

And A Coffee

See what we mean? Now that you’ve got a great book, you can relax for the rest of the morning at Milano Coffee Roasters with an equally great cup of coffee.

Do Some Shopping

Stroll along Powell and Carrall St to explore the eclectic mix of shops. From streetwear at Stussy to curated fashion at Roden Gray, and unique gifts at Kimprints or Le Labo, there’s something for everyone – and the streets are so aesthetic, you’ll feel like you’re staring in your very own movie.

Summer Festivals in Vancouver

Drop By Happy Hour

Treat yourself to happy hour at Twisted Fork or The Greek. Sip on refreshing cocktails, enjoy delectable bites, and try some top-notch people-watching on The Greek’s peek-a-boo patio.

Plus catch live music from every street block from 4:30 to 7:30 PM every Thursday night.

Grab A Bite

You’ve heard about it, now it’s time to check it out for yourself. Finish off your evening at Oku Izakaya, Gastown’s newest hotspot. Enjoy Japanese flavour and innovative dishes – then brag to all your friends about it.

Go Home – Or Don’t

Of course, you can always go home… but you don’t have to. Check out Guilt & Co. for more live music, great cocktails, and a killer atmosphere. Live music nights usually have lineups outside and end up in standing-room-only, so show up early if you want a table!

There you have it, the perfect day is Gastown. All you have to do now is show up!