We’re using the term ‘weird’ liberally here, because some of these activities are off the beaten path but not exactly super weird. But, Vancouver absolutely has some unique things to do, whatever you’re in the mood for. Pick the activity you feel comfortable with, and go explore some of Vancouver’s not-so-common activities.
Here are 9 weird and unique things to do in Vancouver.
Note: This article was published prior to new public health restrictions in place in British Columbia. As always, make sure to follow both provincial and any local health guidelines when planning activities.
Figure out a hedge maze
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Kind of a one-and-done attraction, but the hedge maze at the VanDusen Botanical Garden is worth the headache. Apparently one of only four in Canada, it’s a great venue to roleplay as Theseus and the Minotaur. If that’s what you’re into. We are, if that helps!
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Check out the world’s skinniest building
The Sam Kee building, now home to Jack Chow Insurance, claims the title as the skinniest freestanding commercial building in the world. The result of a dispute between a wealthy Chinatown firm and the city, the building used to have public baths in the basement. We say bring them back.
Where: 1 E Pender Street
Listen to a big gun
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The 9 O’Clock Gun in Stanley Park is the ultimate example of Canadian BGE (big gun energy). It used to be for ships so they could set their chronometers, but now it’s just for goofs. Fun fact- it was stolen by UBC Engineering students, who have gotten up to all sorts of wacky things. Like hanging a car off a bridge.
Where: Stanley Park Drive
Check out Vancouver’s first morgue
Betcha didn’t know that the Police Museum has Vancouver’s first morgue in the basement, did you? Learn about the history of deviancy in Vancouver, from the opium trade to serial killers. Then, go chill out in the morgue for a few minutes. Fun fact- they also host movie nights in there every once in a while!
Where: 240 E Cordova Street
Haggle at a Flea Market
Not Eastside Flea though. If you want a real experience, then go to the Vancouver Flea Market. You can buy art, furniture, knives, tools… If you want it, someone there will get it for you. Bonus points if you go for one of their special days and fight a grandma over a vintage toy.
Where: 703 Terminal Avenue
Do some scuba diving
This is more around Vancouver than in it, but can still be done on a day trip. Turns out, the coastal seas around Vancouver offer some of the best scuba diving around. But don’t just take our word for it- BC is in the top 5 diving destinations in North America.
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Go on a weird tour
Forbidden Vancouver is a one-stop shop for learning about Vancouver’s weirder side. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of a strip club, or get a different look at the history of Stanley Park. Some tours are more worthwhile than others, so choose wisely.
Where: 207 W Hastings Street #1412
Watch a burlesque show
The Rio Theatre is your best chance of seeing a really good (and sometimes crazy) burlesque show. While it doesn’t have the same flair as buying a bunch of $1s at No. 5, it does have a wider appeal. Bonus points if you turn it into a crazy second (or third, or fourth) date.
Where: 1660 E Broadway
Vibe out in nature
Of course, Wreck Beach has to be on this list. The only fully nude beach in Vancouver (and 1 of 2 in Canada), this is a great spot to let your proverbial hair down. While you don’t have to be nude to go, it’s bad form if you’re not at least in your most revealing swimwear. Bonus points for finding a surprisingly hairless old guy (there’s a lot) and doing yoga with him.
Where: 6572 NW Marine Drive
And that’s our list of the (legal) weird and unique things to do in Vancouver. While there’s a lot more fun to be had in this city, we don’t necessarily feel the need to expose all of it. If you know, you know.
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