Guide, Lifestyle

Guide: 11 staycation activities that will make you feel like a tourist in Vancouver

Photo via Curiocity GroupVia ShutterstockPhoto via https://forbiddenvancouver.caPhoto via @seatoskygondola InstagramPhoto via @thisboycelife InstagramPhoto via @jackymchui InstagramPhoto via @vandusengarden InstagramPhoto via @policemuseum InstagramPhoto via ShutterstockPhoto via Vancouver Farmers MarketsPhoto via @harbourair Facebook

Whether you’ve lived in Vancouver for a few months or your whole life, being inside for three months can make the city you live in feel foreign and strange. Like us, you might feel like Vancouver has taken on a new glow. Because of this, we figure now is a great time to pretend to be a tourist and check out some classic Vancouver activities. As The Gang of Four once said, “At Home He’s a Tourist,” so here are some great tourist activities to do as a Vancouver resident.

Note: Some of these locations are at least partially closed to the public at the current time. Be sure to call ahead or check the websites to get all the information on access and opening times that you need.

Take a stroll along the Sea Wall

stanley park seawall vehicle access

The quintessential Vancouver experience. Grab a coffee and a snack and start walking around one of the world’s most beautiful city parks. Admire the ocean views you might have taken for granted after years of living here already.

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. Plus, tours will be starting back up July 1!!

Ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola

sea to sky

This is the summer to conquer your fear of heights! Jump on the gondola with all the actual tourists and start rattling off local facts like you live here (which you do.) You’ll also be able to impress who you’re with by being brave when the gondola swings in the wind.

Check out the world’s skinniest building

sam kee 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.

Go on a safari in Bloedel Conservatory

bloedel tourist vancouver

Situated right in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park, the Bloedel Conservatory is a wonderful tropical oasis in the middle of a sometimes cold, damn near always rainy city. Admire the lush tropical plants and try to spot the many exotic birds hiding in the greenery.

Relax in VanDusen Gardens

vandusen tourist vancouver

A bit better than your dying balcony garden, VanDusen Gardens has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the city. Relax, walk around and take in all the wonderful greenery around you knowing that everyone around you is from Vancouver also and probably there for the same reason you are.

Check out Vancouver’s first morgue

police museum

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.

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Enjoy the Vancouver Art Gallery

transits and returns tourist vancouver

While we patiently wait for the new gallery to be built, we can’t forget that the original still has some fantastic exhibitions to check out. And what’s more, it’s officially open to the public again! Go have some quiet fun and feel cultured for a few hours.

Get very high at the Capilano suspension bridge

capilano tourist vancouver

Yes, there are two places around Vancouver for you to be high up. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a great place to feel like an Ewok exploring the treetops of an ancient forest. Not only are the views beautiful, but the picture opportunities are top-notch.

Eat eat and eat and eat at Granville Island Market

vancouver farmers markets

Probably the least strenuous of activities on this list. Go to Granville Island and stuff your stomach. There are countless vendors, butchers, bakers, and all manner of places to buy delicious, delicious food to eat right there or to take home to create an amazing meal with.

Take a quick flight with Harbour Air

harbour air

Want to take a little jaunt to Tofino? Maybe even Victoria? Harbour Air has you covered. Take a flight in one of their seaplanes because not only is it a cool way to travel, but you get amazing views the entire way. For a bit over $100, you can explore the whole southwest coast of BC!

And that’s our roundup of 8 ways to feel like a tourist in Vancouver! Now get out there and enjoy your own backyard, folks!

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