The Ultimate Vancouver Bucket List For Your First Visit. Family Friendly Travel Blog
Vancouver is a beautiful city with so much to offer for city and outdoor enthusiast. If you're like us and enjoy exploring both city and outdoor activities, Vancouver, Canada is the perfect destination for your next Family Travel. Plus there's so much to see and explore for FREE. Down below I'll list everything we did in Vancouver from where we visited, to where we stayed and everything in between! I'll also share how you can fly to your next Vancouver adventure for a fraction of the regular price. Hope you enjoy our Vancouver Travel Blog.
Vancouver Travel Blog: What Is There To See & Do
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Our first stop in Vancouver was Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. My goodness the park is beautiful. We got to sway across the 450-foot Capilano Suspension Bridge, & experience the natural thrill that’s amazed visitors since 1889. Although the park is known for their bridge there’s so much more to see and do. We walked through a rainforest canopy with Treetops Adventure, experienced an adrenaline-pumping walk above the canyon with Cliffwalk, enjoyed a nature tour, and even met some beautiful birds. There’s a reason why this is BC’s most popular attraction. It is only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver but felt like we had traveled deep into the forest! If you are visiting Vancouver this is an ABSOLUTE MUST! They even have free tours around the park to learn about some of the animals, trees and history of the park, definitely take advantage of this. It's a great and educational nature walk.
Note: Tickets and timed entrance is required. However once inside you are able to stay however long you'd like. There are restaurants and shops inside. We ate at The Cliffhouse Restaurant and Bar and It was delicious. They also have a Grill with outdoor seating as well. Purchase tickets here
The Vancouver Lookout takes you up 553 feet up a glass elevator to enjoy a 360° view of Vancouver. We saw Stanley Park, historic Gastown, the Northshore mountains and the vibrant downtown core just to name a few. It was fun to read about Vancouver’s landmarks and even gave us some fun ideas of places to visit. It’s no wonder this lookout has been an iconic element of the city’s skyline since 1977.
We learned about the city from information panels located throughout the deck and or you can follow the complimentary self-guided audio tour. It's a great visit for all ages and affordable too. Plus seating is available once at the top as well as.
Purchase your tickets here
The amount of beautiful parks in Vancouver and its neighboring cities is amazing. During our visit (April) it was Cherry Blossom Season In Vancouver! Cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the best place to see them is at Stanley Park found in downtown Vancouver. The park is huge! It’s a beautiful park with tons of greenery, bike/walking path, water views, monuments and gardens! We had lunch at a nearby restaurant and walked to enjoy these beautiful seasonal trees.
Tip: Go with plenty of time to explore. I recommend renting bikes to make exploring this beautiful but enormous park easier. Maybe even packing a lunch and enjoying it in the park, if weather permits it. Makes for a beautiful and free day out in Vancouver.
Vancouver is full of beautiful & affordable things to do for the whole family while traveling! One of them is visiting Granville Island. We started our visit by exploring the Public Market which is full of local treats and vendors. There’s also tons of different sit down restaurants and you can even find entertainment! Public Market is open 7 days a week from 9AM - 6pm. We then took a ride with false Creek Ferries located almost right next to the market over to Kitsilano Beach to continue exploring. The ferries run every 15 minutes from 10:00am – 6:00pm to Maritime Museum Dock in Kitsalano Beach but also run to many other parts of the city. The ferries sail rain or shine, every day, all year long! Enjoying a public market during your travels is a great place to try authentic local cuisine, snacks, and chat with local vendors. Plus can be a very affordable and entertaining option.
Note: If visiting with kids don't miss the kids market. Unfortunately we missed it due to time constraint and so bummed we did.
It's the perfect spot to catch a beautiful sunset, or enjoy one of the many restaurants around the area. It's also easily accessible thanks to the False Creek Ferries, which I mentioned above. No blanket, no problem. Take a seat in one of the tree trunks available. You can plan your fun, convenient and affordable visit from Grandville Island to Kitsilano Beach with False Creek Ferries here
The Gastown's Steam Powered Clock
This is one of the most photographed & said to be one of Vancouver's most iconic landmarks! The worlds first steam powered clock! Despite its name, the clock is only partially steam-powered to wind its mechanisms but still awesome to see and listen to. Plus it's one of the few working steam clocks in the world!
The steam is also responsible for the clock’s distinctive noise that comes from a nearby underground system. Every 15 minutes the clock will sound the Westminster chimes melody on five brass whistles and in the hour the large whistle will sound. The hour whistle is what you hear in the reel shared down below. It definitely draws a crowd.
The Gastown’s clock was only built in 1977 & although not as old as one would think, its Victorian-inspired design definitely preserves the historic feel of the neighborhood. It adds so much character to this part of Vancouver! You then add vintage boutiques, souvenirs shops, surrounded by brick building and it’s definitely a vibe. Made for a great day out exploring this side of the city, shopping and having a bite to eat.
Queen Elizabeth Park/Seasons In The Park
This is another beautiful park in the middle of the city. It's tucked into a vibrant neighborhood, and has some beautiful gardens, pathways, new playground and a great place to bird watch as well as see the sunset. There's also a fantastic restaurant right inside the park called Seasons In The Park! The food was fantastic and the views were incredible. Definitely made for a beautiful Easter family dinner.
Nature and hike lovers this is an absolute must visit. Joffre Lakes Trailhead is located in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in the Southwest region of Brith Columbia. Just about a 2 hour drive from Vancouver & Known for its 3 stunning picturesque turquoise lakes and glacier. During our trip (April) we knew there would still be snow but decided to take the trip anyways. Unfortunately the lower lake was completely frozen and we hiked up half towards the second lake but due to the quality of snow and quickly changing weather, it began to feel a bit unsafe & we decided to turn around for some snow fun. We did come across a turquoise lake on the side of the road which was a nice treat. The whole drive is completely picturesque and highly recommend a visit specially once all the snow melts. You can get current park requirements and updates here . If you visit hope you have better luck then we did!
After some hiking and snow play we stopped at Whistler Village for lunch and some shopping. It was very lively with great views. Definitely another must visit.
Yes I added brunch as an activity because it's one of my favorite things to do and this place was amazing. It's one of Vancouvers most popular brunches and I see why. The portions are hefty and the food is great, plus the staff was awesome. Only problem is because it's so great there was a long line outside the door. People say they've waited for hours. We only waited for an hour, which is a normal wait time for any decent brunch spot during the weekend in California. Was the wait worth it, absolutely!
Adding To Our Next Visit
Science World is a charitable non-profit and science center that engages learners across the province in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design and math).
Inside you can explore interactive, hands-on exhibits and galleries that nurture the process of discovery and inspire connection with the natural, physical and built environments. Science World helps inspire the next generation of problem solvers, world changers and nerds. Sounds like a fun and educational visit we definitely hope to visit next time. Plus its outdoor dome shape is an awesome view all on its own. You can purchase tickets or learn more about their current events here
Sea To Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola is conveniently located along the world-famous Sea to Sky Highway/Hwy 99 just a 45 minute drive from Vancouver. The views range from snow-capped mountains to old-growth forests to the turquoise waters of the Howe Sound. Once at the top of the summit you can enjoy different hikes, events and so much more. To purchase your tickets and learn more head on over to https://www.seatoskygondola.com/events/
Address: 36800 Highway 99, Squamish, BC
Where We Stayed
Whenever we travel, proximity to all our desired locations to explore is always considered. Lucky for us Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver was not only close in proximity to everything we wanted to see but it was absolutely gorgeous! The moment we walked through the doors we were blown away by their gorgeous decor, attentive staff & helpful personal concierge. I’m a sucker for a view and a view we got! Plus this hotel has an amazing restaurant on site, a beautiful indoor pool and a convenient cafe! It’s walking distance to some great shopping and a short drive to some of Vancouver’s best attractions and activities. We couldn’t have asked for a better hotel. The Rooms were spacious and immaculate with very comfortable beds. Highly recommended for your stay.
Wanna Save Money On Your Flights?
We took a non-top flight from California to Bellingham, Washington and took a 20 minute drive into Vancouver. Allegiant always has non-stop, low fares with great service. Plus you can book airfare and a car rental all on their website. Highly recommend you take a peek at their site to see if they fly out of your local airport Allegiant Air
Google Map Link
We had a fantastic Vancouver visit as a family. There's so many fun and affordable things to do and enjoy plus theres something for everyone. You can easily spend the morning exploring one of Vancouvers beautiful parks and then turn around and be looking at the beautiful skyscrapers surrounding the city. Plus Vancouver is not only diverse in things to do but in its food and people. It's a beautiful and vibrant city we would definitely visit again.
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