Stanley Park, Downtown
The Seawall (mostly contained within Stanley Park) is the world’s longest, uninterrupted waterfront path, hugging the sea for a full 14 miles along Vancouver’s waterfront. You can walk or bike the trail—there’s a pedestrian-specific section of around five miles that takes two to three hours to complete, depending on the person—and take in the driftwood-strewn beaches, views of the city skyline, cedar-covered mountains, and the Lions Gate bridge. A dream for nature-lovers or parents looking to give kiddos a chance to run off some energy.
There’s no denying Vancouverite's passion for the outdoors, every inch of the city is covered in joggers, bikers, or people simply enjoying their surroundings. Stanley Park is the locals' playground, a sprawling green oasis spanning 1,000 acres, and covered in trails, wildlife, landmarks, and a handful of restaurants smack in the middle of the city. Our favorite for a long hike, the Siwash Rock Trail leads to a historic rock—that depicts the legends of the local Siwash people—and is over 32 million-years-old. Other must-sees include the First Nations totem poles at Brockton Point, the Rose Gardens, and the Seawall. For those visiting with kiddos, the miniature train is a perfect family activity that takes you on a winding journey through the breathtaking wilderness of the park.
Richmond Night Market
8351 River Rd., City of Richmond
Active throughout the summer season (May to October only), this night market is reminiscent of the markets you find throughout Asia, open in the darker hours to keep the food (and the vendors) cool. Over 10,000 visitors browse through the market every night which makes for a fun, chaotic-in-a-good-way atmosphere. For legitimate Asian food, skip the restaurants and come here instead; cash essential.
Granville Island, Downtown
An indoor market flowing through six former ship-building factories, Granville Island Market is packed with food vendors, locally-made crafts, and fresh groceries. Hop on the ferry and spend a morning drinking too many coffees as you eat your way through the seafood, produce, and snack stalls. Aside from the food, there are dozens of artists-in-residence on the island selling their wares, which include ceramics, jewelry, paintings, and glass pieces. Musicians regularly set up shop, adding to the already lively atmosphere.