With expansive city parks, flourishing food and culture scenes, and nature on its doorstep, Vancouver offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. If you’ve got just two days to explore this West Coast metropolis, here’s how to spend your time.
Spend the morning getting acquainted with the city’s downtown core and its high concentration of must-see sights, from Canada Place to shop-lined Robson Street to Victorian-era Gastown. Guided coach tours get you to top sights quickly. Alternatively, enjoy the flexibility of a self-made itinerary with a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Though you may have glimpsed Stanley Park during your morning sightseeing, this 998-acre (404-hectare) behemoth warrants more than a quick look. Stroll or bike along waterfront and wooded trails, or take a horse-drawn carriage tour. While here, pop into Vancouver Aquarium, with more than 50,000 marine creatures.
Stake out a spot on Sunset Beach or Kits Beach to watch the sun set against a scenic backdrop. For a different view, take a sunset kayaking tour from Granville Island, or a sunset cruise out on English Bay and Howe Sound.
Vancouver’s culinary scene is worth exploring. Start at Granville Island Public Market, sampling straight-from-the-soil vegetables, local wines, homemade breads, charcuterie, and cheeses. For an in-depth exploration of Vancouver’s Asian dining scene—which many consider to be the best in North America—join a tour of Chinatown.
Vancouverites have easy access to the incredible landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, with snow-capped forest-carpeted mountains just a short hop across the harbor. Take an afternoon tour of the North Shore to view two of the most convenient beauty sites: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain.
Back in the city, it’s time to sample the city’s craft beer scene. There are plenty of boutique breweries and brewpubs in East Vancouver, Gastown, and Brewery Creek. Since you only have one night, join a tour and have a local craft beer aficionado show you the best beer-drinking spots.