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Vancouver’s Best Places By Season

Vancouver Four Seasons Collage

Summer, fall, winter and spring in Vancouver can be very different, and what’s a “best place” to visit in Vancouver can depend a lot on the season.


Best Places By Season

Below is a list of some of our top recommendations, depending on the time of the year.  Also, check out the Vancouver’s Best Places Calendar to learn about the special events, weather and most recommended activities at specific times of the year.


Cherry Blossoms and Skyscrapers


Best Places in SPRING

Spring is when Vancouver returns to life, with flowers and blossoms everywhere, and the trees returning to green. It’s when Vancouverites emerge from hibernation – not from the snow, but from the winter’s rain.

  1. For spring flowers: Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Garden and Bear Creek Park.
  2. To see a waterfall at its mightiest: Shannon Falls about 40 minutes from Vancouver up the Sea to Sky Highway.
  3. Check out Vancouver’s Best Indoor Places for a list of great indoor activities (as it also often rains lots in the spring).

For more about what to expect in this season, see our Spring Activities article or our March, April and May event calendars.


Swimming at Kitsilano
Kitsilano in Summer


Best Places in SUMMER

Summer time is the absolute best time of the year to enjoy all that Vancouver has to offer. In the summer the entire Lower Mainland comes alive, with festivals, events and live entertainment everywhere. Summer time is also when the weather is best, with long warm evenings and little rain, so it’s a great time to enjoy Vancouver outdoors.

Below are some of the very best things to do in Vancouver in the summer. Click on number 6 though to get a more complete list of the top things to see and do in the summer in Metro Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland.

  1. For culture: Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (early June to late September) and Vancouver Folk Music Festival (mid-July).
  2. For history: Fort Langley and Burnaby Village. Click History and Culture for a list of other places too.
  3. For beaches: English Bay, Second Beach and Third Beach (in Stanley Park), Kitsilano, Jericho, Spanish BanksCrescent Beach (in Surrey near White Rock) and Ambleside (in West Vancouver).
  4. For bike rides: Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and False Creek.
  5. Anywhere outdoors is wonderful in summer, especially Vancouver’s best places in parks and nature.
  6. Click Summer Activities for more on Vancouver’s best places in the summer.

For more on summer events and information, check out June, July and August in the event calendar.


Stanley Park Rowing Club in Fall
Stanley Park in Autumn


Vancouver’s Best Places in FALL

Autumn is a beautiful time to enjoy Vancouver, especially in September and early October when the weather is still typically quite good. September in fact can be one of the nicest months in the Lower Mainland. The weather is still warm, the crowds are less and the leaves for the most part are still green and on the trees.

Below are just a few of the top places to visit in Metro Vancouver especially in the fall.

  1. For autumn leaves: Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Garden and Bear Creek Park.
  2. To see salmon in the river: Cleveland Dam & Capilano River Regional Park (where you’ll find the Capilano Hatchery and get the chance to see salmon up close).
  3. Click Indoor Activities for Vancouver’s best things to do inside (as it often rains a lot in the fall).

For more on fall events and information on what to expect in the autumn season, check out September, October and November in the event calendar.


Grouse Mountain Above Vancouver
Grouse Mountain in Winter


Best Places in WINTER

What makes Vancouver so special in the Winter is the lack of freezing temperatures and snow, at least in the city at sea level. In the Lower Mainland you can golf in the morning and then head to the hills for skiing in the afternoon. There aren’t many places in Canada that you can do that.

  1. For skiing: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, Mt. Seymour and Whistler-Blackcomb.
  2. Click Vancouver’s Best Places in Winter for more on the best things to do from late November until late February.
  3. Check out Vancouver’s Best Indoor Places for the list of the city’s best indoor activities (as it often rains a lot in the winter).

For more on winter events and information on what to expect in the cooler months, check out December, January and February in the event calendar.


Best Places Rear-Round

The following are Vancouver’s best places regardless of the time of year.  That means there is a good chance they are indoors, or at least less weather dependent than other places around the city.

  1. For being indoors (like when it’s raining): Vancouver Aquarium and Science World (if you have young kids).
  2. On a sunny day: Vancouver Lookout (for views of the region).
  3. If you like parks and gardens: Stanley Park, VanDusen Garden and Queen Elizabeth Park.
  4. If you like nature: Capilano Suspension Bridge (which is more touristy) and Lynn Canyon Park (which is more real nature), both of which are in North Vancouver. For other places click Vancouver Parks and Nature.
  5. If you like shopping: Robson Street (for fashion), Metrotown (the region’s largest mall, Gastown (for souvenirs) and Granville Island Public Market and Lonsdale Quay Market (for fruits and vegetables and unique stores of all kinds).


To learn about places of interest in Victoria and Whistler see the websites VictoriasBestPlaces.com and WhatToDoInWhistler.ca.