Vancouver Places in Fall
September is typically one of the region’s finest months with respect to weather. It’s also when Lower Mainland Sunflower Festivals take place, as well as Corn Mazes. October brings harvest time, Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Patches and Halloween, and by November fall is completely here with winter just around the corner.
Where are Vancouver’s best places to be in the fall, especially outdoors, when the weather is good? Below we list some of our favourite autumn venues and activities.
LOCAL FALL GETAWAY IDEAS
Autumn can be a great time to escape the rainy weather and spoil yourself with a getaway. You don’t have to leave the country to do that though. Many local hotels offer great deals this time of year, and vacationing locally can be a lot of fun (especially if staying at a nice hotel). For hotel deals in downtown Vancouver see our article about StayVancouverHotels.com.
Another exceptional place to escape to in fall is Harrison Hot Springs. The resort town is beautiful this time of year, accommodations are less expensive than in the summer, and autumn is a wonderful season for soaking in the hot springs. See our article about Harrison Hot Springs to learn more about the town.
Fall is also a great time to go camping if you have a camper or motorhome. It’s also a good time to rent an RV. Parks are stunning with all their colours, the campgrounds are no longer crowded, and RVs keep you warm, dry and comfortable. For ideas on where to go and what to do see our articles about Camping in the Lower Mainland and Our Getaway Camping Vacation in a Rental RV.
Top Vancouver Activities in Autumn
Some of our top recommended places and things to do in fall in 2020 include the following:
- Visit Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches, including the ones at Maan Farms in Abbotsford, among other places.
- Enjoy Halloween activities including ghostly walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver, outdoor adventure games with Vancouver Mysteries, the Halloween-themed film at FlyOver Canada and Haunted House attractions at various venues. There are also Halloween Activities for Children and new events like Slayland at the PNE.
- Enjoy the autumn colours in Vancouver Parks & Nature or check out one of the Lower Mainland’s Top Hiking Trails.
Continue reading for more ideas on things to do this autumn.
Best Fall Places in Vancouver
Vancouver’s finest parks and gardens are places to check out in the fall. Best times to visit can be in September while there’s still a bit of summer weather, or in October when the colours are at their peak. Great places to admire autumn colours within Vancouver are listed below. Best times to visit any of them are on sunny days before the trees completely lose their leaves, so before mid-November in a typical year.
- Coal Harbour – The seawall between Stanley Park and the Convention Centre is a popular place for a walk or leisurely bike ride, with views of Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. (FREE)
- Stanley Park – Arguably one of the best places in the world any time of the year, Stanley Park is especially pleasant and colourful in the fall. Bike rides around the Stanley Park seawall aren’t too hot, and the fall leaves are beautiful throughout. You can’t go wrong with a cycle, jog or walk at Stanley Park. (FREE)
- To see what the park looks like when fall colours are at their peak, see our article about Stanley Park in Autumn.
- Queen Elizabeth Park – Vancouver’s highest point within the city is also stunning with its autumn colours (FREE). Enjoy the views of the city, a game of pitch and putt golf or lunch at the Seasons in the Park restaurant.
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – Vancouver’s Chinese garden is a nice place to go if you want to visit Chinatown. An interesting time to go is in late September for their evening Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (in years when it takes place). The fall colours typically peak at the garden at the very end of October and first week of November, although each year is slightly different.
- Trout Lake – John Hendry Park and Trout Lake are beautiful in the fall, at least before all the trees become bare. A good time to go is anytime up until around mid-October on a Saturday before the Trout Lake Farmers Market wraps up for the season.
- UBC Botanical Garden – If you’re into gardens, the botanical gardens at UBC are nice this time of year too, as is UBC’s Japanese Nitobe Memorial Garden. Best times to visit are before November, although most years between around mid-November and March entrance fees become just admission by donation (although not in the 2020/21 winter season).
- VanDusen Botanical Garden – The city’s botanical gardens can be stunning in October, before the trees lose their leaves and the place becomes a bit less interesting. Rates typically drop slightly in October. Also, in the last week of October, the place is usually open at night and full of jack-o-lanterns and Halloween illuminations during its annual VanDusen Glow in the Garden event (although not in 2020 due to the coronavirus).
For leisurely walks and bike rides, other great fall places to check out within Vancouver include the False Creek Seawall, especially around Granville Island, or the trails between Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks. (FREE)
Other Lower Mainland Best Places in Autumn
Some of the Lower Mainland’s other best places to enjoy the autumn season include the following:
- In Burnaby – Burnaby Mountain, Barnet Marine Park and Deer Lake Park are beautiful on sunny days. Central Park is nice too, although the others are arguably better for the fall colours.
- In the Fraser Valley – Fantastic places to explore in the Fraser Valley include the region around Harrison Hot Springs (especially if you can afford to stay at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and escape from the cooler weather in their hot springs). The Fort to Fort Trail along the river at Fort Langley is nice any time of the year. Rolley Lake has mostly evergreen trees, but is also nice to walk around in autumn. Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford is also pretty in the fall.
- In Maple Ridge – Kanaka Creek Park is beautiful any time of the year, including in the fall. Alouette Lake and Golden Ears Park are also beautiful this time of year.
- In North Vancouver – Some of the best places for fall activities can be found on the North Shore, including hikes and fishing at Rice Lake (which gets stocked this time of year) and the nearby Seymour Demonstration Forest (which is great for family bike rides). Also interesting in autumn is the Capilano River Regional Park where you can look at salmon up close at the Capilano Hatchery. Other great North Vancouver places to visit in the fall include the Maplewood Conservation Area, which is best before mid-November, and the walking trails at Cates Park. (FREE)
- In Port Moody – The nicest park with fall colours in Port Moody is arguably Rocky Point Park. Nearby Buntzen Lake and Sasamat Lake are also beautiful year round, but don’t have so much in the way of autumn leaves. The colours at Buntzen Lake are best in the early fall. Sasamat is green pretty much all year long.
- In Richmond – Minoru Park can be a nice place for a picnic, and along the water at Steveston Village and the West Dyke Trail are great places for walks, jogging and bike rides. (FREE)
- Up the Sea to Sky Highway – Beautiful fall-colour views can be found at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola (although not in 2020 because it’s closed), and the fishing is supposed to be amazing this time of year on the Cheakamus and Squamish rivers. Whistler Village too is beautiful in the early fall.
- In Surrey – The gardens at Bear Creek Park can be beautiful this time of year, as well as at Hawthorne Park and Fleetwood Park. Plan to go for a stroll while you’re at any of these places, or take bikes for the kids as there are some nice short trails. The trails through the woods at Elgin Heritage Park between Stewart Farm and Crescent Beach are also exceptionally nice this time of year. And finally, located on the border between Surrey and Pitt Meadows, Barnston Island is a great place for a bike ride on level terrain. (FREE)
- In West Vancouver – Good places to enjoy the fall colours in the Lower Mainland’s wealthiest city include along the seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave, or from Ambleside up along the Capilano River. Other year-round beautiful places are Lighthouse Park and Whytecliff Park (the latter of which is best when it’s not high tide so you can walk out and explore the island). (FREE)
Vancouver Fall Activities
In addition to all the above wonderful places to visit, there are many activities that people particularly associate with autumn (in addition to things like raking leaves, working in the garden and carrying an umbrella everywhere you go). These include getting in the season’s last good rounds of golf at the region’s best courses before they get soggy from all the rain.
Other great autumn activities include visiting farms and pumpkin patches at harvest time, like Maan Farms in Abbotsford, and seeing and/or catching fish in the region’s many rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.
For more ideas on things to do, check out Vancouver’s Best Fall Activities.
Halloween celebrations are another traditional fall activity. Fun and spooky events happening in 2020 include the following:
- Forbidden Vancouver – the Lost Souls of Gastown walking tours take place all month in October, plus that tour and others run from September until November.
- Vancouver Mysteries – the outdoor game company offers its Halloween Mystery Nights games throughout the month of October (and other games other months too).
- FlyOver Canada – the family-friendly Halloween-themed film at Canada Place in October 2020 is called HowlOver Canada.
- Slayland – people can dress up in costume and enjoy both the decorations and rides at the PNE from October 9th until the 31st.
- On October 29th, 30th and 31st the PNE also hosts its A Taste of the PNE Trick & Treat Edition event where people get to dress in costume, drive to the fairgrounds and pick up a selection of treats.
- Maan Farms Autumn Activities – kid-friendly activities happen at Maan Farms in Abbotsford from September 25th until Halloween.
- Maan Farms Haunted Corn Maze – the Abbotsford farm also has a scary Halloween attraction that’s recommended for serious fright seekers. It’s really impressive!
- Brinkworth Dungeon – the Langley haunted house plans to operate during the second half of October in 2020.
- Reapers – the haunted house at Fantasy Farms in Chilliwack isn’t happening in 2020, but their Maze of Terror is!
Other great Halloween events that happen most years, although not in 2020, include the following:
- Fright Nights at the PNE. (CANCELLED for 2020).
- Vancouver Halloween Parade – an annual parade between Drake and Smithe, along Howe Street and Granville. (CANCELLED for 2020).
- Haunted Village at Burnaby Village. (CANCELLED for 2020).
- Click Halloween in Vancouver for more.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s September, October and November Calendars
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Winter Activities
- Metro Vancouver Octoberfest Events
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Lower Mainland Indoor Activities
- Vancouver on a Budget
Enjoy fall the season while you can – winter is just around the corner!