The Lower Mainland has hundreds of top attractions including museums, parks, beaches, ski hills and historic sites. Here are Vancouver’s top 24 places.
24 Best Vancouver Attractions
- Britannia Mine – a historical copper mine museum located up the Sea to Sky Highway 45 minutes from Vancouver.
- Burnaby Village – a reconstructed historical village.
- Canada Place – a scenic almost-ship-like building that’s good for walking around in the heart of the city and home to the FlyOver Canada flight simulation attraction.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge – an array of bridges through the trees and over the Capilano River.
- Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Regional Park – the best views of the Lions (Vancouver’s most famous mountain peaks) and location of beautiful Capilano Reservoir, walking trails, and the Capilano River Salmon Hatchery.
- Cypress Mountain – the highest ski hill with the most terrain, lifts and vertical drop in Metro Vancouver, so a best place for snow sports in winter.
- English Bay – Vancouver’s most famous beach, conveniently located by trendy Denman Street.
- Fort Langley – although mostly a rebuilt replica of the original fort, this is an interesting place if you like history and nice walks along the river.
- Granville Island – lots of art studios, an indoor public market and theatres.
- Greater Vancouver Zoo – located in Aldergrove, with a wide range of animals.
- Grouse Mountain – the best year-round hill with its winter skiing, tram up the mountain, movie theatre, restaurants, grizzly bear habitat and summer Lumberjack and Birds in Motion shows.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – home of Vancouver’s planetarium located next to the Museum of Vancouver.
- Kitsilano Beach – one of several first-rate beaches in Metro Vancouver, with a giant outdoor pool plus views of both the city and North Shore Mountains.
- Lynn Canyon Park and Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – location of hiking trails to Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and Rice Lake.
- Mount Seymour – the best North Shore ski hill for beginners and very young families.
- Museum of Vancouver – the place to learn about Vancouver history, located adjacent to the planetarium.
- Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) – last 3 weeks of the summer (so it’s not actually year-round, but still one of Vancouver’s best places) and Playland at other times in the warmer months plus at Halloween.
- Science World – great IMAX Theatre and lots of cool science stuff to see.
- Sea to Sky Highway Region – an area between Vancouver and Whistler that includes such best places as Britannia Mine (a historical copper mine museum), Sea to Sky Gondola, Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief (for mountain climbing) and Alice Lake (for camping, canoeing or just walking around).
- Stanley Park – an enormous world-class public park with a beautiful 10 km seawall featuring stunning views.
- VanDusen Garden – beautiful manicured gardens.
- Vancouver Lookout – 360 degree views from the observation deck – especially interesting on a sunny day.
- Vancouver Aquarium – home to beluga whales, sea otters, a million fish and a 4D theatre.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – Canada’s most famous world-class ski resort (located not in Metro Vancouver, but 2 hours away up the Sea to Sky Highway).
Vancouver’s best places to visit aren’t limited to just the above top two dozen attractions. Click Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places for a full list of all the best places in the entire region (where you’ll find a listing of all places of interest in alphabetical order).
Also, recognizing that what’s interesting to one person isn’t necessarily interesting to someone else, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ listing of top attractions sorted by activity, season, age group appropriateness, interests and more.