Vancouver will always be my home. 3 years ago I left in hopes to achieve personal and professional growth but every now and then I find myself looking for the cheapest deals to fly back to where I grew up. There’s so many reasons why I’ll always love Vancouver. Whether it be for the food, the experience of all 4 seasons, being close to a large body of water and of course, my friends. Doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, there will always be something to do and something to see – so let me tell you why.
Queen Elizabeth Park – one of the most beautiful gardens that is best seen during the spring. Cheery blossoms fill the the grass and flowers are often the most beautiful in bloom. This 52-hectare park is always the best location for photos to be taken during weddings as it provides the best back drops. I remember always coming here as a child and always be in amazement at the Bloedel Conservatory. However, if you have bad allergies you might want to consider grabbing some allergy medication when visiting.
Granville Island – I always make a trip to Granville Island no matter how chaotic the parking spots can get. There you will find a public farmers market which is open 7 days a week with random shows and events. I love indulging in baked goods and sweets. It can be crowded as it is quite a popular marketplace but you can always find a great selection of seafood and produce for cheap!
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – If you’re like me, you’ll love visiting places that will provide you a great cultural experience. I remember going here for the first time when I was still in high school and falling inlove with the scenery. They also hold events and school programs which talks about stories of mythical creatures, ancient people and life in the Ming Dynasty China. The Classical Chinese Garden has been called the World Top City Garden by National Geographic.
Stanley Park – This 405-hectare park is located in downtown Vancouver and is surrounded by water. I once bladed around the seawall and halfway through it, my legs eventually gave up. Next time, I’ll consider biking. During the summer they hold free outdoor movies for everyone to enjoy. It does get quite busy so I suggest going early with a blanket and claim your spot. This is a huge tourist attraction in Vancouver and once you go, you’ll know why!
Richmond Night Market – I always wait for the time this opens. The Richmond Night Market is open primarily during summer and only runs during the weekend. It is filled with shop vendors selling items from all over Asia, a play area for kids, a stage to hold events and best of all, FOOD vendors. I would suggest to go later in the evening as it does get quite busy and usually half an hour before the market closes most food are half off!
Honda Celebration of Light – This is an annual musical fireworks competition held in Vancouver. It used to be called the ‘Symphony of Fire‘ but now been renamed to Honda Celebration of Light. Everyone gathers by the beaches and the streets of Downtown gets super busy with hundreds of people walking from the Skytrain Station to English Bay. Every year the fireworks only get better but it does get super crowded if you’re not there early enough.
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver – This is another popular park in West Vancouver as it is located along the shores. For all the hikers out there, this should be on your to-go list but don’t feel discourage if you don’t hike as it’s a fairly easy if you would rather take a stroll through bodies of Douglas Fir trees and Western Red Cedar. The view is simply breathtaking and Fall is the best time to go as mosquitos usually like to party here during warmer weather.
Gastown – Located in adjacent to Downtown Eastside, Gastown is a national historic site filled with beauty, great restaurants and small shops. Parking can be tough, but you can easily make your way here via Skytrain, walking or biking. The second you walk into Gastown you’ll immediately feel like you’re walking into history. Located in the heart of Gastown is a musical steam clock to which tourists always end up waiting to see in action. There is also a police station located in Gastown that used to be a morgue… sometimes I wonder if it’s haunted.
Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge – 617 Arces of forest, this is another amazing location for trails. If you go to the Baden Powell Train, there is also a gorgeous waterfall awaiting for you and also swimming holes that you can jump in (although I wouldn’t recommend swimming during the fall as it can be cold). There is also a suspension bridge that is super popular but maybe not for the ones who are afraid of heights.
Bright Nights Christmas Train – Another event held in Stanley Park to where you are surrounded by millions of twinkling lights! I’d suggest purchasing your tickets in advance as it can easily be sold out, but it’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss out on. You get to see amazing displays of lights along with live performers while on route.
Vancouver Christmas Market – If you want to get into the holiday spirit this is the best place to go. You walk in and immediately feel jolly with surrounding Christmas decorations, sounds and smell. There are vendors that sell unique Christmas gifts along with live music. This market is somewhat new as it opened up in 2010 and it is based on the German tradition of Christkindlmarkt.
The Peak of Christmas – Grouse Mountain is literally transformed into Vancouver’s North Pole. You can visit Santa’s workshop and create your own gingerbread village, visit the Elfs and create your own Rudolph, meet Santa himself or ice skate on the mountain’s pond. There is also a Light Walk that you can go on where you are surrounded by beautiful lights around you with trees topped with snow.
It doesn’t matter what season you plan on taking a trip to Vancouver, there is a million things to do and see. From beautiful beaches such as English Bay or if you want to spice things up, Wreck beach to staying local and rent some ice skates to skate on Robson Square ice rink.
If I have convinced you to pack your bags and take a trip to Vancouver (or anywhere in US or Canda), this might be your lucky day. I’ve teamed up with Radisson to offer one of my lucky readers a chance to win a 1 night stay at any of their amazing hotels! The giveaway will end Oct 3rd so don’t miss out! (For more details visit www.radisson.com/staycanada)
Here’s what you have to do:
- Go here -> Stay Canada to browse through the Radisson hotel locations YOU wish to go to
- Comment below and TELL ME where you would like to go!
* For bonus entries *
- Subscribe to my mailing list located on your right (don’t worry I wont spam you)
- Follow me on Instagram
- Follow me on Twitter
(Please include your email and/or username(s) if you have done any of the bonus entries)
And that’s it! Simple isn’t it? Oh, Don’t forget to check out my post on the best apps to download if you’re planning to travel! Good luck!!!