Explore vibrant waterfront of Vancouver

Curated by BuffaloTripFebruary 3, 2017 Viewed: 245

Genevieve Hathaway travels to this Canadian seaport and confirms why it’s often ranked high on the list of worldwide livable cities.

At 131 years old, Vancouver is a vibrant, relatively young Canadian metropolis and the largest city in British Columbia. Known for its scenic beauty, rugged mountainous backdrop, strong First Nations traditions, and tasty international cuisine, Vancouver is an exciting city to explore, whether for a weekend or longer stay. Located on the Pacific Ocean and lined on three sides by water, the waterfront is an important area of the city and a great place for travellers to experience the city at its finest. The waterways are the life-blood of the city and no visit to Vancouver is complete without spending time enjoying the experiences on offer here.

Vancouver skyline.

Discover the city by boat

Vancouver’s waterfront is the beating heart of the city. With the third-largest ferry service in the world, the waterways around Vancouver buzz with boats zig-zagging around its channels. Hop on a commuter ferry to cross False Creek to Granville Island, take the Seabus across Vancouver Harbour from the terminal near Canada Place to Lonsdale Quay Market, or venture farther afield by taking a boat from Vancouver across the Salish Sea to Vancouver Island.

Vancouver’s skyline and surrounding mountains make for a picturesque view. In additional to experiencing the city’s harbour by ferry, evening dinner cruising provides an opportunity to catch the sunset from the water and watch the lights of Vancouver turn on — all while enjoying a delicious local meal.

Vancouver's waterfront is dotted with many small inlets and boat docks.

Crossing the Salish Sea from Vancouver to Vancouver Island.

Granville Island

An industrial wasteland in its previous life, Granville Island is now an artsy, eclectic, upscale restaurant-and-business neighbourhood. Located in the middle of False Creek, Granville Island offers great views of the Vancouver skyline, wonderful waterfront walks, and plenty of boating options. Hop on a colourful Aquabus boat running between the city and the island for a quick ride from downtown to the island. With one of the best and largest markets in Vancouver, it is a great place to shop for local handicrafts, flowers, all sorts of locally grown foods, coffee and tea, and local art. Poke around the local sellers’ shops, stroll along Granville’s harbour, and enjoy a picnic lunch sitting by the creek while listening to street musicians.

Hopping on a colourful Aquabus to cross False Creek. It’s a unique and exciting way to reach Granville Island.

Stanley Park

Located on the northwest corner of Vancouver, Stanley Park is one of the city’s top spots for travellers and visitors alike. With beautiful beaches, flowering gardens, walking trails, Canada’s largest aquarium, and inspiring First Nations artwork, this 1,000-acre park is one of the largest in the world. The seawall, which circles the 8.8km (5.4 mi) perimeter of the park, offers fantastic views of downtown Vancouver, the bay, the North Shore mountains, Burrard Inlet, and Lions Gate Bridge. With so much to see and enjoy, don’t forget your camera!

Exploring First Nations culture and art at Stanley Park.

Enjoy local seafood at a waterfront restaurant

Vancouver is known for its international cuisine — especially cooking that features fresh seafood. A mix of communities has brought Vancouver a wide variety of restaurants and dining experiences. From restaurants that feel as though they are straight out of Delhi, Lima, or Calgary, to local specialities, there’s something for every type of foodie. And the seafood is tasty and probably caught that morning. Expect to see king salmon, halibut, lobster and prawns on offer as Vancouver has some of the most diverse seafood options in the world, all coming from its backyard — the Pacific Ocean. Take time to dive into Vancouver’s dining scene at the many restaurants that line its extensive waterfront. Added bonus, it will come with a great view.

Vancouver's waterfront has views for days.

Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures in Canada encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out their small group trips here.