After all the rain we endure throughout the rest of the year, the sunny summer months in Vancouver become a very precious commodity to those who live here. If you’ve been in the city from June through September, you know that ubiquitous feeling of wanting to make every moment count on your days off from work.
To help you avoid the guilty feeling of sitting inside on a cloudless day, we’ve listed our top 10 ways to stay active this summer in Vancouver.
Hike the local mountains
Vancouver offers easy access to so many beautiful trails that it’s hard not to get swept up in the local hiking community. With tons of day, overnight and multi-day hikes scattered throughout the Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler, all levels of mountain adventurer are well taken care of. To plan your next hike, take a look through our list of the 11 Best Hikes Near Vancouver.
For further reading on what to know and bring on these hikes, see our 8 Tips for Hiking Vancouver Mountains.
Bike or rollerblade the seawall
The seawall in Vancouver spans 28 km end to end, making it the world’s longest waterfront path and an absolute haven for summer cyclists, inline skaters, walkers, and joggers. Bike and rollerblade rentals are available from plenty of shops downtown and along the seawall for an easy and accessible way to spend the day cruising the waterfront.
For a unique cycling experience, tandem bikes are also available for rent from select retailers.
Follow a walk or run program
Seasoned marathoners and new runners alike can enjoy heaps of great running routes throughout the city. Whether you prefer to run along the trails of the Endowment Lands or on a set road route, both the Strava and MapMyRun apps offer easy to navigate route mapping, pairing with your FitBit or smartwatch, and personal access to an encouraging community of fellow runners.
New to the running game? The Couch to 5K app is a great resource for those looking to ease into their first run program.
Paddleboard, kayak or canoe in Deep Cove
For a great upper body and core workout with the stunning backdrop of Indian Arm, hop aboard a kayak, canoe or paddle-board on the calming waters of Deep Cove in North Vancouver. Boats and boards are available for rent right there on the beach and can be booked for anywhere from a few hours for a quick paddle around up to a few days for an overnight camping trip to Granite Falls or Twin Islands.
Make sure to schedule your rental in advance as boats can book up quickly in the summer months.
Learn to surf in Tofino
While it’s a 5 or 6 hour trip from Vancouver, Tofino’s amazing surf makes the travel time well worth it for capable riders. Beginner surfers are also in for a treat with a multitude of companies offering lessons that include surfboard and wetsuit rentals.
If your surf game isn’t quite up to par, Tofino is also the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll along the beach or even a quick hike out to an abandoned plane crash or along the many trails that weave along the water.
Take a swim in Kitsilano Pool
This heated saltwater pool is centrally located at Kits Beach right next to the ocean, presenting an incredible view of the city and a very unique outdoor swimming experience. Open from May through until mid-December, Kits Pool is a great spot to sneak in a few laps on your own or to enjoy some fun in the water with the whole family.
The pool also offers swim programs and is accessible with an aquatic pool lift and water wheelchairs.
Play tennis at any of the many free courts around town
Free tennis courts in Vancouver are a dime a dozen and using them requires little more effort than simply showing up at the right time to snag an open court – just be sure to bring your own tennis balls and racket.
Tennis bubbles and private courts are also available throughout the city at varying rates and can be reserved online in advance.
Pitch and putt at Stanley Park or Queen Elizabeth Park
If you love golf but playing a full 18-holes is a bit beyond your attention span, both Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park offer well-maintained pitch and putt courses for a quick round on the links. Best of all, the game only requires two clubs so grab your pitching wedge, putter and best group of friends and head out to the course to practice your short game.
Start up a beach volleyball game at Kits Beach
Sun and sand make for the perfect summer mix – both of which can be enjoyed with a pickup game of beach volleyball at the free courts on Kits Beach. Make sure to bring your own volleyball and sunscreen with you to bump, set and spike your way through the day.
Join a free outdoor yoga class
Looking to add a little outdoor serenity to your life? The Mat Collective offers a free summer yoga series out of two open-air locations in the city – one on Main Street and the other at Kits Beach. Classes are run at no charge throughout the months of June, July, and August; all you need to bring is a yoga mat or towel and your best downward dog pose.
With these healthy outdoor activities on your radar, your summer in Vancouver should be packed full with various new experiences and adventures in the sun. Just remember that before you head out on any of these pursuits, you should make sure to be prepared with the right gear, lots of sunscreen and water to keep you hydrated. With a little creativity and planning, you’ll be exploring new sides of the city you never knew existed.Tags: Kitsilano, Vancouver, Ways to stay active