10 Outdoor Summer Activities to Try in Vancouver

July 8, 2014 - 5 minutes read

While Vancouver may show off the waterworks throughout the extended rainy season, our backyard is spectacular when the beautiful days of summer roll in. To be sure you experience this city to it’s fullest, here are some of the best things to do in Vancouver during those warm summer months.

On The Water

1) Stand-Up Paddleboarding

The popularity of stand-up paddleboarding has skyrocketed in Vancouver over the past few years with everyone from fresh-faced beginners to seasoned vets hopping aboard to get a great workout along Vancouver’s coast. Alongside the rise of the sport, paddleboard rental locations have also begun popping up around the city, with Deep Cove Kayak on the North Shore and both Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre and Jericho Sailing Centre servicing Downtown and the West Side of Vancouver.

2) Kayaking

With single, double and even triple kayaks available for every level of paddler, there’s sure to be a vessel out there that suits your kayaking needs. Deep Cove Kayak on the North Shore is a great spot to start with calm waters and incredibly friendly staff.

3) Swimming

There are numerous local beaches that let you head out for a swim to escape the hot sand under your feet but if you’re looking for something a little different, try taking a course in open-water swimming.

4) Surfing

While the mainland can be a bit of a bust for a good wave, our neighbours to the west boast some of the best surf conditions in all of Canada. Yes, the water is cold and yes, it is a bit of a trek to get there (prepare for a brief ferry ride followed by a 4 hour drive), surfing in Tofino is an exhilarating experience that every Vancouverite should aim to check off of their bucket list.

5) Wind Surfing and Kiteboarding

Mashing surfing and sailing together like Frankenstein’s monster, these two sports are a great next step if paddleboarding is a bit slow for you. Windsure Adventure Watersports (Jericho Beach) offers windsurf lessons and rentals while the best kiteboarding conditions run out of The Spit near Shannon Falls in Squamish. Check out Vancouver Kiteboarding School and Squamish Kiteboarding School for rentals and lessons to get you started.

On Land

6) Hiking

Vancouver is a utopia for hikers of all ages and abilities. Offering mountain-top views, serene waterfalls, hidden lakes and breathtaking scenery, the wide range of well-marked trails around this city offer some incredible outdoor experiences that you just simply can’t get to by car. Not sure where to start? Check out Vancouver Trails to browse their list of trails, organized into region, difficulty, time, distance and season.

7) Jogging/Running

Trail or pavement, wooded or scenic, there’s a path for everyone in the countless running routes littered throughout the Vancouver area. For a great list of routes and trails scouted out by fellow running enthusiasts, check out the Vancouver Running Trails post by the fitness tracking app, MapMyRun.

8) Traversing the Seawall

One of the most popular downtown attractions, the 8.8km section of the Seawall through Stanley Park is perfect for walking, jogging, rollerblading and cycling on those sunny days in Vancouver. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the path features amazing views of the city and a great workout that can be extended from Coal Harbour all the way to Kits Beach Park. Don’t own your own equipment? There are a number of rental locations near the seawall, including Bayshore Rentals and Spokes near Lost Lagoon and English Bay Rentals near English Bay Beach.

9) Biking

For mountain bikers and cyclists alike, Vancouver and it’s surrounding areas are a premier cycling destination. The Whistler Bike Park, North Shore and Burnaby Mountain are all popular destination for mountain biking adventure seekers who are looking to outsmart gravity. For cyclists, Vancouver has created a major initiative to install an abundance of separated bike lanes, pumps and lock areas. Most larger events also offer secured bike parking so get out there and explore!

10) Golfing

Whether you’re into mini golf, a quick pitch and putt or a full 18 holes, Vancouver is the place to be to hit the links. Check out the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt Downtown, Eagle Quest Mini Golf in Coquitlam or book a tee time at a Vancouver golf course.