Vancouver Parks to Visit this Summer
The greater metropolitan area of Vancouver might be the third most populous area in Canada, but this urban centre is surrounded by an abundance of nature. With its mild climate and proximity to the ocean, as well as rivers, lakes and mountains, the area is a popular destination for those who enjoy outdoor recreation of all kinds.
In fact, Vancouver has almost 1,300 hectares of parks, several large beaches, and ski areas. Plus, most of these places to visit in Vancouver are within a 30 minute drive from the downtown area!
Beautiful Parks in Vancouver
The parks in Vancouver offer opportunities for visitors to hike, walk, picnic and explore some of the most beautiful areas in the region. Some Vancouver parks and beaches even allow your four-legged friends to run free! There are literally hundreds of amazing parks in the Metro Vancouver area, but here are a few that consistently make the lists of the top parks in Vancouver to visit:
- Stanley Park: In 2014, TripAdvisor named Stanley Park as the “Best Park in the World”. The park sees more than eight million visitors every year and is loved by both the locals and tourists. Stanley Park boasts more than 27 kilometers of forested trails, plus two freshwater lakes, horse-drawn tours, and the Vancouver Aquarium, Canada’s largest aquarium, right in the heart of the park.
- Queen Elizabeth Park: Queen Elizabeth Park is known for its lush gardens, dancing fountains and spectacular views of the downtown Vancouver skyline. It’s situated 152 metres above sea level, making it the highest point in Vancouver. The park is also home to the Bloedel Conservatory, a glass-covered dome featuring tropical fish, birds and plants, and The Arboretum, with over 1,500 specimen of trees.
- Trout Lake Beach: Located in East Vancouver, Trout Lake in John Hendry Park is known as one of the best beaches in Vancouver. This fresh water beach is perfect for an afternoon with the kids or your dog. There’s a sandy beach and playground your kids will love, as well as an off-leash dog park for your furry friend to get some great exercise with his canine companions. Relax as you take in some beautiful views of the northern mountains.
- Lynn Canyon Regional Park: Twenty-five minutes northeast from downtown Vancouver, Lynn Canyon Park has been a popular destination among tourists and locals since it officially opened in 1912. The park is wrapped around a deep gorge that was carved out of the mountains by Lynn Creek, and those ready for an adventure can take the suspension bridge swaying 50 meters above the creek to the other side.
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park: Hikers, cyclists, and runners all love the extensive trails along some of the most gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery in the region. Located near the University of British Columbia, the park is simple to reach by foot, bike or bus.
- Capilano River Regional Park: Featuring a salmon hatchery that rears and releases millions of coho, chinook and steelhead fry, visitors can also watch the adult salmon swimming past viewing windows on their migratory return. You can also visit the Cleveland Dam Recreation area while you’re there.
Lace up the hiking boots and head out to explore these amazing parks in Vancouver! With so many beautiful places to visit in Vancouver, you’ll always discover something new.