5 Popular Outdoor Destinations in Vancouver

Welcome back, students! It is finally 2021, so make sure to leave all those 2020 blues in the past and start the new year right with some fun physically distant activities!

Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, watch the sunrise or sunset, take Instagram-worthy photos, hike those trails, and visit one of these 5 popular spots in Vancouver to explore all the city has to offer!

Here are 5 of the most popular outdoor destinations in Vancouver!

It is important to note that Vancouver is on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish peoples and that each of the spaces listed below are inextricably tied to a history of colonization. 

1) Queen Elizabeth Park

If Instagram-worthy photos are what you desire then Queen Elizabeth is the place to be!

This beautiful park, affectionately nicknamed “Queenie” by the locals, is a 52-hectare green space full of diverse flora! A few of the many attractions at Queen Elizabeth are the artistic sculptures, gardens (rose garden and quarry garden), the arboretum, and places to play tennis, lawn bowling, and disc golf!

Not to mention, the topmost part of Queen Elizabeth boasts the highest point in Vancouver at 125m – a perfect place to view the rest of the park, the city, and the mountains! Whether you want to take photos, have a picnic, or go stargazing, Queen Elizabeth is definitely one of the best views and places to explore in Vancouver!

2) Grouse Mountain

If hiking is your activity of choice, the trails up Grouse Mountain offer a unique opportunity to take a step back from the noise of the city and step into the quietness of nature.

Recommended Trail: For any hikers who are up for a challenge, try the Grouse Grind, a 2.9km trail up Grouse Mountain, nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. The trail leads you to many views, such as waterfalls and diverse flora, so make sure to consider this hike if you’re in Vancouver!

There are many activities for the entire family at the mountaintop, such as ziplining, skating, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Additionally, the installment of lights, titled the Light Walk, is an attraction you definitely don’t want to miss this January, as walking through the beautiful light installments against the backdrop of a snowy mountaintop creates the perfect photo!

For an exciting view of the Lower Mainland, grab a ticket for the Eye of the Wind, a wind turbine at the peak of the mountain that you can go inside! Quick Tip: make sure it’s a clear day when you go into the Eye of the Wind or else fog and clouds might obscure your view!



3) Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a 400-hectare green space nestled in downtown Vancouver. Appointed as the first official park of Vancouver in 1888, the park now houses Canada’s largest aquarium, a variety of trails, many restaurants, and the acclaimed Stanley Park Train. If you’re in the area, make sure to walk or bike the 10km seawall and tour the many gardens for numerous photo opportunities!

At the northernmost tip of Stanley Park lies Prospect Point! Measuring in at around 210 feet above the seawall, Prospect Point is the place to be for the best view of the Burrard Inlet, the Lions Gate Bridge, West Vancouver, and the North Shore Mountains. Not to mention, with a restaurant and café on-site, this is a great place to spend your next self-care day! Make sure to try the ice cream, which has been hailed as the best ice cream in the city!



4) UBC Viewpoint

Close to UBC’s Vancouver campus and Pacific Spirit Regional Park, UBC Viewpoint or SW Marine Drive Viewpoint flaunts an enchanting view of the Strait of Georgia/the Salish Sea!

Whether you stop by during your morning hike or take a break from your bike ride, the UBC Viewpoint is the perfect place to stop and marvel at the wonders of nature! Easily one of the best views in Vancouver!

Here are some photos of what you can expect to see!




5) Wreck Beach

Wreck Beach, situated on the outskirts of UBC’s Vancouver Campus, leaves nothing to be desired – sand, sea, and enchanting views of the Salish Sea! To get to this clothing-optional beach, visitors must go down a couple of steep staircases, which is a definite workout – especially on the way up!

Widely known as one of the best places in Vancouver to watch the sunset, this 7.8km beach is a stress-free environment to chill with friends and take a break from schoolwork! Visitors can swim, build sandcastles, play bongos, and even sunbathe! Just make sure to respect everyone’s privacy and not stare or take photos of others without their permission.