It’s hard to believe that it was eight years ago that Vancouver was the host of the Olympic Winter Games. But that event opened travellers’ eyes to the amazing outdoor adventure that you can enjoy here in winter without even leaving the city. Whether you’re an expert at schussing down the slopes, or a newbie to snow, there’s no reason to stay indoors if you’re visiting Vancouver during the winter months. If you’re looking to plan an action-filled weekend stay, here’s how we’d recommend you spend your time!
Ski Cypress Mountain – Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, Cypress Mountain was host to freestyle skiing and snowboarding events during the 2010 Winter Games. It offers the most vertical drop on the city’s North Shore, as well as the most runs, with 53 options ranging from Green beginner runs through to Double Black Diamonds for the experts. Channel your inner Olympian by taking on the mountain’s downhill runs, or warm up to the task with a lesson at their ski school. Prefer snowboarding? You’ll also find six terrain parks up at Cypress. If you’re packing light, you’ll be pleased to know that you can rent everything from skis to gloves right on the mountain.
Try Tubing – After your morning skiing, grab lunch at Cypress Mountain’s Crazy Raven Bar & Grill then head down the road to the mountain’s tubing park. Whether you’re 4 or 40, snow tubing is a lot of silly fun, and will give your legs a merciful rest. There are six 100m chutes to careen down, and a tow-rope to pull you back up to the top so you can do it all over again!
Cycle the Sea Wall – Just because it’s a bit chilly, it doesn’t mean that you can’t explore the sea wall that circles Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The Burrard offers free rental of our fleet of Brodie cruise bikes for a DIY tour, but for those who would rather someone else lead the way, check out a local tour company like City Cycle Tours. They offer daily excursions that explore both the sea wall and the trails inside the park, with a guide sharing info about the history of the park as you pedal your way around.
Skating at Robson Square – Just a five minute walk from The Burrard is a small outdoor skating rink at Robson Square. Located on the subterranean level, tucked under Robson Street like a local’s secret, the rink is open to the public and free! Rentals are available for just a few bucks, making it a fun, cheap stop for some winter fun while checking out the area’s abundant shopping options.
Snowshoe at Grouse Mountain – It’s hard to pick just one thing to do up at Grouse Mountain; in fact, you could easily spend your whole day up here. Along with the downhill runs, there’s a skating pond, the Eye of the Wind viewing platform, zip lining, a theatre, and lots of dining options – all 20 minutes from downtown. But our favourite thing to do at Grouse is snowshoe the mountain trails taking in the spectacular view of the city below. They say that if you can walk, you can snowshoe, so this is an activity that most people can enjoy. On select dates, they offer Full Moon tours, a Snowshoe & S’mores tour, and even a Snowshoe & Snow Cave experience! But if you want to do it yourself, we highly recommend exploring trails on your own, then heading to Altitudes Bistro and treating yourself to the chocolate fondue.
Ready to book your winter adventure in Vancouver? Check out our great rates for your stay.