Book Now

Insider Itinerary: Aquatic Adventures

July 22, 2024 |
Wendy Underwood

Flanked by water on three sides, downtown Vancouver is spilling over with ways to get visitors to experience adventure on the high seas. Stick close to shore, or motor further out to get up close and personal with marine life. Whether you want to feel the sea breeze through your hair, the sand between your toes, or both – spend a weekend on the water with our insider itinerary.


Favourite Ferry
Start the morning off right with a quick jaunt across False Creek on Vancouver’s Aquabus. Used by locals and visitors alike, the cheerful and colourful little tug boats take passengers to and fro along False Creek between eight stops dotted along the waterway. Grab a coffee at Granville Island or wander the shops in the Yaletown and Olympic Village neighbourhoods.

Sea Foraging
After working up an appetite, it’s time to dine on some of the freshest ingredients from the ocean. From fish to seaweed, and clams to oysters, Vancouverites are spoiled for options. To explore what the water holds within, join Swallowtail Tours‘ Sea Foraging Experience. Your small group will be lead by a wildcraft guide who will teach you how to forage as they cast their nets. This two-hour experience ends with lunch on the seashore.

Quaint Quay
Some of the best local shopping on Vancouver’s North Shore can be found at Lonsdale Quay. This waterfront market is filled with fresh produce, local artisan goods, restaurants, and plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied. Even better, it’s easily accessed via the SeaBus, a commuter ferry that takes you from downtown Vancouver directly to Lonsdale Quay in only 12 minutes. The ferry passes through the Burrard Inlet and zips among the freighters, tug boats, float planes, helicopters, and the occasional cruise ship. At the end of your day, enjoy dinner at nearby Tap & Barrel. Try a local craft brew from one of the largest selections of BC beers on tap, boasting 36 local options! The popular patio offers unobstructed views of the water and the downtown Vancouver skyline.


Second Beach Swim
Start the day right with a dip at one of Vancouver’s most pictureque swimming spots, the Second Beach Pool, located on the edge of Stanley Park. Enjoy the early morning sunshine while taking in ocean views and splashing about or getting in a few laps. In fact, guests at The Burrard can take advantage of our complimentary cruiser bikes and enjoy the easy and scenic pedal down to English Bay, right up to the pool. The heated pool features 50 metre lanes for those keen to swim laps, sloped entry, and a water park just outside.

Maritime Museum
Just over the Burrard Bridge from our hotel is the Vancouver Maritime Museum. For almost 70 years, the museum has been working to preserve and share the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic waters. This waterfront institution showcases an extensive collection of model ships including ones made from bone, along with historic maritime art and archives. Some of the biggest draws to the museum include a decommissioned NASA undersea research vessel, pieces of the first steamship to travel the Pacific Northwest, and the St. Roch—a historic Arctic exploration vessel.

False Creek Skyline with Kayakers

Pacific Paddling
At the end of the day, explore the waters of False Creek and English Bay with Vancouver Water Adventures on an urban sunset kayak tour. Starting at Granville Island, this tour will take you around the False Creek waterfront. As you navigate the calm waters of the inlet, you’ll learn about the history and culture of the area, and of course stop for some photo opps! This is the perfect way to finish off your watery weekend in the city.

Looking to hop aboard at The Burrard Hotel? We won’t leave you high and dry – check out our great rates!

Feature Image of False Creek: Alan Bruce via Flickr
Aquabus: Cocoabiscuit via Flickr
Caught Crab:  TripAdvisor – Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures
Lonsdale Quay Market: Lonsdale Quay Market Facebook Page

Kids in the Pool: Canva
Vancouver Maritime Museum: Vancouver Maritime Museum Facebook Page 
Sunset Kayaking: Tourism Vancouver / Nelson Mouellic