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.
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.
Catch & Cook Crabs
After working up an appetite, it’s time to dine on some of the freshest West Coast seafood. Be it sockeye salmon or spot prawns, Vancouverites are spoiled for options. To fully experience this bounty, enjoy a Catch & Cook Crab tour with Swallowtail Tours. The small groups (maximum six people) are treated to a day out on the water with a personal chef/guide who will cook what you catch for lunch!
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 is that the Quay is 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. If you plan your visit for a Friday evening, be sure to check out the Shipyards Night Market!
Start the day right with a dip at one of Vancouver’s worst kept secrets – the Kitsilano Pool, located on the edge of Kitsilano beach. Enjoy the early morning sunshine while taking in ocean views and frolicking in North America’s largest saltwater pool. In fact, visitors at The Burrard can take advantage of complimentary cruiser bikes and enjoy the easy and scenic pedal across the Burrard Street Bridge right to the pool. The facility features a waterpark and 50 metre lanes for those keen to swim laps.
A short walk from Kitsilano Pool, and an even faster bike ride, is the Vancouver Maritime Museum. For nearly 60 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.
At the end of the day, explore the waters of False Creek and English Bay with Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres on an urban sunset kayak tour. Starting at Granville Island, this tour will take you around Stanley Park where you can look back at the North Shore Mountains before returning along the downtown shoreline flanked by the Kitsilano and West End neighbourhoods. 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
Kitsilano Pool: Carolyn Coles via Flickr
Caught Crab: TripAdvisor – Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures
Lonsdale Quay Market: Lonsdale Quay Market Facebook PageVancouver Maritime Museum: Vancouver Maritime Museum Facebook Page
Sunset Kayaking: Ecomarine Paddlesport Facebook Page