As much as I love cities, and as much as Vancouver (my new home) is growing on me, the real reason I moved to Canada was because I love the outdoors. (Lots of trees included). None the less, naturally after just two days I decided it was time to head out of downtown on a few adventures. – The majority of which are completely free. ( transport not included) Check out my recommendations for two 5 adventures that take you out of Downtown Vancouver.
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s oldest, biggest and most loved urban park. It covers 400 hectares encompassing rainforests, lakes, beaches and a seawall to be enjoyed not just in the summer months. The most visited attraction within the park are nine Totem Poles. These monumental sculptures carved from trees represent the indigenous native Pacific North West civilisation. Most of which are again, carved by indigenous people. The Lost Lagoon is also a popular attraction offering both lake and city views. ( which makes great for a reflection photo) The Seawall which in parts bends round Stanley Park, is also perfect for a jog, a cycle or if you’re like me.. a walk.
If you have ever Instagram searched ‘Vancouver’ then a pretty suspension bridge with lights will more than likely appear not too long when you start to scroll down. Well Lynn Canyon is NOT home to it. BUT the bridge at Lynn is almost as good and it’s completely free too. With waterfalls, Douglas Fir, trails and a frozen lake, Lynn Canyon is hard to leave out of any adventure itinerary. All you need to do is cross a 48m long swinging bridge, 50m high with amazing views of Lynn Creek and the Valley!! ( The pretty bridge with the lights is Capilano Suspension Bridge and costs $39.95* to enter the park) Both Parks are in North Vancouver and cost around $8 return trip from Downtown Vancouver.
Over in West Vancouver and a 45 minute bus ride from Downtown you’ll find the beautiful Lighthouse Park. The majority of trails can lead you deep into the canopy or out to a marvellous coastline and a Lighthouse of course. Trails themselves cater to all levels of walking fit for families with young children and also those who are up for a bit more of a challenge. The park has several good locations for picnics ( perhaps not if its raining…) with the best looking out over the bay. The lighthouse that currently stands was built in 1912 and not too far from the lighthouse you will also find a number of old barracks buildings used in WW2 to prevent Japanese attack to the US.
My favourite activity so far! Back in North Vancouver and in the town of Deep Cove you will find the first steps up to a wonderful view. The trail itself is mostly man made wooden steps which take you in and out of the forests before reaching the summit. Popularity of this hike was shown by crowds that gathered at the top despite it being January. From the top you can see views of Downtown Vancouver, mountains surrounding Belcarra, the town bellow and a variety of boat houses which are lined up against the shores. The hike up and down without rest stop takes around an hour and half and is easy going for all. Upon descending the town of Deep cove is well worth a little look round and if you have a bit of a sweet-tooth make sure you visit Honey’s Doughnuts to congratulate yourself on your hike. Direct buses run to and from Vancouver approximately every 30 minutes.
Okay, not the cheapest place to go to.. or to get to. HOWEVER. Even if it is just for a day I firmly believe that Whistler should make my top 5.
Primarily because sometimes you have simply had enough of the rain in Vancouver and wish to replace it with some snow of sorts. Also there are some beautiful stops to be made on the way up. In my opinion Whistler looks like an Olympic village should with stereotypical chalets and eateries of anything you may desire. If you are only there for the day, then providing it’s a clear day I fully endorse paying $55 for the Peek to Peek experience. The gondola takes the rider from Whistler to Blackcomb. Not only will the views be amazing but you’ll also feel like you’re apart of the skiing ( without the horrible boots**)
*All prices in Canadian $$$
**Sensible footwear recommended for all 5 adventures.
By Kate from KateVictoriaPhotography.com
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