Whether you’re considering moving to Vancouver, or have made the move. I’m going to share some fun things that I’ve done in the neighbourhood, or nearby.
I will start with this first activity and add more over time. So Vancouver is surrounded by mountains. They get covered with snow in the winter. We also have plenty of rivers in British Columbia. Guess what happens in the spring when it warms up? That snow melts and ends up in the river. This creates a great opportunity for white water rafting.
So let’s start with white water rafting. About 45-60 minutes from downtown Vancouver is a cool little town called Squamish. It’s a beautiful drive from Vancouver up the coast.
I booked a trip through a company called Canadian Outback Rafting. They sometimes have discounts on Travelzoo for their rafting adventures. They have a couple of options that you can choose from. I gravitated towards the Elaho Exhilarator trip for some reason. I like action and adventure so this was the one. They also have other options that might not be as aggressive as this one.
We took a short bus trip from the meeting point to the entry point! It’s a logging road, so hold on to your teeth and other body parts. They obviously go over all safety with you prior to hitting the water. They also provide all the gear required – wetsuit etc to keep you relatively cosy on the adventure.
As you are drifting down the river they give you the option of jumping over the side to cool down. I think I pressed them to let me do this. I was at the front of the boat and it has a bit of lip. Let’s just say my entry into the water didn’t get any style points. I think I hit the water back first.
The first thing that hit me, besides the water was how cold it was. Well, ya, I guess so. The next issue was my helmet wasn’t securely attached. Ya, that’s on me as well. So now I’m upside down, in a fast-flowing river, and I’m in darkness.
Once I surfaced I realized I was about 20 feet downstream from the boat. I was supposed to hang on as per the guide. Well, when I did the 360-degree dismount, the rope was ripped out of my hand and bombs away.
Thankfully I had a strong, attentive boat mate who fished me out of the water. They make those women strong in Denmark, luckily for me.
The trip is fantastic. If you get the chance give it a try. Highlights of the trip are below.
Do you like riding a bike? Vancouver has a variety of great bike paths around and through the city. Check out this map for more detailed information: Cycling Vancouver
I live in Kitsilano so I have my favourite routes! They tend to end up near the ocean for some reason. One of my favourites is the ride from Kits to UBC. I make my way to Cornwall Avenue near Kits pool.
You continue heading west along Point Grey Road. It’s a residential neighbourhood so you get to see lots of cool houses. The great thing about this route is most of the way you have a protected bike path. So you don’t have to worry about cars. As you get farther west you end up at the beaches, Locarno, Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach.
I continue riding along NW Marine Drive and finish at UBC. The last section of the ride is a gradual hill, so you get some adrenaline pumping at the halfway point. Return trip from Kits in 20km.
Another great route is to make your way to the sea wall from Kits and head over to Granville Island. From there you can ride along False Creek past Rogers Centre and into Yaletown. 90% of this route is a bike path, so you won’t have to deal with cars. And, you get the ocean view the entire way.
You do encounter the odd pedestrian and it’s a busier route later in the day and on weekends. But, you won’t even realize you are exerting energy because of the views along the way!
Time for some adrenaline again! So let’s head about an hour north of Vancouver. We are going to check out this place: Whistler Bungee.
But first, you have to drive up the majestic sea to sky highway to get there. If you haven’t done this drive before, put it on your list.
It must be one of the most scenic drives in the world. You have the sparkling ocean to the left, and majestic mountains to the right.
The drive itself takes a little over an hour from downtown Vancouver. You have to watch for the signs as you get close. It’s not actually in Whistler itself, it’s about 15-20 minutes south of the Village.
Make sure you take it slow off the highway. The road has potholes and a nice gentle 20-30 km will get you to your destination safe, and ready to jump.
Now, just to put your mind at ease. I’m not a fan of heights! When you get to the bridge the first thing I noticed was you could see through it, great. The butterflies in the stomach had started.
The view though is spectacular. You are in a valley with a river winding beneath you. Ready to catch you should the line snap 🙂
The Bungee operators do a great job of keeping you distracted. They also direct you to place your toes out over the edge, back to reality as I’m forced to look down! At the time I was thinking how embarrassing it would be it I tripped and stumbled over the edge. I’m sure someone has done that.
I had done a bungee jump in New Zealand many years ago so I knew what to expect. My stomach seemed to have forgotten though. It’s such a fun experience, I highly recommend it even if you have a fear of heights. I guarantee after the jump you will want to jump again. You can see me in action below.
The next adventure started out at Granville Island. You can rent a boat at Granville, without a license I may ad!! I’m a fan of the water and the ocean. Having an opportunity to get out on the ocean on a warm summers day sounded like a good idea to me.
It’s best to contact them ahead of time to make sure that they have a boat available for you. I had a ringer along who had experience with boating before, but, it’s not necessary. If you can drive a car, and not drive into the side of an ocean freighter, you should be good.
We decided that we would try and see the colony of seals. We departed later in the day around 4pm. It was bright and sunny, but, we were battling the strong currents along the way. And, they are incredibly strong.
We travelled by English Bay and Stanley Park on the way out. The views and scenery are amazing. We made our way past West Vancouver and Light House Park as we navigated towards the seal colony.
The sun setting and the strong current prevented us from reaching our destination on this day, but, we had a blast along the way.
Check out the link below and our video to get an idea of our adventures:
I can’t forget my friends over on the North Shore. They have great spots like Lynn Canyon for hiking, Grouse Mountain, home of the world famous Grouse Grind, the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Another great spot is the Cleveland Dam, they have free parking and it’s a great spot for a little hike if you are up to it. I’ll share some photos below:
About the Author:
Regan is formerly from Toronto, now living and enjoying life in beautiful British Columbia. And, when he has time, working as a Realtor in Kitsilano 😉