16 touristy things to do in Vancouver this fall

Oct 27 2016, 5:28 pm

Sure, the sunshine and cloudless days of the hottest year on record may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Vancouver during the rainy season.

So whether you’re new to Vancouver, just visiting, or a lifelong local who wants to see the city in a different light – here are 16 ways to enjoy Vancouver like a tourist.

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Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island Public Market (Jess Fleming / Daily Hive)

Granville Island Public Market (Jess Fleming / Daily Hive)

Granville Island Public Market is one of Vancouver’s most vibrant community shopping experiences. The market houses dozens of local vendors serving up fresh fish, produce, hot meals, and way, way more – not to mention handmade goods, live music; all on beautiful False Creek.

Where: 1669 Johnston Street, Vancouver

When: Open 9 am to 7 pm, Monday to Sunday.

Visit Bowen Island

Bowen Island is a Pacific Northwest paradise, and it’s oh-so-close to Vancouver. Just a water taxi ride from Granville Island (or a ferry from Horsehoe Bay) and you’re at home on the forested coast, amidst the bobbing sailboats and crying gulls – without the rush hour traffic.

Take a trip on FlyOver Canada

One of Vancouver’s most unique tourist attractions, FlyOver Canada will take you around the world, through some of Canada’s most beautiful landmarks, soaring through the air like a majestic falcon – all from the comfort of your seat. They’ve got shows running seven days a week, and specials for group visits. It’s well worth the price of admission.

Where: Canada Place, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Sunday.

VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Daniel Chai / Daily Hive

Just can’t get enough plant life? Then sate that photosynthetic hunger at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. This beautiful outdoor nature space features magnificently manicured lawns, lush gardens, and the perfect locale for a romantic walk or family outing.

Where: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver.

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm, October and 10 am to 4 pm, November.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

One of the most beautiful gardens in Vancouver, the Dr.Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a traditional Scholar Garden, and the first of its kind built outside China. This place has been a piece of the fabric of Vancouver of years, and for good reason.

Where: 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Bloedel Conservatory

What’s that? Merely two options for botanical bliss isn’t enough? Fear not, our flower fancying friends – the Bloedel Conservatory has you covered. Open seven days a week and located a 15-minute ride from Downtown Vancouver, the Conservatory has dozens of beautiful plants and three different “climate zones.” There’s more than enough for everyone.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, 4600, Cambie Street.

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

Hit the ice at Rogers Arena

Image: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

Image: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

The hockey season is back and with it come those hometown sportsmen the Canucks. Swing by and catch one of the many games coming up in the next few months and spend an evening cheering on the home team.

Where: Now until mid April (unless the Canucks make the playoffs of course).

When: 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Okay, okay, maybe flowers and hockey aren’t your thing. Well, what about space? Cast your eyes to the heavens at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and learn a little bit about the final frontier. Exhibits, educational programs, films, and more await you in this space away from space.

Where: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday; 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday; noon to 5 pm, Sunday.

Take a peek at the past at the Vancouver in the Seventies exhibition

The Museum of Vancouver presents over 400 images and artifacts, chronicling life in Vancouver in the 1970s. From a day in the life, to the buildings, to the protests, and the historic events that made Vancouver the city it is now.

Where: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver

When: Now until Sunday, February 26, 2017.

TELUS World of Science

Image: Science World / Shutterstock

Image: Science World / Shutterstock

This place is a full-on Vancouver institution, and it’s clear why. Chock full of fun and educational activities, displays, and events, TELUS World of Science has something for everyone. Their current exhibit explores the world nanoscience, and why would anyone pass up the opportunity to learn about tiny robots?

Where: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Friday; 10 am to 6pm Saturday to Sunday.

Visit the Museum of Anthropology at UBC

UBC’s Museum of Anthropology is a treasure trove of human civilization and culture. Check out any of the dozens of stunning artefacts on display before hitting the current exhibit, “In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man: Contemporary Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea.” There’s nothing else in the city quite like it.

Where: 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm, Friday to Wednesday; 10 am to 9 pm Thursday.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Let’s face it, you could see more art. And there’s no better place in Vancouver to get that done than the Vancouver Art Gallery. With collections of beautiful works from around the world, the gallery also has exhibits from Emily Carr, Harry Callahan, Stephen Waddell, and more.

Where: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday to Monday; 10 am to 9pm Tuesday.

Take a trip to Grouse Mountain



Far from just a punishing hike, Grouse Mountain is a testament to just some of the natural beauty the coast has to offer. Take in the stunning sights on the world-famous gondola, hit the slopes, or check out what the peak has to offer. There’s a little bit of everything.

Vancouver Aquarium

Have you ever look at a penguin? Like really looked? What about a stingray? An octopus? If you’ve answered “no” to any of those, then get you to the Vancouver Aquarium immediately. Immediately! If you answered “yes,” you should still go. The Aquarium is awesome.

Where: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver

When: Open 10 am to 5 pm 7 days.

Laugh it up at The Comedy Mix

Vancouver is home to one of the best comedy scenes in Canada, one that draws headliners from around the world on top of producing truly staggering homegrown talent. The Comedy Mix has a variety of weekly shows, from the Tuesday Pro/Am Night to weekend headliners like Phil Hanley and Toby Hargrave.

Where: 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver

When: Shows Tuesday to Saturday.

Stroll around Stanley Park

Vancouver fall / Shutterstock

Vancouver fall / Shutterstock

Stanley Park is a Vancouver staple, a beautiful 1000 acre expanse of scenery, seawall and West Coast wilderness.