Situated on Canada’s Western Coast, Vancouver is frequently voted as one of the best places in the world to live in. Sample the very best that this thriving city has to offer by booking your summer holiday here. Discover the city, explore the natural world that surrounds it and enjoy the glorious summer weather. Here’s my guide to visiting Vancouver during the summer.
Vancouver in August
Vancouver’s weather can be extremely varied throughout the year. As with the rest of Canada, winters here are cold whilst summers are gloriously hot. Temperatures average 22C (72F) during August in Vancouver with hours of endless sunshine.
August also brings a number of festivals to enjoy in the city. Across the province, the first Monday of the month is always a public holiday and this year falls on August 5th. Across this long weekend, the annual Vancouver Pride festival and parade are held and this is one of the biggest events in the city through the year. The parade along Denman Street is certainly a colourful and entertaining affair. This long weekend also sees the climax of the Celebration of Light festival which sees teams compete to show the best firework display. Alternatively indulge in some culture by attending one of the Bard on the Beach shows. This season runs through from June until September and features performances of Shakespeare’s plays as well as events linked to the Bard himself. It is a festival which is growing in popularity every year.
Summer in the city
As with most North American cities, Vancouver has really gone to town preserving its past. One of my favourite places to visit here is Gastown, which dates back to 1867. Now a National Historic Site, Gastown is a great place to shop, eat and drink. The Gastown Steam Clock is one of the most iconic images of Vancouver and I would definitely try to time your visit when the clock whistles on the hour. Other great sites to visit in the city include
I also have fond memories of visiting Stanley Park. This recreational space is one of the best parks in North America and can certainly give Central Park a run for its money. Visit the aquarium here to see the killer whales, dolphins and many other marine animals. Take a tour around the many monuments and statues that are scattered around the park but whatever your stay, ensure you go to Brockton Point to see the Totem Poles which is the top tourist attractions in the province. Other great cultural sites to visit include the Museum of Anthropology which really brings the First Nations and their heritage to life.
There is much of the natural world to enjoy when you visit this beautiful city. Vancouver itself is surrounded by forest and mountains so it’s a short trip out to the North Shore Mountains which can be seen from the city. Nearby you’ll find Grouse Mountain which has a fantastic cable system that whisks you to the top. Summer is a great time to visit as you’ll be guaranteed clear skies to make the most of the view. Here you’ll also be able to see some of Canada’s iconic wildlife including bears and eagles as well as indulge in a wide range of mountain activities.
An hour’s drive out of the city will take you to Golden Ears Provincial Park which is another great place to enjoy the mountain scenery and to relax in. I would recommend camping here and experiencing the great outdoors, trying your hand at hiking, boating and fishing. Alternatively, visit the Lynn Canyon Park located to the North East of the city. Here you can enjoy the trails that make their way through the forest and take a walk across the Suspension Bridge which is truly heart stopping but really fun too!
Catch some summer sun
Being located on the coast, there are many beautiful beaches to enjoy during your summer break to Vancouver. English Bay is a main tourist attraction, with this beach space located so close to the city itself and from here you can take a stroll along the seawall. For something a little quieter, why not take yourself off to Sunset Beach which you’ll find much calmer than its neighbour beach. If you want to enjoy the sea, then a visit to Kisilano Beach is in order as you can windsurf here as well as many other recreational activities.
Eat, sleep and be merry
Within the city there are many hotels that provide a great place to stay but if you’re looking for something iconic, then a stay at the Fairmont Hotel is definitely in order. This timeless hotel is a magical experience to enjoy and one I would definitely recommend.
There are two things you must try whilst in Vancouver. Firstly, visit Chinatown for a culinary experience like no other. The largest Chinatown in Canada, here you can explore the Chinese markets and then settle down for an afternoon meal. I would recommend either Bao Bei or Phen Phen as both will have your mouth-watering.
Alternatively, head to Granville Island where you’ll be treated to a cultural delight. Here you can enjoy the theatre, visit galleries and of course enjoy your food. Start with a trip to the Maritime market where I could recommend seeing the fish stalls to watch the catches come in for the day. Salmon from British Columbia is absolutely to die for so sit down for a meal at The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant and indulge yourself.