Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Vancouver always has something new in store and adventure around every corner. It’s a nature lover’s paradise! Here are some of the best viewpoints in Vancouver for those with the outdoors on the mind!
There’s a reason people call Vancouver one of Canada’s most beautiful destinations. It’s rare to find such a bustling and modern city amidst so much beauty. So many people come to visit or live in the city since it’s a haven for nature lovers.
And they couldn’t have chosen a better destination! There’s a little something for everyone: botanical gardens, beachside trails, forests of old growth, mountain-top views, and inner-city escapes.
Below is just a sample of all the beautiful and scenic places in Vancouver you can find. No matter what you’re feeling, a big hike or an easy picnic, there’s a little bit of nature loving for you.
St. Mark’s Summit
St. Mark’s Summit is by far one of the most instagrammable places in Vancouver and one of the area’s most popular hikes. Considered an intermediate hike, it takes five hours in total. The elevation varies from up to down and flat throughout the whole hike. At the top, you get amazing views over Howe Sound and the boats below.
Cypress Mountain is one of Vancouver’s most scenic destinations year-round. Beyond hiking (including the St. Mark’s Summit and Eagle Bluffs) in the summer, it becomes a snowy paradise in the winter. Many people enjoy the popular downhill skiing area, but the snowshoe and cross-country ski areas are where you’ll find the most peace and quiet in the winter.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Nestled in the center of Vancouver, VanDusen Botanical Garden is one of the best places to stop by. It covers 55 acres of pristine, well-loved gardens, including creeks, a hedge maze, a rock garden, and endless trails. Even outside the blooming season, VanDusen Botanical Garden is a great place to stop for their Harvest Days or Festival of Lights. It’s available by admission only.
This list wouldn’t be complete without including Stanley Park! Just look at hashtags, and you’ll see it as one of Vancouver’s most instagrammable places. Arguably the best part of Vancouver, the park is located right next to downtown and is surrounded by the ocean. The best way to enjoy the park is by walking or renting a bike along the seawall. Stop by one of the beaches for some sunbathing or wander into the trails for a nature walk.
Beyond the busyness of Kitsilano Beach, you have Jericho Beach. Jericho is a little further away from the city and encompasses a park alongside the beach. The beach is large and can accommodate many families and friend groups. Beyond Jericho, Locarno and Spanish Banks offer more beach options with amazing views of North and West Vancouver.
Queen Elizabeth Park
In the center of Vancouver, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from VanDusen, you have Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s the highest point in the city proper, offering one of the best viewpoints in Vancouver. It’s a free version of VanDusen, highlighting beautiful gardens, including a huge rose garden and an admission-only conservatory with tropical birds. There are also free sports courts, including tennis, basketball, pitch and putt, and lawn bowling.
Whyte Lake is a little hidden gem in West Vancouver. It’s a small, very peaceful lake located above Horsehoe Bay. The trail is a gentle hike but a little steep at first. The parking lot is small, but the trail is never busy enough for parking to be a problem. If you want to get away from the hubbub of the city and away from crowds, try this little hike.
Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge
The little brother of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge, gives you the same effect on a smaller scale. And this one is completely free! After crossing the 100-year-old bridge, you open up to the network of trails in Lynn Canyon. Visit waterfalls, go swimming, and find a hike for every level.
In North Vancouver, on the far easter edge, Deep Cove is one of the best places to spend an afternoon. The town itself is cute, offering shopping and eating at local restaurants. The beach area is ideal for paddle boarding or renting kayaks. Most people also stop by for the 1.5-hour hike to Quarry Rock. Deep Cove Deep Cove can get very busy, especially on weekends and during the summer.
Capilano River Regional Park
Capilano River Regional Park is an extremely vast network of trails. The highlight and center of the park is the Cleveland Dam and picnic area. Take in the huge reservoir and the powerful water rushing through the dam. Then take a walk along the river and enjoy the trails. Another great stop, especially with the kids, is the fish hatchery.
Located on Cypress Mountain, Eagle Bluffs is a four-hour intermediate hike. At the top, you get a stunning view of Vancouver in the distance and the marina below, and even can spot as far as Mount Baker on sunny days. The trail initially gets steep but winds through the forest and various small lakes before reaching the stunning views.
North of Port Moody, Buntzen Lake is a BC Hydro reservoir and was once the main electricity source for Vancouver. Hiking trails surround the lake, and a beach area is perfect for swimmers and families. The lake is calm and offers stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains. It’s ideal for a kayak ride or SUP, and remains one of the most scenic places in the Vancouver area.
Burnaby Lake Regional Park
A wildlife sanctuary, you feel like you’re out of the city when you step foot into Burnaby Lake Regional Park. A trail surrounds the whole lake, where parts of it feature boardwalks and viewing towers. It’s one of the best spots in the area for birdwatching, with bald eagles, kingfishers, osprey, and more birds calling the place home.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Pacific Spirit Park covers a wide expanse of forest and beach located on the UBC campus. You’ll find trail goers here with dogs, on runs, riding bikes, or just enjoying the sun streaming through the trees. Wreck Beach is part of the park, a nude beach that does offer some of the best views and most beach space in all of Metro Vancouver.
Technically part of the Simon Fraser University campus, the Burnaby Mountain Conservation area provides gorgeous views and hiking trails. It’s one of the best spots close to the city to catch a sunset and have a picnic. There are 1,423 acres of conservation space, offering plenty of trails and hidden gems to find. It’s one of the best viewpoints in the Vancouver area for those who want an easy drive and walk.
These are just a few of the best viewpoints in Vancouver! Luckily, this is one of the most beautiful cities where skyscrapers meet mountains, forests, and ocean. There are so many beautiful areas to explore in every corner of the city and area.