12 Best Things to Do in Vancouver in Summer 2024

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Vancouver in Summer
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Ready for a summer blast in Vancouver? Think sun-drenched beaches, buzzing night markets, and endless outdoor fun. Vancouver in summer is an electrifying mix of adventure and chill vibes – a playground for every kind of explorer!

Ahh Vancouver in summer – a time when the city truly comes alive! Trust me, there’s something magical about this Canadian gem during these sunny months. From the bustling night markets to the vibrant music festivals, the city offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that are just waiting to be explored. If you’re wondering about fun things to do in Vancouver in summer, you’re in for a treat.

As a travel enthusiast who’s wandered through Vancouver’s charming streets and lush green spaces, I can vouch for the city’s summer allure. Whether you’re lounging on the sandy beaches or cycling along the scenic seawall, every moment here is a memory in the making.

So, grab your sunglasses and let’s embark on a journey through Vancouver’s best summertime attractions. I promise, this city will steal a piece of your heart!

The top places to visit in Vancouver in Summer

Amazing Summertime Activities in Vancouver, BC

Eager to uncover the top summer attractions in Vancouver? From the lively Richmond Night Market to the serene beauty of Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver bursts with unique experiences during the sunny season.

Whether you’re hiking the Grouse Grind or soaking in the cultural vibes at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, there’s an unforgettable adventure for every visitor. Here’s your essential guide to the best summer activities in Vancouver. Let’s jump right in!

1. Explore the Richmond Night Market

Summer in Vancouver isn’t complete without a night at the Richmond Night Market. Starting in April 2024, this place becomes a buzzing hub of activity. It’s where summer nights find their true color and flavor!

Walking through the market, you’re hit with an explosion of scents and sounds. Food stalls line the pathways, each offering a mouth-watering array of dishes. Believe me, your taste buds are in for a treat! From sizzling Asian delicacies to inventive fusion bites, there’s something to satisfy every craving. My tip? Arrive with an appetite and a sense of culinary adventure.

But hey, it’s not all about food. The market is a hotspot for finding quirky gifts and handcrafted souvenirs. As you meander, you’ll stumble upon live entertainment that’s as diverse as the market itself. It’s the perfect backdrop for summer evenings filled with laughter and good vibes.

If you’re looking for fun places to visit in Vancouver in summer, make sure the Richmond Night Market is on your list. It’s an experience that truly embodies the spirit of Vancouver’s summer – vibrant, diverse, and utterly delightful.

Exploring the Richmond Night Market is one of the best things to do in Vancouver in summer.
In April 2024, the Richmond Night Market ignites Vancouver’s summer nights with vibrant colors and flavors.

2. Attend the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

When summer hits Vancouver, the city grooves to the rhythm of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. From June 21 to July 1, 2024, this festival transforms the city into a jazz paradise. It’s a musical extravaganza you don’t want to miss!

Imagine wandering through Vancouver’s streets, with jazz notes floating in the air. The festival features a mix of free outdoor concerts and ticketed events, showcasing world-class musicians. It’s a perfect blend of local talent and international stars. Make sure to check out the free shows at outdoor venues. They’re a fantastic way to enjoy top-notch music without spending a dime.

Aside from the music, the Jazz Festival is a cultural gathering that brings people together. You’ll find food trucks serving up delicious eats, and impromptu dance sessions are not uncommon. It’s an atmosphere charged with energy and creativity.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Vancouver in summer, the Jazz Festival is a must. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in music, meet new people, and experience the vibrant culture of Vancouver in full swing.

Jazz Festival—an immersive experience in music, new connections, and the city's lively culture.
Jazz Festival—an immersive experience in music, new connections, and the city’s lively culture. | Image Source: https://www.coastaljazz.ca/

3. Relax at Kitsilano Beach

Looking for the perfect beach day in Vancouver? Kitsilano Beach is the place to be. Locals call it ‘Kits Beach,’ and trust me, it’s a slice of paradise. With its stunning views and laid-back vibe, it’s perfect for a summer day out.

Kits Beach is a playground for all ages. Volleyball courts, a large saltwater pool, and picnic spots are just the start. I recommend bringing along a frisbee or a beach ball to make the most of the sunny vibes. And don’t miss a walk along the shoreline – the views are stunning, with the city and mountains framing the horizon.

The area around Kits Beach is a haven for food lovers. Cafes and eateries are plentiful, perfect for grabbing an ice cream or a refreshing drink. It’s all part of the beach day experience.

As the day winds down, Kits Beach offers one of the best sunset spots in Vancouver. Watching the sky change colors over the water is a moment of pure summer bliss.

So, if you’re pondering where to go in Vancouver in summer, Kitsilano Beach should definitely be on your list. It’s not just a beach – it’s a vibrant part of Vancouver’s summer culture!

For the ideal beach day, head to Kitsilano Beach, affectionately known as 'Kits Beach'
For the ideal beach day in Vancouver, head to Kitsilano Beach, affectionately known as ‘Kits Beach’

4. Celebrate at the Vancouver Pride Festival

Get ready for a vibrant celebration at the Vancouver Pride Festival! Falling on August 5th, 2024, during the BC Day Long Weekend, this festival is a highlight of Vancouver’s summer. It’s a spectacular display of diversity and inclusivity.

The streets of Vancouver come alive with color and energy. The Pride Parade, a centerpiece of the festival, is a must-see. Trust me, the atmosphere is electric! The parade route, filled with floats and performers, showcases the city’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community. I advise getting there early to grab a good spot and soak in the excitement.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the parade. The festival includes a range of events, from the Davie Street Party to the Sunset Beach Festival. There’s something for everyone. Whether you’re into dancing, music, or just enjoying the festive atmosphere, Pride has it all.

And let’s not forget the food and drinks! Food trucks and stalls offer a variety of delicious options to keep you fueled throughout the celebrations.

If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Vancouver in summer, the early hours of the Davie Street Party are family-friendly. As the evening rolls in, the party shifts to a 19+ affair.

The Vancouver Pride Festival is more than just a party. It’s a celebration of love, diversity, and community spirit. It’s a summer event that truly embodies the heart and soul of Vancouver.

Experience Vancouver's vibrant celebration at the August 5th, 2024, Vancouver Pride Festival.
Experience Vancouver’s vibrant celebration at the August 5th, 2024, Vancouver Pride Festival. | Image Source: https://www.vancouverpride.ca/

5. Hike the Grouse Grind

For an invigorating summer challenge in Vancouver, the Grouse Grind is a must-try. Known as ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,’ this hike is a rite of passage for locals and visitors alike. Take it from me, the views at the top are worth every step.

The trail is 2.9 kilometers long with an elevation gain of 853 meters. It’s steep, but the sense of accomplishment you feel at the summit is unparalleled. I recommend starting early to avoid the heat and the crowds. And remember, it’s a hike, not a race. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

At the top, you’re rewarded with breathtaking views of Vancouver and beyond. There’s also a café where you can grab a well-deserved snack and a cold drink. The Grouse Mountain Resort offers other activities too, like zip-lining and bird shows, perfect for a full day of adventure.

Remember to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes. The Grouse Grind is open during the summer months, which makes it a perfect outdoor activity for those seeking a bit of adventure. Hands down, hiking the Grouse Grind is one of the coolest things to do in the summer in Vancouver.

For an exhilarating Vancouver summer challenge, don't miss the Grouse Grind.
For an exhilarating Vancouver summer challenge, don’t miss the Grouse Grind.

6. Join the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

If you’re exploring the best Vancouver things to do in summer, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is a highlight not to be missed. Set against the scenic backdrop of Jericho Beach Park, this festival, happening from July 19 to 21 in 2024, is a celebration of music, culture, and summer vibes.

As a folk music enthusiast, I recommend immersing yourself in this diverse musical experience. The festival showcases a mix of local and international artists, offering sounds from traditional folk to contemporary genres. It’s a feast for the ears and the soul. Trust me, the lineup never disappoints!

The festival atmosphere is warm and welcoming, perfect for relaxing on a summer day. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and settle in for a day of great tunes and chill vibes. There are also food vendors and artisan stalls, adding to the festival’s charm.

For families, the festival is kid-friendly with activities and spaces dedicated to the little ones. It’s a great way to spend a summer day, surrounded by music and nature.

So, mark your calendar for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. It’s an essential part of the Vancouver in summer experience, blending great music with the beauty of the outdoors.

Experience the vibrant Vancouver Folk Music Festival from July 19 to 21, 2024—a celebration of music and summer vibes.
Experience the vibrant Vancouver Folk Music Festival—a celebration of music and summer vibes. | Image Source: https://thefestival.bc.ca/

7. Attend Bard on the Beach

Looking for a unique cultural experience? Bard on the Beach is it! Running from June 11 to September 21, 2024, this Shakespeare festival is a summer gem in Vancouver. Set in the picturesque Vanier Park, it’s a blend of classic theater and stunning natural backdrops.

This year’s lineup is thrilling. From the romantic twists of Twelfth Night to the intense drama of Hamlet, there’s something for every theater lover. The performances are top-notch. The actors bring Shakespeare’s words to life in a way that’s both accessible and captivating.

It’s not just about the plays, though. The setting, with views of the ocean and mountains, adds a magical touch to the experience. My advice? Arrive early, stroll around the park, and soak in the views before the show.

Bard on the Beach also offers special events like talks and workshops. It’s a great opportunity to dive deeper into Shakespeare’s world.

For anyone wondering what to do in Vancouver in the summer for a memorable evening, catching a play at Bard on the Beach is a fantastic option. It’s a perfect mix of culture, nature, and the arts.

Experience a unique cultural delight at Bard on the Beach, running from June 11 to September 21, 2024.
Experience a unique cultural delight at Bard on the Beach, running from June 11 to September 21, 2024.

8. Watch the Celebration of Lights Festival

For a dazzling summer experience in Vancouver, the Celebration of Light Festival is a must-see. While the 2024 dates are yet to be announced, this event traditionally lights up the sky over English Bay for three spectacular nights. It’s not just a fireworks show – it’s an artistic display choreographed to music.

Each year, countries compete to present the most breathtaking fireworks, launched from a floating barge in the bay. The sight of chrysanthemums, peonies, and horsetails exploding above, with their echoes bouncing off the mountains, is truly mesmerizing. My advice? Get there early to secure a good spot on the beach. Bring a picnic and make an evening of it.

The festival also includes SHOREFEST, Vancouver’s largest free community concert series. Bands play throughout the afternoon, setting the stage for the evening’s main event. The atmosphere is electric, with music and anticipation in the air.

Booking a spot in one of the official VIP viewing areas is also an option. From family-friendly bleachers to private cabanas, there’s a perfect spot for everyone.

If you’re wondering about things to do at night in Vancouver in summer, the Celebration of Light is an unforgettable experience. It’s a night where the city comes together to enjoy the beauty of light and music.

Experience dazzling summer at the Celebration of Light Festival.
Experience Vancouver’s dazzling summer at the Celebration of Light Festival.

9. Cycle the Stanley Park Seawall

One of the best free things to do in Vancouver in the summer is cycling the Stanley Park Seawall. This scenic route is a true Vancouver highlight, offering breathtaking views and a refreshing sea breeze.

The Seawall loops around Stanley Park, covering about 9 kilometers. It’s the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. Perfect for cyclists of all levels! The path takes you past beaches, forests, and historical landmarks. Trust me, you’ll want to stop for photos – the views are incredible.

I recommend renting a bike if you don’t have one. There are plenty of rental shops nearby. Start your ride in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds. And don’t rush! Take your time to enjoy the natural beauty.

Along the way, you’ll find spots to rest and maybe even spot some local wildlife. The Seawall is also great for walking or rollerblading.

Cycling the Seawall is a chance to connect with nature and see Vancouver from a different perspective. A must-do for anyone visiting Vancouver in the summer.

Cycling the Stanley Park Seawall is one of the best things to do in Vancouver in summer.
Experience one of Vancouver’s top free summer activities: cycling the Stanley Park Seawall.

10. Visit the Shipyards Night Market

A summer evening in Vancouver isn’t complete without a visit to the Shipyards Night Market. Running from May through September, this market is a bustling hub of local culture and cuisine. It’s located at Lonsdale Quay, a spot known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning views.

As you wander through the market, you’ll encounter a mix of indoor and outdoor stalls. Local sellers showcase everything from artisan crafts to unique culinary delights. Trust me, the variety is impressive. It’s a great place to find that perfect souvenir or gift.

Food trucks line the area, offering a taste of Vancouver’s diverse food scene. And for those who enjoy a good brew, the handcrafted beers are a must-try. The market also features live music, adding to the lively ambiance.

But what truly sets the Shipyards Night Market apart is its location. The scenic view of downtown Vancouver, the ocean’s salty scent, and the skyline against the setting sun create a magical backdrop. It’s a feast for the senses.

I recommend spending an evening here, soaking in the local vibes and enjoying the summer night. It’s one of the best places to go in Vancouver in the summer that you’ll remember long after your visit.

A summer evening isn't complete without a visit to the Shipyards Night Market.
A summer evening in Vancouver isn’t complete without a visit to the Shipyards Night Market. | Image Source: https://www.vancouversnorthshore.com/

11. Explore the VanDusen Botanical Garden

When it comes to beautiful places in Vancouver in the summer, the VanDusen Botanical Garden is a must-visit. This lush oasis in the heart of the city is a perfect retreat from the urban hustle. Believe me, it’s a paradise for nature lovers!

Strolling through VanDusen, you’ll find yourself surrounded by vibrant blooms and meticulously maintained landscapes. The garden boasts an impressive collection of plants from all over the world. Each turn reveals a new, breathtaking view – perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots.

I recommend visiting the Elizabethan hedge maze. It’s a fun challenge for all ages. Also, don’t miss the serene Japanese Garden. It’s a peaceful spot to sit and reflect, surrounded by natural beauty.

The garden hosts various events and educational programs throughout the summer. It’s a great opportunity to learn about different plant species and gardening techniques.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is not just a visual treat. It’s a place to relax, learn, and connect with nature. A visit here is a refreshing break, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Vancouver in summer.

When seeking beauty during summer, don't miss the VanDusen Botanical Garden.
When seeking beauty in Vancouver during summer, don’t miss the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

12. Take a Day Trip to Whistler

For a summer day trip from Vancouver, I highly recommend heading to Whistler. Just a couple of hours’ drive away, Whistler is not just a winter ski destination. It’s a summer paradise too!

The drive to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway is an adventure in itself. The route offers stunning views of mountains, oceans, and forests. Trust me, you’ll want to make a few stops along the way for photos.

Once in Whistler, the options are endless. Hiking trails abound, catering to all skill levels. The views from these trails are spectacular, with alpine meadows and crystal-clear lakes. For a unique experience, try the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains.

Whistler Village is a hub of activity with shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a patio lunch. The village’s vibrant atmosphere is contagious and adds to the summer fun.

A day trip to Whistler is a refreshing escape into nature. It’s a chance to experience the beauty of British Columbia beyond Vancouver’s city limits. Definitely a highlight for anyone looking for cool things to do in Vancouver in the summer!

For a fantastic day trip, consider heading to Whistler.
For a fantastic summer day trip from Vancouver, consider heading to Whistler.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Vancouver in Summer:

Are you still curious about what to do in Vancouver in the summer? I often receive these questions about the best summertime activities in Vancouver.

Is Vancouver worth visiting in summer?

Absolutely! Summer in Vancouver is fantastic. The city comes alive with festivals, outdoor activities, and beautiful natural scenery. From beaches to night markets, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the long days mean more time to explore!

What is the weather like in Vancouver in the summer?

Vancouver summers are generally mild and pleasant. Expect temperatures ranging from 18°C to 25°C (65°F to 77°F). It’s usually sunny, but it’s wise to carry a light jacket for cooler evenings. Perfect weather for outdoor activities!

Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.
Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.

How many days do I need to see Vancouver?

I recommend at least three to four days. This gives you enough time to explore downtown, visit a couple of beaches, and maybe even take a day trip to nearby spots like Whistler. If you can stay longer, there’s plenty more to discover!

Is Vancouver crowded in July?

Yes, July is peak tourist season. Popular spots like Stanley Park and Granville Island get busy. My tip? Start your day early to beat the crowds and make reservations for popular restaurants in advance.

Is Vancouver expensive for tourists?

Vancouver can be pricey, but there are ways to save. Look for accommodation outside the downtown core, enjoy free activities in Vancouver like hiking the Grouse Grind, and eat at local food trucks. Plan and budget accordingly, and you can have a great time without breaking the bank.

The top things to do in Vancouver in Summer for all types of travelers
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