Whether you’re heading to Vancouver, BC, Canada for a long trip or just a quick stay before a cruise, there are so many things to do in one day in Vancouver! The city is bright, clean, and easy to navigate on foot, bike, or train.
Since my friend and I were boarding a Holland America cruise to Alaska from Vancouver, we arrived a day early to take advantage of the many things to do in Vancouver during a day trip. We took the Canada Line train from the airport to the downtown/cruise port area. It was super easy to navigate, and you can pay by just tapping your credit card or buying a paper ticket.
After checking in at the Shangri La Vancouver, we put our bags down and set out to check out all of the things to do in Vancouver!
On my walk from the train station to the hotel, I found a great little gem of a coffee shop, Cafe Club (https://www.cafeclub.ca/). I got a delicious iced latte along with a yummy brown butter benny. You can order on your phone, and on your first order, there is a discount on brewed coffee. Everything was fresh and tasty, and there’s a small seating area. This cafe was just down the street from our hotel and was a great way to start the day.
There are a number of bike rental shops or public bike offerings right around Stanley Park. It is really easy to rent a bike for a few hours and hop right on the bike/pedestrian paths around the park.
The paths are beautiful and green in the summer, with lush gardens, beautiful water views, and interesting stops along the route. We did the path twice…the first time, we stopped many times to check out the Totem Poles and watch boats and seaplanes. The second time, we just lopped straight through for a little more exercise.
The path takes about an hour to complete, and is protected from cars. There are a few portions where you need to walk your bike across pedestrian zones. But it’s a great thing to do solo, with friends, or little ones. We saw lots of families out and about enjoying the beach and paths!
The Totem Poles were a real treat. You can read more about them here: https://stanleyparkvan.com/stanley-park-van-attractions-totem-poles.html
After biking around Stanley Park, it would be a great idea to pay a visit to the Olympic Cauldron area if you’re looking for fun things to do in one day in Vancouver! The Cauldron was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted in Vancouver, and to me it resembles icicles propped up against each other.
Right behind the Cauldron is a gigantic black and white orca statue made from aluminum to resemble digital pixels by artist Douglas Coupland. If you go to the plaza, the Cauldron and the Orca are just steps away from each other.
Behind the two monuments is a beautiful boardwalk/harbor walk type area. You can meander along this path by bike or on foot and breathe in the fresh sea air or watch the seaplanes come and go.
By now, you’re surely hungry and tired, so grab a Tim Hortons coffee to go! Yes, it’s my second coffee recommendation of this post, but sometimes life is like that and coffee definitely merits two places on this list! It’s a classic Canadian chain, and the most affordable coffee in the city, by far. They have some seasonal flavors like maple-inspired drinks, too!
One of our stops included the popular eatery Ramen Danbo Robson. The line took about 30 minutes, but once inside, the ramen is prepared quickly. It was hot and fresh, and a great place for a lunch pick-me-up.
We also enjoyed wandering around the Hannam Supermarket and the Konbiniya Japan Center. Both are supermarket-type stores with lots of cool imported products. In fact, the whole area around these stores was very Asian-inspired with boba tea shops and cute little gift stores. Take a walk around this cute area!
One of the most fun things to do in one day in Vancouver for foodies will definitely be the Granville Island Public Market. We walked from downtown, and it was a bit of a hike. From the Shangri-La Hotel, it probably took about 45 minutes. Google Maps indicates there’s a direct staircase from the bridge overpass, however, we didn’t see one. We walked clear across the bridge and down to a park, then backtracked to the market.
But once we got there, it was so cute! It’s filled with bakeries, handcraft stores, and fresh produce vendors. You could definitely spend a full morning here trying fresh produce and cheeses, having a scone or a heartier lunch, and wandering around the docks.
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Hey there, I am Stephanie, aka “The Roving Fox!” I started this blog to share travel tips with friends, and eventually started incorporating more info about my hip labrum surgery, beauty products I love, and restaurant reviews. Please say hi here on the blog, on Instagram, or Facebook!
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