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10 Must-Try Water Activities in Vancouver 

10 Must-Try Water Activities in Vancouver

With Vancouver’s abundance of natural wonders and opportunities for outdoor exploration, it’s no surprise that it has tons of water activities that can provide countless hours of fun and a ton of exciting memories!

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! Here are some of the must-try water activities in Vancouver we recommend you include in your itinerary.

Go down exciting slides in water parks

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If your idea of a fun water activity consists of thrilling rides and attractions, then a visit to the water park should be on your radar! These aquatic playgrounds are scattered around and just outside of Vancouver and they can turn your summer getaway into something more exciting.

These parks are perfect for summer vacationers of all ages, as they usually feature slides that belong to different categories. Yes, there are those crazy massive slides that zip you through various twists, but there are those chill spots for those looking for a more relaxed experience.

What makes the waterparks in Vancouver extra special is that aside from housing spectacular rides and slides, most of them are also surrounded by beautiful scenery. For example, some waterparks like Cultus Lake and Bridal Falls feature panoramic views of mountains and trees.

Pro tip:
If you’re looking for a nice waterpark located in the city, we recommend stopping by Variety Kids Spray Park located in the famous Stanley Park. It doesn’t feature any fancy slides but hey, admissions are free!

Meanwhile, you can check out Harrison Watersports if you want a water park that’s located in the middle of a scenic natural hot spring.

Embark on a peaceful kayaking journey

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With the abundance of beautiful natural views and bodies of water in Vancouver, it’s a no-brainer to try kayaking in this amazing city. 

Who said that you need to have adrenaline-inducing activities to have fun? There’s just something satisfying about being alone in the middle of a vast body of water with nothing surrounding you but beautiful views. 

There’s a plethora of places you can go kayaking in Vancouver, from Deep Cove to Jericho Beach, Rocky Point and more! You can even do this activity with a plus one so that you can enjoy stunning views and experience the utmost serenity with your special someone.

Pro tips:
Always check the weather forecast before setting out to go kayaking in Vancouver. This way, your plans won’t be spoiled when you get to the tour provider.

We also recommend completing a kayaking rescue course so that you’ll know what to do in the event of a capsize (knock on wood).

Admire majestic whales up close

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One of the best things to do in Vancouver is to meet its locals—and we’re not only talking about the Vancouverites. We’re talking about the various families of orca whales that live among the city’s bodies of water, some of whom you can meet up close through guided tours.

These tours offer half-day experiences where you and a bunch of other passengers will set out in the whales’ natural habitat and see them in all their glory. Don’t be fooled by their names, as the killer whales that you’ll witness here are nothing but enchanting!

Aside from the whales themselves, whale-watching tours will often let you admire other sea animals like bald eagles, sea lions, seals and more. It’s a good deal to have, especially for those times when the killer whales are just too shy to show themselves.

Pro tips:
Tons of agencies offer whale watching in Vancouver, but you can always bet your money on the top-rated ones like Vancouver Whale Watch and Prince of Whales.

Even though you’ll most likely do this activity during the summertime, we still recommend packing an extra layer of clothes. This way, you can protect your body from the drastic change in temperature when you set out into the open water.

Discover the city’s marine life through scuba diving

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Aside from the Vancouver Aquarium, the best way to familiarise yourself with the city’s marine life is by scuba diving. Fortunately, several diving spots are located across Vancouver, each of which is protected so you can expect them to feature bustling marine life!

Some of the most famous diving sites that Vancouverites and tourists love to dip their toes in include Caulfield Cove, Ansel Point, Whytecliff Park and Lookout Point. These diving centres are certified so you’ll know you’re in great hands.

Whether you’re looking to observe colourful coral reefs or different species of fish, you’re bound to be amazed when scuba diving in Vancouver’s waters. Plus, scuba diving is a great way to spend the day because it can be done rain or shine—just not too rainy.

Pro tips:
If you’re planning on going scuba diving at night, we recommend diving on the same site during the day. This way, you can get a scope of what the site is like and better plan your route during your session.

To ensure full visibility during your diving trip, we recommend visiting Vancouver from around October to February.

Experience the rush of whitewater rafting

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Whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to cool down and feel a rush of adrenaline at the same time. Fortunately, some of the best rapids to conquer in the world just happen to be located here in Vancouver—lucky you!

One of the best examples of this is the Chilliwack Rivers, which consists of heart-pounding rapids that are sure to give you that surge of excitement. It’s here where you’ll get to test your teamwork with your group, as you’ll go through rough rapids and various twists and turns.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more family-friendly, you can check out Scenic Twilight Float, which consists of a mostly quiet river. Here, you can relax and enjoy the surrounding views as opposed to being on the edge 24/7 while rowing for your life.

Pro tip:
If you don’t know which agency to try for your first whitewater rafting journey, check out Canadian Outback Rafting Company. They offer various tours that can appeal to both beginners and experienced rafters.

Tour Granite Falls on a boat

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If you want a break from the over-the-top water activities of Vancouver and just want to enjoy a nice boat ride, then a boat tour to Granite Falls should be right up your alley. This activity is perfect for the family because as we said, it doesn’t involve any crazy stunts.

However, don’t think that the lack of adrenaline-pumping activities fool you into thinking that this boat ride will be boring. This is because you’ll be treated to majestic views of granite cliffs, waterfalls and coves throughout the tour.

Make sure to keep your camera ready, as you’ll get to enjoy these views left and right. Aside from that, you should also prepare an open mind, as you’ll get to further familiarise yourself with the history and geology of British Columbia during this tour.

Pro tip:
The temperature during this tour can be quite chilly so be sure to layer up so that you can fully enjoy the views without shaking throughout the entire tour.

Enjoy a nice sunny day at one of Vancouver’s beaches

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Sometimes, it’s nice to slow down time and just chill by one of Vancouver’s beaches. There are a couple of destination-worthy beaches in the city, with some of the most famous ones being Jericho Beach, Kitsilano Beach, English Bay and Second Beach.

You can either splash around in the cooling waters of the beach or get your tan on while lying down on the sand. Also, what’s great about these beaches is that they’re scenic thanks to Vancouver’s lush greeneries.

Some beaches also allow sports to be played on its shores like volleyball, If you’re one to get a kick out of engaging in these athletic activities, then a beach trip should be on your radar!

Pro tip:
If you don’t want to encounter dense crowds during your visit, we recommend scheduling your beach trip on weekdays.

Explore Vancouver’s scenic waterways

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Address: 1666 Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S4, Canada

Contact details: [email protected]

Operating hours: Every Sunday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

One of the best ways to explore Vancouver is via boat ride, but not just any boat ride! Sea Vancouver offers a tour of the city through its beautiful waterways via one of its zodiac boats, which they claim to be unsinkable.

During this tour, you’ll get to see iconic sights like the Vancouver Harbour, English Bay, Stanley Park and of course, the beautiful city skyline. You’ll also have the pleasure of learning about these monumental places thanks to the expert commentary provided by the guide.

Also, if you’re a fan of wildlife, this activity is for you because you’ll get to spot some animals like bald eagles, dolphins and harbour seals—pretty cool!

Pro tips:
If you’re looking for a more exclusive kind of tour for your family and friends, you can opt for Sea Vancouver’s Private Adventures.Some alternatives to Sea Vancouver include Shore Excursions and Prince of Whales.

Set out on a 50” sailboat

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A great way to spend a relaxing day in Vancouver is by chartering a sailboat and setting off on a scenic adventure in the city’s beautiful waterways. This isn’t any kind of sailboat as well, as the one you’ll get to ride spans 50 feet, allowing you to enjoy this experience with friends and family.

Here, you can channel your inner old-money spirit and kick up your feet as you enjoy the nice cooling breeze of the water while admiring beautiful views! With a couple of cold ones on deck as well as an infinite number of stories to tell, this activity is the ultimate bonding experience.

These tours usually last 3 hours to make sure that your money is well spent! What’s more impressive is that they commence rain or shine except when unsafe weather conditions are on the horizon.

Pro tip:
Since this activity requires you to be in the middle of a body of water for extended hours, make sure to do an inventory before setting off. This way, you won’t have to go back to shore just to grab some essentials that you may have forgotten to pack.

Spoil yourself on a dinner buffet cruise

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If you’d much rather treat yourself to delicious delicacies than try adrenaline-inducing activities, then a dinner buffet cruise should be right up your alley. Here, you’ll get an unmatched combination of good food and equally spectacular views—win-win, right?

These tours usually last two hours and they’ll provide you with a unique perspective to admire the beautiful Vancouver skyline. Plus, the dishes served here are widely varied and will often exceed your expectations in terms of serving size, taste and presentation!

Pro tip:
If you don’t know where to start looking for a dinner buffet cruise, try checking out Viator’s Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise. Their tour involves a nice tour of Vancouver’s inlets and of course, delicious dishes!