Explore

Vancouver, Canada

  Vancouver and the surrounding areas are a beautiful mix of city and nature.

Get advice from a local and take a mini-vacation during your trip.

Learn more about things to see and do, learn a little about the city. Save some practical pieces about your stay in Vancouver through these guides put together by a long-time local Vancouver resident on IIRRM’s planning team. Download each installment below.

Welcome to Canada: Your guide to the UBC Campus

The University of British Columbia is situated on the westernmost point of Vancouver on the Point Grey Peninsula. It is, like Vancouver, bounded by water on three sides: Burrard Inlet to the north, the Strait of Georgia to the east, and the mouth of the Fraser River to the south. To the east, UBC is buffered from the City of Vancouver by Pacific Spirit Park. We are hoping some of our conference delegates will extend their trip to see some of the many (especially natural) attractions Vancouver has to offer. However, if you don’t plan on going too far afield, UBC gives you access to much of the best Vancouver has to offer while staying in a peaceful, park-like environment.

Download your guide to UBC, including local transportation options and on-campus amenities

Welcome to Vancouver – What to see & do

Vancouver is a young city – carved very recently, between the mountains and the sea, out of mostly forested wilderness. Surrounded on three sides by water, and by mountains to the north and east, with swaths of big trees just outside the city as well as urban forests, it has an extraordinary natural setting. If you have a day or evening, explore Stanley Park, Granville Island, Kits or Jericho Beach, Queen Elizabeth Park, or the downtown core restaurants and shopping.

Learn more and plan your visit around the city below.

Download your Vancouver city guide

Mountains, Valleys, Rivers, and Plains – Explore Greater Vancouver

Vancouver has mountains in every direction – the closest are on the North Shore, but on a clear day, you can see Mt. Baker, shimmering like Mt. Fuji over the tidal flats and farmlands to the south, along with other mountains in Washington State.

There is something for every level of walking skill around Vancouver, from a quiet stroll through the woods to serious alpine hiking and mountaineering. Explore North Vancouver, Lighthouse Park, Grouse Mountain, Lynn Valley, and Cypress, or take the ferry from downtown to Lonsdale Quay.

Explore Greater Vancouver: Installment III

Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands

If you have a bit longer, take the BC Ferries over to Vancouver Island and explore Victoria on the southernmost point (doable on foot/public transit), Cowichan Valley mid-island, and Tofino or the rugged North Vancouver Island (best visited by car). Learn more about Victoria and Vancouver Island here.

The Gulf Islands are a popular destination, comprising over 200 islands stretching from Victoria to Nanaimo. The archipelago is known for its stunning natural beauty, with crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and lush forests. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and cycling, as well as exploring quaint island towns like Salt Spring and Galiano. The islands operate at a more relaxed pace of life than the city and are also famous for their artist community, organic farms, and annual festivals in the summer months.

Explore the Gulf Islands.