Although there are reasons to visit Vancouver in every season, spring is the perfect time. The city and its residents are coming out of hibernation; all of its parks and gardens look beautiful in full bloom, and travel prices are lower in the off-season. If you need more reasons to visit Vancouver in spring, keep reading!
The parks spring to life
Vancouver is known for its natural side. It’s surrounded by water, mountains, provincial parks, and has many urban parks and gardens to enjoy year-round. Fortunately, they look particularly good in spring, when the trees grow back their lush green leaves, and the flowers bloom in a multitude of colors. Hire a bike, or walk around—and through—Stanley Park and its seawall. Head to Queen Elizabeth Park to see the city skyline backdropped by the snowy mountains (while the snow lasts). Then visit VanDusen Botanical Garden nearby for more beautifully manicured gardens.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Vancouver is notorious for its wet weather. So much so that one of the city’s nicknames is Raincouver. Nevertheless, fall and winter are the wettest seasons in the city. When spring arrives, so does a lot more sunshine, which is great for locals and visitors alike. The average temperature in April is 13°C (55°F), which is a good temperature for exploring the city on foot.
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Japan may be the world’s number one cherry blossom destination, but Vancouver does give the country a run for its money. You can find many cherry blossom trees across the Greater Vancouver Area. The city also hosts the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the flower and the season annually in April. The festival’s website also has neighborhood maps so that you can discover the best blooming streets and areas. The festival also organizes community events, such as Bike the Blossoms.
Spring equals the beginning of the whale-watching season in Vancouver. From March until October, thousands of whales migrate off the city’s shores, making it one of the world’s best whale-watching destinations. Although orcas are the main attraction, people can also spot humpback, grey, and minke whales. There are many local tour operators to choose from, which allow you to go whale-watching via zodiacs, large boats, kayaks, or even seaplanes! Visit the official British Columbia tourism website for more details on the various whale-watching tours available.
Patio season begins
Once the rain clouds stop hovering over the city and the temperatures start to warm up, it’s officially patio season in Vancouver. On a sunny day, you can expect to find a lot of locals out on the patios of the city’s best restaurants. The local website Daily Hive has a comprehensive guide to the best patios in the Greater Vancouver Area. Popular places include Tap & Barrel (both the False Creek and North Vancouver locations), Cactus Club Cafe in English Bay or Coal Harbour, and Mahony & Sons at Stamps Landing.
Another reason spring is a great time to visit Vancouver? Spring skiing! There are three ski mountains located near Vancouver: Cypress Mountain (the biggest and most popular with locals), Mount Seymour, and Grouse Mountain. Depending on the preceding winter’s snowfall, the mountains usually stay open until late March or late April. Meanwhile, Whistler Blackcomb in Whistler has one of Canada’s longest ski seasons, regularly remaining open until the end of May. The ski town also hosts the World Ski and Snowboard Festival annually in April, and it is a great day trip option from Vancouver.
The perfect time to kayak
Vancouver is a very outdoorsy city, which is what attracts a lot of people. Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and kayaking are all popular outdoor activities enjoyed around the area. This spring, why not hit the water and enjoy the Vancouver outdoors from a kayak? There are three popular kayaking areas around the city: English Bay, False Creek, and Deep Cove. There are kayak rentals at each location too. While False Creek is more on the urban side, Deep Cove is the most isolated and picturesque of the three locales.
Although summer is the main festival season in Vancouver, there are still quite a few fun events happening during spring. Along with the flower-orientated festivals mentioned, there’s also the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, the Vancouver International Dance Festival, CelticFest Vancouver, the Vancouver Opera Festival, and many more. The city also hosts the world-renowned TED Conference annually in April.
Time to hit the trails
There are many incredible hikes to enjoy near Vancouver. Although some of the more difficult trails on the mountains remain closed until June, there are still plenty of hiking options available. Quarry Rock in Deep Cove is a favorite and easy hike, but it’s best to complete it early in the day to avoid crowds. Burnaby Mountain has 26 multi-use trails, as well as stunning views of Burrard Inlet. Another option is the hike to the very scenic Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver or hiking the trails within Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam.
Once the temperature begins to increase, so does the number of markets popping up around Vancouver. There are the Vancouver Farmers Markets, which have several locations throughout the city that open in May. Next is the Eastside Flea, which is a market with stalls selling collectibles, antiques, homemade products, and vintage clothing. The Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver begins in May and hosts many of the city’s best food trucks. Finally, the Richmond Night Market, which is North America’s largest night market, opens in early May as well.
Although they’ve become known as popular backdrops for Instagrammers in recent years, tulip fields are nonetheless beautiful and bright places to spend a morning or afternoon in the springtime. There are two main tulip festivals near Vancouver: Abbotsford Tulip Festival and Tulips of the Valley in Chilliwack. It’s recommended checking the official websites prior to visiting the fields, as opening dates vary every year.
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