You’re never at a loss for something to do when you live in downtown Vancouver. This is especially true of The West End – a dynamic community of people, restaurants, beaches, shops, and nightlife.
Whether you want to park yourself on a West End patio, hop neighbourhoods on the Aquabus, see – and be seen – at the hottest West End beaches, jog the seawall, or just relax by the water, The West End has it all. Here are our top 5 things to do in The West End right now.
Hit up the beach
The West End is teeming with beaches, and each has a unique vibe. Cruise to English Bay to dine at a local restaurant and enjoy a view of the harbour. Head to Sunset Beach to watch the sun go down. Second Beach is a great spot to catch some rays at the outdoor pool. Or bike to the somewhat more secluded Third Beach for some R&R and to meet fellow Westenders. There’s no shortage of beaches in the West End!
Catch a movie in the park
Grab a blanket or a camping chair and head to Stanley Park to enjoy one of your favourite movies. Every summer, EVO car-share puts on a free weekly Summer Cinema series in Stanley Park. Previous year’s films include classics like Jurassic Park, Moulin Rouge, Shrek, Wayne’s World, and more!
The movies at Stanley Park run from early July until the third or fourth week in August. Located at Ceperley Meadow beside Second Beach, shows start at dusk, usually between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Just be sure to get there early to save your spot and dress warmly – it can get chilly once the sun goes down.
Spend a day at the pool
Second Beach Pool is a heated, outdoor pool located near the beach, trails, and forest of Stanley Park. Complete with graduated depths, two slides, a 50m section for swimming lengths, and a cafe that serves cold drinks and ice cream, this West End pool is the perfect place to catch some sun and watch the community pass by on the seawall.
Coordinate a restaurant or patio crawl
With so many incredible Vancouver restaurants within walking distance, it can be tough selecting where to have lunch in The West End. So, why not try a few? Choose a theme and then make a list of the restaurants in the area:the best patios in The West End; pubs and breweries in downtown Vancouver; local coffee shops; a specific type of cuisine. The West End is home to several rustic, Asian, and West Coast-style food establishments. With a diverse selection of upscale restaurants, casual cafes, and local pubs in the area, you’re sure to find a “food crawl” that suits your tastes and budget.
Explore Stanley Park
With over 400 hectares of green space and 27 kilometres of trails, Stanley Park lives up to its reputation as the “top park in the world.” Rent a bicycle from one of the shops along Denman or Georgia Street, strap on a helmet, and be sure to ask the shop what to do when you hear someone call “on your left!” If cycling isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the day here. Wander the many walking trails in Stanley Park, or make your way to Second Beach or Third Beach to take in the spectacular ocean and North Shore mountain views. Stanley Park is also home to The Vancouver Aquarium, The Stanley Park Train, pitch & putt, first nation’s totem poles and artwork, tennis courts, water parks, and horse and carriage rides. If you get hungry mid-park adventure, fuel up at Prospect Point Cafe, The Teahouse Restaurant, or Stanley Park Brewpub.