Further Afield: Great Activities Around Vancouver

Activities in Vancouver - Grouse Griind

Photo by James Wheeler

Although the city of Vancouver has plenty to keep anyone busy, the Greater Vancouver region boasts of a variety of activities that take you a bit further afield, and all easily accessible by car from our Vancouver accommodations. Whether it’s berry picking in Richmond or facing the Grouse Grind, Greater Vancouver is worth discovering.

The Grouse Grind is one of the most popular weekend activities for local Vancouverites. Situated just north of the city, the Grouse Grind is a 2.9 km trail with a 853-meter elevation gain. The climb takes an average of an hour and a half, but can take up to two hours. Grouse Mountain offers plenty of other activities if you don’t feel up to the hike. 

Just south of Vancouver, you’ll find the municipality of Richmond. Although it’s quite urban on its northern section, the south of Richmond is more agricultural. In the summer, it’s also Vancouver’s favourite berry picking field. You can go pick blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, in season, directly from the fields, or you can simply go around the rural roads and buy them already picked from the farmer.

After you’ve picked your berries, you can take them to historical Steveston, a lovely part of Richmond that’s right on the water (and serves as the set of popular TV show Once Upon A Time). Sit down on a waterfront bench and enjoy your fresh berries while watching local sailors take their boats in and out of the harbour. Steveston also boasts excellent restaurants and shopping.

If the history of the Greater Vancouver region interests you, you’ll want to stop by the Burnaby Historical Village Museum. Burnaby is situated just east of Vancouver, barely a few minutes by car or about half an hour from downtown by SkyTrain. The Historical Village, situated in the heart of Burnaby’s civic grounds, will take you straight back to the 1920s. You can visit the 10-acre open-air museum at your own pace and chat with animators in period dress. There’s also a newly renovated tram and a carousel!

For those who favour a good bottle of red, you won’t want to miss local wineries. River’s Bend Winery, situated in Surrey, features 14 delicious local wines. If you haven’t yet had a taste of BC wines, this is the right place to get introduced. 

Part of a recent renovation project, the River Market in New Westminster features a pub, a specialty tea shop, a circus school, an artisan market and many other unique and intriguing stores. Situated on the bank of the beautiful Fraser River, it’s definitely worth stopping by. The Fraser River Discovery Centre is also right there if you want to learn more about the river’s role in the development of the Lower Mainland.