Top Annual Sporting Events in Vancouver

Vancouver is known as one of the premier sporting cities in North America. As the celebrated Host City of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the metropolis’s awe-inspiring natural environment and strong community pride combine for big crowds and electrifying atmospheres at many athletic events. Read on for our round-up of the best annual sporting entertainment that the city has to offer:

 

Photo courtesy of World Rugby

HSBC Canada Rugby Sevens Series

Since Vancouver was awarded hosting rights to the HSBC Canada Rugby Sevens Series in 2015, the city comes alive every March with a raucous weekend-long festival complete with outrageous costumes, fan activities and world-class rugby. As one of the most dynamic global sporting events on the market, the yearly series includes ten tournaments held internationally in various host cities, and features 16 of the world’s top men’s rugby sevens teams. In Vancouver, the event takes place at 54,000-seat BC Place, distinguished as one of the league’s largest stadiums.

Want in on some of the action? For a limited time only, Stay Vancouver Hotels is offering Rugby fans select Sideline & Reserved tournament passes, plus a free $25 e-card bonus gift from Amazon. Learn more here before passes sell out.

 

Photo courtesy of Maia Rubin / RUNVAN®

Bank of Montreal (BMO) Vancouver Marathon

Internationally recognized as one of the top destination marathons in the world, the BMO Marathon is lauded for its unique route that features 70 percent shoreline views – including sweeping ocean vistas, snow-capped mountain ranges and blooming cherry blossom trees. The marathon embraces all fitness levels with Vancouver’s only marathon, a fast half marathon, 8KM race, relay and kids run. Since its inauguration in 1972, which hosted just 32 finishers, the event now sells out annually with over 17,000 participants hailing from 65-plus countries.

Let Stay Vancouver Hotels help you partake in next year’s excitement, with a chance to win free entry to the marathon from now until January 2019. For contest details, click here.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/ Nelson Mouellic

Vancouver Sun Run

The Vancouver Sun Run has been Canada’s largest 10K road race since its inception in 1985, and now holds the title as the third largest timed 10K in the world. Founded by former Canadian Olympians, the purpose behind the Sun Run is to promote the benefits of running to improve health and wellness, as well as support aspiring athletes. Today, over 40,000 runners take part in the race along with 2,500 loyal volunteers who work together to continually bring a healthy, family-friendly event to the city every spring.

 

Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Albert Normandin

Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Lions

Vancouver is also home to three professional sports teams that draw fans in from all over the Lower Mainland and beyond. The Vancouver Canucks are the city’s beloved ice hockey team that regularly plays out of Rogers Arena as members of the National Hockey League. Vancouver Whitecaps FC compete in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer to a boisterous crowd in BC Place, while the stadium also hosts the city’s celebrated football team, the BC Lions.

Gear Up for the BMO Vancouver Marathon

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is only weeks away, returning to Vancouver on May 6, 2018. Ranked one of the top destination marathons in the world, the scenic 42.2-kilometre route takes runners past the city’s picturesque beaches, natural parks and along Vancouver’s seawall (the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path).

The event, which first launched in 1972, is Vancouver’s only marathon event – drawing some of the world’s top runners from more than 65 countries. The race begins at Queen Elizabeth Park at 8:30 am, and finishes in downtown Vancouver at West Pender Street (between Bute and Thurlow streets). In addition to the full marathon, the event includes a half marathon, an 8-kilometre run, and a kids’ run.

Image of runners at the BMO Vancouver Marathon

For visitors and locals who want to soak up the electric energy of the post-run fun, make your way to the downtown finish line where you’ll catch live music, delicious eats, a street festival and more.

Runners and their cheering fans who book a stay with us between May 1 to 10 will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, plus a chance to be entered to win free entry to the BMO Vancouver Marathon! For more information on our 36 downtown Vancouver hotels, and unique offers only available at Stay Vancouver Hotels, click here.

Experience Vancouver’s Cherry Pink Spring

Spring has sprung, and Vancouver’s 40,000-plus cherry trees are now blossoming throughout the city – brightening up the streets, attractions and parks with the vibrant hues of more than 35 varieties of cherry trees. From exploring the city’s array of majestic gardens to checking out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy the best of spring.

 

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from April 3 to 29. Attendees can soak up the beautiful blossoms, lively musical performances, colourful artist demonstrations, guided cherry walks and more. Highlights include the Sakura Night Gala, where Vancouver’s top restaurants come together for an evening of Asian-fusion flavours and Sakura-inspired cocktails; musical performances at the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert; and hands-on workshops on calligraphy, origami and other Japanese arts and crafts at the Sakura Days Japan Fair.

 

Image of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival's Cherry Dam Concert
Photo courtesy of Matt Brennan

 

Bike and Walk the Blossoms

Locals and visitors can decide whether they want to picnic, walk or bike under a pink canopy using the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Bloom Map. This interactive map allows viewers to find out what’s currently in bloom, where to spot their favourite blossom variety, and which of the 2,680-plus locations to choose from. For those who want to join a group bike tour, check out the Bike the Blossoms event – a free, cherry blossom bike ride taking place on April 28.

 

Image of Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver
Photo courtesy of Ms Ana Douglas

Explore Vancouver’s Gardens

Considered one of the top Japanese gardens outside of Japan, Nitobe Memorial Garden boasts cherry trees, streams, a reflecting pond and rare authentic tea garden with a ceremonial teahouse. VanDusen Botanical Garden’s tree-lined paths, vibrant flower gardens, peaceful lakes and colourful birdlife are worth a visit alone, and in spring months visitors can view a variety of cherry trees, flowering bulbs, early rhododendrons and more. Next, make your way to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown neighbourhood for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese GardenBuilt by 52 master craftsmen from Suzhou China, this is the first garden of its kind outside of China, and features delicate blossoms intertwined in a landscape of weathered rocks, peaceful paths and a jade-green pond.

Ready to plan your trip to Vancouver? Check-in to one of our 36 downtown Vancouver hotels, and take advantage of the unique hotel offers only available here.

 

Image of Nitobe Memorial Garden bridge and pond surrounded by cherry blossoms
Photo courtesy of Ruth Hartnup | Flickr