While there are countless Vancouver attractions to spend this $75 Vancouver Attractions Voucher on, we’re thrilled to be adding one more to the list: The Vancouver Aquarium
The largest marine rescue facility in Western Canada, the Aquarium closed its doors to the public in early 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the attractions were shut down, the facility was able to sustain its heroic operations thanks to the help of benefactor Herschend Enterprises, who purchased the aquarium in April 2021. The new owners have helped provide resources and much-needed upgrades to what was Canada’s first official aquarium, returning it to its previous splendor.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out their aquatic residents on the live steam this past year—or even if you have—there is a lot of cuteness in store because the doors might have been closed, but the rescues never stopped!
New attractions at the aquarium include an interactive 4D theatre experience and a marine mammal rescue exhibit. Take a look at what you can expect to see on a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium in 2021:
VANAQUA MOMENTS: RESCUE STORIES
Every year, the aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre rescues, rehabilitates, and releases more than 150 marine mammals to the ocean. You can learn more about these stories throughout the aquarium and meet the six rescued sea otters that call Vancouver Aquarium home.
THE 4D THEATRE EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a larger than life multi-sensory immersion that takes you to the depths of the oceans with the 4D Theatre Experience allowing you to see, hear, smell, and feel this cinematic adventure. Now showing Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience®
Get up close with South African penguins, learn about the threat to their species, and how they’re one of the few species of penguin that live in a warmer climate. Watch as they waddle on the rockwork and swim in their habitat tank.
GRAHAM AMAZON GALLERY
This interactive exhibit features a re-creation of South America’s tropical rainforest. You can truly feel the heat and humidity as you walk through and be sure to keep an eye out for scarlet ibises in the branches, see if you can find the well-camouflaged sloths, and experience an indoor thunderstorm.
Experience the underwater world of Steller sea lions as they glide through their aquatic home. This exhibit features an active research station, bringing behind-the-scenes research to the forefront, and highlighting the role that sea lions play in the wild.
Welcome to the undersea classroom where you can actually touch the oceanic world. This interactive learning centre gives you the chance to explore and learn about the world of invertebrates including crabs, sea anemones, jellies, sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and shrimps.
The Tropics gallery showcases coral reefs, mangrove forests, rivers, and lakes near the equator. You’ll see pink, blue, and yellow fish, alongside swarms of jellyfish, a tropical green sea turtle, and even sharks.
Vancouver is a beautiful city offering anything anyone could need – alright we might be a bit biased, but it does still include the very best of the pacific west coast. There is no reason to head to the southern beaches of California when we have all the sand and heat we need right outside.
This summer has already been a hot one and it shows no signs of slowing down. Embracing the best of this weather is easy done at 7 Vancouver beaches which we highly recommend – yet another reason to have yourself a staycation in this beautiful city!
“Kits” Beach as it is locally known is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver. There is even a bit of free street parking to be found … right here… in Vancouver!
English Bay can get a bit busy, but that is only because of its amazing location right downtown and part of Vancouver’s West End.
Clothing is optional at Vancouver’s famed Wreck Beach, making it a unique visit for some. It is located at the end of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. In typical record-breaking style, Vancouver’s nude beach holds the record as the largest in e in all of North America!
If your last beach trip and book were interrupted by someone’s backpack blaring The Weekend, you may want to head over to a little spot between UBC and Locarno Beach, where amplified sounds of any kind are not permitted. Spanish Banks Beach is a peaceful place ideal for photos and family events.
Originally known as iy’a’l’mexw in Squamish, Jericho Beach is located just west of Kitsilano. Its oceanfront sandy beach is met with an exceptionally manicured park which on it’s own is something to behold.
Vancouver got right to the point when we named Stanley Park’s sunbathing real estate. Third beach is located at Ferguson’s point in Stanley Park and is a great place to catch the sunset.
Second Beach, also in Stanley Park, and comes with an outdoor pool and waterpark (including a waterslide!) – all on the beach! Second Beach is where family fun meets stunning oceanside views!
After enjoying a month of movie theaters, birthday parties, BBQs, block parties, and any other personal configuration of an outdoor gathering with up to 50 people, it already feels like life is back to normal, however as of July 1, British Columbia is rolling out its most exciting section of the plan yet: Phase 3.
What Does Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan Mean in Vancouver?
Above all else, it means a full return to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings with merely a strict community request to of course still stay home and get tested if you feel ill, and to wear your mask in public settings. It sounds as though it is not required at this time, however, encouraged where you are able for the sake of the whole community’s progress.
Any organized events will run at increased capacity both indoors and outdoors, with COVID-19 Safety Plans in place, and this includes fairs and festivals!
While larger-scale parties and some concert events such as BC’s famed Rockin’ River will remain on hold, Playland has already extended their hours to be open on weekends! With this exciting new increase of traffic, early booking is still recommended.
Perhaps the most exciting category – or at least for those of us giving away daily deals at 39 downtown Vancouver hotels and attractions- Canada-wide recreational travel is back! And now has never been a better time to explore our one-of-a-kind Pacific Northwestern City.
While we think it is fantastic that our local fitness facilities are once again allowed to host classes at their standard capacity, for those fitness fanatics who would rather enjoy the heat, or are not yet quite ready to take this indoor leap, be sure to keep an eye on the Daily 2021 Stanley Park Events Calendar, as well as specials such as this Cycle Vancouver promotion. For those of you coming from out of town, as noted above, we even have a few great deals on 39 downtown Vancouver hotels that host absolutely incredible, near private fitness facilities.
What else is happening?
Let’s all not leave our favourite phase 1 past-time in the dust! There are still hundreds of downtown Vancouver patios to hop. Easily support our local Vancouver patios past, present, and future this summer when following this amazing patio map created by @patiovancouver! Featuring over 400 patios, you will not only enjoy an amazing meal but also can vote for your favorites and even win daily and weekly prizes!
If you’re wondering what’s happening this June in Vancouver, we’re all about embracing the warm weather and patio season. Now has never been a better time to be a tourist in your hometown.
For your complete list of patios to try Vancouver this Summer 2021 (and to vote for your favourites!) be sure to visit @patiovancouver!
The City has also issued an exciting number of Temporary Patio Permits through their Temporary Expedited Patio Program (TEPP) These next few patios only scratch the surface. Find the link to the full list (plus bonus staycation discounts) in the link below.
Exciting news! As of June 1, 2021, Prestons Restaurant + Lounge is now open for breakfast and dinner service! Prestons uses local and seasonal ingredients to create a menu that is innovative and refreshingly local.
Their goal is to bring you food from the farm to your table using fresh and locally grown ingredients in all of their recipes. “What we don’t make in-house is sourced from local artisans to bring you the quality and flavour of the West Coast.” Yes please!
One of the most sustainable dining choices in Vancouver and located in the Listel Hotel, Forage is a Farm-to-table bistro presenting creative, area-sourced plates. They pour local beer & wine on tap and are one of our top choices for a night out!
Offering Tandoori fare, seafood, vegetarian dishes, and countless other awesome and authentic meals, Modern Handi has been a popular fixture since 2018 and made the list of recently approved patios. This establishment is fond of noting they are not about fast food, but rather good food fast! Sign us up!
Capo and Spritz
In Canada, we’re known for our wine and beer, in Italia it’s the wine and an Aprol “Spritz” (Aprol or Campari!) Anyone wishing they were drinking up in this Medditerean EU gem this summer, can be more than transported there for a couple of hours to Sicilian shores when visiting Capo and Spritz! This neighbourhood pizzeria is a neighborhood classic. Italian-trained Chef Lucais Syme uses a 36-hour fermented sourdough to create your masterpiece while you enjoy the hospitality and wine direction of restaurateur Dustin Dockendorf. Mamma Mia!
This pub with a patio has one of the best views in town. Situated right in the Convention Centre and in False Creek just about every seat, in both locations, is waterfront. Both their Downtown Vancouver and Stamps Landing locations have fully covered and heated patios.
As it’s said “to the Victor belongs the spoils” and at this incredible spot, they promise you’ll be spoiled for choice. The Victor boasts a contemporary play on surf and turf with fresh-caught Pacific Northwest seafood, a sumptuous selection of specialty steaks, and an elevated sushi and raw bar experience.
TC Lions Pub
British pub fare in the heart of Vancouver. Minutes from Waterfront station, TC Lions Pub boasts the best traditional British Fare in Coal Harbour. Come meet their friendly staff and try out their authentic European-style patio.
And you thought this was just a chocolate shop? Headed by Chef Thierry Busset, Chocolatier and Patissier from Auvergne, France, this renowned cafe has long since had patio space to enjoy their cakes, and tarts… and eclairs…croissants…chocolates… flavoured ganache….on y va!
Secret Gardens and Seawall dining, H Tasting Lounge, located at The Westin Bayshore, enjoy a luxurious and special evening (or lunch) dining in one of these translucent globes.
If you’re wondering what’s happening this May in Vancouver, embracing the warm weather and locals-only restrictions is on the top of our agenda! It has never been a better time to be a tourist in your own hometown!
Whether enjoying a lunch break now that you’re back at the office, taking advantage of our special staycation discount packages for the whole family, or simply visiting downtown for the day, Cycle City Vancouver has it covered! Assess your cycling route level at bikehub.ca or simply hit the road with this all-ages family route:
Cycle Vancouver’s Top Self-Guided Stanley Park Tour
Sharing their most popular bike ride for your safe bubble in DIY fashion, Cycle Vancouver recommends a unique spin on Stanley Park! Borrowing the park’s 28 kilometre long, uninterrupted pathway, you will embark on the familiar path that was constructed almost 100 years ago (due to shipping erosion!) This tour is especially rooted in first nations history as Stanley Park remains unceded First Nations territory. Admire countless monuments, art pieces, attractions and a thousand acres of temperate rainforest. Instagram worthy stops you will enjoy include:
It’s no secret there are beautiful murals covering our city streets and brightening the most surprising corners and allies all across town, but did you know there are now more than 250!? Find them all by following the maps created for each neighbourhood at vanmuralfest.ca
Let’s face it… spring or not we may have to plan for rain. We should plan for rain. Imagine Van Gogh is here and, luckily, our sold out staycation package is back too! Book a stay in one of our 38 participating downtown Vancouver hotels for later this summer, and get access to half price tickets to see Imagine Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The original immersive exhibition from Europe featuring more than 200 of the Dutch artist’s paintings. Learn more.
Retail Therapy – Stay and Shop
Who’s not a fan of some retail therapy? We are! Put the fun in spring cleaning by going out with the old and in with the new spring fashions! Spend a weekend shopping in Downtown Vancouver and get a $50 CF SHOP! card® for CF Pacific Centre with ANY Booking.
The $50 CF SHOP! card® is accepted by all retailers at CF Pacific Centre. Use the promo code “StayandShop”
We’d like you to let us know by participating in the ongoing #LoveVancouver event! Get out and explore Vancouver this spring. Tell us what are your favourite spots?. #LoveVancouver neighbourhoods here.
This fellow holds the number one spot in his namesake neighbourhood for more than one reason! His statue is located where his saloon, Deighton House, used to be. Jack had a successful business and the gift of gab to boot (hence his nickname “Gassy” Jack)
Gastown Steam Clock
305 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B9
An old classic just metres from Jack is the famed Gastown Steam Clock. Many don’t know that this steam power clock is mostly only antique in appearance having been built in 1977.
Angel of Victory
601 West Cordova Street
We all know it, it catches any eye passing Waterfront Station — but what does it represent? Rectified in 1921, with the depiction of an angel carrying a fallen soldier its memorial to WWI seems to be a given, but why here? It was commission by the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) in honour of more specifically their many worker who tragically sacrificed their lives for both King and Country [Canada]
Terry Fox Memorial Plaza
National hero and icon Terry Fox is depicted as he runs his Marathon of Hope in an incredible and moving set of four statues which increase from life size to eventually a larger-than-life figurine, accurately representing what Terry became to the nation. The statues of this athlete are placed appropriately in front of BC Place in what is known as Terry Fox Memorial Plaza.
Terry lost his leg to cancer before beginning his cross country run in 1980, and tragically lost his battle with the disease in 1981, at the age of 23.
Jack Poole Plaza
Erected in 2009 to commemorate the workers of Burrard Inlet and Coal Harbour this Orca marries the timeless nature our now digital and modern city is famously wrapped in.
This aluminium and stainless steel killer whale was designed by artist Douglas Coupland and can be found next to the Vancouver Convention Centre.
English Bay (Bidwell and shoreline walk)
As with the rest of the list, there is more than meets the eye with this too. This very Canadian, Inuit symbol was built of granite in a traditional human likeness, standing 6 meters high and weights a cool 31,500kg.
When did it arrive? Just in time for Expo 86! Learn More.
Stanley Park, Vancouver BC
Stanley Park, the Stanley Cup… Who was Stanley!? Frederick Stanley, or Earl of Derby and Lord Stanley of Preston, was the Governor-General of Canada from 1888-1893.
Fun Fact: in honour of International Women’s Day we’d like to note that while Lord Stanley’s sons were hockey fans, his daughter Isabel broke the social norms of the day as both a fan and a player as well. It was Isabel Stanley who reportedly encouraged her father to award the top amateur team with the Stanley Cup award. Learn more.
With so many wonderful spots to stop we couldn’t get to them all! There are hundreds of monuments scattered across our beautiful downtown Vancouver.Tag us in your favourites at @stayvancouverhotels on Facebook and Instagram and let us know which ones we missed.
These little guys are staying home too — and they’re loving it. The city may be less busy and eventful however our friends at the Vancouver Aquarium are a true testament to the time Dory coined “just keep swimming”
Did you know adult otters spend more than 30% of their day grooming their fur? While these adorable fluffy creatures are friends of ours, these foragers’ favourite meal in the wild consist of clams, mussels and crabs. Good thing for separate tanks here!
Did you know that Jellyfish actually have no brain, heart, bones or eyes? (natgeokids.com) There are more than 2000 types of Jellyfish that have been documented on Earth, and right here in Vancouver, we have more than 30!
Staff were quick to note a pandemic silver lining this past spring when they found themselves benefiting from the addition of these extra volunteer staff members, who could now freely wander the facility as a paying guest would.
Vancouver’s resident penguins are actually native to Africa and are a registered endangered species. Since the early 1900s the number of penguins in South Africa has dropped 90%. Waddling among the rockwork, Vancouver Aquarium’s habitat has been inspired by Boulder Beach in Cape Town which is their natural environment.Tune into the live penguin cam here.
The Vancouver Aquarium is Canada’s only dedicated marine mammal rescue facility. Enduring COVID-19 with more than $1 million dollar per month expenses, the Vancouver Aquarium risked closure this past spring however has continued to survive largely due to generous community donations. Learn more about donating to this marine mammal rescue facility here
BONUS: If you feel like getting out of the house and enjoying a full blow family fun, Downtown Vancouver staycation, book using promo code “GrouseMtn” before March 31, 2021, to make sure the fun continues with 1-2 FREE Winter Snow Lift Tickets
It’s been a tough year to find a change of scenery with a lot of places being closed but there couldn’t be a better time for dinner out with your family (or even just your work laptop) in Downtown Vancouver.
We’ve put together a list of a few great spots that are open and happy to host your dinner or even staycation.
BONUS if you do decide to stay downtown, we’ll include a promo code for 1-2 days Grouse Mountain winter passes. Details at the end of this post!
Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean is located in the Exchange Hotel Vancouver.
“A beautiful restaurant whose name comes from the culinary hotspot in the Aegean Sea, the chef-driven Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean & Bar is an up-market dining destination that goes far above and beyond your typical taverna.” (source: The Exchange Hotel)
Home to one of the most promising young chefs in Canada: Montgomery Lau Bacchus Restaurant is located in the Wedgewood Hotel and is the place to enjoy afternoon tea, a private event in “the Library” or an evening immersed in luxury and Venetian decor.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at The Sutton Place is home to Iron Chef Champion (2019) Chef Alex Chen and Chef Roger Ma. The Culinary geniuses and their team have been recognized for an unparalleled fine dining experience.
Claiming the 31st spot in the top 100 most prestigious restaurants in Canada might be impressive enough for some, however with too many awards to list you can read the full list here.
Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar at Georgian Court Hotel provides one of the very best Italian dining experiences in all of Vancouver. “Named after the owner’s grandfather, Francesco Raffaele Aiello, a meal at Frankie’s is a true Italian experience – blending family, food, and friends.” (Source: The Georgian Court Hotel)
This national favourite is located at both the Sandman Suites Vancouver – Davie Street and Sandman Hotel Vancouver city center locations. Visit any location to enjoy a classy and casual (always allergy-friendly!) Moxies dinner.
Shark Club Sports bar located at the Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre is the perfect spot for sports fans. Sports fans can stay at the Sandman Hotel Vancouver city center to catch a game at the bar while enjoying a bite of their signature cuisine and other exceptional sports classics.
After your continental breakfast come to choose from The Sheraton Wall Centre’s Cafe One or return again later for craft beers, single malt scotches, and small plate snacks while enjoying the beautiful atmosphere until midnight.
BONUS: An amazing on-site restaurant experience is not the only two for one perk in Downtown Vancouver! Book using promo code “GrouseMtn” when booking before March 31, 2021 to make sure the fun continues with 1-2 FREE Winter Snow Lift Tickets
Staycations and family holidays typically need to include just that: the whole family. It’s becoming much easier to travel with our four-legged family across the globe and downtown Vancouver is no exception. There are no less than 16 pet-friendly hotels in the heart of downtown Vancouver working hard to make sure your whole paw-se has a great stay!
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is so pet-friendly they have not one but two hard-working Labrador Canine Ambassadors: Ella and Elly. These ladies don’t live at the hotel but attend work with their owners 5 days a week.
Your pet will be just as pampered even receiving complimentary FirstMate kibble and more upon arrival to make sure everyone has a perfect visit.
Two pets maximum, two floors, and a ton of fun. Hotel Belmont proves once again to have something for everyone. Hotel Belmont owns the hashtag #hotelhouseparty for combining the best of every household comfort, with the ultimate hotel house paw-ty experience: bowling, arcade games, and snacks from “the living room” to the “basement” and no home is complete without your pet! Read full Hotel Belmont Pet Policy Here
Contact for pet fees and pricing
Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre
Pets are allowed in select rooms and according to BringFido.com, rates are great and well-behaved dogs may be left unattended. Unfortunately, it is impawsible to bring a cat along too.
$10 per pet, per night (Bringfido.com)
The Loden Hotel
The Loden hotel makes sure your pet is just as welcome as their own: plush pet beds, food bowls, and even a Loden leash! There are absolutely no limits on the size or weight of your pet. Learn more about their flat $50 per pet fee and two dog maximum. Learn about the Loden’s Pet Policy
$50 pet fee per pet, per stay (no limit to the size/weight).
Have you met Scout the Golden Retriever? A patron of Fairmont Waterfront, Scout has partnered with the hotel to share his first-class experiences from welcome treats (ingredients provided), designated walking areas, doggie sitting services, emergency vet clinics and more. Read the full Fairmont Waterfront pet policy here
$35 per day deep cleaning charge (maximum 2 pets)
Hyatt Regency Vancouver
While the limit may be two 50-lbs dogs, the fees for your furry companion are as low as $35 per night for the first 6 nights and charged at a monthly rate of $100/month. Hyatt Regency asks guests to phone ahead as this service is subject to availability. Learn more at Bringfido.com
The Sutton Place hotel welcomes any dog weighing 45 lbs or less and requests that your pet is never left unattended. All pets meeting this size criteria are welcome. The Sutton Place Hotel charges a one-time fee of $40. Read the full Sutton Place Pet Policy here
Another pooch pampering experience, the Georgian Court provides your pet with a treat on arrival and offers pet beds, bowls, food, and water for both use and purchase during your stay. Staff are happy to assist in arranging pet-sitting or setting up reservations at pet-friendly restaurants
Enthusiastically welcoming all 4 legged guests, the Listel Hotel provides use of a food dish and pet bed. The hotel asks that pets are not left alone in their room, and to inform staff if they will be left alone. Pets are asked to stay on their leashes when in public spaces. Read the fill Listel Hotel pet policy here
2 blocks from an off-leash dog park, greeted by resident fish, and complete with amenities such as treats, beds, and bowls, Hotel Blu is another purrfect pet-friendly pick. Read Hotel Blu Pet Policy here
Contact for pet fees and pricing
Pan Pacific Vancouver
Eager to please their guests, Pan Pacific’s pet package is pawsitively packed with luxury and amenities including a dog bed, walking maps, treats, and a doggy bag. Maximum 2 pets per suite or room Read the Pan Pacific Vancouver Pet policy here
$40 pet fee per stay + $15 for an additional pet (per stay)
Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront
What is more luxurious than a luxury hotel doggie bed for your four-legged friend? You pup will receive the use of a plush memory foam pet bed, complete with a deep cleaning treatment before and after use. Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront asks guests to call ahead to ensure the purrfect package is booked. Read more about the Pinnacle HotelHarbourfront Pet Policy here
Last but not leashed: “Dogs are always welcome at OPUS Vancouver. In fact, we tend to treat our four-legged guests even better than our two-legged ones! Pampered pooches can expect: Complimentary in-room “pup tents,” bowls, and locally sourced treats.“
All those options, but where to begin? Tell us about your furbaby-friendly trip experience at any of these 17 hotels (and send us your pictures for a chance to be featured!)