Ever known for its artistic creativity, Vancouver comes alive even in the winter months with something for everyone to enjoy! This February take in several outdoor and cultural events right in the city’s downtown centre. Thinking about making it a staycation? Learn more about our special offers below!
VMF Winter Arts
As the twinkle of holiday lights fade and we eagerly await spring’s blossoms, VMF Winter Arts arrives to brighten the city! From February 11-27, the second annual festival transforms downtown Vancouver into a free, all-ages, open-air gallery and celebration featuring augmented reality (AR) art, light installations and a licensed outdoor Hub with live entertainment, art, food and drinks. Learn more: winterartsfest.com / @winterartsfest.
Plus, rain or shine all-year-round, explore over 300 murals across Vancouver! Download the free VMF App for a self-guided tour through the city’s various neighbourhoods to discover amazing murals by local (and international) artists while discovering local cafes, shops, restaurants, and breweries. (Bonus: visit from August 12-21 to experience the annual Vancouver Mural Festival celebrations!) vanmuralfest.ca / @vanmuralfest
Vancouver PuSH Festival
This international performing arts festival showcases local, Canadian and international artists and has been known to attract up to 20,000 attendees in years past! Enjoy groundbreaking, contemporary works of dance, theatre, multimedia and music in Vancouver theatres in January and February. This year the festival features a dozen different works from around the globe. Learn More.
This year, on Tuesday, February 1st visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden to welcome the Year of the Tiger! Several organized events have already taken place during the last week of January, however, this not-for-profit garden welcomes visitors during their regular opening hours to take and appreciate in this time of year. Learn more
Vancouver is welcoming back a traditional favourite. Enjoy old-fashioned winter fun at Robson Square’s outdoor rink and take in all this pacific west coast winter magic has to offer. This season you can even enjoy the warmth of the brand new indoor skate and rental cafe too! Learn more
Really earn that Downtown Apres Ski and head out of town and enjoy a day at Grouse Mountain on us! Enjoy skiing and snowboarding, snowshoe tours and terrain parks, Grouse Mountain has it all! Night-skiing runs daily until 10 pm and there are two express lifts for intermediate and advanced terrain. Learn more about our special free pass offer here.
Stay Vancouver Hotels provides amazing offers so you can stay and receive gift certificates for Amazon, Starbucks, or iTunes, FlyOver Canada, or even free lift tickets to hit the slopes at Grouse Mountain.
If you’re looking to get in the festive spirit or even just looking for some fun date night or family fun ideas, there are lots to do in the month of November in Vancouver. As one of Canada’s busiest cities, there’s always something to do, no matter the time of year, but the transition from fall to winter comes with some extra special events. Whether you’re looking to light up the night at a Lumiere light installation, drink hot cocoa at a German-inspired Christmas market, or enjoy a stroll through CandyTown, there’s something for everyone.
One of the most unique events that has happened every year in Vancouver for the past five years is the Lumiere art exhibit that takes place all over the city. The event features a number of art installations in well-known locations like Granville Island, English Bay, and Jim Deva Plaza. Inspired by light and artistic impression, Lumiere 2021 takes place from November 12th to 30th. Visit the various exhibits and enjoy the artistic expression, perfect for a night out on the town, a date, or a family outing.
Vancouver Christmas Market
A throwback to festive old-world festivities, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a seasonal celebration of food, drink, shopping, and music. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for friends and loved ones at Christmas. The market features over 80 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts, festive food, mulled wine, European beers and spirits, and sweet and savoury desserts of all kinds.
The European-inspired village is located at Jack Poole Plaza and runs from November 13th to December 24th. Wander down lover’s lane, explore the walk-in Christmas tree, spend some quality time in the alpine lounge, or attach a lock at the love-lock installation.
No matter your interests, there’s plenty to do and see!
CandyTown Yaletown Holiday Festival
Taking place exclusively on November 27th from noon to 6 pm in Yaletown, the CandyTown Yaletown Holiday Festival is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season. This family-friendly street festival is completely free and features live music, a market full of handcrafted gifts, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving demonstrations, and the CandyTown cocktail tour.
The Roundhouse Community Centre will also be featuring Vancouver’s own version of the Polar Express at the event, with a historic steam engine, decorated with twinkling lights—a unique photo opportunity for kids of all ages. Enjoy an afternoon in the city and get your Christmas shopping done all at the same time.
The Winter Pop-up Event at the Rosewood Hotel will be back this year begining in mid-November for a very short, but festive, 40-day run! Visit www.rosewoodhotels.com or their Instagram for all the details!
Get in the festive season and enjoy these amazing attractions throughout the month of November. While you’re visiting, be sure to take advantage of the awesome offers from Stay Vancouver Hotels where you can stay and receive gift certificates for Amazon, Starbucks, or iTunes, or take in the city with two half-day bike rentals from CycleCity.
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!
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
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!)
Plus there is that whole pandemic spook factor… (we’ll just hope that will recur approximately never.)
With all those spooktacular factors aligning on the very year, we all could use an extra excuse for some light-hearted and distracting fun this Haunted Season, it begs the question: Is there a safe way to celebrate this tradition in 2020?
Luckily for us, safe Hallowe’en fun in Downtown Vancouver occurs far more frequently than an average blue moon.
Gastown Ghost Tour
Craving some ghoulish fun? From the Great Fire in 1886 and unsolved murders to the chilling tales of George Vancouver and Gaoler’s Mews, this Gastown walking tour takes you to the heart of Vancouver’s paranormal activity… Do you dare to learn more?
The Forbidden Downtown & Chinatown
Few may remember how far north prohibition spread, but the gangsters, speakeasies and bootleggers from Vancouver’s rum-running past have yet to be forgotten – if you know where to look that is…learn more
Dark Secrets of Stanley Park
Think you know Stanley Park? Are you familiar with the Hidden Cemeteries, Historic Totem Poles, Notorious Crime Scenes, Legends of Ancient Wars, Deadman’s Island, and something strange beneath the seawall?