The biggest city in the Canadian province of British Columbia, Vancouver is well known for its cultural diversity, stunning skyline, and beautiful surrounding scenery. With a mild climate and proximity to forests, mountains, rivers, the Strait of Georgia, as well as over 1,200 acres of parks, Vancouver is one of the top spots in Canada for outdoor recreational activities of all kinds. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Kayaking Vancouver

Kayaking Vancouver
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The average Vancouverite tends to be very active, with lots of reasons and opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature both on land and on the water. Kayaking is highly popular in and around Vancouver, with a whole host of creeks, bays, coves, lakes, and more to paddle around and explore. If you find yourself in Vancouver and want to enjoy some of the finest kayaking in Canada, be sure to check out the top kayaking spots and companies listed below. Things to Do in Vancouver BC

Best Kayaking Spots in Vancouver

With a whole lot of shoreline and plenty of great waterways all around, Vancouver is blessed with some of the best kayaking in the country. Many of the city's residents love to kayak and countless kayakers can be spotted at all times of year taking to the waters of Vancouver and surrounding British Columbia. If you'd like to enjoy some great kayaking this area, check out some of these locations.

- False Creek

Open for year-round kayaking, False Creek is easily one of the most popular kayaking spots in Vancouver and has a lot to offer. It's one of the best kayaking locations for people who actually want to see the city skyline from the water. Kayak rentals and outfitters can be found around this area and you can see all kinds of monuments and landmarks along the way including Yaletown, Science World, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

- Deer Lake

Popular for kayak fishing and general kayaking, Deer Lake is home to a whole lot of wildlife, including many kinds of fish, birds, beavers, and more. It's a great spot for a relaxing paddle with friends and family on calm waters and is located just a short drive outside of downtown Vancouver.

- Stanley Park

The biggest park in Vancouver is also a great spot to do some kayaking. Head here in summer to see hundreds of kayaks out on the water, or come at a less busy time of year if you prefer a little more intimacy. Either way, you're guaranteed a super paddle with some stunning views of the North Shore Mountains.

- Deep Cove/Indian Arm

Offering absolutely breathtaking views in all directions, Deep Cove is the perfect place to start your Indian Arm kayaking adventure. It's rated as one of the must-visit locations in British Columbia and plays home to seals, sea lions, eagles, and many more species.

- Squamish

A short drive away from Vancouver is Squamish. For nature and wildlife lovers, this place is a genuine haven in British Columbia. A wide range of water styles can be found here, including calm, flat waters for relaxing paddles and intense whitewater rapids for challenging kayak sessions. This all means that Squamish is a super spot for kayakers of all kinds and ages.

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2.Kayak Tours and Rentals in Vancouver

Kayak Tours and Rentals in Vancouver
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As kayaking is such a popular activity in Vancouver, many kayaking companies have been set up in and around the city. Check out some of the companies listed below to have the best kayaking experiences at this location.

1. Kayak Vancouver - 1295 Richards St #508, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B7, Phone: 778-775-4687

Offering kayak rentals and guided kayak tours all around Vancouver, Kayak Vancouver aims to offer you the very best experiences on the waters of this beautiful Canadian city. Locations like Howe Sound, English Bay, and Stanley Park can all be enjoyed on these fantastic kayak tours, as well as many other landmarks of the Vancouver area. All tours are led by certified guides who can answer any questions, put everyone at ease, and ensure that every kayaker has the best possible experience out on the water.

2. Vancouver Water Adventures - 1812 Boatlift Ln, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Y2, Phone: 604-736-5155

This highly rated company runs kayak tours, kayak rentals, and kayak lessons, covering all of the bases for kayak enjoyment in and around Vancouver. The 'Smooth Classic' kayak tour with Vancouver Water Adventures takes on the calm, relaxing waters of False Creek, giving guests a look at some of the city's most interesting buildings and landmarks like Science World and BC Place Stadium.

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Best Kayaking in Vancouver, BC

More Ideas: Pacific Northwest Raptors

Pacific Northwest Raptors on Vancouver Island was established in 2002 by Gillian Radcliffe. The team at The Raptors consists of small number of knowledgeable and caring biologists, as well as raptor enthusiasts, who are dedicated to the protection and conservation of several birds of prey, as well as the birds themselves. The primary goal for Gillian founding this conservation center was to help with changing the way people think about the fragile balance between wildlife and mankind within the ecosystem, as well as the crucial role that raptors play within our natural habitats. Those at Pacific Northwest Raptors believe the best way to share such an important message is to let visitors get up close to the amazing birds, and learn more about their essential roles within the ecosystem they share with mankind.

Visitors to The Raptors have the opportunity to not just learn about the birds of prey the center is committed to protecting, but they can also get up close and personal with them as well. There is a wide array of opportunities for guests to see these fascinating predatory birds up close. Guests peer into the eyes of an owl, take a stroll through wooded areas of the center with a hawk, or even spend an entire day immersing themselves in a world of raptors.

Whichever birds of prey experience guests choose, they are sure to develop an ever-lasting respect for nature and its wildlife through these unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. All of the Pacific Northwest Raptors' hands-on program are available the visitor center, situated within the Cowichan Valley, only ten minutes away from downtown Duncan. While guests participating in any of the programs offered by the center must be at least eight years of age, they do provide a separate hands-on experience for kids ages four to seven that visitors can enquire about at the visitor center.

One of the programs offered by Pacific Northwest Raptors is the Hawk Walk. Guests participating in the program will be taking a walk on the wild side as they wander through a field or forest with a hawk following along over their heads. Visitors can then put a glove on their hand to have the hawk fly down and land lightly on their raised fist. The entire experience lasts around fifteen to twenty minutes, making it a great experience for visitors who only have an hour to spare or an entire day. The Hawk Walk experience is a part of the center's CLOSER Admission experience.

The staff of Northwest Pacific Raptors work every single day of the year with the birds of prey, helping them learn how better provide them with highest level of care possible. These amazing creatures have always filled people with awe, and it's not hard to see why. These birds are silent predators as they swoop down with precision, speed, and intent. However, they are vulnerable as well, and their existence is increasingly threatened across the world by human activity. In order for them to continue to exist, people need to see these birds as more than predators.

1877 Herd Road, Duncan, British Columbia, Phone: 250-746-0372

More Things to Do on Vancouver Island

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More Ideas: Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens is located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in Canada. Visitors to the Garden will be treated to colorful blooming flowers in the springs, rich hues of color in the summer, the fall russet and gold colors, and spectacular Christmas decorations and peacefulness in the winter. Robert Pim Butchart developed a limestone quarry and constructed a cement factory on Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island in 1904.


Jennie Butchart served as the chemist for the company. The Butchart family built their family home near the quarry and planted sweet peas and rose bushes.

Over the years the limestone deposits were exhausted. Jennie Butchart decided to design a garden for the pit. She gathered top soil from the nearby farmland and brought it to the quarry horse-drawn cart. The soil was used to line the floor of the pit. Soon the quarry bloomed into the Sunken Garden of today.

During the years between 1906 and 1929, the Butchart family designed a Japanese Garden on the beachside area of their residence, an Italian Garden on what was once their tennis court, and a Rose Garden. Robert Butchart was proud of his wife’s vision and collected birds from many places in the world to go with her work. Ducks were kept in the Star Pond, peacocks strutted around on the front lawn, and numerous intricate birdhouses were found in all the gardens.

Robert and Jennie Butchart gifted The Gardens to their grandson Ian Ross on his twenty-first birthday. He worked to make them self-sustaining and transformed them into a destination that was known internationally.


The Butchart Gardens offers attractions throughout every season of the year.

The Five Seasons- The Gardens go through changes, each as spectacular as the last throughout the year.

· Spring- Visitors in the spring will bear witness to the thousands flowering shrubs, bulbs, and trees blooming. Enjoy the refreshing scents and fresh colors.

· Summer- Visitors in the summer will see dramatic displays of flowers when visiting during the day. At night visitors will be treated to the addition of refined plays of shadow and light called “Night Illuminations.” Concerts and Saturday Night Fireworks Show are also available during the summer.

· Autumn- The Gardens feature the reds, golds, and russets of Maples during the fall. This is the best season to visit the Japanese Garden. November offers visitors the option to book a Greenhouse tour which explores the production of the greenhouses at The Gardens.

· Winter- The temperate climate of Canada in British Columbia offers visitors the chance to view the refined beauty of trees and shrubs and flowers such as snowdrops and hellebore.

· Christmas- Christmas is considered a season because of the spectacular decorations and displays during the holidays.

Experiences/ Activities

The Garden provides a variety of experiences and activities for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year.

· The Children’s Pavilion- The Children’s pavilion contains the Rose Carousel and a room for hosting events such as birthday parties. It also includes environmentally friendly features such as natural lighting, passive ventilation, water-efficient plumbing, and an irrigation system that doubles as a heat source.

· Family Walk- This is a self-guided tour that is designed for families that have young children. The tour includes extra information on the worksheets provided. All garden paths are stroller friendly and there are areas for changing babies and benches throughout the gardens.

· Boat Tour- In the summer a forty-five-minute natural tour is offered to explore the wildlife and history of Tod Inlet as well as the waters of Brentwood Bay.

· Night Illumination- Nighttime at The Garden during the summer months includes refined plays on shadow and light in the garden. This complements the various entertainment shows that are put on in the summer months.

· Greenhouse Tour- During the fall at the Gardens a Greenhouse Tour is offered where visitors are allowed a glimpse behind the scenes at the greenhouse facilities.

· Spring Prelude Indoor Garden- This garden is open during the winter months and includes flagstone paths, witch hazels and flower cherries, beds of tulips and daffodils.

· Historical Display- The Butchart residence is available to be toured during the winter months.

· Ice Skating- During the Christmas season, the Garden boasts an outdoor ice skating rink for the whole family to enjoy.

· Saturday Night Fireworks- During the summer months, a fireworks show is put on every Saturday at the Garden.

· Summer Evening Entertainment­- Various shows are put on during summer evenings for visitors to enjoy.


The Seed and Gift Store at Butchart Gardens is open every day. It is stocked with a variety of items.


There are several dining options at Buchart Gardens including The Dining Room, The Blue Poppy Restaurant, and the Coffee Shop.

800 Benvenuto Avenue Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Phone: 866-652-4422

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More Ideas: Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens are a wildlife zoological park and nature reserve showcasing a variety of butterfly, insect, bird, reptile, and amphibian species in natural indoor and outdoor environments. In 2013, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens underwent significant renovation, including the construction of an environmentally-friendly roof and the painting of a new jungle-themed motif throughout the facility.


In 2016, a new exhibit, the Insectarium, was added to the facility. In recognition for their ongoing environmental conservation efforts, the Gardens were certified as a Green-level facility in 2017 by the Vancouver Island Green Certification program.

Permanent Attractions and Animals

Today, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens are home to more than 6,000 butterflies of 70 different species at any given time throughout the attraction’s operating season. In addition to butterflies, the Gardens house a number of insects, birds, tortoises, iguanas, geckos, fish, and frogs, as well as over 200 species of tropical plants. The Garden’s entrance exhibit is its new Insectarium which highlights insects and invertebrates from all over the globe, including a full colony of leaf cutter ants. The main floor of the Garden’s exhibits are located directly past the Insectarium, with displays arranged around the facility’s central open spaces. Throughout the garden, butterflies and birds fly freely overhead. A central pond area and nearby tributary streams feeding into it are populated by fish species, including carp and koi, as well as several species of turtles and ducks.At the Emerging Window exhibit, visitors can see butterflies that are new to the garden and ones that will be released during the operating week. Butterflies may also be observed feeding at the the garden’s Butterfly Alley, which is filled with fruit trays and live nectar plants, and at the Feeding Butterflies area, which offers live plants for free feeding.

The Gardens showcase several larger animal habitats in addition to butterfly exhibits. In the Red Footed Tortoises habitat, South American tortoises growing up to 30 centimeters in size may be viewed. Conures, a species of medium-sized parrots, are showcased at the facility’s Conure Cove exhibit. Two Caribbean flamingos may be observed at Flamingo Pond, while the Jewels of the Rainforest display features several species of poison dart frogs. Other exhibits focus on other species of insects and invertebrates, including an Atlas Moth habitat that showcases atlas moths, the world’s largest species of moth, and a Caterpillar Corner habitat, which is home to various species of caterpillar. A display of Carnivorous Plants allows visitors to get an up-close look at plant species, such as the pitcher plant, that rely on insects for their food. A display area featuring Epiphytes also teaches visitors about varieties of non-parasitic plants that grow on other plants as support structures.

Other plants and animals throughout the Gardens include the facility’s largest parrot, Shadow, a gold and blue Macaw, as well as the garden’s Vanilla Orchidplant, an example of one the most expensive spices on earth. The Garden’s Pink Chenille plant, a tropical species from Malaysia that provides food for the white tree nymph butterfly, is also showcased. Though admission to the facility is free and open to the public, a Community Corner station near the facility’s exit collects proceeds for rotating local charities.

Ongoing Programs and Events

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are committed to environmental conscientiousness. This commitment is displayed in initiatives such as the Garden’s animal sourcing policy, which mandates that all of the animals featured at the Gardens are animals that have been adopted, rescued, or donated. Before being accepted, animals are screened to ensure they will thrive within the Garden’s environment. The garden has also decreased its reliance on imported butterflies and now reproduces most of its butterfly population in house, which reduces shipping and packing waste and allows visitors to observe the entire butterfly life cycle. Additionally, the Gardens is committed to biological pest control and does not introduce any chemical elements into the garden for pest population maintenance. Instead, the Gardens rely on natural predators, such as other insects or small button quails, to control populations of potentially harmful insects.

The Gardens have a strong commitment to engagement with the Vancouver Island community and frequently partner with local nonprofits and charities for events for fundraising efforts. Past partners have included the British Columbia Foundation, the Victoria Hospice, and the Our Place Society. Every month, donations from the facility’s Community Corner are given to a different local nonprofit organization. Throughout the year, the Gardens offers a variety of public special events, including a large yearly festive Christmas display and a Halloween pumpkin carving and arachnids event, and showcases rotating seasonal decor related to holiday themes.

More about: Vancouver Island things to do

1461 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J5, Canada, Phone: 250-652-3822

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