Coastal Elegance: 7 Best Things to Do in West Vancouver

10 Min Read
Jan 3, 2024

Hey there, welcome to West Vancouver—a magical spot where the Pacific Ocean dances with lush landscapes, creating a beautiful blend of nature and culture. 

Explore West Vancouver with us! This guide takes you through the top spots and activities that make this place special. Nestled against the backdrop of the Coast Mountains, West Vancouver offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures and cultural discoveries.

Whether you're skiing on Cypress Mountain or enjoying local art at the West Vancouver Art Museum, there's something for everyone. We'll guide you through 7 must-visit places, revealing hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make West Vancouver a must-see destination on Canada's west coast.

1. Experience Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain in Winter

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Cypress Mountain's claim to fame is its unparalleled skiing and snowboarding experience. Picture yourself gliding down the slopes, with the mountain's impressive vertical drop providing an adrenaline rush like no other.

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The resort's expansive terrain, encompassing a wide array of runs, welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. As the sun sets, the adventure doesn't stop.

The mountain transforms into a luminous wonderland, with 22 runs bathed in brilliant LED lights, creating an enchanting night skiing experience that's unmatched in Western Canada.


But the allure of Cypress Mountain extends beyond its downhill slopes. It's a sanctuary for those seeking a different kind of winter magic.

Indulge in the serene beauty of cross-country skiing, and try a new fun winter activity Sno-Go Ski Bikes! Tread softly through snow-clad forests on Snowshoes, or embrace the joy of Snow Tubing and Sliding.

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At Cypress Mountain, Snowshoeing transforms a winter day into an enchanting adventure. Picture yourself stepping into the soft powdery snow, each footfall creating a path in the pristine, white landscape.

The mountain snowshoe trails wind through tranquil forests and open to spectacular views, offering a serene escape into nature as you trek through this snowy paradise. The crisp mountain air and the gentle crunch of snow underfoot create a peaceful rhythm, making snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain a truly magical experience. 

Cypress Mountain in Summer

Cypress Mountain is more than just a winter sports haven; it's a year-round destination for unique and thrilling activities. Start with Axe Throwing, a captivating outdoor experience that lets you channel your inner lumberjack.

Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned axe wielder, this activity is both exhilarating and safe, offering a unique way to bond with friends or family as you learn the art of the throw.

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Then there's the Eagle Coaster, an absolute must-try at Cypress Mountain. Imagine yourself at the top of majestic Black Mountain, ready to embark on a journey down this incredible coaster.

Stretching over 1.7 kilometers with a heart-pumping 279-meter vertical drop, the Eagle Coaster is a perfect blend of thrill and scenic beauty. As you speed down the track, take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape – it's an experience you won't soon forget.

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And let's not forget about hiking. Cypress Mountain boasts a variety of trails that cater to all levels of hikers. Wander through lush forest paths, explore serene lakes, and enjoy panoramic views from the mountain peaks.

Each trail offers a unique way to connect with the natural beauty of Cypress Mountain, making it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

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Location: Cypress Mountain - Google Maps

2. Visit Lighthouse Park

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Lighthouse Park, nestled in the scenic landscape of West Vancouver, offers a tranquil escape with a blend of historical allure and natural beauty.

The park's centerpiece, the iconic lighthouse, stands as a testament to maritime history and is a National Historic Site. This emblematic structure, one of the most photographed landmarks in the Lower Mainland, casts a timeless charm over the park, inviting visitors to step into a slice of history.

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Walking and hiking enthusiasts will find a paradise in the network of trails that meander through the park. These trails, varying in difficulty, cater to all fitness levels, offering both leisurely strolls and more challenging hikes.

Donning good walking shoes or hiking boots is advisable for a comfortable journey through the rugged, yet captivating, terrain. A trail map is readily available, guiding visitors through the lush greenery and leading to the renowned Lighthouse Viewpoint. Here, the functioning lighthouse, which has illuminated the shores since the 1870s, provides a majestic backdrop for awe-inspiring views and contemplative moments.

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Bird watching is another activity that adds to the park's charm. From the dramatic dives of cormorants to the majestic soar of eagles, Lighthouse Park is a haven for bird enthusiasts.

Location: Lighthouse Park - Google Maps

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3. Explore Horseshoe Bay

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Venture to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver for a refreshing retreat that combines luxury with the natural beauty of Vancouver.

This world-class destination offers a unique blend of relaxation and upscale experiences. Here, the tranquility of the bay meets the sophistication of top-tier amenities, creating an oasis of calm and luxury.

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Golf enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with Horseshoe Bay's award-winning golf courses. These courses are not just about the game; they are about the experience.

Each course is meticulously designed, offering challenging plays with stunning views as a backdrop. The gentle rolling hills and lush greenery provide a serene setting that enhances every swing.

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For those looking for a laid-back way to unwind, the seaside at Horseshoe Bay is just the ticket. Picture yourself lounging in a comfy deck chair, soaking up the sun, and gazing out at the stunning views. It's the perfect spot to just chill and let the beauty of the bay wash over you.

And hey, why not top off the experience with some delicious fish and chips from a local eatery? Nothing beats the classic combo of fresh, crispy fish and golden chips while enjoying the seaside ambiance. It's a simple pleasure that's big on flavor and relaxation.

Location: Horseshoe Bay - Google Maps

4. Dine at Local Restaurants

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West Vancouver's culinary scene is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts, different styles and variety add a lot to the scene making it an extraordinary with local restaurants offering an array of exquisite dining experiences.

A standout among them is The Beach House Restaurant, a gem that epitomizes the essence of coastal dining. Situated with a breathtaking view overlooking Howe Sound, this restaurant is more than just a place to eat; it's an experience that tantalizes the senses.

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The Beach House specializes in local, sustainable seafood, a testament to West Vancouver's commitment to environmental stewardship and quality. Each dish is a celebration of the ocean's bounty, crafted with care and precision. From the freshest oysters to the most delicately prepared fish, the menu is a journey through the flavors of the sea.

For those who prefer turf over surf, the restaurant also offers sumptuous steaks, cooked to perfection, providing a hearty balance to the seafood selections.

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The ambiance of The Beach House complements its culinary offerings. The patio, a serene space overlooking the tranquil Howe Sound, provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner or a relaxed meal with friends and family. As you dine, the panoramic views of the sound and the gentle lapping of the waves create an atmosphere of peaceful elegance.

Adding to the dining experience is the restaurant's selection of regional wines. Carefully curated to pair beautifully with the menu, the wine list is a journey through the best of local vineyards, enhancing the flavors of the meal and adding a touch of sophistication.

Location: The Beach House Restaurant - Google Maps

5. Visit West Vancouver Art Museum

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If you're into cool, contemporary art, you've got to check out the West Vancouver Art Museum. It's this cozy little gallery in a super charming old building that totally adds to the vibe.

They've got a knack for putting together some really interesting exhibitions, especially if you're into photography or anything to do with architecture.

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It's not one of those huge, overwhelming museums, so you can really take your time and get up close with the art. Every time you visit, there's something new and intriguing to see.

Plus, the folks who work there are super friendly and know a ton about the pieces. They're always up for a chat to give you the lowdown on the artists or the story behind the works.

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Location: West Vancouver Art Museum - Google Maps

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6. Shop at Park Royal Shopping Centre

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Ready for a shopping spree? Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver is your go-to spot. It's not just a mall; it's a whole experience.

Picture this: a unique mix of indoor and outdoor shopping spaces where you can browse, shop, and even chill out.

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At Park Royal, you'll find a wide range of stores that cater to all tastes and budgets. Whether you're hunting for the latest fashion trends, searching for some cool home décor, or just need to pick up some essentials, this place has got you covered.

It's like a treasure trove of shops and boutiques, offering everything from high-end brands to unique local finds.

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But hey, shopping isn't all you do here. Park Royal is also a great place to grab a bite. With a variety of dining options available, you can refuel with a quick snack or sit down for a leisurely meal.

It's the perfect way to round off your shopping expedition.

Location: Park Royal Shopping Centre - Google Maps

7. Watch a Movie at Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal and VIP

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For a top-notch movie-going experience in West Vancouver, head to Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal and VIP. This isn't your average cinema; it's a modern multiplex that brings Hollywood to life right before your eyes.

Whether you're a fan of big blockbusters or have a soft spot for indie films, this place has something for everyone.

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The moment you step into Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal, you're entering a world of cinematic wonder. With state-of-the-art screens and sound systems, each movie is an immersive experience.

It's like being part of the action, drama, or romance unfolding on the big screen. And let's talk about the seats – they're super comfy, perfect for settling in with your popcorn and getting lost in the movie.

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But hey, it's not just about the films. The VIP experience takes it up a notch. Imagine watching the latest releases while lounging in luxurious seats, maybe with a gourmet snack or a cool drink in hand.

It's a bit of pampering that makes your movie night extra special.

Location: Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal And VIP - Google Maps

To Sum It All Up

And there you have it, folks – a little sneak peek into the amazing things West Vancouver has in store for you. Whether you're hiking through Lighthouse Park, catching some thrills at Cypress Mountain, or enjoying a leisurely evening at Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal, every moment here is bound to be memorable.

West Vancouver isn't just a place; it's a collection of experiences, each unique and enchanting in its own way. From the tranquility of the art museum to the buzz of Park Royal Shopping Centre, there's a slice of this beautiful area for everyone.

So, what's the takeaway? Well, if you haven't already planned your trip to West Vancouver, what are you waiting for? There's a world of adventure, relaxation, and discovery waiting for you. And if you're a local, maybe it's time to play tourist in your own town and rediscover the gems right on your doorstep.

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