Dive In: Top 8 Picks for Water Fun in Vancouver this Summer 2024

9 Min Read
Apr 27, 2024

Hey there! Ready for some fun in the sun? Let's talk about all the awesome water activities you can dive into in Vancouver when the weather gets warm.

In this article, we're thrilled to guide you through the best water activities that Vancouver has to offer during the warmer months. Picture yourself gliding gracefully on a stand-up paddleboard across the shimmering waters of English Bay, or feeling the wind in your hair as you sail along the city's stunning coastline. If relaxation is more your style, imagine sinking your toes into the soft sands of Kitsilano Beach, soaking up the sunshine with the sound of waves lapping nearby.

Vancouver's diverse water scene has something for everyone. From kayaking through picturesque mountain views to leisurely river floats, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy the water in this coastal paradise.

So, grab your swimsuit, pack some sunscreen, and get ready to dive into Vancouver's pristine waters. It's gonna be an epic summer adventure you won't forget!

1. Go Kayaking

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Kayaking in Vancouver is an unforgettable experience that immerses you in the stunning natural beauty and unique marine life of the region.

As you paddle through the serene waters, keep your eyes peeled for an array of sea creatures that call these coastal habitats home. From playful sea otters to majestic bald eagles overhead, each stroke brings you closer to nature’s splendor.

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The city’s diverse kayaking spots cater to all skill levels, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler. For a gentle day out, head to the sheltered inlets around Stanley Park where the waters are calm and the scenery is picturesque.

If you’re up for more of a challenge, the open waters near the Strait of Georgia provide more rigorous routes where you can push your limits.

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Apart from the physical rewards, kayaking also offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city life. It’s a chance to unwind and connect with nature, all while soaking in panoramic views of Vancouver’s skyline and rugged mountains in the distance.

Don’t miss this quintessential Vancouver water activity—whether you rent a kayak on your own or join one of the many guided tours available.

Location: Vancouver Water Adventures  - Google Maps

2. Try Paddleboarding

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Paddleboarding is a must-do when visiting Vancouver, offering a blend of adventure and relaxation with a scenic backdrop that's hard to beat.

As you balance on your board, gliding smoothly over the calm waters, you'll have a front-row seat to some of Canada’s most breathtaking landscapes—from lush mountains to expansive city views.

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In recent years, Vancouver has become a hub for paddleboarding, with an array of options tailored for every level of experience. Whether you're looking to quietly explore the local inlets, improve your skills with a professional lesson, or join a lively group tour, there's something here for everyone.

The city's equipment offerings have expanded significantly, boasting over 80 paddleboards available for rent, ensuring that you won’t miss out on the fun.

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This activity not only gives you a fantastic physical workout but also offers a unique way to discover hidden gems along the shoreline.

Glide past secret beaches and under historic bridges as you take in the vibrant atmosphere of the waterfront. For an added adventure, several local companies offer sunset tours that pair the serene experience of paddleboarding with the spectacular beauty of a Vancouver sunset.

Location: Vancouver Water Adventures  - Google Maps

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3. Take Scenic Boat Tours

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Embark on a scenic boat tour in Vancouver and prepare for a travel experience that goes beyond the ordinary

They are an opportunity to witness the seamless blend of culture and nature from the unique vantage point of the water.

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Vancouver's scenic boat tours offer luxurious travel and exclusive glimpses into the less-traveled paths along the coast. With state-of-the-art vessels equipped to navigate these beautiful waters, guests can relax in comfort as they cruise by scenic landscapes and vibrant cityscapes alike.

Watch as the stunning panorama of the Pacific Northwest unfolds before you, from secluded bays dotted with wildlife to the majestic skyline against the mountainous backdrop.

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These boat tours vary in nature – some focus on cultural insights, introducing you to the rich histories and communities along the waterfront, while others might offer a closer look at marine biodiversity with possible sightings of local sea life such as seals, dolphins, and whales.

Whichever tour you choose, it promises to be packed with moments of beauty that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Location: Vancouver Boat Tours - Google Maps

4. Experience White Water Rafting

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White water rafting near Vancouver offers an exhilarating escape into the wild rapids of the Elaho River.

This adventure is not just about navigating the big water, but also embracing the breathtaking scenery that envelops you. Prepare for a thrilling 2 to 2.5-hour journey through some of British Columbia's most inspiring wilderness.

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The Elaho Exhilarator trip features a mix of intense rapids and calmer waters, where you might get the chance to swim through gentler rapids or even 'ride the bull' at the raft’s bow.

As you paddle, the icy shock from waters freshly melted from glacier caps will invigorate you, creating an unforgettable adrenaline rush.

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Your rafting adventure is also a scenic tour. Glide past ancient forests, dormant volcanoes, towering glaciers, and cascading waterfalls that plummet hundreds of feet towards the river below.

This route is renowned for its stunning vistas that are typically only accessible via these waters.

Location: Squamish Rafting Company - Google Maps

5. Go on a Whale Watching Adventure

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Setting out on a whale watching adventure in Vancouver is an awe-inspiring experience that connects you with the majestic nature of the Pacific Ocean.

The waters around Vancouver are rich with marine life, making them one of the best spots in the world to observe whales in their natural habitat.

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During these tours, you might catch sight of the famous orca, also known as the killer whale, alongside a variety of other species such as humpback whales, grey whales, and minke whales.

Each trip is guided by knowledgeable experts who provide insights about these magnificent creatures and their ecosystems, enhancing your experience and understanding.

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Whale watching tours in Vancouver are carefully designed to offer safety and comfort while minimizing environmental impact. Boats are equipped with quiet engines to prevent disturbing the whales and ensuring a peaceful encounter.

As you glide across the blue waters, keep your camera ready — these gentle giants often put on quite a show, breaching and splashing, which makes for spectacular photos.

Location: Wild Whales Vancouver - Google Maps

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6. Rent Seadoo or Jet Ski

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For those looking for a rush of adrenaline against the backdrop of Vancouver's scenic vistas, renting a Seadoo or jet ski is the perfect activity.

As you zoom across the glistening waters of the Pacific, you'll experience the exhilarating freedom and speed that only these machines can offer.

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Vancouver Water Adventures has grown its fleet to include 35 top-of-the-line Jet Skis, allowing you to explore the extensive coastline and unique waterways at your own pace.

Whether you're a seasoned jet ski enthusiast or a first-timer, VWA provides all the equipment and instruction you need to make your adventure safe and enjoyable.

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Each rental session starts with a comprehensive safety briefing followed by tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your ride.

You can choose to skim close to the beaches for a scenic tour of the city’s waterfront, or push the limits in open water areas, where the skyline shrinks behind you as you jet forward into the vast blue.

Location: Vancouver Water Adventures  - Google Maps

7. Enjoy Joe's BBQ Boat Rental

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Joe’s BBQ Boat Rental offers a unique dining experience that combines the joy of grilling with the pleasure of being on the water.

Perfect for those looking to enjoy a sunset feast, this floating barbecue allows you to cook your favorite meals while surrounded by Vancouver’s stunning coastal scenery.

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Before you set sail, remember to pack your meal and utensils, as the rental does not include food or cutlery. Each boat is equipped with a high-quality grill where you can whip up anything from ribs to vegetables.

Imagine sizzling your dinner as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the water.

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It's important to note that alcohol is not permitted on board, ensuring a safe and family-friendly atmosphere.

Additionally, if you or a member of your group tends to feel queasy on the water, it's wise to prepare. Bringing along remedies like ginger candies can help mitigate nausea and make your experience more enjoyable.

Location: Joe's BBQ Boat Rental  - Google Maps

8. Try Water Biking

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Water biking is an innovative way to mix fitness with fun and explore Vancouver from a fresh perspective.

Using specially designed bikes that float on water, you can pedal your way around the scenic False Creek, experiencing the city’s skyline and natural beauty right from the water’s surface.

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This activity is perfect for anyone looking to try something new while getting a good workout. Water bikes are stable and easy to manage, making them suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

As you bike along the calm waters, you’ll enjoy a unique vantage point of Vancouver’s bustling waterfront and the tranquil landscapes that surround it.

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Water biking not only offers a leisurely cruise but also provides a chance to spot local wildlife and take in the architectural marvels along the creek.

It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon—engaging your muscles and your senses in an entirely unique environment.

Location: Water Biking - Google Maps

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To Sum It All Up

And there you have it—a splash of the best water activities that Vancouver has to offer this summer!

From the serene paddleboarding sessions and thrilling kayak escapades to the exhilarating white water rafting and scenic boat tours, there’s something here for everyone. Whether you’re zooming on a jet ski, watching majestic whales, or enjoying a unique meal on Joe’s BBQ Boat, each activity promises a boatload of fun and unforgettable memories.

Don't forget to try out the trendy water biking for a mix of sightseeing and fitness. It's a great way to keep active while soaking up the stunning views around False Creek. Each of these activities is designed to make the most of Vancouver’s beautiful waterscapes and give you an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

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