The Best 13 Scenic Spots in Vancouver You Must See

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15 Min Read
May 29, 2023

Vancouver, British Columbia, is known for its natural beauty, with stunning mountains, sparkling oceans, and lush forests. The city is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to experience its unique blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure.

One of the best ways to take in Vancouver's breathtaking scenery is to explore its many scenic viewpoints. From panoramic views of the city skyline to secluded beaches and rugged mountains, there are countless spots in Vancouver that offer unforgettable vistas.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the best views in Vancouver and highlight the top scenic spots that are not to be missed. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, this guide will help you discover the beauty and wonder of Vancouver from a whole new perspective. So, grab your camera and get ready to explore the best views in Vancouver.

1. Stanley Park - Prospect Point

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Prospect Point offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience. With its awe-inspiring views of the North Shore mountains, the majestic Lions Gate Bridge, and the shimmering waters of Burrard Inlet, this vantage point provides a picturesque backdrop that will leave you breathless.

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Regardless of the time of year, it never fails to enchant its visitors. In the summer, the lush greenery of the park contrasts beautifully with the blue waters of the inlet, while the snow-capped mountains during the winter months create a stunning, frosty panorama.

The scenic vista is even more magical at sunset, when the sky takes on a myriad of colors, casting a warm glow over the entire landscape.

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One of the best views in Vancouver, Prospect Point is easily accessible via a leisurely stroll through the park, or if you prefer, by taking the convenient shuttle service that operates throughout Stanley Park.

While you're there, don't forget to capture a few photos of the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, as this vantage point provides the perfect opportunity for a postcard-worthy snapshot.

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Location: Prospect Point - Google Maps

2. Cypress Lookout

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Tucked away on the route to Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver, this hidden gem provides visitors with a bird's-eye view of the city below, making it one of the best views in Vancouver at night.

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The lookout point, perched on the mountainside, offers a breathtaking panorama of Vancouver's skyline, the sparkling ocean, and the distant North Shore mountains. It is an ideal spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike, who can capture the city's beauty in its entirety from this vantage point.

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Sunrise and sunset are particularly mesmerizing. As the first light of day breaks over the horizon, the city below is bathed in a warm, golden glow, while the sun's last rays at dusk paint the sky in vibrant hues, creating a spectacular sight you won't want to miss.

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To reach Cypress Lookout, simply follow the signs leading to Cypress Mountain Resort. The lookout is located just a short drive from the main parking area, with ample parking available nearby.

While you're in the area, consider exploring some of the fantastic hiking trails that surround the resort, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the region's natural beauty.

Location: Cypress Lookout - Google Maps

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3. Queen Elizabeth Park

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Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver's very own urban oasis, where you'll discover not only spectacular views of the city and North Shore mountains but also an abundance of natural beauty within its sprawling grounds. Perched atop the highest point in Vancouver, this park provides visitors with a truly unique vantage point to admire the stunning cityscape below.

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As you wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens, take the opportunity to capture some memorable photos of the vibrant flower displays, majestic trees, and intricate sculptures that adorn the park.

The Bloedel Conservatory, a magnificent glass-domed structure, is home to a thriving ecosystem of exotic birds, plants, and flowers – a must-see attraction for nature lovers and photographers alike.

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In addition to the dazzling views of the Vancouver skyline, they also offer glimpses of the surrounding North Shore mountains, creating a breathtaking backdrop that perfectly complements the park's lush scenery.

To fully appreciate the panoramic vistas, head to the park's observation deck, where you can marvel at the expansive view that stretches out before you.

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Aside from its visual appeal, Queen Elizabeth Park also boasts a wealth of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Unwind with a leisurely stroll through the picturesque gardens, challenge yourself with a game of pitch-and-putt golf, or indulge in a delightful meal at the Seasons in the Park restaurant, where you can savor local cuisine while taking in the awe-inspiring views.

Location: Queen Elizabeth Park - Google Maps

4. Cactus Club Cafe Coal Harbour & English Bay Beach

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Cactus Club Cafe - Coal Harbour, situated near the bustling downtown peninsula, offers guests an unforgettable dining experience with a panoramic view of the skyline, the Vancouver Convention Centre, and Coal Harbour's twinkling lights.

As night falls, this location becomes a prime spot for capturing the enchanting cityscape, illuminated against the dark sky – a truly unique Vancouver photography opportunity.

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Not far from Coal Harbour, you'll find Cactus Club Cafe - English Bay, surrounded by two sandy havens English Bay Beach and Sunset Beach and nestled in Vancouver's West End.

These idyllic spots offer unrivaled sunset views, with the sky transforming into a canvas of vibrant pinks and oranges as the sun dips below the horizon. Sunset Beach, a quieter alternative to English Bay, provides an even more spectacular perspective of the city's skyline and the surrounding natural beauty.

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While exploring these areas, don't forget to visit the nearby attractions such as the Totem Poles, the Vancouver Aquarium, or perhaps take a leisurely Ride on a Horse-Drawn Carriage during the summer months.

Keep an eye out for local wildlife, as you might just spot a playful river otter or a curious seal frolicking in the waters.

  • Location: Cactus Club Cafe | Coal Harbour - Google Maps
  • Location: Cactus Club Cafe | English Bay Beach - Google Maps

5. Jericho Beach

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At Jericho Beach, you can soak up the sun on the warm sand, take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters, or engage in some friendly competition with a lively game of beach volleyball.

The beach is a haven for both locals and tourists alike, providing a perfect escape from the city's hustle and bustle while still offering a captivating view of Vancouver's skyline.

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The beach's picturesque location also presents an opportunity to witness the city from a unique perspective. As you lounge on the sand or stroll along the shoreline, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, the shimmering ocean, and the impressive cityscape in the distance.

This beautiful view serves as a constant reminder of Vancouver's unique blend of urban and natural landscapes.

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Beyond its visual appeal, Jericho Beach is also a hotspot for various watersports and outdoor activities. Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or sailboat to explore the waters, or take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic trails that hug the coastline.

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As the sun sets, the beach transforms into an ideal spot for a romantic picnic or a casual gathering with friends, complete with mesmerizing views of the city lights reflecting off the water.

Location: Jericho Beach - Google Maps

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6. Deep Cove - Quarry Rock

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As you embark on the Quarry Rock hike, prepare to be captivated by the picturesque surroundings. The well-maintained trail weaves through towering trees, along babbling creeks, and past enchanting waterfalls, providing a sensory feast that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

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The true reward, lies in the panoramic water views awaiting you at the summit. Upon reaching the top, you'll be greeted with a breathtaking vista of Deep Cove, its sparkling waters, and the surrounding mountains.

This vantage point offers a unique perspective of Vancouver's natural beauty, making it one of the best mountain views in the area.

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Be sure to take a moment to savor the view and capture some photos, as the stunning scenery at Quarry Rock is truly something to remember. The lookout also provides a peaceful spot for a well-deserved break or even a scenic picnic with friends or loved ones.

In addition, they also boast an array of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking. Whatever your preference, this charming location has something for everyone.

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Location: Quarry Rock - Google Maps

7. Horseshoe Bay Lookout

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Horseshoe Bay, this secret platform offers unparalleled views of the sun setting over the shimmering waters, casting a warm glow on the horizon.

As you take in the awe-inspiring panorama, you'll quickly understand why this lookout has become a sought-after destination for photographers, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a moment of tranquility amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

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The Horseshoe Bay lookout platform can be discovered by following Horseshoe Bay Drive, which runs along the eastern edge of the bay, located beneath the Sea to Sky Highway that leads to Squamish and Whistler, follow your favorite map app to guide you to this hidden treasure.

Once you arrive, prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning views that await you!

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Although the secret platform may not be as secluded as it once was, you're still likely to share the space with only a handful of visitors at any given time, allowing you to enjoy the splendor of the setting sun in relative peace.

The lookout's unique location and breathtaking scenery make it an unforgettable destination that is well worth the visit.

Location: Horseshoe Bay Secret Lookout - Google Maps

8. Vancouver Lookout and Top of Vancouver

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The Vancouver Lookout, accessible by a thrilling glass elevator ride, presents visitors with a panoramic view of the city's skyline, mountains, and surrounding waterways.

Equipped with informative displays and knowledgeable staff, the Lookout is an ideal spot to capture memorable photos and learn about Vancouver's history and landmarks.

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For a truly unforgettable experience, head to the Top of Vancouver - a Revolving Restaurant that combines fine dining with breathtaking scenery.

As you indulge in delectable cuisine and sip on your favorite drink, the restaurant slowly rotates to provide a constantly changing perspective of the city's beauty. In just one hour, you'll complete a full rotation, ensuring that you don't miss a single angle of the mesmerizing panorama.

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Both the Vancouver Lookout and Top of Vancouver are must-visit attractions for anyone seeking a comprehensive view of the city.

Whether you're a tourist exploring Vancouver for the first time or a local looking for a unique dining experience, these destinations offer a captivating combination of visual splendor and engaging activities.

Location: Vancouver Lookout - Google Maps

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9. Lonsdale Quay

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Upon arrival at Lonsdale Quay, immerse yourself in the excitement of the renowned market, where you can sample delicious local cuisine, browse a diverse array of artisanal goods, and mingle with friendly vendors.

The waterfront area is also home to a variety of shops, making it a shopper's paradise with plenty of opportunities to find unique gifts and souvenirs.

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Moreover, if you're interested in discovering what to bring back from Canada as a delightful souvenir, be sure to check out the accompanying article - What to Bring from Canada as a Souvenir Gift

Not only will you save valuable time searching for the perfect gift, but you'll also ensure that you return home with the most exquisite treasures that Canada has to offer, catering to every budget.

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The true gem lies in its incredible views of Vancouver. As you stroll along the waterfront promenade, the city's skyline unfolds before you, showcasing a captivating interplay of skyscrapers, mountains, and the glistening waters of Burrard Inlet.

This picturesque setting makes for a perfect photo opportunity, so be sure to snap a picture with the iconic "Q" sign that towers above the quay.

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While you're visiting Lonsdale Quay, don't miss the chance to explore the surrounding North Shore area, home to an abundance of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.

This region offers even more opportunities to take in the best mountain views in Vancouver, ensuring a memorable experience that you won't soon forget.

Location: Lonsdale Quay - Google Maps

10. Lighthouse Park

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Lighthouse Park, a charming neighborhood park nestled within a residential area in West Vancouver.

As a National Historic Site of Canada, this well-maintained park is a popular attraction for both locals and visitors alike, offering a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle throughout all four seasons.

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One of the main highlights is its namesake lighthouse, which stands as a testament to the region's maritime history.

The iconic structure, surrounded by lush forest and a rugged coastline, provides a stunning backdrop for memorable photographs and peaceful moments of contemplation.

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The park boasts an extensive network of walking trails that weave through verdant forests, past impressive viewpoints, and along the rocky shoreline.

As you explore these pathways, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the distant Vancouver skyline, and the majestic North Shore mountains.

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Lighthouse Park is not only a haven for nature lovers but also a hotspot for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

Keep an eye out for a diverse array of birds, as well as curious critters such as raccoons and squirrels, as you wander through this picturesque oasis.

Location: Lighthouse Park - Google Maps

11. Grouse Mountain

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Grouse Mountain, is a renowned ski resort located in the North Shore mountains.

With its incredible views of the city to the south, Grouse Mountain offers visitors a thrilling blend of outdoor adventure and stunning panoramas, creating an unforgettable experience for all.

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One of the most popular ways to ascend Grouse Mountain is by conquering the famous Grouse Grind, a challenging hiking trail that attracts fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The 2.9-kilometer trek takes you through a steep, forested mountainside, rewarding you with jaw-dropping views of the city and the surrounding landscape as you reach the summit.

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If hiking isn't your preference, you can still enjoy the spectacular vistas by taking a scenic gondola ride up the mountain. The Skyride whisks visitors up to the peak in comfort, allowing you to marvel at the panoramic views while effortlessly ascending the mountainside.

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Once you reach the summit, the fun doesn't stop. Grouse Mountain boasts an array of activities for visitors to enjoy, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to ziplining and mountain biking in the warmer months.

No matter the season, you'll find plenty of ways to indulge your adventurous spirit while taking in the mesmerizing views of Vancouver and beyond.

Location: Grouse Mountain - Google Maps

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12. Burnaby Mountain Park

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Burnaby Mountain Park, is a picturesque haven that offers spectacular views of the city and its surrounding landscape.

Situated on a grassy hill and home to the Simon Fraser University campus, Burnaby Mountain provides visitors with a tranquil setting to unwind and appreciate the breathtaking vistas.

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As you explore the park, you'll be captivated by the panoramic views of downtown Vancouver, the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, and the sprawling urban landscape below.

Burnaby Mountain Park is an ideal spot for catching a magnificent sunset or admiring the glittering Vancouver skyline at night, making it a must-visit destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

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The park also boasts a collection of totem poles that are worth checking out. These impressive cultural artifacts, carved by Indigenous artists, add an extra layer of intrigue and historical significance to your visit.

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It’s more than just a picturesque viewpoint; it's also a fantastic place for outdoor recreation. With an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, the park caters to adventure seekers of all levels. After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a delicious meal at the nearby Horizons Restaurant, where you can enjoy fine dining with a view.

Location: Burnaby Mountain Park - Google Maps

13. Ambleside Park

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Nestled in the picturesque neighborhood of West Vancouver, Ambleside Park is a true hidden gem that offers captivating views and a serene atmosphere for visitors seeking a tranquil retreat.

When you set foot in this charming park, it's easy to understand why it's a favorite destination among locals and tourists alike.

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One of the best ways to enjoy the stunning vistas is to have a picnic on the beach. Take advantage of our top tip and grab a delicious pizza from Blaze Pizza nearby, then head down to the sandy shore for a memorable dinner with a view.

As you savor your meal, you'll be treated to a breathtaking panorama of the Vancouver skyline, the surrounding mountains, and the glistening waters of the harbor.

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Being more than just a scenic spot for dining; it also offers a range of recreational activities to suit all ages and interests.

Stroll along the seawall, play a game of beach volleyball, or explore the numerous walking and biking trails that weave through the park. You can even take a dip in the ocean or try your hand at paddleboarding for an added dose of adventure.

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Location: Ambleside Park - Google Maps

To Sum It All Up

As our journey through Vancouver's most stunning viewpoints comes to an end, it's clear that this vibrant city has no shortage of awe-inspiring sights to offer.

From tranquil parks to bustling beaches, and from urban skylines to picturesque mountains, the scenic spots we've explored showcase the diverse beauty of Vancouver and its surroundings.

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No matter your interests or preferences, there's a perfect viewpoint waiting for you in Vancouver. We encourage you to venture out and explore these remarkable destinations.

Create unforgettable memories, snap some amazing photos, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this beautiful city.

And if you visiting Vancouver for the first time or just moved in here and want to explore the city - these Top Must-Do Things in Vancouver definitely will make you love this place! 

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