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Summer in Vancouver: The 23 Best Things to Do in June, July & August

Summer in Vancouver is filled with sunshine, great weather, community events, and plenty of outdoor activities to make your visit satisfying and worthwhile. This city, nestled in the middle of picturesque forests, mountains, rivers, inlets, and bays, is a breath of fresh air for your summer vacation. Vancouver is one busy West Coast seaport with no shortage of things to do.

Between exquisite restaurants, the thriving music, art, and theatre scene, and the surrounding natural beauty, your biggest challenge will be trying to decide which to pack into your schedule. There’s really no bad time to visit Vancouver, but when you go, enjoy accommodations at our downtown Vancouver hotel to be near all the best things to do.

WHAT MONTHS ARE SUMMER IN VANCOUVER?

Summer in Vancouver happens in June, July, and August when the warmest weather of the year arrives and everyone is treated to extra hours of sunshine. Though Vancouver's summers are relatively mild, the weather is warm enough in these three months to afford comfort for any outdoor activity you please, from boating to swimming to sand volleyball.

WHAT IS VANCOUVER LIKE IN THE SUMMER?

‘Bustling’ is a good way to describe what Vancouver is like in the summer, as warmer temperatures in this coastal city lure everyone out to the parks, patios, and city attractions. Because Vancouver is such a walkable city, it may even appear crowded with pedestrians and folks commuting from restaurants, attractions, and businesses, taking advantage of the pleasant, rain-free days. 

Vancouver’s summer temperatures begin to climb in June, which will still feel cool to most, reaching an average of 18°C (65°F). July and August warm up a bit more, topping out at 22°C (72°F) at the warmest point, and though late summer is the driest time, you can expect several days of overcast skies and partial sun.

The mild summer temperatures make Vancouver a top destination for outdoor lovers, who can enjoy biking, hiking, golfing, and other active entertainment without worrying about excessive heat. Vancouverites welcome the changing season with a flurry of community events, festivals, and markets, to take advantage of the summer sunshine while it lasts.

Stanley Park totem poles in Vancouver.

THINGS TO DO IN SUMMER IN VANCOUVER

The summer visitor to Vancouver will discover things to do for any age, interest, or activity level. The outdoor adventures are endless, and the culinary options are delightful and diverse. You’ll find the Carmana Hotel and Suites location puts you in the perfect spot to enjoy any number of these things to do in Vancouver during your summer trip.

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1. PATIO HOP AROUND THE CITY

Thanks to all the restaurants and bars with patio seating, summer in Vancouver is ideal for hopping from one local spot to the next. This favourite summertime activity is how many locals spend the afternoon or evenings. Meander to whatever places look interesting, and keep your plans open to suggestions from locals to choose your next direction. Whatever you decide, you’ll find that the Carmana Hotel & Suites is in the middle of it all.

2. HIKE IN GARIBALDI PROVINCIAL PARK

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to spend a sunny day, visit Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Hiking the trails in this breathtaking park is a fun way to get exercise and see some of the beauty of the area up close. Accessing this remote location in the heart of the Coast Mountains takes an hour and a half, and the trek to the summit can take five hours of moderate hiking, but when you get a glimpse of these magnificent views, you’ll find it a worthwhile way to spend a summer day near Vancouver.

3. RENT A BOAT

Get out and about and enjoy a thrilling zip around the bay or a leisurely cruise with Vancouver boat rentals. Explore Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park, also known as Indian Arm, a saltwater fjord with limited road access, and have fun jetting around the beautiful coastline of Vancouver. Stop at a secluded beach for an invigorating swim, and be sure to pack food, drinks, and sunscreen to make a day of your excursion.

4. RIDE THE SEA TO SKY GONDOLA

Take a scenic drive near Squamish to the Sea to Sky Gondola. This is an affordable and easier way to get a breathtaking view of the surrounding grandeur. The gondola travels to the summit, which sits 885 meters (2,900 feet) above Howe Sound. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide riders a spectacular view of the forest and mountains. This is about an hour from Carmana Hotel, but you can easily hop on a shuttle from downtown Vancouver if you’d rather not drive. However you arrive, this memorable day trip is a must for mountain lovers.

5. VISIT LOCAL CRAFT BREWERIES

There’s something delightful about sipping on a cold brew on a warm day that we just love, and since craft breweries are all over Vancouver, visiting taprooms in the summer tops our list of things to do. A local favourite, Granville Island Brewery has been serving the area since 1984 and locals love its vibrant bar. Steamworks Brewpub in Gastown is another choice near Carmana Hotel downtown that might be worth a stop just for its view overlooking the harbour, but the 20 rotating taps are a good excuse too. Thanks to the more than 40 Vancouver breweries, you can choose a new spot for each day of your stay.

6. ATTEND THE RICHMOND NIGHT MARKET

The Richmond Night Market is always one of the most anticipated things to do in Vancouver in the summer. As the largest night market in North America, this international attraction sees over 1 million visitors per year. If you like great Pacific Rim food, entertainment (at the Main Stage), and just a lot of excitement, this is a must-do item to add to your itinerary. The event grounds are about 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver in a family-friendly area of British Columbia. The Richmond Night Market is open from April 26 to October 14, 2024. 

7. EXPLORE STANLEY PARK

Stanley Park is one of the largest urban parks anywhere, and a must-visit spot in Vancouver in the summer. Imagine seeing rose gardens, totem poles, and exotic animals all in one place: That’s the draw of Stanley Park. Rent a bike at the entrance and pedal the miles of trails or explore the Stanley Park Seawall and soak in the water views that make this one of the most popular recreation paths in the city. Hungry? Stanley Park has a restaurant, too!

8. GO TO THE BEACH

Since the mild weather in Vancouver isn’t always beachy, heading to the area’s shoreline in the summer while it is warm enough to shed some layers is a must. You’ll likely be amazed by the seamless transition from city streets to beaches in this compact city. Heading to Kitsilano Beach is a favourite activity for Vancouverites and visitors in the summer, and it is situated just across False Creek from downtown Vancouver. People will be out playing beach volleyball, basketball, and yard games, and there’s plenty of sand to lounge on near the water and soak up the sunshine too.

9. SPEND THE AFTERNOON ON GRANVILLE ISLAND

Anyone in Vancouver in the summer should plan a day on Granville Island. This area of the city feels like an escape, yet it is only a nine-minute drive from the Carmana Hotel and the bustling downtown. The island features its own selection of boutiques, kid-friendly play places, art studios, fishing charters, and more. Like almost any Vancouver neighborhood, Granville Island is also home to plenty of delicious eateries and take-away restaurants, and the seafood here couldn’t get any fresher. 

10. TAKE THE GROUSE GRIND CHALLENGE

The Grouse Grind is a 2.5 kilometer (a little over a mile and a half) trail that climbs the face of Grouse Mountain, lovingly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.” The Grouse Grind is 2,830 steps with an elevation gain of 800 meters, or 2,624 feet. With a combination of wooden and packed earth stairs, this hiking trail in Vancouver is challenging – it isn’t recommended for beginners and takes about two and a half hours to reach the top. 

11. VENTURE VANCOUVER’S SCENIC BIKE ROUTES

Vancouver is home to scenic bike routes for all skill levels, offering a unique way to see the city. Enjoy city and nature views on the Central Valley Greenway, a lush greenway that winds through the heart of Vancouver and into nearby Burnaby. Keep it in low gear and ride one of the routes around the beaches of False Creek, or visit the iconic Stanley Park Seawall for picturesque mountain and ocean views on your bike ride. Up for a challenge? Check out Cypress Mountain’s bike trails. 

12. STROLL THE VANCOUVER SEAWALL

It’s not a trip to Vancouver without a stroll around the Vancouver Seawall. The waterfront path treats visitors to stunning views of the city skyline, North Shore Mountains, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Take in the views on a casual stroll, keep your fitness routine up with a jog, or settle in on the soft grass for a picnic. The entire seawall is about 17 miles, and the most popular section is the 5.5 mile portion called Stanley Park. From museums to kayaking tours, there are endless activities on the Vancouver Seawall! 

Celebration of Light fireworks in Vancouver, BC.

SUMMER FESTIVALS IN VANCOUVER

The city of Vancouver loves to celebrate, and in the summer you’ll find many festivals highlighting the arts and culture. There is likely a festival for nearly any interest, so we’ve highlighted a few that draw people from many neighboring areas. Check your travel dates and see which summer festival will be happening when you arrive. 

13. BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

JUNE 11 – SEPTEMBER 21, 2024

This yearly festival is set to hit the main stage once again, running shows from June 11th to September 21, 2024. The dynamic 2024 Bard on the Beach productions promise to delight locals and visitors in its 35th season. The BMO Theater Center is close to Vancouver’s vibrant downtown area, so there’s plenty to do nearby. Arrive early to catch the free pre-show talks to learn about the backstory and characters beforehand.

14. WEST VANCOUVER COMMUNITY CULTURAL FEST

MAY 31 – JUNE 1, 2024

This summer festival was formerly known as Vancouver’s Bridge Festival and is set to unfold from May 31 to June 1, 2024. Expect to be amazed by the diverse experiences and performances offered at the West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest. Explore the pavilions to learn about traditional art, music, and more, and head to the kids’ zone for family-friendly activities, a zipline, and arts and crafts suitable for all ages.

15. SCOTFEST BC

JUNE 14 – JUNE 15, 2024

ScotFest BC is a summer festival in Vancouver with an eclectic program of events that have been going on for over 90 years. Pipe bands, dancers, and the British Columbia Highland Games draw crowds to watch these cultural and historical events. The celebration ends with a World Music Festival where you’ll be treated to live performances from artists from around the globe. This event takes place June 14th and 15th at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam, 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

16. EARLY MUSIC VANCOUVER SUMMER FESTIVAL 

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2024

Anyone who appreciates storytelling through song and dance will delight in the Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival. Hear works by Johann Sebastian Bach and newly composed pieces performed by skilled musicians and singers from around the globe. These shows from July 25th to August 8th will feature renditions of Bach’s classic pieces, in addition to original works by the performers. From comedy shows to traditional performances, the Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival has something for everyone!

17. VANCOUVER PRIDE FESTIVAL

JULY 26 – AUGUST 4, 2024

Vancouver hosts one of Canada’s largest pride celebrations every summer. The 2024 Pride Festival concludes with its Pride Parade, set for August 4th. The parade alone is expected to draw crowds of more than 100,000 spectators, and the route heads down Robson Street, just a two-minute walk from Carmana Hotel. The weeks leading up to the festival are full of entertainment to check out, too. If you’re in Vancouver around the end of July, expect to find concerts, tea parties, dances, block parties, and a family-friendly picnic in Stanley Park.

18. KHATSAHLANO STREET PARTY

JULY 6, 2024

Enjoy Vancouver like a local this summer at the Khatsahlano Street Party, taking place this year on July 6. This is the largest free music and arts festival in Vancouver, transforming ten blocks of West 4th Avenue into festival grounds for live music, performances, and arts. Shop for souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else, treat your taste buds to Vancouver delicacies from local food trucks and vendors, and groove along to sounds from Vancouver’s top musical performers. 

19. GREEK FEST VANCOUVER

WEEK ONE: JULY 6 – JULY 9, 2024 | WEEK TWO: JULY 13 – JULY 16, 2024

Featuring everything from live music and dance to mouthwatering food, Vancouver Greek Fest is a can’t-miss summer event. This lively summer festival in Vancouver offers two weeks of live music and entertainment, traditional dance performances, a well-stocked Greek marketplace, and tons of delicious Greek food from traditional dishes to Greek spins on classic festival food.

20. HONDA CELEBRATION OF LIGHT

JULY 20, JULY 24, AND JULY 27, 2024

When you’re in Vancouver during the Celebration of Light, the longest running offshore fireworks competition in the world, you’ll be treated to spectacular shows. This event really brings families together, and it’s free and fun to attend! Hang out in one of the numerous lounges, get a clear view of the fireworks from comfy grandstands, or watch the skies from one of the area’s parks. Honda Celebration of Light takes place on July 20, 24, and 27 in 2024.

21. VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL

JULY 19 – 24, 2024

Hear sounds from all around the world at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. This summer festival in Vancouver transforms popular city hangout spot Jericho Park into a festival space and haven for music lovers. From traditional folk tunes to blues, Vancouver Folk Music Festival gives visitors the chance to discover new artists and hear their folk favorites live, plus browse selections from talented artisans and vendors, all in a space that values live music and community in a gorgeous waterfront setting.

22. GRANVILLE BLOCK PARTY

AUGUST 26 – AUGUST 27, 2024

The annual Granville Block Party is back this summer in Vancouver! This two-day celebration in downtown Vancouver is free to enter and enjoy, with plenty of opportunities inside to contribute to the local economy and charitable causes with the marketplace’s talented vendors. Offering family-friendly activities, live music and entertainment, and a high energy atmosphere, the Granville Block Party is a can’t-miss celebration this summer in Vancouver.

23. CAR FREE DAY 

2024 DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Car free days in Vancouver are community events that transform select streets in Vancouver into markets, stages, and more, encouraging folks to forgo their cars for the day and enjoy the sights and sounds of Vancouver on foot. Car free days in Vancouver feature live music and entertainment, performances from local groups, tasty food vendors, and more. 2024 dates for car free days in Vancouver have not been announced, but typically fall in late summer.

Plan Your Summer Stay at Carmana Hotel

Enjoy extra value with your stay by booking one of our Vancouver hotel specials, and relax in our comfortable Vancouver hotel suites near all the best summer entertainment. Take advantage of our boutique hotel’s prime location and the pedestrian-friendly city when planning your trip. Seamlessly switch from festival to patio to sprawling park, soaking up all the best that summer in Vancouver has to offer.