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Vancouver shines as a gem of a destination year-round, but autumn brings a special allure with its stunning backdrops and a variety of activities that cater to both city explorers and outdoor adventurers alike.
Here are six must-do autumn activities in Vancouver, perfect for families.
Walk Among Giants on Suspension Bridges
Kick off your adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, situated across the Vancouver Harbour in North Vancouver. Accessible via a complimentary shuttle bus from downtown, the park’s centerpiece is a 170m-long suspension bridge, towering 70m above the Capilano River. For context, that’s as high as the Statue of Liberty’s shoulder! Engineered to hold the weight of 96 elephants, the bridge promises a safe and thrilling experience.
Since 1889, a version of this bridge has captivated visitors, making it an iconic Vancouver experience. Beyond the bridge, explore the Treetop Adventure for a canopy-level view of the coastal rainforest, or dare to traverse the Cliffwalk, with its narrow paths and glass walkways clinging to granite cliffs above the Capilano River. Adult admission is $46.95, with discounts available.
For more suspension bridge adventures, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge offers a quieter, free alternative, with beautiful trails winding along Lynn Creek and through the verdant forest.
Soar Over Mountains on Ziplines at Grouse Mountain
If the suspension bridges ignited your love for heights, Grouse Mountain awaits. Autumn’s cooler temperatures are perfect for tackling the Grouse Grind, a steep 1.8-mile hike. Alternatively, the Skyride offers a less strenuous ascent with spectacular views and a visit to a grizzly bear refuge.
Grouse Mountain’s ziplines offer an exhilarating flight over the mountainous terrain, reaching speeds of 80km/hr and heights of 70m above the ground, a thrilling way to appreciate the landscape.
Marvel at Autumn Colors
Autumn’s palette is on full display at VanDusen Botanical Garden. With 22 hectares of diverse plant life and a hedge maze, the garden showcases spectacular fall colors, from Japanese maples to bronze swamp cypress trees, offering endless photographic moments.
Discover Stanley Park
Stanley Park, Vancouver’s beloved urban oasis, is a prime spot to enjoy fall’s splendor. As North America’s largest urban park, it offers an array of scenic views along its coastal trails. Cycling or walking the Seawall path provides a comprehensive tour of the park’s diverse landscapes. Bike rentals are conveniently located near the park for those looking to enjoy the crisp autumn air on two wheels.
Experience Halloween Excitement
The Stanley Park Ghost Train transforms into a Halloween spectacle for all ages, offering a themed nighttime ride through the forest. For 2018, the journey takes you through “Jack O’ Lantern’s journey through the Dark Forest,” running from October 11th to 31st.
For a scarier thrill, PNE’s Fright Nights and the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour deliver chills with haunted houses, rides, and spooky tales, taking you through Vancouver’s most eerie sites.
Rainy Day Discoveries
Vancouver’s lushness owes much to its rainfall, making indoor activities a must. The Vancouver Police Museum offers intriguing insights into the city’s law enforcement history, from its morgue to crime exhibits. Science World, the Vancouver Aquarium, and various museums including the Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, and the Museum of Anthropology, provide educational and entertaining escapes from the rain, showcasing everything from interactive science exhibits to First Nations culture and history.
Whether immersed in nature or exploring the city’s cultural offerings, Vancouver in autumn presents a rich tapestry of experiences for families to enjoy.