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Cherry blooms at Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver BC

Vancouver in Spring: What to Do + Why To Visit in 2024


Spring in Vancouver marks a cheerful awakening after our dark, wet winter slumber.

With rising temperatures, cherry blossoms bloom, and a ton of spring activities showcase the city’s splendour.

So, slap on those shades (though the rains may make an appearance!) and explore the best things to do in Vancouver in spring.

What to Do in Vancouver in Spring: Top Spring Activities

A bed of tulips at VanDusen Garden, Vancouver BC
Courtesy: VanDusen Garden

Marvel at VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Vivid Spring Blooms 

There is nothing more symbolic of this wonderful season of rebirth than Vancouver’s lush spring blooms.

For my money, there is no better place to enjoy their exquisite splendour than Vancouver’s VanDusen Garden

Vancouver’s most popular botanical garden bursts with colour, particularly in the late spring. You’ll encounter dozens of species of rhododendrons, beautiful magnolias and the ever-popular cherry blossoms –  and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Garden also offers several exciting events to kick up the fun factor another notch. One of the best things to do in spring in Vancouver for children is the Eggciting Easter Hop, which takes place on Easter weekend.

At the same time, everyone will enjoy the Sakura Days Festival, which celebrates the peak of cherry blossom season in Vancouver in April.

Related: Things to Do on Vancouver May Long Weekend

A pod of orcas swims in front of a whale watching boat, Victoria BC

Take a Vancouver Whale Watching Tour

As winter storms subside, the spring season in Vancouver brings guests the majesty of the nearby Salish Sea. And what better way to do so than to embark on a Vancouver whale watching tour?

Starting in April, you can roll out with half-day tours from Richmond’s historic Steveston Village (downtown shuttle included). You’ll set sail on a partially enclosed luxury purpose-built catamaran or fly away on a heart-pounding Zodiac adventure – your choice.

Either way, you’ll explore the Salish Sea in search of orcas, grey, minke and humpback whales. And if you don’t find one, your next journey is free!

Tickets start at $191.25 CAD. For more info, click the button below:

A woman completes the Grouse Grind
Instagram: @grousemountain

Hike Vancouver’s North Shore

In Vancouver in the spring, the snow melts on the city’s mountainous North Shore, transforming it into a veritable hiker’s paradise.

The Grouse Grind is easily the most popular option. Mother Nature’s Stairmaster ascends 2.9 km up Grouse Mountain and rewards hikers with unbelievable panoramic city views.

The Grind typically opens in April or early May – stay tuned for the 2024 opening dates.

Back at sea level, the Lighthouse Park Trail is relatively short and flat, making it more popular with beginners. However, the trail still offers hikers spectacular views of Point Atkinson Lighthouse, the Salish Sea, and the Coast Mountains

The Quarry Rock hike in Deep Cove also provides breathtaking views of the Indian Arm with an extremely moderate effort level – though you’ll likely need a set of wheels.

Related: Vancouver Hiking Guide: The Best Trails & Paths

Cherry blossoms behind the Captain George Vancouver statue, Vancouver BC

Check out the Vibrant Cherry Blossoms

When I think of Vancouver in spring, I think about its 40,000 cherry trees.

No matter where you go, the entire city is awash in the trees’ stunning white and pink fluffy flowers – whose arrival marks the end of the city’s rainy season.  

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of this annual event. It includes VanDusen Garden’s Sakura Days Japan Fair and The Big Picnic – a free event at David Lam Park where families can picnic under the blossoms.  

vancouver whale tour banner

Many of the city’s parks provide an excellent viewing opportunity, as do quiet residential areas like Kitsilano and East Vancouver. The VCBF map updates bloom locations throughout the spring for those looking to pad their Instagram with cherry blossom snaps.

This is one of the best cheap things to do in Vancouver.

riders looking up at skyscrapers in downtown vancouver from the hop on hop off bus

Hop on to Your Own Customized Vancouver Itinerary

Are you visiting Vancouver in spring and want to see as many attractions as possible in as little time?

Well, the Vancouver Hop on Hop Off Tour allows you to design your custom itinerary via a number of pre-selected stops. You can then sit up top and feel the cool spring breeze blowing through your hair. Or seek shelter from the rain down below – either way, a HoHo tour is one of Vancouver’s best spring activities.

A great way to learn the layout of the Vancouver streets, this is easily one of the top Vancouver sightseeing tours. You’ll see Granville Island, Stanley Park, Chinatown, Queen Elizabeth Park, Robson Street, Canada Place and more.

The Empress Hotel, in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Take a Spring Side Trip to Victoria

British Columbia’s capital of Victoria is just a 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver. Canada’s most British city attracts over 4 million visitors annually to enjoy its quaint colonial architecture.

Check this guide on how to Get to Victoria from Vancouver for more comprehensive details.

Most of Victoria’s top attractions are in the famed Inner Harbour, just steps from Victoria’s best hotels. And the city’s highly rated food and craft beer scenes can satisfy even the most sophisticated palette.

The must-see Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in nearby Brentwood Bay. They typically attract over 1 million visitors annually – making it one of the most popular attractions in Canada. 

Myself, I like to hit up Victoria during the Victoria Day long weekend, when the Inner Harbour comes alive with music, food, and a popular parade.

Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre
Instagram: @vancouverlookout

Climb the Vancouver Lookout’s Urban Grind 

Are Vancouver spring showers keeping you off the hiking trails?

Well, every Tuesday in March, the Harbour Centre invites sun-starved Vancouverites to climb the 633 steps to its summit viewing point – the Vancouver Lookout

Once you’re at the top, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views of Canada’s most beautiful city, not to mention DJ entertainment and an ice-cold beer.

Sound like too much effort? Don’t fret; the Vancouver Lookout has an elevator as well. This is one of my top activities on my Vancouver 3 day itinerary.

a group of people sitting on muskoka chairs at the top of grouse mountain vancouver bc canada

Visit Grouse Mountain’s Summit

Looking for an even better view? Just look up – Vancouver’s North Shore, Downtown Vancouver, and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Grouse Mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the entire city. And whether you hike up the Grouse Grind or take the gondola, the view is still the same.

As you’d expect, springtime in Vancouver is a transition period on Grouse Mountain. The Peak of Vancouver shifts from one of Vancouver’s best skiing areas to offering many of Vancouver’s top summer activities.

The mountain typically remains a winter wonderland well into April, offering skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and more. While a May or June Vancouver visit can involve zip-lining, lumberjack shows, paragliding, or even hitting up the wildlife refuge.

You can also hit up the chalet for fine dining, enjoy a quick drink on their stunning panorama deck, or take in a flick at the Theater in the Sky.

A skier jumps on Grouse Mountain in front of the Vancouver skyline

Carve up Powder on the Local Mountains

Vancouver’s North Shore is home to the hat-trick of hills that Vancouverites call “the Local Mountains” – Grouse Mountain, Seymour Mountain and Cypress Bowl.

Before we proceed further ensure to check this complete Vancouver skiing guide for safety.

Located as little as 45 minutes from your downtown hotel, this terrific trio offers a fantastic skiing experience well into the spring in Vancouver – as late as the third week of April in recent years.

And, they’re so close they can even be reached using public transit.

Here later in the year? Well, why not plan a side trip to Whistler-Blackcomb? A world-class destination in its own right, BC’s most popular resort is typically open for skiing well into the second half of May.

An aerial view of Vancouver's 4/20 Festival

Spark up at 4/20 Vancouver

Looking to elevate your experience during your trip to Vancouver in April?

Well, we’ve been one of the world’s foremost destinations for all things marijuana long before the substance was legalized in 2018. Let’s say that the nickname “Vansterdam” didn’t come about for nothing.

So it should come as no surprise that every April 20th, Vancouverites join together for the largest cannabis protest and celebration anywhere on the planet.  From its humble beginnings in 1995, the 4/20 Festival has grown to include over 150,000 attendees and 500 vendors.

The festive spring atmosphere now includes performers, food and concerts from international artists

Related: Vancouver’s Best Festivals

A free guided tour in the Bill Reid Rotunda at the MOA

Hit Up one of Vancouver’s Best Museums 

Vancouver does have a little more to offer in the culture category. You can start by stopping at one of Vancouver’s best museums  –  one of Vancouver’s best rainy-day activities

If you’re travelling with kids, you should consider booking a trip to Science World or the H.R MacMillan Space Centre. And if you’re new to the city, the Museum of Vancouver or Maritime Museum will grant you a quick bachelor’s degree in civic history.

However, if you’re looking for a unique Vancouver spring experience – I’d recommend going to a museum dedicated to the province’s Indigenous peoples. The fantastic Bill Reid Gallery is located right in the heart of downtown.

Finally, UBC’s Museum of Anthropology is arguably the best place to view Coastal First Nation art.

Celebrate the Indian Spring Holiday of Vaisakhi

When wondering what to do in Vancouver in spring, don’t sleep on this important harvest festival celebrated in Northern India.

Usually falling on April 13th or 14th, the event celebrates the beginning of the spring harvest – or the solar new year, based on the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar.

In Vancouver, you’ll find two of the largest Vaisakhi celebrations outside of India – in South Vancouver and the suburb of Surrey.

With upwards of 300,000 attendees, the event is Vancouver’s largest single-day festival. You can enjoy its vibrant dance, music and traditional clothing. And take advantage of the traditional free food offered up by local businesses to mark the occasion – from Indian sweets, ice cream and even curry dishes!

Celebrations go down at the Ross Street Temple at 8000 Ross Street in East Vancouver.

The Stanley Park Railway at Easter
Instagram: @stanleyparkrailway

Visit Legendary Stanley Park

Landscape architects barely had to lay a hand on the local coastal rainforest to create what has been dubbed the best park in the world – although the addition of thousands of vivid Vancouver spring flowers certainly didn’t hurt. 

Stanley Park is the best place in Vancouver to escape the urban grind – and there are few better places to catch a glimpse of the city’s vivid spring blooms. Here, you can see massive collections of tulips, hybrid rhododendrons, and cherry blossoms.

Children looking for an egg-citing experience will enjoy a ride aboard the Easter train – where the popular Stanley Park Railway is given an Easter-themed makeover. Kids will travel through the forest in pursuit of bunnies and other furry friends – before meeting the Easter bunny!

Stanley Park is also home to the popular Vancouver Aquarium and other historic landmarks like the Stanley Park Totem Poles, Brockton Point Lighthouse, and the Prospect Point Lookout

Take a tour of Stanley Park if you really want to learn the history – both good and bad – of the park and city.

The Playdome children's carnival, Vancouver BC

Enjoy a Children’s Spring Soiree at BC Place’s Playdome

To the delight of local children, Western Canada’s largest indoor carnival takes over BC Place every year during spring break in Vancouver.

You’ll find over 45 different rides and attractions under the dome’s retractable roof – so surely there’s something for everyone.

Try your luck at carnival games, and enjoy the rides or the food, including typical carnival fares like mini-donuts, cotton candy, hot dogs and more.

Playdome is easily one of the best things to do in Vancouver in spring with children.

Instagram @capilanosuspensionbridge

Traverse the Iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge

Visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is easily one of the best things to do in Vancouver in spring. This can’t-miss attraction has been welcoming visitors since its construction 130 years ago – so be sure to catch a glimpse.

If you’re fortunate enough to visit this popular Vancouver attraction in spring, you’ll encounter just a fraction of summer’s crowds. This means those crucial Instagrammable shots won’t include dozens of shot-ruining guests.

This 460-foot (140 m) long simple suspension bridge sways gently in the wind. It’s something akin to an amusement park ride – only strung throughout the old-growth British Columbia forest.

They’ve also got additional activities like the Cliff Walk and Treetops Adventure attractions to increase the fun factor even higher.

A building at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden
Instagram: @vancouverchinesegarden

Relax at the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Chinese Classical Garden

Some of the best spring sightseeing in Vancouver is located in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, and the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Garden is a great first stop – it’s the first Chinese garden to be built outside of China.

It was constructed to “build a bridge of understanding between Chinese and Western cultures.”

The gardens uniquely juxtapose the contrasting features of rocks and foliage, as well as water and structures – thus maintaining balance in accordance with the philosophical principles of Taoism.

Plants are carefully chosen with their blossom schedules in mind. This serves to emphasize seasonal changes, particularly what is called the “awakening” in springtime.

Looking to get off the beaten track? Check out our guide to the best Vancouver Hidden Gems.

The Inukshuk at the top of Whistler Mountain

Check out for a Couple of Days With a Trip to Whistler Village

The trip from Vancouver to Whistler only takes about 90 minutes – but you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world.

In springtime in Vancouver, this picturesque Sea to Sky Highway cuts through some of the most beautiful terrain on earth.

Whistler-Blackcomb is easily one of North America’s most renowned ski resorts – and it typically offers world-class skiing until late May.

If you’re in town in April, the week-long Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival offers ski and snowboarding competitions, music, art and more – while locals apres in Whistler’s best bars.

But the area is much more than just a ski hill. Whether you’re looking to enjoy top Whistler activities or the area’s best restaurants –  Whistler offers visitors tons of choices steps from Whistler’s best hotels.

The entrance to the Vancouver Art Gallery

Kill a Rainy Day at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Can you think of a better rainy spring activity than a visit to Western Canada’s largest art gallery?

The Vancouver Art Gallery is undisputedly the city’s cultural heart. Situated in Vancouver’s former courthouse, even its very confines are iconic. At the same time, its outer plaza hosts protests and celebrations of virtually every shape and stripe.

And, oh yeah, it has some fantastic art as well. Its over 12,000 permanent works are comprised mostly of Canadian art, with some international works thrown in for good measure.

Of particular interest is the large collection of post-impressionist Canadian painter Emily Carr.

Produce stands at Granville Island, Vancouver

Visit Granville Island Public Market

If you’re hungry, looking for local souvenirs, or want to take in a show or two –  then a trip to Granville Island should be at the top of your Vancouver spring itinerary.

While this commercial district alongside False Creek isn’t actually an island, it’s definitely the city’s true hub of deliciousness. Plus, spring brings the same amazing food, shopping and culture of summer – without the crowds!

Locally smoked salmon is at the top of our public market shopping list, regardless of the season. But Lee’s Donuts is also an obligatory stop for handmade donuts (try the maple glaze).

Other great things to do in Vancouver in spring include grabbing craft beer flights on the patio at Granville Island Brewing, comedy shows at the Improv Theatre, and checking out Indigenous art at the Wickaninnish Gallery.

Don’t forget to bring your little ones to Kid’s Market, which has 25 shops all dedicated to children.

Big on beer? Check out the best brewery tours in Vancouver.

an aerial view of the Richmond Night Market near Vancouver BC

Sample the Delicious Asian Flavours at the Richmond Night Market

The Vancouver area is fortunate to host what is likely the best location in North America to sample all types of exotic Asian street food.

The Richmond Night Market has taken inspiration from Asia’s vibrant night market scene to offer visitors a seemingly endless selection of exciting live performances, fascinating vendor stalls and sumptuous street food. 

Since its inception in 2000, the event has grown to become the largest of its kind in North America – attracting over one million visitors per year. It starts in Vancouver in spring or late April, Friday-Sunday, in the suburb of Richmond near Vancouver International Airport.

black and white goat standing above the rock with a greenery background of maplewood farm in british columbia, vancouver

Go to Maplewood Farm with the Kids

Explore Maplewood Farm’s unique 2-hectare rural heritage setting in North Vancouver, they offer enjoyable and educational experiences for all ages over the spring season.

Originally a thriving dairy, the farm preserves its history, providing a rural escape within the expanding city.

With over 200 friendly farm animals, it’s an ideal family destination, featuring covered picnic areas, play spaces, and opportunities to interact with animals.

Here are the current prices:

AgesJanuary – March 15th &
September 3rd – December
March 16th – September 2nd &
Special Events
Adult: 17 – 54 years$9.90$11.70
Senior: 55 years & up$5.85$7.65
Child: 19 months – 16 years$5.85$7.65
Baby: 18 months & underFreeFree

They also offer a family membership for repeated visits. You can find more details on Maplewood Farm’s website.

If you plan to stay longer here, you can book any cheap hotels in North Vancouver.

A man in orange jacket and black shades holding a green basket with bunch of catch spot prawns in the middle of ocean
Courtesy: BCPrawns

Eat Spot Prawns

In late spring in Vancouver, you can relish the brief yet delightful spot prawn season.

Expect to see them on menus at Vancouver’s best restaurants in early May, though act quick! The season only lasts six weeks.

Every May, Granville Island hosts the Spot Prawn Festival. There, you can purchase these prawns directly from fishing boats or order them prepared for immediate enjoyment.

Local market stalls and island restaurants offer creative dishes, ranging from spot prawn pea soup to savoury spot prawn Korean pancakes.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

Best Things to Do in Vancouver in Spring FAQ

What to do in Vancouver in spring?

In Vancouver in spring, you can enjoy cherry blossom festivals, explore Stanley Park’s vibrant gardens, bike along the seawall, and visit Granville Island.

You should also embrace outdoor activities, like hiking or whale watching, taking a side trip to Victoria, Whistler, or Tofino amidst the scenic beauty of Vancouver.

Is Vancouver worth visiting in the spring?

Yes, Vancouver is worth visiting in the spring for its blooming cherry blossoms, mild weather, and outdoor festivities. Spring is also the perfect time to explore day trips from Vancouver, including Victoria, Whistler, and Squamish.

What to do if it’s raining in spring in Vancouver?

If it’s raining in spring in Vancouver, explore indoor attractions like museums, art galleries, or the Vancouver Aquarium. Enjoy cozy cafes, shop on Robson Street, or experience the city’s culinary scene.

What is Vancouver like in the spring?

Vancouver in the spring is characterized by mild temperatures, blooming cherry blossoms, and occasional rain. The city comes to life with vibrant greenery, outdoor activities, and cultural events, making it a delightful season to visit.

What are the best spring activities in Vancouver?

The best spring activities in Vancouver are cherry blossom viewing, exploring Stanley Park, biking the seawall, visiting Granville Island, and attending spring festivals. Hike in nearby parks, go whale watching, and savor the city’s diverse culinary scene.

What’s the weather like in spring in Vancouver?

The spring in Vancouver is mild and rainy, with temperatures ranging from 7 to 15°C (45 to 59°F). Expect occasional sunny days, but be prepared for frequent showers and blossoming cherry blossoms.

When does spring start in Vancouver?

Spring in Vancouver starts on March 19th and runs until June 20th, 2024.

Still Looking for the Top Things to Do in Vancouver in Spring?

As evident, Vancouver in spring caters to diverse interests from cultural pursuits to outdoor adventures.

If you have more questions, comments, or tips for fellow travellers, feel free to share in the comments below. Let this article serve as a springboard for some custom advice.

Additionally, stay informed with the latest travel information by following us on the Vancouver Planner Facebook page.

Julian

I've used online guides on five continents to find the world's greatest travel spots and this is my chance to give back - with insider info on my home, the mighty Vancouver BC!

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