clouds reflecting in the water outside stanley park with vancouver skyline in september

Visiting Vancouver in September: Events, Festivals & Things to Do

Vancouver in September is about as good as it gets, with good weather hanging around before the rain takes us down in October.

It’s the last chance to dance to discover great Vancouver nature in the warmth, though there are plenty of September indoor activities as well.

Let’s dive right into the best things to do in Vancouver in September and find you something to do.

Vancouver in September 2022

  1. Things to do in Vancouver in September
  2. Vancouver September events
  3. September concerts
  4. September weather
  5. What to pack for September
  6. FAQ

Things to Do in Vancouver in September

 

runners hiking up the grouse grind in vancouver bc canadaHike the Grouse Grind

September in Vancouver means it’s the last chance to dance on the the Grouse Grind, affectionately known around these parts as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.

This two hour hike with an average grade of 30% – let’s call it a medium difficulty hike – brings you up the face of Grouse Mountain for a spectacular panoramic view of the city and multiple attractions.

September is still great for post-hike beers on Paradise Patio, and in September 2022 there’s even one more session of Music on the Mountain on September 4th (Stephen Lecky).

vancouver hop on hop off tour bus in front of the lions gate bridge

Take One Last Hop on Hop Off Bus Trip

If you’re looking for things to do in Vancouver in September, why not take an afternoon to see everything?

While it may be an exaggeration, getting the last tickets for the Vancouver hop on hop off bus (the buses stop for fall/winter) is a great way to enjoy the last of summer. The bus takes you to all the top areas in the city: Granville Island, Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park, and more.

Being able to choose between double decker buses or covered buses also means you can get around quickly on a rainy day (we average 14 in September 😰)

the vancouver canucks take the ice in rogers arena

Take in a Sporting Event

Excuse the blurry photo, but hockey season starts in September and us Canadians might have the shakes after months of no NHL.

Yes, our beloved Vancouver Canucks return to action in September even if it’s only the preseason. The great thing about preseason is that tickets are cheap and easily available. In 2022 you can see the Canucks vs. Calgary on September 26th, or against Seattle on Sept 30th.

The Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS also play at BC Place Stadium on Sept 15th (LA Galaxy) and Sept 18th (Seattle Sounders).

The BC Lions of the Canadian Football League also take the field on Sept 25th against the Calgary Stampeders.

Related: Visiting Vancouver in October

vancouver harbour tour boat in coal harbour with vancouver skyline

Take a Vancouver Boat Cruise

September is still prime weather to get out and live Vancouver’s motto: by sea, land, and air we prosper.

In fact, there are tons of ways to live it since Vancouver’s best boat tours cater to all tastes: wildlife boat tours, whale watching, city harbour cruises, sunset trips, dinner cruises, and more.

Expect a minimum of Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, the Coast Mountains, the city beaches and the Vancouver skyline along the way.

Me? I prefer the Howe Sound Eco Safari Tour and its hidden waterfalls, bald eagle nesting spots, and sunbathing sealions.

Vancouver Harbour Tour Info

Explore Stanley Park

Stanley Park is as automatic as it gets on any Vancouver itinerary.

This old growth forest park can give you a quick nature escape, or deliver any variety of attractions like the Stanley Park Totem Poles, the Vancouver Aquarium, and Siwash Rock.

In September you’ll be able to catch the last Theater Under the Stars performances, but I prefer renting a bike in downtown Vancouver and going for a ride along the scenic Vancouver Seawall.

 
Courtesy: Forbidden Tours

Take a Gastown Walking Tour

Ask any Vancouverite about our city’s hippest, most historic neighbourhood and they’ll probably only talk about Gastown restaurants and many of Vancouver’s top bars.

That said, it’s also home some of Vancouver’s most horrific murders, the Great Fire of 1886, and multiple fatal protests.

With September’s great walking weather this makes it the place to learn about Vancouver history in a fun, rather macabre way.

The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour runs every day at 7:00 pm in September

an art studio sign at granville island vancouver bc

Explore Granville Island

Whether you’re visiting Vancouver in September or in the dead of winter, Granville Island is one of the best things to do in Vancouver.

Aside from having some of Vancouver’s best shopping (this is the place to get handmade gifts and unique souvenirs) this creative neighbourhood is best for trying local Vancouver food.

Granville Island Public Market delivers local artisan cheese, the best smoked salmon on earth, and even Seth Rogan’s favourite donut shop: Lee’s Donuts.

September is a great time to get local grapes, apples, and pears – even better made into pastries at A Bread Affair.

a vancouver seaplane tour flying above the vancouver skyline with coast mountains in background

Discover Vancouver by Air

With a rainy season that lasts more than six months, September is the last chance to bank on Vancouver’s best seaplane tours having consistent sunny skies.

I love how the tours are run by the world’s first carbon neutral airline, which adds a touch of responsibility to this once in a lifetime experience.

Flights that really showcare our coast, skyline, and mountains start at ‘just’ $152.00.

More Vancouver Seaplane Tour Info

sunbathers relax while swimmers walk into the water at second beach stanley park vancouver bc canada

Enjoy the Last Beach Weather

OK, so we’re stretching it a bit here – September still should have plenty of beach weather early in the month but if you’re visiting in the second half forget about swimming!

Feel free to pick any of the best beaches in Vancouver, though for my money I’m going with Sunset Beach in the West End.

This gives you better flexibility to walk to the best restaurants in downtown Vancouver if the weather takes an unfortunate, rainy Vancouver turn.

Nearby, Craft Beer Market might have the best harbour patio in the city, and the top Vancouver craft beer to match.

an orca spotted during vancouver whale watching tour

Go Whale Watching

If you’re looking for once in a lifetime wildlife then remember that September is peak season for Vancouver whale watching.

Seeing the Salish Sea’s resident killer whales follow migrating salmon inland is one of nature’s great events, and it’s right on Vancouver’s doorstep.

In all, expect to see three main species – orcas, humpbacks, and gray whales. Tours give a whale sighting guarantee and leave from either Granville Island or Steveston.

You can get half day tours starting at $145.00.

 

Events in September in Vancouver

actors performing outdoors at the vancouver fringe festival

Vancouver Fringe Festival

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is the best arts festival in the city, hands down.

Each year in mid-September at Granville Island you can find over 700 performances ranging from one actor plays to spectacular modern dance shows.

Even better? The stages for each performance are drawn randomly so every performer (big or small) has the same opportunity to shine in the city’s largest theatre venues.

The tickets for these shows are also heavily discounted compared to regular Vancouver theatre evenings, making it a great budget thing to do in September.

2022 dates: September 8th to 18th.

pedestrians take over a street in downtown vancouver for car free day
Courtesy: Car Free Day

Car Free Day Vancouver

As I mentioned in my Vancouver festivals post, September in Vancouver means it’s time to throw away the car keys and (drive? 😂) over to Car Free Day.

This series of block parties throughout Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods leaves the city streets to pedestrians and cyclists.

It is a great opportunity to check out live music, performances, markets, food stalls, and all sorts exhibitions and activities.

As of July 5th 2022 we see they’re looking for festival volunteers, though an official date hasn’t been added yet – keep your eyes peeled!

riders ride the wooden roller coaster at the pne in vancouver bc canada
Courtesy: PNE

The PNE

It’s not summer in Vancouver without a trip to the Pacific National Exhibition – which runs in 2022 from August 20th to September 5th.

Most people go for the amusement park and outdoor food fair, as well as the summer concert series which this year includes Brothers Osborne, Nelly, Bachman Cummings, the Beach Boys, and more.

If you’re visiting Vancouver with kids you’ll also enjoy their petting zoo and midway games, while adults may want to strap in for a visit to their casino or craft beer tents.

 

Vancouver September 2022 Concerts

  • Motley Crue with Def Leppard: September 2nd, Rogers Arena
  • Nelly: September 2nd, PNE Rogers Amphitheater
  • Placebo: September 4th, Commodore Ballroom
  • Beach Boys: September 4th, PNE Rogers Amphitheater
  • Chaka Khan: September 5th, PNE Rogers Amphitheater
  • Gorillaz: September 11th, Rogers Arena
  • Cigarettes After Sex: September 13th, Vogue Theater
  • The Cult: September 15th, Hard Rock Casino
  • Wilco: September 21st, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  • The Eagles: September 22nd, Rogers Arena
  • Broken Social Scene: September 22nd, Commodore Ballroom
  • Jann Arden: September 24th, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Need more information on concerts in Vancouver in September? Check out Songkick.

September Weather in Vancouver

Vancouver weather in September can be warm and sunny, though the average temperature high dips 10° to 18° degrees celsius (50° to 64° fahrenheit).

Of course, this won’t sound all that summery to many but temperatures do every now and then push 25°C (77°F).

Just remember that Vancouver is a rain shadow city, so there is a chance of showers throughout the month. In fact, there are 14 days of precipitation in September.

What to Pack for Vancouver in September

If you’re visiting Vancouver in early September be sure to pack a t-shirt and shorts, as beach weather rolls well into the month.

That said, the weather can become quite cool and rainy at times so a sweater and a light jacket are need – as well as long pants and some good walking shoes for all our nature.

the vancouver skyline as seen from granville island market square

Visiting Vancouver in September FAQ

What’s happening in Vancouver in September 2022?

In September 2022 in Vancouver you can attend the Vancouver Fringe Fest, go to the PNE, enjoy Car Free Fest, or see lots of concerts like Gorillaz, Motley Crue, Nelly, Wilco, and more.

What to wear in Vancouver in September?

Vancouver September weather is comparatively warm and dry. Expect lots of sunshine, especially earlier in the month. Do keep in mind however that the hot days are generally long gone, as temperatures range from 10° to 18° degrees celsius (50° to 64° fahrenheit). Aside from anomolies this is jeans, light jacket, and hoodie weather.

What time does it get dark in Vancouver in September?

In Vancouver, the sun sets at 7:54 pm on September 1st and 6:52 pm on September 30th. That means an average of around 12.5 hours of daylight every day.

How hot is Vancouver in September?

In Vancouver in September the average high temperature is 18°C with the average at low 10°C (50° F to 64° F). While there are occasionally highs reaching 23°C or 25°C, don’t expect any scolding hot days – Vancouver is a coastal city with sea winds that keep temperatures rather moderate.

Visiting Vancouver in September?

This is all I’ve got on what to do in Vancouver in September.

That said, maybe you’re in the market for something a little more custom. If you’re planning a Vancouver September vacation write me below – I’m always happy to help 🙂

Ash

I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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