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Heading to Vancouver? Be prepared for one of the most adventurous photography spots and picturesque cities Canada has to offer. Vancouver and the West Coast of Canada offer some of the best hikes, scenery, and all-around outdoor activities, you could ask for your travelgram. I will breakdown the Instagram spots in Vancouver, what to do in Vancouver, what to do in Whistler, and what to do in Squamish.

I understand your time is limited so I will narrow the adventure activities based on my experiences. My perfect trip here would be to spend some time in Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler, but I will separate the articles for each location. Here are the top things to do in Vancouver area in no particular order:

instagram spots in vancouver

1. Golden Ears Provincial Park

Located in Maple Ridge. Regardless of the weather, this park offers some of the most stunning views. If it is raining, I would still recommend going to check out a true West Coast rain forest! Some recommended hikes in this area are:

Alouette Lake: Right beside the parking lot, you can walk to the day campground and take in the amazing mountain reflection in the lake. I would recommend coming here during the sunrise and/or sunset.

Pitt Lake: A great Instagram spot to witness the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis given the conditions are right!

Gold Creek Falls: 5.5km, 2hrs, witness some turquoise waterfalls and streams.

Mike Lake: 2km, 1 hr. max, a quick walk for West Coast boardwalk photos

2. St. Mark's Summit

A popular hike that only takes a morning, 4-5 hours roundtrip. The views are spectacular of the Howe Sound and the islands. You will see the trailhead starts at Cypress Mountain, from here go to the beginning of Lion's Express chairlift and take the Howe Sound Crest Trail.

Follow the trailhead markers, you will follow the ones for the Howe Sound Crest Trail and The Lions rather than it actually saying St. Mark’s Summit at St. Mark’s comes first. Another indicator for the trail is Bowen Lookout. Take your time at the top to soak it all in.

3. Tunnel Bluffs Hike

This hike is 4-5 hours there and back. It's 3 km from Lion's Bay and you will drive over a bridge and the parking lot is on the opposite side of the highway so you will need to drive 1km past the bridge for a safe turnaround on the south way of the highway. Then cross the highway to the north side safely to reach the trailhead. Tunnel Bluffs is a moderate hike with little elevation gain of 650m and 7km total trail distance.

4. Capilano Suspension Bridge

Do you recall seeing the suspension bridge fading into the fog in a dense rain-forest? This place is magical and I would recommend going on a rainy day, in the early morning when it opens or be one of the last people to leave when it closes. The cost is a bit pricey for adults $39.95+tax or $32.95 for students and if you are just going to see the suspension bridge over Lynn gorge, but makes it worthwhile if you go to the tree top walks. It is an extremely popular Instagram spots in Canada so be strategic when you go.

5. Cypress Mountain lookout

Drive up the mountain and at about half way up you get to the lookout point. You can take it the stunning city of Vancouver from high up and watch the clouds move below you. Type in Cypress Mountain in your Google Maps or GPS and it's located in West Vancouver. No hiking here, this is just for a photographic opportunity.

instagram spots in vancouver

6. Point Atkinson Lighthouse

It is otherwise known as the West Vancouver lighthouse. Take Marine Drive West and take a left onto Beacon Lane into Lighthouse Park. This is a great spot for a quick nature fix and only an hour or less walk round trip. This is an extremely photogenic spot so it is a great place to photograph the sunrise or the sunset.

7. Whytecliff Park

Continue further down Marine Drive to this incredible beach location located near Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal. There's a small island called Whyte Islet, and it's a photographer's dream location during sunset.

8. Stanley Park Seawall walk, Siwash Rock, and Third Beach

On a sunny day one of my favorite things to do here is to run around the Stanley Park Seawall which is approximately around 8.5 km. It takes about 2 hours to complete the loop, but if you are limited with time, I would recommend going to Siwash Rock. Siwash Rock is the incredible island rock formation that is located on the North Western side of Stanley Park.

How you get there without doing the entire Seawall perimeter walk is by driving just past Prospect Point lookout and before or around Third Beach parking lots.

9. Grouse Grind

How fast can you go?! This is a popular hike used by all fitness levels. The hike consists of wooden stairs up alongside Grouse Mountain. The way up will take between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the length of your breaks and fitness level. Ensure you bring your wallet, debit/credit, cash to buy lunch, snacks or beer at the top where the gondola is at.

I recommend a bottle of water as well. On the way down you have 2 options to go down the east side trail (not the stairs) or the gondola. This hike takes 2-3 hours roundtrip or 1.5 hours with the gondola down. The record on the way up is 23:48 min and the record number of ascents in one day is 16, but doing it once is okay too.

10. Kitsilano Beach

While in Vancouver, I recommend visiting Kitsilano Beach. It's one of the most popular beaches and park locations year-round and it is an ideal location to relax for the day. Kitslano Beach has all of the amenities you could ask for including restaurants, coffee shops, walking paths, and even a swimming pool for a low cost if the ocean is too cold for you.

11. Skimboarding at Spanish Banks

Spanish Banks Beach Park is near UBC and it offers some of the best conditions for skimboarding you could ask for. Low tides create large shallow pools perfect for skimboarding or even just beach walks. I recommend visiting this Instagram spot in Canada during all times of the day, but especially sunset due to its west facing location.

Find more guides on Vancouver here.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author


  1. wow! I have been recently looking for inspiration pictures to plan my next "faraway" trip, which means outside Europe. One of my destinations was Canada after seeing beautiful pictures, the other was west-south USA!

  2. I have never been to Canada, it looks like a wonderful country. I am originally from Thailand but now I live in England.

  3. As a Canadian, I feel so ashamed that I've not yet visited Vancouver! It looks like such an incredible place to visit, and totally Instagrammable!

  4. that lighthouse looks amazing ! I have always wanted to travel to a lighthouse and this one looks so adorable!

  5. I live in Canada but i've never been to Vancouver yet, i keep on hearing how gorgeous it is. This summer for sure.

  6. im planning a trip to vancouver in a few months and def will take a look at all of these while im out there- thanks for such great places to take some meorable photos!

  7. I am down the road a bit in Oregon and I would love to come visit.

  8. i came across your blog just at the right time. i will be visiting Canada soon and this will come very handy! Thanks for the great tips!

  9. The lighthouse looks very picturesque. Truly Instagram-worthy. :)

  10. I want to visit Canada one day for a long trip. I don't know when but I sure will

  11. I hope to visit Canada later this year. If I do i'll make sure to check these spots out.

  12. Sign me up for the St Mark’s and Tunnel Bluffs hike. I’m always up for a good adventure, especially when the hike has little increase in elevation. Not a fan of climbing hills with an 11 month old!

  13. What a beatiful place. Canada is one of the Country I always wanted to visit. Truly a bucket list material.

  14. Such a great and very detailed post. So many great deatination to visit in Canada. I would love to go there soon.

  15. I have visited Seattle before and I've heard Vancouver is just a short drive from there. I should definitely check it out sometime. Sounds like just the place for a short trip!

  16. These are some great suggestions for places to visit. I always love seeing photos, because it's like a virtual tour. As a Maine resident, I especially like the places you listed in #5-#8, as we have similar beautiful locations and scenery here.

  17. Love these photos. I've already wanted to go to Vancouver!


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