Prime parks for a scenic outdoor picnic in Vancouver

With a temperate climate and plenty of public parks and walkways, Vancouver is a mecca for the modern day picnicker. These parks provide some of the best views for enjoying a meal al fresco.

Queen Elizabeth Park

4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 2M9

Vancouver’s highest geographical point and home of the famous Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park is known for its stunning panoramic views and sprawling botanical gardens, which are meticulously maintained year round. With the city below, picnic on a wide bench at the lookout platform. On sunny days, skip the climb and stretch out in the shade under one of many trees covering the 52-hectare park. And once you’ve had your fill, meander through the gorgeous quarry garden, or sample a plethora of activities such as tennis, lawn bowling, or a game of pitch and putt.

Jericho Beach Park

3941 Point Grey Rd, Vancouver, BC V6R 4L9

Much loved by swimmers, sailors, and builders of sand castles, Jericho Beach Park is ideal for those looking for an energetic picnic experience. Located at the end of Point Grey Road, the park’s many features include tennis courts, a swimming raft, beach volleyball courts, bathrooms and change rooms, lifeguard stations and much, much more. Grab a bite then your skim board, or cheer on a volleyball match from the safety of your blanket. Tip: bring plenty of food and water, as Jericho’s vibrant atmosphere is bound to keep you moving from dawn ’til dusk.

Fraser River Park

8705 Angus Dr, Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

Those with canine friends flock to this picturesque network of trails, bridges and boardwalks, which doubles as a dog park. Unleash your pooch and journey to the pier and adjacent beach before finding a table overlooking the water. Set back from the riverbank, a grassy hill provides a different view of Vancouver’s busy commercial waterway, where colourful tugboats steam by with the day’s haul. Located in a quiet neighbourhood, pack your lunch and look forward to a laid back atmosphere (and free parking).

Choklit Park

2400 Spruce St, Vancouver, BC V6H 2P3

Founded in 1970 by Purdy’s Chocolates owner Charles Flavelle, who wished for a children’s park next to his factory (since closed in 1982), this aptly-named historical site offers views of False Creek, a series of pretty terraces, and a substantial collection of trees and shrubbery. Ideal for evenings spent sipping hot cocoa and watching the sunset, this tiny park can’t accommodate large groups, so head here for a romantic picnic in an intimate setting.

John Hendry Park

3300 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4L9

A favourite of Vancouver’s East Side residents, John Hendry (aka: Trout Lake) Park offers a diverse range of picnic locales. With easy access to Commercial Drive, this scenic venue attracts family reunions and hipster hangouts alike. Choose from beaches, wharfs, lawns, and sturdy picnic tables, where there’s always room even on busy weekends. On the way, consider grabbing your goods from one of the many delis on Commercial Drive or, better yet, from the Trout Lake Farmers Market. From May to October of each year, vendors provide everything you need for impressing your pals with a picnic of local ingredients.

New Brighton Park

North Windermere St, Vancouver, BC V5K 5J7

In keeping with East Vancouver’s trademark blend of industry and nature, this long and narrow park located on the Burnaby border provides a unique setting for picnicking amongst views of Vancouver’s North Shore, Burrard Inlet, and the fascinating Cascadia grain elevators. An outdoor swimming pool, playground, tennis courts, and concession stand entertain families in summertime, while a rocky beach and several trails offer year-round walking that’s especially rewarding after a filling meal.

Riverfront Park

2750 East Kent Ave S, Vancouver, BC V5S 4T6

At the foot of Victoria Drive in Vancouver’s Kilarney neighbourhood, Riverfront Park (named for its proximity to the powerful Fraser River) is famous for its pathways lined with roses and poplars, which you are encouraged to gawk at on your way to the picnic site. Tables on a raised and covered platform ensure you can dine here even in a rainstorm, while a series of informative plaques provide a rare opportunity for feasting as you learn about the river’s rich industrial history and thriving ecosystems.

These iconic hikes – all within driving distance from Vancouver – offer breathtaking views, opportunities for wildlife viewing and groomed trails, making them ideal for tourists looking to experience the very best of West Coast hiking. Lace up your hiking boots (or a sturdy pair of sneakers) and start exploring!
Affordable, fun and a great workout, cycling is an ideal method for seeing the sights of Vancouver, where state-of-the-art bike paths and spectacular Seawall views abound. And for those who don’t own a bike – or who couldn’t fit one in their suitcase – these rental shops loan out two-wheelers that are well oiled, affordable and ready for your next adventure. [Photo credit: Todor Tsvetkov]
Vancouver’s close proximity to lake and ocean – and its many public pools – make the city an ideal destination for trying out watersports with your little ones as they grow. So grab the sunscreen, pack the water shoes and swim trunks, and encourage your kids to learn valuable skills in and out of the water at some of Vancouver’s top aquatic camps this summer. [Photo credit:]
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