Top 10 Instagram-worthy spots in Vancouver

by Jessica Napier

With its scenic mountains, sandy beaches, stunning waterways and unique urban art installations, Vancouver is easily one of the most photogenic cities in the country (no filter necessary). For locals and visitors looking to document their Vancity explorations on Instagram, here are 10 iconic sights and attractions you need to capture. [Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park]

Top 10 Instagram-worthy spots in Vancouver

Stanley Park

Vancouver’s majestic Stanley Park boasts 1,001 acres of lush green space surrounded almost entirely by water. It’s easy to spend the day discovering the park’s natural beauty and famous landmarks. Your best bet? Rent a bike to make sure you capture all the highlights, including the totem poles, Siwash Rock, Lost Lagoon and Prospect Point. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during cherry blossom season, you’ll be treated to lovely pink blooms throughout the park. BYO selfie stick! [Image credit: iStock.com/jamesvancouver]

Stanley Park

49th Parallel

It’s no secret that Vancouverites love their coffee and doughnuts (we are Canadian after all), and this beachy Kitsilano café is a local favourite. Here, the eye-catching teal cups are synonymous with 49th Parallel’s signature beans, and the local coffee scene in general. Pair your latte art with a gourmet doughnut and stage a photo-shoot on the white marble patio tables (I promise, you won’t be the only one).

Grouse Mountain

Hiking the 2.9-kilometer Grouse Grind trail up the face of Grouse Mountain in North Van is a rite of passage for ambitious athletic types who want to test their cardio strength. The spectacular mountaintop views overlooking downtown Vancouver are a welcome reward after climbing up 2,830 gruelling steps. Those who like to humble-brag can even pose alongside their finish time at the top of the trail.

Public Artworks

Striking sculptures like Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca, Marcus Bowcott’s Trans Am Totem and Ken Lum’s glowing neon cross in East Van are just a few of the large-scale public art installations that add visual interest to Vancouver’s urban landscape. If it’s pouring rain and an outdoor art crawl isn’t in the cards, the Vancouver Art Gallery is your best bet for capturing artsy snaps while staying dry.

33 Acres

In a city that’s known for its craft beer scene, 33 Acres get a shout out for being the most Instagrammable brewery in town. The design-blog-worthy interior features a minimalist aesthetic with oversized plants and Scandinavian-style furniture. In addition to craft beer and cider on tap, the hipster-approved brew bar also serves up a photogenic food menu (think avocado toast and artisanal charcuterie boards).

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

If you’re gonna be all about that #PNW life, then lace up your hiking boots and head to the woods. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park certainly isn’t the most strenuous hike on the North Shore, but the suspension bridge (measuring 140 metres long, 70 metres above the ground) is definitely awe-inspiring. FYI: selfie sticks are banned on the bridge (due to safety concerns) so visit with a pal if you want that all-important solo shot.

Beaucoup Bakery

Jackie Kai Ellis must have had Instagrammers in mind when she opened Beaucoup Bakery, her beloved patisserie in Fairview. Flaky croissants and oh-so-pretty tarts look picture-perfect when snapped from above on the grey-and-white marble tabletops (be sure to grab a spot by the window for optimal lighting). As a bonus, check out the gorgeous red and white botanical mural on the exterior wall – it’s a great backdrop for an impromptu street-style shoot.

Gastown

Gastown’s iconic Steam Clock might get all the attention from tourists, but there’s so much more to see (and snap) in this historic neighbourhood. Secret alleyways, thought-provoking neon signs and cool bars housed in distinct heritage buildings provide a welcome break from the steel and glass structures that dominate the rest of downtown. Best of all, this picturesque neighbourhood looks even better in the rain – when twinkling tree lights are reflected in the cobblestoned streets.

Granville Island

From the Public Market’s towering fruit and veggie displays to the panoramic views of False Creek, Granville Island is a dreamy spot for foodies and amateur photographers alike. While exploring the island, be sure to snap a photo of the 70-foot concrete silos painted to resemble six giant cartoon characters.

English Bay

If you’ve ever wondered why they say #WestCoastBestCoast, head to English Bay on a warm summer day. Palm trees, sandy beaches and sparkling blue water set the scene for a jealousy-inducing Instagram post. Grab a seat on an oversized tree log and watch the sun go down – the sunsets here are truly magical and are guaranteed to garner a lot of likes.

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