Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yes, I might be biased since I grew up here, however, it has won countless awards over the years to back up my theory:

  • Most Livable City in North America – Mercer Quality of Living Survey (March 2015)
  • Best Destination in Canada – Travel Weekly (December 2014)
  • Best City in the World (Shortlisted) – Telegraph Travel Awards (December 2014)

See them all here on the Tourism Vancouver Website

Paid Locations

Vancouver is a stunning place to live and visit, but it can be pricey. That is why I put together a few simple ways  to explore this wonderful city and cities around Vancouver on a budget.

1) Groupon

It has probably been said a million times over, but one of the best places to grab yourself some amazing deals is Groupon. You can choose which city you are visiting and find out what deals are offered. I always check Groupon when I am heading to a new city, and I use it quite often to get deals on the places closer to home. There are currently heaps of deals for Vancouver from hotels to some of the hotspots.

2) Do it as a group

Most locations and attractions will offer a group rate if you have a certain number of people. This is not only a great way to save money, it’s also a great way to share that experience with people you like.

The same can be said for hotel stays. It’s always cheaper based on double occupancy.

3) Follow on Social Media

Are you heading to Vancouver and want to find some great spots? Follow them on social media.

Don’t only follow the main tourism hubs, but search the hashtags and find people that have visited, or that live in Vancouver. This will provide you some shots of the places you are planning on going and also give you a few ideas of places you won’t find in the travel brochures.

4) Book early & online

Some destinations give you the opportunity to book online before you arrive. Most of the time, there is a discounted offered while booking online or booking early. It’s also nice when you can just show up and not have to wait in line to enter.

5) Enter Contests

It is quite common for tourist destinations or locations to hold contests to help promote themselves. This can be a great way to win some free swag and free entrance. Most the time this is related back to social media, but they often post their contests on their websites as well.

6) Check out the tourism website for the city you are planning on exploring.

Here are a few to get you started

 Off The Beaten Path & Free locations

There are also heaps of free places in and around the lower mainland that are off the beaten path but can provide you some amazing adventures. Here are a few of my personal favourite places to spend the day without spending any money.

Lynn Canyon Park– This is a popular spot for locals in the warmer months as the park offers well-groomed trails, stunning views of the canyon and waterfalls, and, of course, a free suspension bridge rivals the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Lighthouse Park – All though this park can get a bit crowded in the summer months, it boasts some amazing old growth trees, amazing coastline with views of Vancouver, and a picturesque lighthouse.

Golden Ears Provincial Park – Located about 45 mins west of Vancouver, this is one of the biggest parks in BC. Whether you’re looking for a good hike or a relaxing day at the lake with the family this park has it all

Wander around Steveston – yes it’s free to go here, however it might be hard to resist spending money while here. This area is also the set for the Popular TV show Once Upon a Time.

Hiking the Grouse Grind – hiking is free but you can pay $10 to take the Gondola Down

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park – this is the free side to the Sun Yat-Sen Gardens

Porteau Cove– One of the best “dark” spots in my opinion to shoot the sky. If you’re lucky you might even catch the northern lights. This spot also has camping facilities if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle for a night or two and is a very popular location for scuba divers.

Grant Narrow Regional Park – such a great spot to spend the day. If you have a kayak or canoe you can launch it from the boat launch and paddle around the lake or across to Wigeon creek. If you don’t feel like being on the water there are several trails that run along the lake and through the marsh. Make sure to bring your camera as there are plenty of birds and other wildlife that call this area home.

Cascade Falls Regional Park – located in Mission, this new suspension bridge gives you a unique perspective on a beautiful waterfall.

Did I miss anything? I am sure there are tons of places in and around Vancouver that I have left off the list. If you can think of any that should be added, feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email.