9 epic transit-friendly places to visit this summer

9 epic transit-friendly places to visit this summer

Stanley Park seawall
The seawall at Stanley Park is one of many places to explore this summer!

It’s no secret that Metro Vancouver—with our West Coast charm—is a global summertime destination.

From our beautiful beaches to awe-inspiring mountain ranges and pristine lakes, enjoying the great outdoors is a staple summer activity for locals and tourists alike. If outdoors-ing isn’t for you, take advantage of our world-class art, theatre, music and food scenes!

Before we get into our 9 epic transit friendly places to visit this summer…did you know it’s easier than ever to choose transit when exploring our region this summer?!

Pay for your transit fare using our Tap to Pay feature! Simply tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card, or mobile wallet at a fare gate or mobile validator—just like a Compass Card.

Not only that—we’ve expanded our partnership with Modo, bringing more car-sharing parking spots to our SkyTrain stations. There are now two stalls for Modo vehicles at Braid Station and three at King George Station. In New Westminster, access Evo car share at Braid and Columbia stations. Have your own vehicle? You can park it at one of our Park and Ride lots and connect with transit.

Don’t forget! Our Summer Service Changes went live on June 25, bringing extra trips to and from many popular summer attractions. 

Alas, in no particular order:

1. Stanley Park

Park Hours: 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Transit: 19

Named TripAdvisor’s 2014 Best Park in the World, this 400-hectare West Coast rainforest boasts breathtaking views all along the famous 28-kilometre seawall. Hop on the 19 to visit Vancouver’s beloved urban park oasis and take advantage of its activities for all ages!

Explore more than 27 kilometres of forest trails, or tour the park by horse-drawn carriage, shuttle trolley or the Stanley Park Train. To cool down, why not go for a splash in one of the world’s most beautiful outdoor pools at Second Beach! Not to mention, you can always learn something new at the Vancouver Aquarium. For even more things to do and mouth-watering dining options, visit Stanley Park’s website.

2. Granville Island

Public Market hours:  9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Transit: 50

As Vancouver’s premier artistic and cultural hub, Granville Island has something for everyone and is beloved by locals and tourists alike. The 50 will drop you off at the island entrance. A short walk will take you to the indoor public market, which is home to more than 50 independent food purveys and an assortment of locally sourced goods—everything from fresh produce to handcrafted merchandise. The island is also renowned culinary destination, offering something for every occasion and a plethora of dining options from food carts to white tablecloth restaurants. Explore artisan boutiques and services, the Granville Island Kid’s Market, or catch a show at one of the island’s many theatre stages. For a list of seasonal happenings, visit the Granville Island Events page.

3. Lynn Canyon Park

Park Hours: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Transit: 227

Open to the public since 1912, Lynn Canyon Park is a perfect place for a picnic, leisurely hike or a refreshing swim in one of the many popular swimming holes. We’ve added extra trips during the summer on the 227 from Phibbs Exchange so more people can enjoy a day at the park!

Looking for a thrill? Sway 50 metres over the canyon on the park’s famous suspension bridge. If you have a yearning for learning, visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre and take a look at BC’s natural history and local ecosystems through interactive exhibits.

4. Rocky Point Park

Transit: Millennium Line to Moody Centre Station

This 3.8-hectare park is set beside a Pacific Ocean inlet, offering gorgeous ocean and mountain views.

There are activities for all—hiking and biking trails, paved walking paths, a skateboard park, an outdoor pool and even a spray waterpark! There are plentiful picnic tables and open spaces, so pack your picnic basket and enjoy a day at the park.

If you didn’t bring anything to eat, not to worry! Pajo’s Fish and Chips is a must try, offering meals made with fresh, local ingredients and stellar customer service. Looking for a sweet treat? Rocky Point Ice Cream is a charming gathering place for locals and tourists alike! We recommend a scoop of the Oatmeal Brown Sugar if you have trouble deciding on a flavour.

Planning to drive to the park? On weekends, you can park your car at Moody Centre Station’s Park and Ride lot, a short walk away. There’s also a Park and Ride lot at Coquitlam Central Station where you can connect to the Millennium Line, which will take you to the park in around 15 minutes.

5. White Pine Beach (Belcarra Regional Park)

Beach hours:  7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Transit: 150

White Pine Beach sits on the north side of Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park. No need to worry about finding a parking spot – route 150 is back for the summer! Soak up some sun along the sandy beach or grab a table for a family picnic with breathtaking views. The lake is one of the warmest in Vancouver and is definitely worthy of a wade or a swim. If you need a break from the sun, go for a walk around the lake on the 8-kilometre roundtrip hiking trail and enjoy views of the lake from different angles. The beach also offers public washrooms and a concession stand.

6. Grouse Mountain

Skyride Hours:  8:45 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Transit: 236 (increased weekday frequency to every 15 minutes between 9:00am – 3:00pm)

Grouse Mountain isn’t just for skiing – there are a variety of cultural, educational and outdoor adventures the warmer seasons!  Take the 236 to the parking lot and hop on Skyride gondola to take you up the mountain. Endless activities and unforgettable views await you at the peak of Vancouver! For those seeking a thrill, explore BC’s old growth forests on the five-line zipline circuit. Recreational offerings include mountain biking, mountain disc-golf and the infamous Grouse Grind (trail begins at the parking lot). Looking for some unique entertainment? Why not catch a lumberjack show or bird demonstration!

7. Queen Elizabeth Park

Hours: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Transit: 15

This 52-hectare municipal park is considered Vancouver’s horticultural jewel, offering a host of indoor and outdoor attractions, and awe-inducing views of the park, city and North Shore mountains. The stunning Bloedel Floral Conservatory at the top of the park is home to 100 birds and 500 plant species—a must-see for any visitor. Stroll through the gorgeously landscaped quarry garden, or partake in recreational offerings such as pitch n’ putt, tennis and lawn bowling.

8. Buntzen Lake

Hours:  8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Transit:  179

Did you know Buntzen Lake started and produced the first hydroelectric power in the Lower Mainland? It has served the region for over a century, but a lot has changed since then. Tucked away in the hills of Anmore, the lake is now a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, fishing and even equestrian! The 179 will drop you off beside the parking lot, a short walk from South Beach. The beach has 75 available open picnic tables, a covered picnic spot and a large gazebo over four picnic tables (first come, first served!).  There are more than ten hiking trails to choose from. The most popular is the 10-kilometre Buntzen Lake Loop.

9. Beaches in downtown Vancouver

Transit:  23

The 23 will take you from Main Street–Science World Station through Yaletown along Pacific Blvd and the seawall, past Sunset Beach before terminating at English Bay. Second and Third Beach are just a short walk along the seawall into Stanley Park. There’s a ton to do along the 23 route with Yaletown’s bustling restaurants, boutiques, or seaside parks. The possibilities are endless—from walking to cycling, rollerblading, sunbathing, picnicking, swimming, kayaking! Choose from myriad restaurants along the route and enjoy the culinary offerings of downtown Vancouver!

Bonus! Take your summer exploration beyond Metro Vancouver with BC Ferries. Take the 620 to the Tsawassen Ferry Terminal to connect with ferries to Swartz Bay (Victoria) and Duke Point. The 257 connects you with the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal where there are ferries to Departure Bay (Nanaimo), Langdale and Snugcove.

Ready to explore Metro Vancouver this summer? Plan your trip at translink.ca/tripplanner and share your adventures with us using the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Aylinn Kimura