With modern glass buildings set along the water and soaring mountains as a background, you can’t really question the beauty of Vancouver. While no photo can quite do the city justice, you won’t have a hard time finding Instagram-worthy views.
To help you get that perfect shot, here are 10 of the most scenic views in and around Vancouver:
1. Queen Elizabeth Park
The highest point in Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park is a natural choice for a fantastic view of the city and the North Shore mountains beyond. While you’re there, grab some photos of the incredible scenic gardens and Bloedel Conservatory, where you’ll find an array of flowers, trees, birds, and sculptures.
2. Charleson Park
As you walk the many winding pathways of Charleson Park, passing around a waterfall and a pond towards the city’s famous Seawall, the downtown skyline will be at its biggest and brightest. In one shot you’ll be able to capture the sun gleaming off buildings, boats making their way across False Creek, and cyclists making the most of their commute.
3. Prospect Point
Stanley Park is like Vancouver’s Central Park: an oasis of nature right in the big city. The park, and specifically Prospect Point lookout, is also home to incredible views of the city’s inner harbour and the Lions Gate Bridge. While you’re in Stanley Park, you should also make a point of walking the seawall and grabbing a photo of the always-photogenic Siwash Rock.
4. Jericho Beach
Believe it or not, Vancouver is a major beach city—one of the 10 best in the world according to National Geographic. Jericho Beach, located in the Point Grey neighbourhood, is a popular site for tanning, beach volleyball, and looking out at the big city from the comfort of some warm sand.
5. Lonsdale Quay
After a quick ferry ride from downtown, you’ll arrive at Lonsdale Quay on the North Shore. The waterfront here is home to a famous market, great shopping, and even better views of Vancouver from across the water. While you’re there, grab a photo of the huge “Q” sign that stands tall above the quay.
6. Cypress Mountain High View Lookout
It’s hard to beat the High View Lookout when it comes to seeing all—and we mean all—of Vancouver. The lookout, located just off the road up to Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver, provides unrivaled views that stretch out well beyond the city. After taking a good panoramic shot, head up to the mountain for some hiking in the summer, or skiing in the winter.
7. Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is another ski resort in the famous North Shore mountains close to Vancouver. Whether you’re heading up the famous Grouse Grind hiking trail, riding the gondola, or snowboarding down a few runs, you’re going to have incredible views of the city to the south.
8. Cactus Club Coal Harbour
The Coal Harbour location of Cactus Club has to be one of the city’s most popular restaurants among visitors, and the great food is only part of the reason why. The other? Incredible views looking out over Vancouver Harbour, Stanley Park, the North Shore Mountains, and even the Olympic Torch.
9. Vancouver Lookout and Top of Vancouver
Every big city has one: Top of Vancouver is a revolving restaurant providing 360-degree views of the city. Located on top of the Harbour Centre, at the edge of the trendy Gastown neighbourhood, you can take in the sights with a drink or fork in hand, or just stop by the Vancouver Lookout to take photos.
10. Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim
What's better than a hotel room with a view? A hotel spa with a view! The 8,500-square-foot Willow Stream Spa sits on the fifth floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim and features a terrace offering incredible views of downtown Vancouver, the waterfront, and the mountains beyond. The spa also offers nine treatment areas, where you can enjoy deep Japanese Zen tub, get yourself a mani-pedi, and so much more.
For more Instagram inspiration on beautiful shots across Vancouver and the rest of Canada check out @inside_vancouver and @ExploreCanada. Don’t forget to tag your travel photos #ExploreCanada for a chance to be featured.