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Singin’ in the Rain: Springtime Activities

Put up your hood and open your umbrella for 20 activities that can be enjoyed rain or shine

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2018

The seawall is scenic in every weather. (Photo by KK Law)

1. Stroll through Stanley Park. The city’s 400-hectare (1,000-acre) forested oasis is a can’t-miss activity. On a drizzly day, skip the seawall and head into the park’s interior for extra protection from the green canopy above.

2. Go wildlife spotting on a sightseeing tour with Sea Vancouver or a whale watching tour with Vancouver Whale Watch and Wild Whales Vancouver. Cruiser suits keep both rain and ocean spray at bay.

3. Spend a day exploring all the fun alpine activities at the top of Grouse Mountain. Added bonus: grizzly bears Grinder and Coola often emerge from their cozy hibernation den in April.

4. Step out onto the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which sways 70 m (230 ft) above a river gorge. The stunning views are worth braving a little liquid sunshine.

Grizzly bears Grinder and Coola awake from hibernation in spring. (Photo by Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

5. Weather the storm on Granville Island. There are shops, art galleries and the bustling Granville Island Public Market to explore, not to mention plenty of cafes and eateries to hunker down in.

6. Take note of local lore: rain in the city means snow on the ski hill. Skiing the local mountains or Whistler Blackcomb is a guaranteed way to forget the forecast.

7. Slurp soup and steaming bowls of ramen at spots like the Crab Park Chowdery, Marutama and Jinya.

8. Keep dry on a tour in a mini ferry with False Creek Ferries or Aquabus Ferries.

9. Slip on your wellies and see some of the city’s public art pieces. Don’t miss favourites like Douglas Coupland’s “Digital Orca” and Yue Minjun’s “A-maze-ing Laughter.” And, of course, “The Drop” by Inges Idee—a tip of the hat to Vancouver’s wet climate and geography.

The views from the Capilano Suspension Bridge are awe-inspiring. (Photo courtesy Capilano Suspension Bridge Park/Tourism Vancouver)

10. Meet all the adorable animals at Maplewood Farm. Need to dodge a deluge? Hide out in the “rabbitat,” greenhouse or livestock barn for awhile.

11. Marvel at how dry you are compared to all the fascinating aquatic animals at the Vancouver Aquarium.

12. Tour scenic Stanley Park the old-fashioned way with Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours. The covered carriages are perfect for taking in all the park’s highlights.

13. Wander the cobblestone streets of Gastown, which is at its moody best in inclement weather. Cafes, boutiques, restaurants and bars are all safe havens from downpours.

14. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola to its lofty summit, 915 m (3,000 ft) above sea level. Hike the trails, take a tour or simply enjoy the views of Howe Sound from one of the many viewing platforms.

15. Dodge raindrops as you dash between stores in hip shopping areas like Gastown, Robson Street and Kitsilano’s West 4th Avenue. The high concentration of shops means you won’t even have to open your umbrella.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a worthwhile stop, rain or shine. (Photo by Grant Harder/Destination BC)

16. Lace up your running shoes and challenge your personal best—or your personal best while in costume—at these downtown fun runs: St. Patrick’s Day 5K (Mar. 17) and the Vancouver Sun Run (Apr. 22).

17. Get your daily dose of malt and hops at a few of Vancouver’s craft breweries. Many hoppy havens in East Van and along Main Street are close enough together to warrant brewery hopping in the rain.

18. Lace up your comfiest shoes and learn local history on a walking tour with the Tour Guys or Forbidden Vancouver.

19. Admire the springtime flowers and gorgeous greenery at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

20. Do as the locals do, and thwart chills with a warm, caffeinated drink. For a dose of serious coffee culture, head to local hotspot Revolver. Or for seriously delicious Lucky’s Doughnuts on the side of your cuppa, head to 49th Parallel. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

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