Spring in Vancouver is a special time. The city comes out of hibernation and quickly hops back to life, with colorful flowers blooming all around, a full events schedule, and increasingly warming temperatures.
Arguably, spring is a better time to visit Vancouver than summer – if you like lower prices and smaller crowds, that is!
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While the weather may still be a bit hit or miss, the large selection of (indoor and outdoor) things to do will keep you occupied come rain or shine.
So read on to discover what to do in Vancouver in spring and what to expect when visiting at this time of year.
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Visiting Vancouver In Spring
Every month in Vancouver offers something different.
Here’s what to expect regarding climate, events, and general atmosphere when visiting in March, April, or May.
Vancouver In March
The weather in Vancouver in March is still pretty chilly, but towards the end of the month, you start to feel it warming up.
The average day temperature is 10°, and the nighttime average is 4°. One thing you will notice, though, is more sunshine as the days start to get longer.
While all the attractions are open, there are few events or festivals in March. However, this month is Spring Break, so the city can get busy.
Vancouver In April
April is slightly warmer than March, with a daytime average of 13° and a nighttime average of 6°.
There is marginally less rainfall, though, and the days are getting longer.
April is a fab month to visit as it is the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the time of year when clouds of light pink blossoms dominate the neighborhoods.
To celebrate, you can join in many events during April, such as community bike rides, cherry blossom viewing tours, and traditional Japanese festivities.
If you’re a wine enthusiast, this is an excellent time to visit too!
Towards the end of the month, you can attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival and sample local wines, plus over 700 wines from around the world.
Of course, if you’re in town for Easter, you will also find plenty of Easter celebrations, such as egg hunts. Petey’s and Taves Farm are two places that hold Easter events each year.
Vancouver In May
Vancouver in May is beautiful! The temperature is pleasant, there is minimal rain, and there are over 15 hours of daylight.
During the day, temperatures average 17°, so it’s warm enough to sit in the park and enjoy outdoor activities. Nighttime doesn’t get too cold either, with an average of 10°.
May is easily one of the best months to visit Vancouver as the weather is nice, yet you can find cheap hotel rates as it’s still low season.
Many events are also happening, such as The Vancouver Children’s Festival and Vancouver Comic Arts Festival.
Things To Do In Vancouver In Spring
Vancouver boasts an excellent selection of indoor and outdoor activities, making spring the perfect season to visit.
Here are some top things to do and see during this time.
Admire The Blooming Cherry Blossoms
You don’t have to go all the way to Japan to experience the famous Cherry Blossom season.
Vancouver has many places full of these pretty pink trees that erupt their pastel colors during the springtime.
Cherry Blossoms are so big here that Vancouver even has its own Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs throughout April.
During the festival, you can join guided tours and many Japanese-inspired activities.
So, where are the best places to witness this pretty pink parade?
Queen Elizabeth Park is always a good choice regardless of which month you’re in town. The park has several varieties of cherry trees, which bloom at different intervals throughout spring.
Stanley Park is another must-visit. You will find rows of cherry blossoms near the formal rose garden and the Japanese Canadian WWI war memorial.
Aside from parks, several streets are known for their impressive blooming. Yew Street in Kitsilano is one of the most photographed streets this time of year.
You’ll also find several of these flowering trees around the city hall at West 12th.
Visit VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is another excellent place to go during the Cherry Blossom season.
As part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in April, the botanical garden hosts the Sakura Days Japan Fair, full of Japanese food, traditional Japanese music, flower arranging, flute making and calligraphy workshops, and much more.
If you’re in Vancouver during March or May, the botanical garden is still a fantastic place to visit.
At least some of the flowers are bound to be in bloom. Moreover, as it’s not too cold, strolling around at a leisurely pace is both doable and enjoyable.
If you want to know what is blooming during your visit, check out the website, which lists everything by month, such as magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias.
As the weather gets warmers, Vancouver’s outdoor lovers head outdoors again, enjoying British Columbia’s incredible hiking trails.
Spring is the perfect season for hiking as it’s not too hot or cold. And there are so many incredible trails to choose from.
The Lighthouse Park Trail in West Vancouver is a relatively short and flat route, making it ideal for beginners.
You’ll pass through tranquil old-growth cedar and fir trees before the trail opens to incredible views of Point Atkinson Lighthouse, the Salish Sea, and the Coast Mountains.
The Grouse Grind is a must if you’re looking for more of a mountain climb.
Probably Vancouver’s most famous mountain hike, this 2.5-kilometer uphill trail goes up the face of Grouse Mountain to a 1,090 meters (3,576 feet) summit.
The Grouse Grind has a challenging elevation gain of 800 meters (2,624 feet), taking most hikers 2 to 2.5 hours to complete.
The good news is you only have to hike one way. Downhill hiking is not permitted, so you take the Skyride back down.
Learn more about the best hikes around Vancouver.
Spot Some Whales
The whale-watching season also begins in spring. During this time, there is up to a 95% success rate of spotting whales on one of the many whale watching tours.
Moreover, there are different varieties, such as orcas, humpback, Minke, and gray whales.
Aside from seeing marine life up close in its wild habitat, you’ll also witness incredible views of key Vancouver nature spots like the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, and Howe Sound.
Several tour options are available, including half-day, full-day, and sunset tours. Most tours depart from Granville Island and Coal Harbour.
Enjoy An Al Fresco Dinner By The Waterfront
As the temperatures slowly increase, restaurants begin using their outdoor dining areas again.
Enjoying a meal or coffee on a restaurant patio along the waterfront is a blissful experience, especially if the sun is shining.
The best place for waterfront dining is, hands down, Ancora at False Creek. The bi-level venue has a modern, chic design and an extensive outdoor patio, which offers spectacular sunset views.
The food is also top-quality, albeit expensive, specializing in seafood with West Coast, Latin & Japanese influences.
Lift Bar Grill is another must-visit for lunch or dinner, giving gorgeous views of Bayshore West Marina.
The upscale restaurant has a rooftop bar, multi-level outdoor dining areas, and an extensive menu.
Marvel At The Views From Vancouver Lookout
Vancouver Lookout is a 168 meters (553 feet) high observation deck at the top of the Harbour Center.
It gives the best skyline views in Vancouver and, thus, is a popular tourist spot.
In the summer, Vancouver Lookout gets pretty busy, but as the crowds are minimal during spring, it’s a great time to check it out.
It’s open every day from 11 am to 4 pm, so unfortunately, you can’t go for sunset. However, you’re compensated with 360-degree views!
Most people take the elevator up to the lookout, but if you’re up for a challenge, you can take the 633 steps to the top!
There is also a rotating restaurant if you want to stay for a drink or a light meal.
Go Shopping On Granville Island
Whatever the weather does, Granville Island is a place you can ALWAYS go.
This bustling district is full of food, shopping, and culture. In addition, you’ll find local art galleries, a brewery, and even a comedy theatre.
Still, the most famous attraction on Granville Island is the public market, where you’ll find every type of food you can imagine.
Highlights include Bread Affair for mouthwatering baked goods, Benton Brothers Fine Cheese, and Bon Macaron Patisserie for a wide selection of sweet and savory macarons.
The market also sells many handcrafted items, souvenirs, and goods.
You can pick up hand-painted silk scarves, Artisan Sake, art prints by local artists, and tons more.
Final Thoughts On What To Do In Vancouver In Spring
Spring is one of the best months to visit British Columbia’s bustling seaport city. Whether you’re an avid hiker, nature lover, shopping enthusiast, or foodie, you’ll find many things to keep you occupied.
We hope you found this guide to what to do in Vancouver in spring helpful in planning your springtime city break.
We recommend renting a car during your time in Vancouver, as this gives you a lot more independence and flexibility to explore the city and its surrounding areas.
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