With modern glass buildings set along the water and large 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 Quarry Gardens and Bloedel Conservatory, featuring 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 renowned Seawall, the downtown skyline will be at its biggest and brightest. In one shot you’ll be able to capture the sun gleaming off of buildings, boats making their way through 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--except it’s done West Coast style, with old growth forests and mountains just across the water. The park, and specifically the Prospect Point lookout, is also home to incredible views of the city’s inner harbor and of 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-Instagrammable 32-million-year-old sea stack, known by its Squamish name, Skalsh.
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 neighborhood, 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 ten-minute ferry ride from downtown, you’ll arrive at Lonsdale Quay. The waterfront here is home to a famous market, great shopping, and great views of Vancouver 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 unbridled 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 as to why. The other? Incredible views looking out over the 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 neighborhood, you can take in the sights with a drink or a 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 and #veryvancouver for a chance to be featured.