The great Vancouver bucket list

In June 2018, I moved to Vancouver, BC with my boyfriend on a two-year working holiday visa. We came here with certain expectations of what our life would be like. We saw adventures in mountains, weekend camping trips, exploring nature, and visiting all of the scenic lakes we saw in pictures before we got here.

We also came here taking for granted that these are all things that would simply happen. After a few weeks of settling in, we realised it’s not that easy. Most of these experiences will be completely new to us. When you\’re new to a city it takes time just to figure out how to get to the closest bus stop, never mind up the nearest mountain.

We started to feel a bit like fish out of water after a few weeks of settling in, and we didn’t know where to even begin. That’s when we decided to begin with a list. You can’t start anywhere if you don’t know what it is that you want to do. On arrival in Vancouver, we had only 18 months of our two year visas left to fill with as many experiences as possible, and this list is how we plan to do it.

View of the Vancouver skyline from the seawall bike route, which was part of my commute when I first arrived.

 About the list

The list is divided into places to visit and activities or experiences to try. Some of the activities and the places are intertwined, while others are things we could do anywhere. We don\’t know if we\’re going to be able to do everything, but we are going to try.

Beaver Lake, Stanley Park

I hope to be returning to this post again and again to cross off places and activities, share links to blog posts about some of the bucket list items, and upload pictures as we work our way through!

Keep up to date with our progress on our Vancouver bucket list by subscribing to the Byrnewithme Newsletter!


If there’s anything we’ve learned since starting our research for this bucket list, it’s that virtually nothing is nearby in Canada. Coming from a country as small as Ireland, it can be hard to wrap your head around the distances you need to travel to get to some of the places we want to visit.

With this in mind, we tried to keep our bucket list destinations reasonable in terms of what we can achieve, but we gave ourselves a few more ambitious places to work towards.

Victoria, British Columbia

Vancouver Island, British Columbia (outside of Victoria)

Whistler, British Columbia

Squamish, British Columbia

Deep Cove, North Vancouver

White Rock, British Columbia

Lynn Canyon, North VancouverRead about Lynn Canyon here

Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

Portland, Oregon

Canadian Rockies, British Columbia / Alberta

Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

Bowen Island, Vancouver

Fort Langley, Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, North Vancouver


Activities / Experiences

As we work our way through some of the destinations above, we’ll be able to tick off some of this stuff too. This has been divided into winter activities, summer activities, and any-time-of-the-year activities.

Any time of the year

Visit every part of Stanley Park

Visit Science World

Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

Visit the Contemporary Art Gallery

Visit the Bloedel Conservatory

Visit UBC

Visit Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Visit the Museum of Anthropology

Visit the Museum of Vancouver

Visit all of the Puplfiction Bookstore locations

See a film at the Rio Theatre

Have a Beaver Tail (delicious sugary pastries, not an actual beaver’s tail)

Do the Skyride or Sea to Sky Gondola

Go zip lining

Stay in a cabin

Make s’mores

Visit Shannon Falls


Visit the UBC Botanical Gardens/Nitobe Gardens

Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Visit the Vandusen Botanical Garden

Do a proper hike

Do the Grouse Grind

Go kayaking or do another water sport

Visit the Richmond Night Market

Hike The Chief

Bike the Stanley Park Seawall (again)

Go whale watching

Eat a Honey Donut at Deep Cove

Go for a swim in a lake

Go camping


Find the best hot chocolate in Vancouver

Go to the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Go to an event at the Vancouver Writers Fest

Go snow shoeing

Go to a hockey game

Take a snowboarding lesson

Go to Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Have you been to Vancouver or BC and feel like there’s something big missing on this list? Let me know what you think of our Vancouver bucket list!

Pin this post on Pinterest!

Make sure you find out how many of these things we manage to do by subscribing to the Byrnewithme Newsletter!


  • On August 29, 2018

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Byrnewithme - Embracing the Vancouver rain at Lynn Canyon - Byrnewithme

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.