1. Capilano Suspension Bridge (photo by melanie_co)
Despite growing up here, I somehow have never visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I was hoping to rectify this during this trip but I guess that will have to wait for another day! Treetops Adventure also sounds like a blast. (There's a free shuttle to Capilano Suspension Bridge that picks up at several locations downtown during the summer).
2. Cartems Donuterie (photo by thelime)
I am all in favour of donuts being the new cupcake. I think Cartems opened their retail location earlier this year (I remember my dad taunting me with an article from the Sun) and I've been dreaming about it ever since and have been following them on twitter (because apparently I like to taunt myself with donuts that I can't have). They offer a whole range of creative and unexpected flavours (earl grey, Maker's bourbon bacon, and they recently tweeted a picture of their strawberry balsamic donuts!) that are made fresh daily from scratch with many locally sourced ingredients.
3. Outdoor Concerts
There are few things better in life than sitting outside on the grass and listening to some great live music. Vancouver offers so many outdoor concerts during the summertime—many of them free! I've gotten to see so many of my favourite Canadian artists perform this way (Joel Plaskett, Sam Roberts, Dan Mangan, Hannah Georgas, Said the Whale, Jeremy Fisher, Aidan Knight, Yukon Blonde, Serena Ryder). A few festivals you can check out are the Vancouver Folk Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival (most shows are indoors but there's some outdoor stuff, too), Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, Surrey Fusion Festival (free!), and Shorefest (also free!). The picture above is Malahat Revue performing during the CBC free summer concert series a couple of years ago. The 2012 line-up can be found right here! (They are every weekday from 12–1).
4. Granville Island (photo by g_y_p_o)
I have professed my love for Granville Island many times on this blog. It is my favourite place in Vancouver and is just such a great cultural hub. There is plenty of great shopping, galleries, and food. If you like fish and chips, I can't recommend eating at Go Fish enough. I could write a whole other post on my love for Go Fish—oh wait, I have. The marketplace is amazing to explore and if you are visiting Vancouver, a ride on the aquabus is a fun way to see the city.
5. Take the ferry somewhere....anywhere (photo by becwonders)
When I'm on the ferry in the summer, it's usually on the way to Mayne Island. I love everything about riding the ferry. I love waiting at the Tsawassen terminal for the ferry's arrival. I love sitting out on the deck for the whole ride with the wind blowing and the salty spray of the ocean. I love walking to the front of the ship and watching the cars disembark. I love the self-serve soft serve ice cream machine. Taking the ferry to Victoria is a fun daytrip for those visiting Vancouver.
Ok, this might be cheating adding this to the list, but I love Vancouver's proximity to Seattle. It is such a cool city and makes a nice weekend trip. I suggest checking out Rachel's Seattle guide for more on this great city. I recommend eating at Cafe Flora.
7. Enjoy the great outdoors
There is no shortage of things to do outdoors during the summer in Vancouver (when it's not raining—which isn't all the time, I swear!). I got this shot when I went hiking a few years ago in Chilliwack (a little over an hour from Vancouver). The local mountains offer plenty of great opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast and I just read the other day about this awesome guided treetop tour in Whistler (which you can better believe is now on my to-do list!) You also have endless options for water activities (kayaking, canoeing, dragon boating, windsurfing, stand-up paddling—which I really want to try!). I also love just walking along the seawall or around downtown.
8. Richmond Night Market
This is worth it just for the food. Or if you are in the market to buy some cheap sunglasses or Sanrio stationary. I pretty much just go for the food. Located about 20 minutes from downtown, the Richmond Night Market is an outdoor Asian bazaar that happens every summer. Lanterns and strings of lights criss-cross the aisles above your head as you weave your way through the dense crowd. (Sometimes I like to pretend I'm in Spirited Away when Chihiro is wandering around the market....minus the part where her parents turn into giant pigs). The market boasts a large food court that is usually comprised of a couple of aisles of food stands and carts. Everything from noodles, to dumplings, to baby octopus on a stick. There's also usually some sort of new food craze to try (Hurricane Potatoes anyone?)