Step out onto the sidewalk, look up and take in the snow-capped mountains. Walk twenty minutes downtown and take a stroll along the seashore before strolling through the city’s bustling streets and magnificent parks. This can only mean one thing – you are in Vancouver.
Vancouver is renowned for its natural beauty and autumn sees a blanket of deep reds and oranges cover the city’s open spaces. It is so easy to while away your days watching the incredible changing colours of fall foliage. Yet whilst strolls in the VanDusen Botanical Garden should definitely be on your to do list, there are so many things to do in Vancouver in the Autumn.
Second only to Christmas, Halloween is BIG in Vancouver. Forget one day celebrations on 31st October. In Vancouver it’s a month long extravaganza from running through a pumpkin patch at Richmond County Farm to riding the Stanley Park Ghost Train and everything in between. Fright Nights at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) are the city’s most popular event but if you don’t fancy queuing for rides which will scare the living daylights out of you, then head ten minutes east of the PNE. Here, you can take the children for a night ride on the Burnaby Central Railway and drink hot chocolate with ‘witches’. Don’t worry about packing costumes, there are plenty of Halloween pop-up shops but our favourite is the Party Bazaar next to the train station.
Lights, Camera, Action
Whilst watching a film is not everyone’s first thought on holiday, autumn in Vancouver is the time to make an exception as it is the cinephile season. Although the city is jam-packed with film festivals, the biggest and best is undoubtedly the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). This year marks the 33rd celebration and some of the best films from around the globe will be screened from over 60 countries including special 3D presentations. Forget popcorn and save your appetite for Wildebeest – a restaurant in West Hastings offering unabashedly adventurous food such as veal tongue and roasted bone marrow…If you’re in Vancouver between 25th September and 10th October 2014 – cinephile or not, if you miss this, you’ll be sorry!
The Great Escape
There is no better way to find solitude than to go off the beaten path with a rucksack on your back and immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery nestled in the local mountains. By far the best camping site is Garibaldi Lake. With its pristine, turquoise lake and spectacular glacial backdrop, it is no surprise that this camping ground is full in the summer. Yet October welcomes fewer residents, making it the perfect getaway. Like a challenge? Attempt the two outstanding (but steep!) hikes – Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge. If you’re more at home in water than on land, kayak the Indian Arm – a glacial fjord located next to Vancouver. With relatively calm waters, the stretch from Deep Cove to the northern tip of the Indian Arm is a marine adventure with cascading waterfalls and endless wildlife (don’t forget to look out for the black-tailed deer at the shore).
Stanley Park Seawall
We know Vancouver’s autumn colours have already been mentioned, but once just doesn’t do them justice. If you’ve researched the city, we appreciate that the Stanley Park Seawall is a bit clichéd but this magnificent oasis is stunning in the autumn. Whether you walk, jog, cycle or rollerblade around the 9km seawall, remember to bring a camera to capture its stunning autumn scenery.
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