This is a guest post courtesy of Paul Agelidis, the Founder and Owner at Revolucion, a cigar, tobacco and men’s gift shop in beautiful Vancouver, BC.
Vancouver is a great international city for a travel destination with tons of experiences that are both diverse and memorable. If you are an outdoorsy type and want to swim, hike, kayak, ski, or bike, the proximity to both the ocean and mountains of British Columbia make it easy to find adventure.
But if you prefer experiencing the unique markets, restaurants, and neighborhoods of a large and multi-cultural city, Vancouver has plenty to offer too. If you look up things to see or do in Vancouver, odds are you’ll see the same old tourist havens that everyone will flock to.
If you want a more unique experience, you should look up these five underrated experiences to have in Vancouver…
Bard on the Beach Festival
Every summer from June to September, there is a massive festival called Bard on the Beach featuring professionally performed Shakespeare plays. It is held in Vanier Park, a large city park along the waterfront that naturally includes a long stretch of beaches in large open tents and intimate theatre stages.
The classic Shakespeare plays performed with the backdrop of the beach and ocean makes for a fun and memorable experience, and you can pick from a few of his plays that are performed at any given time. You can see your favorites, or some of his lesser known plays that you’ve never seen before. You can also walk along the beach in Vanier Park or stop by the special workshops set up by the Bard of the Beach Theatre Society.
Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge might get all the fame for great sights and outdoor adventures, but Norvan Falls is extremely underrated for its hiking and gorgeous views.
It has its own fantastic suspension bridge, scenic waterfall, and a low to medium-difficulty hiking trail that takes around 3 to 5 hours to finish. It’s a 14 km round trip to complete, but the trails are very even with no big inclines or declines to worry about.
You can get snacks and cool refreshments at the little Lynn Canyon Café before you start the hike or after you finish. It is advisable to bring your own water and snacks for while you are hiking. And of course, bring your camera to capture the great scenery!
Vancouver Cigar Scene
It might be weird to think, but Vancouver has a thriving scene for cigar aficionados. There are over a dozen cigar shops and lounges that sell Cuban and non-Cuban cigars to browse, with an active community of people that will talk cigars and smoking. It is a bit surprising given the Province-wide ban on smoking indoors or out in public, but you can look up associations like the West Coast Cigar Club to get information on “smoke-easies” and events or socials where you can find a place to enjoy a cigar in good company.
Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise
Outside of the winter season, Harbour Cruise in Vancouver has a great alternative way of seeing the city and shoreline — a four hour cruise through Vancouver’s harbours, inlets and mountain fjords that includes lunch.
It runs all of the weekend days and some weekdays, depending on the time of the year, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. You get beautiful views of the coast around Vancouver and a catered buffet lunch for just over $70 CAD — not a bad deal at all for what is basically a guided tour plus good quality meal.
English Bay Fireworks
In July and August, you can stop by the beaches of English Bay in the evening to catch the International Fireworks Competition that is held every year. It includes an event called the Celebration of Light that is held on three days that attracts a huge audience every year. It may be a bit crowded, but is well worth seeing. These are not your regular holiday fireworks, it is a spectacular visual display with accompanying music!
About the Author:
Paul Agelidis has been the founder and owner of Revolucion, a Canadian cigar, tobacco and men’s gift shop in Vancouver, since 2005. For the last decade Paul has worked very hard to become an expert in tobacco products, men’s care, travel & accessories, body & bath, and gifts & home. Prior to 2005, from 1997 – 2005 Paul worked in the wholesale cigar industry and travelled to the annual cigar trade show (Habanos Festival every February). He loves to share his tips with others who are looking to achieve a complete lifestyle with the finer things in life.