Spring in Vancouver is the season of rejuvenation. With some of the mildest temperatures in Canada, gardens bloom, whales migrate, and the entire city comes alive. Between March and June, Vancouver’s unique mix of cosmopolitan living and outdoor adventure brings a vibrancy to the city. With the milder weather comes the lush green of temperate rainforest and the city’s neighbourhoods, parks and gardens come alive with explosions of colour.
The annual cherry blossom festival is celebrated along the city’s tree-lined streets and includes cultural events and performances. In this modern city situated amongst a spectacular natural setting, spring offers opportunities to paddle or kayak along the waterfront, then head up the mountain to ski the last of the snowfall. Pedal Vancouver’s Seawall, shop a local market for seasonal specialties, explore one of the local galleries, then watch the sunset over a glass of wine. From dining and shopping to exploring nature or the local art scene, Vancouver has the ultimate remedy for spring fever.
Guide to Vancouver’s Cherry Blossoms
Top parks and gardens to explore in Vancouver
Ideally situated on a peninsula at the northwestern edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is one of the city's most loved places to visit. Featuring lovely beaches, miles of well-maintained paved and dirt trails, and an array of can't-miss kid-friendly spots (including a pool, water park, miniature railway and more), this 400-hectare (1,000-acre) haven is recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world.
As Vancouver's first park, with its ever-blooming gardens, pristine coastal areas and roughly 500,000 cedar, fir and hemlock trees, Stanley Park has continued to live up to its "green space" designation for almost 130 years. For these reasons and more, this tranquil oasis is the perfect city escape.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Named the World’s Top City Garden by National Geographic, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first classical Chinese Garden in all of Canada! It is the perfect place to visit year-round, with covered walkways and beautiful pavilions protecting you from Vancouver’s famous rainforest conditions! The jade green pond, koi fish, collection of 150-year-old miniature trees and tai hu rock imported from China, are some of the delights the Garden offers. Built in 1986 by fifty-three master craftsmen from China and 950 crates of traditional material, it was constructed using 14th century methods -no glue, screws or power tools were used. The Garden offers free guided tours and traditional Chinese tea as well as one of a kind finds at the Eight Treasures Shop. It is wheelchair accessible and family friendly (entry includes a scavenger hunt for children!)
Queen Elizabeth Park
130-acre park featuring spectacular gardens, the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, tennis courts and pitch & putt golf, restaurant.The Bloedel Conservatory is a fun, family-friendly, affordable indoor attraction. Discover 120 exotic birds and over 500 kinds of tropical plants inside the dome and then explore the fountains, gardens and sculptures around Queen Elizabeth Park.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is an inspiring 55-acre outdoor oasis with over 7,500 plant species and varieties. Guests can spot and photograph local wildlife, enjoy the hedge maze with the kids and relax in a serene setting located in the heart of Vancouver. Bring a picnic or dine on the patios of Shaughnessy Restaurant or Truffles Café.
UBC Botanical Garden
Explore Canada's oldest university botanical garden and immerse yourself in the world of wild-collected plants. Discover the 14-hectareDavid C. Lam Asian Garden and over 400 different species of rhododendrons, thousands of alpine and montane plants in theAlpine Garden, a traditional physic garden full of herbs, a demonstration food garden and the Greenheart TreeWalk adventure.
Nitobe Memorial Garden
The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden located at the University of British Columbia. Nitobe Garden is considered to be the one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Nitobe Garden includes a rare authentic Tea Garden with a ceremonial Tea House.
Top activities in Vancouver during spring
In Vancouver, nature is ever present: mountains, just 20 minutes from downtown, loom over the city; and the fresh scent of the forest is in every breath. With that in mind, why not try one or all of these outdoor adventures?
- Ease into nature with a leisurely cycle around Stanley Park’s seawall.
- Hike through urban rainforest or up one of three local mountains (Grouse, Cypress and Seymour), located approximately 20 minutes from downtown. Otherwise, take the gondola or Sky ride up, and try any of the many activities offered all year-round.
- Get to know the region’s wilder inhabitants with a whale watching excursion or visit Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife to see the resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola. Whale watching runs from April to October with tours departing from Granville Island and Steveston.
- Watersport enthusiasts can try their hand at sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, kiteboarding, scuba diving and more.
- Take in the spring blooms at Vancouver’s stunning parks and gardens.
- Cross the famous suspension bridge and get a squirrels-eye view on Tree Tops Adventure at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.