Winding around Kitsilano Point toward Kits Beach, waterfront Vanier Park is more a host than a destination. Home to three museums, it's also the venue for the tents of the annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare festival. Bring takeout from Granville Island (a 10-minute stroll away via the seawall) to this popular picnic spot, and watch the local birdlife and kite-flyers do their thing.

If you want to avoid the sweaty crush in English Bay during summer's Celebration of Light fireworks event, bring your blanket and spread it out here. You'll have great views of the aerial display among a far more convivial and family friendly crowd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vancouver attractions

1. HR MacMillan Space Centre

0.07 MILES

Focusing on the wonderful world of space, admission to this kid-favorite museum includes a gallery of hands-on exhibits (don't miss the Mars section where…

2. Museum of Vancouver

0.07 MILES

The MOV serves up cool temporary exhibitions alongside in-depth permanent galleries of fascinating First Nations artifacts and evocative pioneer-era…

3. Vancouver Maritime Museum

0.23 MILES

Teeming with salty seafaring artifacts, dozens of intricate ship models and a couple of walk-through recreated boat sections, the prize exhibit at this…

4. Burrard Bridge

0.24 MILES

Lions Gate Bridge gets all the kudos and much of the postcard space, but that's arguably due to being bookended by Stanley Park and the looming mountains…

5. Granville Island Public Market

0.42 MILES

Granville Island's highlight is the covered Public Market, a multisensory smorgasbord of fish, cheese, fruit, teas and bakery treats (near-legendary Lee's…

6. Kids Market

0.49 MILES

A kaleidoscopic mini shopping mall for under-10s (there's even a special child-size entrance door), the Kids Market is crammed with 25 family-friendly…

7. Kitsilano Beach

0.56 MILES

Facing English Bay, Kits Beach is one of Vancouver's favorite summertime hangouts. The wide, sandy expanse attracts buff Frisbee tossers and giggling…

8. Railspur Alley

0.57 MILES

Seemingly far from the madding crowds of the Public Market – at least on summer days when every tourist in town seems to be there – this back-alley strip…