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.