Situated directly along the south-facing riverfront near downtown Vancouver, the relatively new Vancouver Waterfront has so much in store for both visitors and residents. In fact, you could spend an entire day exploring this state-of-the-art mixed-use development!
The Vancouver Waterfront contains various parks, apartments and condos, offices, a boutique hotel, restaurants, wine bars and more. To help you navigate the list of things to do at Vancouver Waterfront, we put together a full itinerary, starting with coffee in the morning and ending with a sunset on the pier.
This vibrant area is packed with exciting things to do, from dining and wining to walking and playing on the playground. Use our itinerary and map to plan the perfect day here!
9:30 a.m. | Start With Coffee + a Bite to Eat at Kafiex Roasters
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Every good day starts with coffee! And Kafiex Roasters isn’t your average coffee shop. This specialty coffee shop and roastery proudly offers certified organic and fair-trade coffee, while empowering women and focusing on sustainability. Alongside their simple coffee menu, Kafiex has an excellent food menu, with breakfast sandwiches, yogurt bowls and various pastries. Spend the morning in their bright and cheery interior before your day of adventuring along the Vancouver Waterfront.
Stretch your legs with a slow walk along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, a 5-mile paved pathway connecting the center of Vancouver with Wintler Park to the east. Along the way, enjoy unbeatable views of the river, and pass by a number of noteworthy stops, including the World War II-era Kaiser shipyards, the Ilchee Statue and Plaza, and the stainless steel Wendy Rose sculpture.
12 p.m. | Eat Lunch at WildFin
WildFin has several locations in the region, from Renton all the way to Beaverton, Oregon, plus one right here in Vancouver along the Vancouver Waterfront. You’ll find just about anything you’re craving at this modern eatery, all of which is hand-crafted and locally sourced — from seafood to pasta and sandwiches to burgers. Not to mention, their full bar is packed with a variety of beers, cocktails and wines. WildFin boasts awe-inspiring river views from the patio, which has umbrellas for shade, heaters for warmth and string lights for ambiance.
Spend the afternoon at the 7.3-acre Vancouver Waterfront Park, a community park situated along the water’s edge. Kids will especially love the park, which contains a playground and an exciting water feature/fountain for them to splash around in. There are plenty of benches, walking paths, and open lawn areas, where you can spread out a blanket for a picnic or throw a frisbee.
3:30 p.m. | Go Wine Tasting
Photo Courtesy of Barnard Griffin Winery
Wind down with a self-guided wine tour! The Waterfront is lined with several wine tasting rooms and wine bars, many of which are overlooking the river. Here, you can sample a flight of the winery’s best wines or order a glass of your favorite variety. Check out our list of the best wine tasting rooms in Vancouver, most of which are located in the Vancouver Waterfront within steps of each other!
5:30 p.m. | Eat Dinner at Barlow’s Public House
You may think Barlow’s Public House is all about beer — but they have so much more in store! The family-owned public house creates delicious food that pairs well with craft beer and whiskey. Menu items include a variety of shareable starters, soups and salads, plus plenty of sandwiches, burgers, steaks, pasta and seafood. Whatever you order, pair it with your drink of choice and take in the unbeatable river views from this second-story restaurant and balcony.
7 p.m. | Drink a Cocktail at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
Photo Courtesy of Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
If you didn’t drink at dinner (or you’re more into cocktails than beer!), top off the night with a martini at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. Twigs is one of our favorite restaurants in the city, but they also serve a mean martini (it’s in their name, after all!). Try the Twigs Martini made with your choice of Tito’s Handmade Vodka or Bombay Dry Gin, and Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth, garnished with two olives. Or opt for The Goose, which is made with Grey Goose Vodka and Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth, garnished with two bleu cheese olives (make it a Dirty Goose, if you’re feeling well-mannered).
8 p.m. | Watch the Sunset at Grant Street Pier
By far the most visited and photographed landmark of the entire Waterfront complex, Grant Street Pier cannot be missed. Head here for one last photo opp or watch the sun set to the west from this idyllic vantage point. This 90-foot pier is a popular place for watching sailboats pass by, and the structure of the pier itself was designed to evoke the billow of a sailboat with its massive cables.
What a Day!
We hope you enjoy your day at the Vancouver Waterfront — no matter how you spend it!