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The Ultimate North Shore Escapade: Your Guide to Adventure 

Ultimate Travel Guide to North Shore
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This is my perfect North Shore moment: a calm morning in Deep Cove as I paddle through the waters, saying hi to friendly seals, and all surrounded by huge mountains. 

Maybe yours is having lively chats with artisans at Lonsdale Quay or reaching the peak of the North Shore mountains. 

If you haven’t chosen yours yet, or if you’ve never experienced it before, let our travel guide be your guide. We’ll help you discover your own special moments in this incredible area!

Is North Shore different from North Vancouver?

Is North Shore different from North Vancouver
Image by EB Adventure Photography on Shutterstock

North Shore is a beautiful region in BC, and North Vancouver is only one part of this area.

Just across the water from downtown Vancouver, the North Shore includes the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and the District of West Vancouver.

But even though North Vancouver is part of the North Shore, it’s important to know that each area has its own special vibe.

The District of North Vancouver, to the east of the Capilano River, is known for cozy neighborhoods and lots of natural beauty.

Besides cool outdoor stuff like parks, hiking trails, and awesome views, you’ll see different kinds of homes here, from comfy houses to easy-to-live-in condos.

Now, the City of North Vancouver, on the west side of the Capilano River, is more city-like than the nearby district. It’s got a lively vibe with busy shopping areas, lots of different restaurants, and cool things to do.

People live in apartments and townhouses here, mixing city living with being close to nature.

The District of West Vancouver, on the west of the City of North Vancouver, is famous for fancy neighborhoods and beautiful homes by the water.

Here, you’ll find pretty waterfront parks, nice beaches, and an overall beachy feel. People who live here enjoy upscale shopping, different recreational activities, and luxurious housing options.

What makes the North Shore, BC popular?

What makes the North Shore, BC popular
Image bySpiroview Inc on Shutterstock

North Shore, BC, is popular for its stunning natural landscapes, outdoor adventures, and a mix of city life with a close connection to nature.

Big mountains, green forests, and pretty waterfronts make it a favorite for people who love being outdoors. There are tons of hiking trails, like the famous Grouse Grind, and in winter, you can hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

North Shore has a lively community. There are cool events, festivals, and lots of artsy things going on. Plus, the food scene is great, with trendy places and cozy cafes to explore.

The best part is, because it’s so close to Vancouver, people living here get the best of both worlds – city fun and peaceful nature in one awesome location.

It’s this perfect mix that makes the North Shore a popular spot to live or visit for a fun and memorable time.

Things to Know

Language: mainly English and French (but about languages are spoken in the whole of North Shore)

Iranian or Persian languages are next to those two top languages in the City of North Vancouver and District of North Vancouver, and Chinese languages in West Vancouver.

Currency: Canadian dollar

Population: In 2021, the population of North Shore reached 190,410. It increased by 4.7% from 2016.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Vancouver’s North Shore is in the summer, from June to August. The weather is nice and not too hot, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. 

During this time, the temperature is usually between 18 to 25 degrees Celsius (64 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you love winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, the best time to go is from December to February. The local mountains, such as Grouse Mountain, have great snow conditions during these months.

Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are also good times to visit. In spring, you can see flowers blooming, while fall brings colorful leaves to the trees – besides, the weather is comfortable, and there are fewer crowds. 

Keep in mind that it can rain sometimes because of the coastal climate, so it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before planning your activities.

How to Get Around

Cars: You can easily get around North Shore by car. The road network is well-developed, and major attractions are accessible by car.

If you’re coming from Vancouver, you can use two bridges – the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing or the Lions’ Gate Bridge. 

There’s also Highway 99 from the north, or you can take the route from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal if you’re coming from the Sunshine Coast or Vancouver Island.

Buses: TransLink buses and SeaBuses service North Vancouver from downtown Vancouver. West Vancouver “Blue Buses” connect to North Vancouver.

Taxis or Ride-hailing Services: Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are available for convenient and on-demand transportation. You can find them easily in urban areas and at transportation hubs.

If you want to take taxis, you can order from North Shore Taxi or Sunshine Cabs.

Where to Stay in the North Shore

Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier

Address:138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-7437

Pricing: $$

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The Pinnacle Hotel is super close to cool places! You can walk to the Lonsdale Quay Market in just two minutes and drive to Stanley Park in only seven minutes. 

At the hotel, there’s a five-lane swimming pool, so you can have a splash and enjoy some swim time. Plus, they have a restaurant called The Lobby, and let me tell you, they serve amazing seafood dishes.

Lonsdale Quay Hotel

Address:123 Carrie Cates Ct 3rd Floor, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-6111

Pricing: $

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From the Lonsdales Quay Hotel, you can enjoy the views of the Burrard Inlet and Downtown Hotel, while being close to cool restaurants, shops, and attractions around the hotel.

The service and amenities have been a bit up and down. But if being near all the fun places is what matters most to you, this one can’t be beat.

Holiday Inn & Suites North Vancouver

Address: 700 Old Lillooet Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2H5, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-985-3111

Pricing: $$

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Just 13 minutes to West Vancouver, Holiday Inn & Suites offers a space with great amenities, including a little kitchenette. So, if you feel like cooking, you can bring local produce and make your own meals.

The price might be a bit higher, but you get a great location and attentive service. If being close to West Vancouver and having a comfy space with a kitchenette matters to you, it could be worth it.

Pan Pacific Vancouver

Address: 999 Canada Pl #300, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B5, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-662-8111

Pricing: $$

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Pan Pacific Vancouver is right at the waterfront, offering stunning views of ships and float planes. If you want easy access to public transportation, whether it’s heading to the airport or catching a train, this is one of the best spots.

The hotel has Spa Utopia, the largest spa in BC, right inside. So, if you’re traveling solo, treat yourself to some well-deserved pampering and relaxation.

Seaside Hotel North Vancouver 

Address:123 Carrie Cates Ct 3rd Floor, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-6111

Pricing: $$

Book Now

On the waterfront of Lower Lonsdale, the Seaside Hotel is right next to the North Shore’s SeaBus terminal and Esplanade Avenue.

Guests can enjoy various amenities at the hotel, including a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, and a restaurant. If you choose a room with a view of the harbor, it could make your stay even more vibrant and enjoyable.

Where to Eat in the North Shore

The Gull Bar and Kitchen

Address: 175 1st St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2

Phone: +1 604-988-5585

Pricing: $$$

Website

The Gull is a fantastic spot known for its amazing burgers and a cool selection of local beer and mixed drinks. It’s a perfect hangout for friends and family.

When you step inside, the ambiance is quite different from what you see on the outside. Just a heads up, it’s a bit out of the way, and finding parking might be a bit tricky.

Troll’s Restaurant

Address: 6408 Bay St, West Vancouver, BC V7W 2H1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-921-7755

Pricing: $$

Website

If you’re kicking off your road trip around Horseshoe Bay, don’t forget to make a pit stop at Troll’s Restaurant, a beloved local gem serving up delicious dishes for nearly 70 years.

At Troll’s, they don’t mess around with portion sizes. Try their Joe’s Fish Stew, and you’ll see what I mean – packed with cod, halibut, salmon, and baby shrimp, it’s a seafood lover’s dream.

The Beach House Restaurant

Address: 150 25th St, West Vancouver, BC V7V 4H8, Canada

Phone: +1 604-922-1414

Pricing: $$

Website

A local favorite for over a decade, the restaurant is housed in a historic building that’s been hosting various eateries since 1912. It’s a unique way to add a touch of West Vancouver’s past to your dining experience.

While it might be a bit on the pricey side, our experience left us feeling it’s entirely worth it. The quality matches the cost, making it a sensible pick for a special meal.

Plus, it’s just around 17 minutes away from the Lighthouse Park. So, after a delightful dining experience, you can venture further into West Vancouver!

C-Lovers Fish & Chips

Address: 1660 Pemberton Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3M1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-980-9993

Pricing: $

Website

C-Lovers is a restaurant that cares about the environment. They team up with the Vancouver Aquarium as Ocean Wise partners, ensuring that the fish they serve is not only fresh but also caught in a way that keeps the ocean healthy.

What’s cool about this place is that they always serve top-notch food. If you don’t like cold dishes, no worries – this spot keeps everything warm and tasty.

Streetcar Brewing

Address: 123A 1st St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-770-2889

Pricing: $$

Website

Streetcar Brewing on 1st Street is tucked away with a subtle entrance and quirky stairs. 

The beer menu caters to all tastes, offering a unique experience for enthusiasts. 

And here’s the secret handshake: pair your chosen brew with some delicious fried chicken from Cream Pony next door. It’s an unexpected but perfect match that adds an extra layer of flavor to your Streetcar Brewing experience. 

Where to Shop in the North Shore

Park Royal Shopping Centre

Address: 2002 Park Royal S, West Vancouver, BC V7T 2W4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-922-3211

Website

As one of the largest shopping centers in the North Shore, Park Royal offers a mix of high-end retailers and local boutiques.

It’s an ideal spot for fashion enthusiasts, with stores like “Simons” and “Zara” alongside local favorites like “Blue Ruby” for exquisite jewelry.

Edgemont Village

Address: 3145 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver, BC

This charming village is home to a variety of boutique shops. From artisanal bakeries to bespoke jewelry stores, Edgemont Village offers a quaint and leisurely shopping experience. 

One standout is the “Giftworks,” known for its eclectic selection of gifts and local crafts.

Ambleside Village

Address: Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC

Ambleside Village is known for its picturesque setting and diverse range of shops. From art galleries like the “Ferry Building Gallery” to specialty stores like “18Karat,” which sells unique home decor, Ambleside Village is perfect for leisurely shopping trips.

Dundarave Village

Address: 2466 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC

This seaside village offers a relaxed shopping experience with a variety of independent shops. “The Vitamin House” is a popular spot for health enthusiasts, while “Red Horses Gallery” offers a selection of local art and crafts.

What to Do in the North Shore

Swing by MONOVA

Swing by MONOVA
Image by Aria Amirmoini on The Peak

Close to South Granville is MONOVA, the Museum of North Vancouver. It’s like a trip back in time to learn about the North Shore’s history and culture. 

The museum shares stories about the people who lived here a long time ago, the first settlers, and how life is today. With interesting exhibits and things you can touch, MONOVA is a cool place to visit if you’re curious about this area’s past.

Hang Out at the Shipyards District

Hang Out at the Shipyards District
Image by Darryl Brooks on Shutterstock

For a chill time, check out the Shipyards District by the water near South Granville. Grabbing a drink at a local brewery or a bar with a view is a great way to enjoy the area. 

The mix of new and old buildings and the pretty views of the Burrard Inlet make it a relaxed spot for a calm evening by the water.

There’s also the Shipyards Night Market at the Shipbuilders’ Square, where live performances, food trucks, an artisan market, and a beer garden create a fun hang-out place for the 19 year old and above.

Visit Cleveland Dam

Visit Cleveland Dam
Image by Adam Melnyk on Shutterstock

If you want a peaceful getaway, take a short trip to Cleveland Dam, a lovely place surrounded by lots of greenery. 

Walking along the dam gives you awesome views of the mountains and Capilano Lake. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a quiet escape and want to feel close to the natural beauty of the North Shore.

Hike the North Shore Mountains

Hike the North Shore Mountains
Image by EB Adventure Photography on Shutterstock

Escape the city noise by going on a hike in the North Shore Mountains (vancouver north shore mountains), right by South Granville. 

There are different trails for all levels, so you can enjoy the fresh mountain air and be in the middle of the forests. Grouse Grind, especially, is a bit tough but gives you a great view of Vancouver at the top.

Ski at Grouse Mountain

Ski at Grouse Mountain
Image by EB Adventure Photography on Shutterstock

In winter, Grouse Mountain becomes a snowy playground for people who love skiing. There are slopes for everyone, and even at night, you can see amazing views of Vancouver. It’s a chance to enjoy winter surrounded by the beauty of the North Shore.

Swim in Deep Cove

Swim in Deep Cove
Image by Stephanie Braconnier on Shutterstock

For a peaceful time away from the city, try swimming in the clear waters of Deep Cove. Surrounded by mountains and trees, Deep Cove is a quiet place for a summer swim. 

You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the calm waters and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this waterfront spot.

Go to Lynn Canyon Park

Go to Lynn Canyon Park
Image by EB Adventure Photography on Shutterstock

Lynn Canyon Park in the North Shore is like a big nature playground. It’s not just a walk – there are tall trees, hidden waterfalls, and a cool suspension bridge you can cross for free. 

The bridge gives you amazing views of the canyon and the green trees all around. You can also explore different trails that take you to more natural wonders. 

But if the cliffs around here tempt you to go canyoning or cliff-jumping, the many warning signs should already tell you what to do – or what not to, to be exact.

Relax at Ambleside Beach

Relax at Ambleside Beach
Image by Adam Melnyk on Shutterstock

Ambleside Beach is a nice spot near South Granville where you can relax by the water. The beach has soft sand, and you can take a nice walk along the path by the ocean. 

From here, you can see the beautiful ocean and the city buildings. It’s a great place to spend a calm day, whether you want to have a picnic or just enjoy the peaceful views.

Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Image by huyenhoang on Shutterstock

The Capilano Suspension Bridge connects you to a whole adventure. You get to walk high above the river on the bridge and explore treetop walks and cool cliff paths. 

The forest around is so green, and the bridge gives you a different view of everything. It’s not just a fun activity – it’s also a way to feel connected to the amazing nature of the North Shore.

Visit the Lighthouse Park

Image by Daniel Avram on Shutterstock

Lighthouse Park is a quiet place on the North Shore with amazing views and nature all around. You can take a short walk to the lighthouse and see the whole ocean and big mountains. 

The rocky coast and old trees make it a beautiful place to enjoy the quiet and feel close to nature. Lighthouse Park is a great choice for people who want to relax and experience the peaceful side of the North Shore.

Ride the Eagle Coaster at Cypress Mountain

Ride the Eagle Coaster at Cypress Mountain
Image by Stanisic Vladimir on Adobe Stock

The Eagle Coaster at Cypress Mountain (cypress mountain coaster vancouver) takes you on a twisting journey through the stunning scenery of Black Mountain. 

We’re talking about a ride as long as 1.7 kilometres and a drop as high as 279 metres. What makes it even more exciting is you’re in control – you can use a manual brake to guide your descent.

So aside from the views, the real adventure lies in riding the cart and sliding down the slope for an exhilarating experience. And once you’ve had your fill of excitement, there’s more to explore at Cypress Mountain, especially its extensive skiing area. 

Events to Attend in the North Shore

North Shore Craft Beer Week

North Shore Craft Beer Week
Image by siamionau pavel on Shutterstock

North Shore Craft Beer Week is like a big party for people who love trying different kinds of beer. You can taste lots of unique local beers, enjoy yummy food, and join in fun activities. 

The week has a schedule full of events, so you can explore the local craft beer scene and have a good time. 

Shipyards Christmas Festival

Shipyards Christmas Festival
Image by Michael Wheatley on Alamy Stock

Experience the festive charm at the Shipyards Christmas Festival, held in The Pipe Shop in North Vancouver. 

Immerse yourself in holiday cheer with twinkling lights, seasonal treats, and a market featuring local artisans. This family-friendly event captures the magic of Christmas against the backdrop of North Shore’s waterfront.

Shipyards Night Market

Image by Michael Wheatley on Alamy Stock

Every Friday night, the Shipyards Night Market transforms North Vancouver’s waterfront into a lively hub of activity. 

Located at the Shipyards Plaza, this market boasts a vibrant atmosphere with food vendors, live music, and a diverse range of local goods. 

It’s a perfect blend of community spirit and the chance to explore the unique offerings of North Shore’s artisans.

Outdoor Movie Nights

Outdoor Movie Nights
Image by Kitzzeh on iStock

Embrace the charm of summer evenings with Outdoor Movie Nights in North Vancouver. Mostly happening at sundown, these movie screenings are both a nice group activity and a great way to spend some fun “me” time.

Located in various venues like the Civic Plaza, Sunset Cinema at The Shipyards, or at Ray Perrault Park, these screenings offer a relaxed atmosphere. Bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy cinematic delights with the North Shore’s stunning backdrop.

Rivers Day

Rivers Day
Image by RicardoImagen on iStock

Rivers Day in the North Shore is an annual celebration aimed at highlighting the importance of preserving and respecting local waterways. It used to be BC Rivers Day, but it was elevated by the UN to World Rivers Day.

This event often includes a range of activities like guided river walks, educational workshops, and conservation projects. 

People of all ages join in to clean up the rivers and help make them a better place for wildlife. In 2023, community members got to participate in bird and bat house decorating and other activities.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day
Image by Johnny White on Alamy Stock

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to celebrate the cultures of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in the North Shore. 

There are lots of exciting things to see and do, like traditional drumming, dancing, and storytelling sessions. There’s also an opportunity to explore Indigenous art, crafts, and culinary traditions. 

It’s a vibrant and educational experience, providing a platform for Indigenous communities to share their heritage and for others to learn and participate in a respectful and meaningful way.

West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest 

West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest 
Image by AlbertArt on Shutterstock

The West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest is a lively two-day event showcasing the diverse cultures within the community. It’s formerly known as the Bridge Festival.

It features performances of music and dance from various parts of the world, alongside international cuisine and cultural exhibits. 

Held in various community spaces, it offers a unique opportunity to connect with the local arts scene, enjoy family-friendly activities, and promote multicultural understanding.


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