Discover the magic of winter on Vancouver’s North Shore, where the days may be shorter, but the fun lasts longer. Explore the top ten reasons to visit this winter wonderland, embracing the enchanting seasonal vibes and thrilling activities that make the North Shore a must-visit destination.
Vancouver’s North Shore has three local hills, all located within 30 minutes of the city. The mountains usually open for the season in late November or early December. You can ski or snowboard with the whole family on some world-class runs on Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Mt. Seymour. Nordic skiing is also available on Cypress Mountain.
Photo courtesy of @juhoyikr
Experience the unbridled magic of a mountaintop winter at Grouse Mountain’s 8,000-square-foot frozen pond – the only one of its kind on the West Coast! Or take the family for a more urban adventure at the Shipyard’s Skate Plaza right on the waterfront, set against the beautiful backdrop of downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.
Snowshoeing is the perfect winter sport for everyone. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! All three local mountains, Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mt. Seymour have scenic snowshoe trails. You can rent snowshoes and book guided tours to complete the adventure.
Photo courtesy of @sarahgpow
Warm your belly with the North Shore’s coziest spots for just-like home-cooked meals. Local favourites include the Mac & Cheese with pulled pork at Burgoo, the Animal Style Burger from The Gull Bar and Kitchen, Baked Spaghetti at Arms Reach Bistro, and the Belgian Waffles at The Boat Shed Ambleside.
If the weather gets a bit too much, there’s plenty of fun nestled warmly inside the walls of the North Shore’s many art galleries. Get inspired on a trip through The Polygon Gallery’s cutting-edge photography exhibits, learn about Vancouver’s North Shore history at MONOVA, and brush up on the modern and classical art of Seymour Art Gallery. You’ll find beautiful Indigenous pieces at Spirit Gallery and the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. If you’re in the shopping mood, many of these locations offer fabulous gift shops and art for sale.
So you never learned to ski. That doesn’t mean you can’t go barrelling down the mountain on packed snow! All three North Shore mountains feature runs and parks dedicated to tubing and tobogganing, fun for the whole family. Both Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour have fabulous snow tubing parks, and Grouse Mountain offers a sliding zone where you can rip down Grouse Mountain on a sled!
Seven breweries, one distillery, a cidery and a winery – all within walking distance near lower Lonsdale. Your winter afternoon is all set.
BjornBar Bakery, Shipyards Coffee, and Honey Doughnuts & Goodies are just a few of the delightful cafes waiting for you to discover on Vancouver’s North Shore. Explore the culinary playground through a sweet, steaming cup of hot cocoa at a new-to-you cafe or bakery. You’ll find eclectic, cozy rooms to watch the world go by outside, or you can always take your treats on a walk through the North Shore’s many welcoming neighbourhoods.
There’s always something exciting going on, from world cuisine at waterfront restaurants to outdoor ice skating to shopping at the Quay Market and Food Hall. Make it a festive weekend with a staycation at one of Vancouver’s North Shore boutique hotels.
Photo courtesy of @cityofnorthvancouver
Any time of year is a good time for the Spirit Trail, the continuous greenway across almost the entire North Shore. For a short outing, a long winter walk or a bike ride, the flat and accessible Spirit Trail passes incredible public art, The Shipyards, Lonsdale Quay, parks, beaches and breweries. Enhance your adventure by renting an e-bike, allowing you to effortlessly explore the scenic wonders of the trail at your own pace
For more information on these and other winter activities on Vancouver’s North Shore, please visit vancouversnorthshore.com.