Running Stanley Park is a great thing to do on a summer holiday in Vancouver

Planning on paying a visit to the Vancouver area for the first time this summer? There are many awesome things to see and do, which will have you planning your return trip before you even get home.

Here’s what you should definitely do during your inaugural trip to Van City:

1) Run the seawall

As one of Canada’s most beautiful urban refuges, visiting Stanley Park is a must for first-time visitors to Vancouver.

If you work out on a regular basis, there is no better way to acquaint yourself with this landmark than to run the seawall around the park.

You’ll get to see all of its beaches, the Lion’s Gate Bridge, the North Shore Mountains across Burrard Inlet, and the brand new condo towers of Coal Harbour.

Feel free to venture inland at any point, as there is a robust network of trails that wind between monstrous old-growth trees and lakes in its interior.

Alas, the weather in Vancouver isn’t always suitable for running. If you end up getting rained out, stay in bed and grind out that Rizk bonus on the internet. It’s a fun game to play, and you might walk away with some extra cash if it is your lucky day.

2) Conquer the Grouse Grind

If morning jogs aren’t enough to whet your appetite, take on the Grouse Grind. A steep trail which starts in the parking lot for the Grouse Mountain tram, it is known as Vancouver’s Stairmaster.

Ascending 2,800 feet (more than ½ a mile) over less than a mile and a half, it will prove to be the ultimate test of your endurance.

Take plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard, but see if you can beat the hour and a half that average people log.

3) Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Want to experience nature without working up a sweat? Dropping by the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a great way to get in tune with Mother Nature.

Positioned a breathtaking 230 feet above the whitewater of the Capilano River, you will either be enthralled by the views, or your knees will get weak and quakey in a hurry.

On the other side, there is also a canopy walk, rainforest tours, a cliff walk, a collection of authentic totem poles, and First Nations cultural performances, so don’t look down if heights bother you.

4) Stroll Commercial Drive

There are many places to shop in Vancouver, but those looking for a spot with a decidedly indie vibe will want to make their way to Commercial Drive.

Located on the east side of the city, cheaper housing has made it possible for artists to live here with greater ease than in the many districts that are home to nothing but expensive condos. As a result, the shops here possess a vibe that is less corporate in their orientation.

Many of the city’s trendiest eateries can also be found here, so come over here for lunch or dinner during your stay.

Photo courtesy InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr