2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Downtown Vancouver Tour
Discover the heart of British Columbia with this Vancouver Downtown self-guided driving tour! You’ll explore a vibrant, buzzing city, the lush nature surrounding it, and even visit a couple of gorgeous beaches along the way! Plus, spot amazing public art installations and must-see landmarks like the famous Gastown Steam Clock! Along the way, you’ll also uncover the city’s rich history, from Captain George Vancouver’s expeditions along the coastline to the fire of 1886 and beyond.
About the Tour
Your Downtown Vancouver tour begins next to Victory Square. From there, you’ll take in the colosseum-like Vancouver Public Library. It has over 1.4 million books inside!
Next, drive past the respected Vancouver Art Gallery, which highlights a diverse range of artists, including Vancouver natives and First Nation members. Then pass the Spirits in a Landscape statue, which features creatures like fish and owls and highlights the First Nations’ influence in Canada. You’ll also hear more about the First Nations.
Navigate the majesty of Stanley Park, even larger than Central Park! Unearth how this land was once home to a Squamish community, which married among the Portuguese. In addition, you’ll see the prominent seawall. You’ll continue onto the Nine O’Clock Gun, a cannon which fires a shot at nine pm. The cannon was once actually kidnapped!
The tour will then guide you past the memorable Girl in a Wetsuit statue, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid! Then proceed by the Prospect Point Lookout, which offers breathtaking ocean views. Continue by the popular Third Beach and hear a story about an anchor that may or may not have belonged to Captain George Vancouver’s ship, as well as his expeditions charting the British Columbian coast.
Advance past Old English Bay Beach, and hear about Vancouver’s very first lifeguard. Also find out about Chief August Jack Khahtsaholano, a guide, logger, canoe builder, and medicine man, among other things! Then head into the trendy Kitsilano neighborhood, a playground for professionals and big names like Ryan Reynolds.
As the journey continues, you’ll see the University of British Columbia, Vancouver’s largest university. If you recognize the campus, it’s been featured in many Hollywood movies and shows! You’ll subsequently pass the Nitobe Memorial Garden, whose namesake promoted understanding of Japanese culture in the West. As you drive along, you’ll discover the Mounties and their roots as a militia!
Learning about the Winter Olympics and Canada’s great triumph over the US in 2010, you’ll then move along to Queen Elizabeth Park. Named after the late sovereign’s mother, it’s the highest point in the area! As you continue, dig into the Great Vancouver Fire and how it was started to clear land, but exploded beyond control! Then pay a visit to beloved Granville Island. Once a seasonal home to the Salish, it became a hotbed of industrial activity. Thousands kept cranking out fiber, rope, and chain in the midst of the Depression!
You’ll also glimpse the Granville Island Public Market, with more than fifty merchants and open seven days a week.Following that, you’ll enter Gastown, the original settlement and now the heart of Vancouver. Cruise past the famed clock which literally blows off steam every quarter hour!
Head for Canada Place, which welcomes visitors. This is where the tour ends.
Where to start?
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
Preview The Tour
The tour begins next to Victory Square.
The Vancouver Public Library houses over 1.4 million books, making it a notable cultural institution in the city.
The Vancouver Art Gallery showcases a diverse array of artists, including Vancouver natives and First Nation members.
The “Spirits in a Landscape” statue features creatures like fish and owls and highlights the influence of First Nations in Canada. It symbolizes the connection between indigenous culture and the natural environment.
Stanley Park, even larger than Central Park, was once home to a Squamish community that intermarried with the Portuguese. The tour also mentions the prominent seawall in the park.
The “Nine O’Clock Gun” is a cannon that fires a shot at nine pm. It was once actually kidnapped, adding an intriguing historical element to the tour.
The “Girl in a Wetsuit” statue is a modern twist on the Little Mermaid and is a notable art installation in Vancouver.
The tour mentions that UBC, Vancouver’s largest university, has been featured in many Hollywood movies and shows.
The Nitobe Memorial Garden commemorates the promotion of understanding Japanese culture in the West. It is named after its promoter.
Gastown is the original settlement and heart of Vancouver. The tour highlights the famed Gastown Steam Clock, which literally blows off steam every quarter hour.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.