Spring is a glorious time of year all across Canada, but Vancouver definitely has the advantage with a season that starts as early as February.
The city’s coastal climate is always gentle compared to the Rest of Canada; in spring, things just get a little warmer and wetter. Be prepared for rain certainly, but remember your reward: snowdrops in January, daffodils in February and a frenzy of cherry blossoms in March.
Starting in February, the temperature rarely drops below freezing, and by mid-March the weather can suddenly turn so warm that locals start unpacking their summer wardrobe. Be prepared for fluctuations though; pack layers.
What to pack for a spring visit to Vancouver:
- comfortable walking shoes, preferably waterproof
- a lightweight fleece or sweater
- a waterproof jacket
- a collapsible umbrella
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Come spring, Vancouver turns into one great big outdoor playground. Everyone hits the trails–or seawalls, bike lanes, tennis courts, golf courses and community gardens–with near-cultish enthusiasm.
To get the most from your spring visit, plan to include one or more of these activities in your itinerary:
- Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown in early February.
- Rent a bike and explore Stanley Park. (Watch out for mating raccoons on the trails!)
- Enjoy some spring skiing or snow-shoeing: when it’s raining in the city, it’s often snowing on the nearby mountains.
- Visit Granville Island market to buy picnic fixings, then have lunch in one of Vancouver’s many parks and gardens.
- Make the trek to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in nearby Delta, an utterly engaging day-trip even for non-birders.
- Take a whale-watching tour. (Starting in May your chances of seeing whales go way up.)
- Hike the Grouse Grind–aka Nature’s Stairmaster–to the top of Grouse Mountain.
- Take in one of the many family-friendly events surrounding the month-long Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival held each year between mid-March and mid-April.
Good to know about springtime in Vancouver:
- If you’re prone to allergies, pollen season starts as early as mid-February in Vancouver. Bring antihistamines.
- If you can avoid travelling on the Victoria Day public holiday in May, do. Traffic is bad, border and airport security line-ups are long, hotel rooms are more expensive and the Spring Break crowd can be noisy.
- BC Ferries offers special CoastSaver fares for travel to Vancouver Island at off-peak times during March break.
Ready to book your spring trip to Vancouver? Use the search tool below to find cheap flights and hotels!