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Nature Views in Vancouver

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Canada
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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Appreciate nature from three breathtaking perspectives - Capilano Suspension Bridge, Treetops Adventure and the exciting new Cliffwalk. The 450 ft (137m) long, 230 ft (70m) high Capilano Suspension Bridge has thrilled visitors since 1889. While the wobbly bridge and stunning location is a Vancouver landmark, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers an all-encompassing BC experience. History, culture and nature are presented in unique and thrilling ways with knowledgeable staff and interpretive signage providing as much, or as little, information as guests want. 1890's costumed staff provides entertainment, conducts guided tours through the Story Centre and eco-tours in the rainforest. Guests interact with First nations staff either at the Big House or in the rainforest. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has the world's largest private collection of totem poles, including early 1900's local Coast Salish in the Totem Park and Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit poles that have been carved on-site over the past 20 years in Kia'palano. The 100 year-old Trading Post, which retains its early 1900s mercantile flavour, sells Canadian gifts and take home memories. Seasonal events like Raptors Ridge birds of prey June to October and Canyon Lights in December enhance the many experiences at this year-round destination.
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VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world! Spot and photograph local wildlife, find your way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, unwind in a serene setting, dine on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant, or browse the garden-themed gift shop. VanDusen has something for everyone to enjoy!
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Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver’s horticultural jewel, is a major draw for floral display enthusiasts and view-seekers, and as a popular backdrop for wedding photos. At 152 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore. The 52-hectare park is home to the stunning Bloedel Conservatory. There is also a gorgeously landscaped quarry garden, the arboretum with its collection of exotic and native trees, sculptures including one by internationally renowned artist Henry Moore, and diverse recreational offerings such as tennis, lawn bowling and pitch & putt. The park is also the perfect setting for fine dining at Seasons in the Park, a picnic or stargazing!
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Hastings Park
Hastings Park now has more unique features than ever! There's lots to enjoy and discover: recreational activities, park spaces, gardens, playground, and sport fields, mixed with an amusement park, horse race trace, and large sport and entertainment venues. Explore the ecologically rich green space at Hastings Park, featuring spectacular gardens and the Miracle Mile statue. This Italian-styled garden features fountains surrounded by whimsical sculptures inspired by famous Italian operas. Pear trees and plantings of lavender and Italian cypress add to the Mediterranean feel. A large children's play area is adjacent to the garden.
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Carnarvon Park
Carnarvon Park offers many recreation opportunities, from a multitude of sports fields to a fitness circuit and a children’s playground. The dappled shade of the tree-lined walks makes for a very enjoyable stroll, with a diversity of trees that include ash, plum, crabapple, and hornbeam. This park was first assembled by the Point Grey Municipality prior to the City of Vancouver amalgamation in 1929. It was secured by tax sales from the B.C. Government. The Park is named for one of its bounding streets which in turn is named for the Earl of Carnarvon who was Britain’s Secretary of State and introduced the British North America Act thereby bringing into confederation the Canadian provinces.
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Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is in downtown Victoria and within easy walking distance from most downtown hotels, motels and the inner harbour. Just walk up Belleville Street past the Museum of Natural History and the Imax Theatre to Douglas Street. Take a right on Douglas Street. You'll climb a short hill and at the top of that hill is the beginning of Beacon Hill Park. Keep in mind the park is huge (200 acres), and there's much to see and do there, so allow plenty of time to view the entire park.
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Discovery Park
Discovery Park is a 534 acre natural area park operated by the Seattle Parks and Recreation. It is the largest city park in Seattle, and occupies most of the former Fort Lawton site. The site is one of breathtaking majesty. Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. The secluded site includes two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams.
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Space Needle
The undisputed icon of Seattle, the Space Needle soars 605 feet in the air. Take the 43-second elevator ride to the outdoor observation deck, where you’ll be at the perfect vantage point to plan where to go next.
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Point Defiance Park
Point Defiance Park sits on 702 acres at the northern tip of Tacoma and features the best of everything, with miles of forested hiking and walking trails, beautiful rose gardens, picnic areas, beachfront access, and a 29-acre zoo. It’s no wonder over 2 million people visit each year – once you come here, you won’t want to leave!
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Knox Mountain Park
Knox Mountain Park is the City of Kelowna’s largest Natural Area Park. The park is 310 hectares (766 acres) in size and is located immediately north of Kelowna’s downtown. The summit of Knox Mountain rises approximately 300 metres above the high water level of Okanagan Lake. While the lake shoreline borders almost 1,400 metres of the western park boundary, much of the remaining boundary is surrounded by residential development. The size, height, central location and natural amenities make this park a landmark that is a highly desirable destination for residents and tourists alike. Views to the park from the City and views from the park of the City, lake, and surrounding mountains are unparalleled. The original parcel of parkland was first dedicated to the City in 1939. Knox Mountain is home to several representative Okanagan ecosystems as the park transitions from lakeshore to mountain top, including: riparian, wetland, Ponderosa Pine Bunch Grass, and dry Interior Douglas-fir. These ecosystems are fragile, dry and highly susceptible to erosion and degradation. The park supports numerous activities including but not limited to walking, running, hiking, pedal biking (road, cross country and downhill), birding, nature appreciation, sightseeing, winter recreation and dogs on-leash.
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Mount Rainier National Park
Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
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Banff National Park
Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, a picture-perfect mountain town and village, abundant wildlife and scenic drives come together in Banff National Park - Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Over three million visitors a year make the pilgrimage to the park for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery. Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Reader Rock Gardens
Calgary's first Legacy Park featuring Reader House with garden cafe and shop, rock pathways, bridges, flowers and seasonal programming. The 1.65-hectare park, on the northern slope of Union Cemetery, is named for William Roland Reader. Private function space. Train access. Close to Stampede Park. Calgary’s first legacy park (named for William Roland Reader), is just beside Stampede Park. It has a garden café and shop, rock pathways, bridges, flowers and seasonal programming; open sunrise to sunset.
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Dinosaur Provincial Park
Standing beneath a towering hoodoo with a cactus at your feet, it’s easy to imagine a time when dinosaurs roamed the area. At Dinosaur Provincial Park, history is rediscovered every day and you’re invited to join in. Located about half an from Brooks, this place is a must visit if you are visiting Alberta. Camp, tour, and explore all that Dinosaur Provincial Park has to offer. There is so much to see and do at Dinosaur Provincial Park that in order to truly enjoy the entire extent of the park you should be prepared to stay a day or two.
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Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
This 36-hectare wildlife reserve is visited by more than 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals (including deer), 2 amphibians, 2 reptiles, 7 species of fish and 27 species of butterflies. The sanctuary is a short drive (5 km) east of downtown on the Bow River. It offers two kilometres of trails through open grasslands and forests. Trails are open from dawn to dusk every day of the year. Bring your binoculars and be ready to spot the Mourning Warbler, the Western-Wood Pewee and – if you're lucky – the Hairy Woodpecker. A Nature Centre with an exhibit hall is an educational resource for families and wildlife lovers, and records recent sightings in the area.
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Tracy Arm Fjord
Forty-five miles outside of Juneau, this scenic destination has it all — mammoth glaciers, towering granite walls, breathtaking mountains, waterfalls, and a large variety of wildlife. Tracy Arm is a 30-mile long fjord — a narrow inlet created by glacial activity — formed thousands of years ago. It winds its way past 7,000-foot snow-capped mountains and floating icebergs. At the end of the fjord lies the stunning Sawyer Glaciers, translucent blue mountains rising majestically out of the water. About once every hour, the North Sawyer and South Sawyer glaciers “calve” — an awe-inspiring phenomena in which large chunks of ice tumble into the sea below. Tracy Arm is also home to a large variety of wildlife including bald eagles, brown bears, goats, and whales. It provides some wonderful opportunities for capturing beautiful vacation memories.
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The Berry Barn
Brighten your day with a visit to the Berry Barn, one of Saskatoon’s premier attractions! The panoramic view of the South Saskatchewan River is breathtaking with the splendid array of gardens in a relaxed country setting. Visit the country style indoor eatery and enjoy some home cooked meals and scrumptious Saskatoon Berry pie. Complete with a gift shop filled with Saskatoon Berry preserves and a variety of giftware.
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Admiralty Island
No trip to Alaska is complete without bears. Just twenty minutes from Juneau by floatplane is Admiralty Island, home to one of the world's highest density brown bear populations. Nicknamed “Fortress of the Bears,” there are approximately 1,600 bears — one for every square mile of the island. The most popular place to see these big, fuzzy creatures in action is Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary. Watch bears feed on salmon during the peak viewing season (July through August). In addition to bear viewing, you might spot seabirds, harbor seals, sea lions, whales, Sitka black-tail deer, or sea otters. The island is also home to the world’s greatest concentration of nesting bald eagles.
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Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF) encompasses Utah's Wasatch Mountains adjacent to the state's northern metropolitan area, and the north slope of the High Uintas Wilderness. Containing nearly 2.1 million acres of geological and ecologically-diverse landscapes, this collection of forest areas is one of the most frequently visited in the nation. Ski and summer resorts located in this forest along the Wasatch Front near Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Park City provide world-renowned downhill skiing, Nordic and snowmobiling options, as well as a variety of summer activities ranging from the IMBA-certified mountain biking trails of Park City to the mountain coaster and Oktoberfest of Snowbird. Further south, American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon offer a stunning mix of aspen and tree-covered slopes that include the zip lines, Blue Ribbon fly-fishing and singletracks of Sundance Mountain Resort, Deer Creek State Park and other destinations. Between the two canyons lies the 11,750-acre Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness.
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Juneau Whale Watching
Hop on a boat for a classic Alaska whale watching adventure. At the right time of year, you’re bound to see humpbacks and orcas congregate in the calm waters and put on a show. See them flip their tails above water or breach (when they leap all the way out of the water and then splash back down). With luck, you’ll get the breathtaking sight of bubble net feeding—a unique technique used by humpback whales circling and blowing bubbles to bring fish to the surface of the water when they spontaneously swim upward together. The best time to whale watch is from April to November, when approximately 600 humpbacks inhabit the waters of the northern Inside Passage. Whale watching tours are offered in Juneau and near Glacier Bay. The orca, or killer whale, is also common to Juneau. But our Shamu doesn't jump through hoops like he does at Sea World. These whales, though much smaller than humpbacks, have been known to pursue seals, moose, and even other whales.
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Juneau Fishing
Don't be surprised when you see a local calendar marked not with birthdays and anniversary dates, but with tidal schedules and salmon migrations. Fishing is that big of a deal around here. Between the Pacific halibut and five species of Pacific salmon, it's a wonder any work gets done. If fishing in Juneau is on your "to-do" list, you are in luck, because dozens of longtime Alaskans operate Coast Guard licensed charter fishing boats. Full- and half-day charters carry no more than six people at a time to assure lots of rod time for each passenger. There are also local companies that take you on guided fly fishing trips, either in a skiff, on shore, or by hopping a float plane to a remote river or lake. Or you can rent a skiff or charter a vessel to customize your own fishing adventure.
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Tooele County
Just 35 minutes west of Salt Lake City in the heart of Tooele County is the Deseret Peak Complex. This venue features a wide array of activities, and there is something to satisfy every sports enthusiast's hunger for excitement. The complex is nestled in the heart of the Tooele Valley and is full of family fun activities. Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a fragile resource administered by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. Wendover is the closest city. Thousands of visitors, commercial filmmakers, and of course, high speed auto racers, make the Bonneville Salt Flats a world famous destination. Wanna fly? It is no longer just a dream. You can fly; Skydive Utah will teach you how. Your first skydive is only a phone call away. Fly high above the Great Salt Lake with a view that goes on for miles. Tooele County is one of the few places in Utah where skydiving is allowed.
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Eaglecrest Ski Area
Eaglecrest Ski Area is Juneau, Alaska’s community owned ski area. Located on Douglas Island just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, Eaglecrest spans over 640 skiable acres of breathtaking terrain serviced by four double chairlifts. The ski area has a vertical drop of 1,620 feet and offers terrain for all ability levels including groomed runs, wide-open bowls, and glades nestled throughout the mountain. Nordic skiing is also available on the area’s groomed Nordic trails. Eaglecrest is Juneau’s Winter Playground and provides skiers and snowboarders a big mountain experience with a small mountain feel.
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Muir Woods
Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the freshwater of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. Muir Woods National Monument is world renowned for its old-growth coastal redwoods, attracting over one million visitors each year. With the park’s popularity come pressures on a fragile ecosystem representing more than 380 different plants and animals. The incredible diversity of flora and fauna at Muir Woods can be daunting sometimes, elusive at other times. The redwoods themselves dominate the scene, but the Steller's jay often steals the show. Ladybugs clustering by the thousands on ancient horsetail ferns boggle the imagination, while the slimy banana slug is able to disgust and fascinate all at once. Plants adapt to low light levels on the forest floor, while whole plant and animal communities bustle in the canopy above our heads.
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Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall, one of the most beautiful and accessible glaciers in North America, is just 13 miles from downtown Juneau and a few minutes from the airport. It’s a must-see destination for any Alaska vacation. You won’t believe your ice! A half-mile wide, with ice up to 1,800 feet deep, it’s little wonder this is Juneau’s most popular destination. Whether you’re in town for a day or week, there are many ways to experience the glacier. If you’re on a tight schedule, a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center provides fascinating information as well as excellent views of this ever-changing wonder. While there, be sure to watch a brief film about how the Mendenhall is part of the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Icefield. Take a short trek down Photo Point Trail to a lookout platform for an unobstructed view of the glacier’s face and a perfect photo opportunity. You could do this all in about 90 minutes.
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Aquatic Park Cove
Aquatic Park Cove has a narrow sandy beach and a grass park at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Car line on the San Francisco Waterfront. The cove is located at the north end of Hyde Street and Van Ness Avenue near Fisherman’s Wharf. Boats are allowed to anchor in the protected harbor in the cove. It is protected by a long curved municipal pier that should not be missed if you have time to walk out on it. The view from the pier includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline. Nearby Hyde Street Pier has historic ships to see as well. The Marine Museum sits at the center of Aquatic Park Cove near the beach. Behind that is Ghirardelli Square. Aquatic Park Cove is part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a district within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The large park at Fort Mason is a short walk away up the trail to the west.
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Crissy Field East Beach
Just inside the Golden Gate, Crissy Field has a wide, sandy beach with a pretty view of the bridge and Alcatraz. It's a short, 10 minute walk from Fisherman's Wharf. Of the San Francisco beaches, this one's the most popular with windsurfers.
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Lombard Street
Lombard Street in San Francisco is often called the most crooked street in the world. Actually, it's the second crookedest, but San Francisco has the number one street as well! The pretty, postcard view of Lombard Street has become famous worldwide and many visitors enjoy seeing the cars carefully winding down the turns among the beautiful flower beds.
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Baker Beach
Baker Beach is a large popular beach not far from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On sunny weekends both parking lots could be full and all the spaces along the entrance roads too. This popular spot is one of the many beaches in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Just north of the main parking lot is the Battery Chamberlin, a large historic military gun installation that was built in 1904. It is worth checking out especially if you have kids. Be aware as you explore the north end of Baker Beach because North Baker Beach is a clothing-optional area. All of Baker Beach is an unsafe swimming area because of cold water and frequent rip currents in the surf.
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Mile Rock Beach
At the western tip of San Francisco, jutting out into ocean, is Lands End: a nature park of steep cliffs with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. It has a small, rocky beach, called Mile Rock Beach, accessible from the Coastal Trail. Wonderful beach to walk to.
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China Beach
China Beach is a great little local beach in San Francisco. The China Beach Cove is protected by rock walls on both sides creating a protected area that once was a camp for Chinese fishermen, hence the name. China Beach faces north toward the Marin Headlands and has a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge too. It’s not a large beach so when the tide is up and the summer sun is out, it can be hard to find a spot that is dry and isn’t already taken. At low tide there are tide pools to discover. Like all the beaches in this area, China Beach is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Swimming isn’t safe at China Beach for many reasons including the lack of lifeguards. The area just south of the cove is called Lands End and has many hiking trails to explore.
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Japanese Tea Garden
Come and relax in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. It is a popular tourist attraction, but it's still a peaceful and lovely place to wander.
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Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is the third most visited park in the United States. While the park is free to visit during the day, popular attractions charge admission, such as deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences and Conservatory of Flowers. The park is filled with gardens, museums, art, flowers, trees, lakes, birds and wildlife. There are also plenty of opportunities to participate in sports, clubs and other activities. Browse the site for information on parking, maps, weddings, hotels, permits, making reservations, transportation, contact numbers, and the history of Golden Gate Park.
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Twin Peaks
Want a spectacular 360 degree view of San Francisco? Head for the top of Twin Peaks, San Francisco. These two hills rise almost 1000 feet above the City and sit just about in its geographical center.
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Fort Funston Beach
Another San Francisco beach located near an old fort. Fort Funston a rugged beach with crashing surf at the bottom of 200 foot cliffs, just south of Ocean Beach. Very popular with dogs, as well. When the winds are blowing, you'll see hang gliders soaring from the cliff tops.
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Bonneville Salt Flats
Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah, stretching over 30,000 acres. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. Perhaps the most impressive spot to view the Salt Flats is along along I-80, about 10 miles east of Wendover. A rest stop has been established there (offering restrooms and water). The rest area is surrounded by perfectly flat land that looks like it is covered by snow. To the north and west, low mountains break the view. To the east and south, it looks like flat land extends virtually forever. At the rest stop you can walk out onto the salty soil. When you return, a water spray station has been set up so you can wash the salt from your shoes.
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Bryce Canyon National Park
Wind, water and time have eroded Bryce Canyon National Park's sandstone cliffs into otherworldly characters plucked from the unconscious of a mad Viking. Rows of humanoid pillars crosshatched by rock strata look almost intentional but perfectly surreal. So silent, eerie and beautiful. So improbable it has to be true! Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah near the city of Bryce (convenient, eh?), and is accessible by air or car from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, St. George and even neighboring Zion National Park. Done hiking and looking to rest your weary head? You’ve got options. The park itself is a one-stop vacation shop. Besides camping there’s a quaint, rustic lodge at the center of the park built in the 1920s featuring cozy cabins, suites and motel rooms, plus a dining room and gift shop. If you want to take things off-site, there are plenty of accommodation options in Bryce Canyon City (just outside the park) or in nearby Tropic or Cannonville. The park is open all year (24 hours a day), giving you both winter wonderland and summer spectaculars.
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Red Butte Garden - Utah
Red Butte Garden is Utah’s Botanical Garden and part of the University of Utah. It is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West. Explore themed gardens, a children's garden, waterfall and pond and nearly five miles of natural area hiking trails. “Four Seasons, A Million Reasons” to visit for floral shows, outdoor concerts, camps and classes. A new 4-acre garden opened May 2017 to rave reviews and amazing views.