12 Things to Do in Olympic Village, Vancouver

Science World in False Creek, Vancouver

Getty Images/ Kevin van de Leek  

Situated at the top of False Creek, Olympic Village began life as the Athletes Village during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were held in Vancouver, the North Shore, and Whistler. Take a trip on the water via ferry or kayak, ride the SkyTrain, or bike the seawall to get to Olympic Village, which is only a five-minute drive from the center of Downtown Vancouver. 

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Rent a Kayak

 

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False Creek is popular with rowers and kayakers year-round, but summer evenings bring the most clubs and individual enthusiasts to the water. Visitors can join in the fun by renting a single or double kayak (or taking a lesson) with Creekside Kayaks between May and October. It's an easy paddle towards Granville Island (just watch out for boat traffic!), and more advanced kayakers can head out into English Bay to explore the coastline of Kitsilano and beyond or paddle to Stanley Park. 

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Take a Ride on False Creek Ferries

Passenger Ferry on False Creek, Vancouver, Canada in Autumn

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Getting to Olympic Village is part of the fun, and the False Creek Ferries are small boats that travel up and down the inlet between Olympic Village and Yaletown, Granville Island, Downtown, and Kitsilano. You can also catch the colorful AquaBus from Downtown Vancouver to "The Village" for a frugal way to cruise along False Creek. 

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See Olympic Village Square

See the spot where the 2010 Winter Olympics took place and meet The Birds, giant sparrow sculptures by artist Myfanwy MacLeod that returned to roost here in August 2018 after being flown to Calgary and China to receive repairs. Found between Manitoba Street, Salt Street, Walter Hardwick Avenue and Athletes Way, the Square is a great place to people-watch and is the hub for restaurants and cafes. 

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Discover Science World

Science World at TELUS World of Science
Photo © Science World at TELUS World of Science

Find some family-friendly fun at Science World, which is within a few minutes walk of Olympic Village and has interactive exhibits and theaters to educate and delight kids of all ages. Get the Skytrain to Main Street-Science World rather than Olympic Village (this is also the easiest station to go to for kayak rental as it's closer to Creekside Kayaks). Science World also hosts After Dark, a monthly after-hours event for adults that includes special exhibits and shows (as well as a bar). 

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05 of 12

Have a Sip at the Craft Beer Market

CRAFT Beer Market

Courtesy of CRAFT Beer Market 

Nearby East Vancouver is home to plenty of craft breweries but the huge Craft Beer Market in Olympic Village brings together beers and ales from around BC and the world (including local brews) in an expansive pub-style establishment that also serves up seasonal food. Bar snacks and a full menu are ideal for soaking up the beers. Housed in the historic Salt Building, this pub is a craft beer enthusiast's dream come true. 

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Enjoy a Sunset Dinner

Tap & Barrel

Courtesy of Tap & Barrel 

Featuring one of the city's best patios, the creekside Tap & Barrel restaurant in Olympic Village is a popular place to catch the sunset and watch kayakers explore the creek while the sun sets over the cityscape. Olympic Village is becoming a destination for foodies thanks to places such as Terra Breads for sandwiches and a new opening of the Flying Pig, a more upscale restaurant that also has sister establishments in Yaletown and Gastown. Order the roasted Brussels sprout salad or head there for happy hour specials to get bargain beverages. 

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Bike the False Creek Seawall

Night on the Seawall

 

BrendanHunter/Getty Images 

While Stanley Park is always a popular place to bike the Vancouver Seawall, the oceanside route that passes through Olympic Village is a pretty place to take a leisurely cycle—visit Granville Island, Kitsilano, or the city center on the paved route. Pick up a bike rental from the Mobi stand in Olympic Village—the bike share programs enables you to rent a bike and return it to one of the hubs that are found around the city. 

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Cool Down With a Frozen Treat

Earnest Ice Cream

Courtesy of Earnest Ice Cream

Look out for Johnny's Pops, a little food cart on Athletes Way that sells handcrafted popsicles in inventive flavors. Earnest Ice Cream on Quebec Street is a little further out but is worth a visit for creamy ice creams in seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Pie and vegan options that are based on coconut milk. 

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Sip Local Spirits

Legacy Liquor Store

Courtesy of Legacy Liquor Store 

Head to Legacy Liquor Store, the largest privately owned liquor store in the province of British Columbia, to explore the huge collection of premium scotch, sake, and craft beer, as well as local spirits. Housed in the space that was used as a chapel during the Olympic games in 2010, the extensive store offerings tastings and events to give you a chance to try local liquor for free. 

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Walk the Circular Seawall Route

Stretching 2.9km along the creek, the False Creek Olympic Village walking route is a circular trail along the Seawall that includes 2010 Olympic Aboriginal Welcome Work, an Indigenous mural, and the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies site. Linking to the rest of the Seawall network that stretches all along Stanley Park, around downtown and out to Kitsilano. 

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Take a Trip to Granville Island

Granville Island Market, Vancouver

 Getty Images/ Jean-Paul Lescourett

Although technically not in Olympic Village, Granville Island is a short walk, bike ride, or kayak trip down the creek. It's worth a visit to see the colorful produce at the Public Market, check out the art and craft studios, and have a drink at the Long Table Distillery. 

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Explore Hinge Park

A little oasis amongst the condos of the Athletes Village, Hinge Park is a naturalized wetland park that covers 2.3 acres and is a popular place for dog walkers. Themed around the concept of the industrial effect of infrastructure on the natural environment, the park includes some quirky features such as a bridge made from an old sewer pipe. Look out for public art installations and festivals in the park during the summer. Hinge Park connects to the 1.5 acres of Habitat Island in False Creek, which was created for the 2010 Winter Olympics using 60,000 cubic meters of rock, cobble, gravel, sand, and boulders. Explore the shoreline and look out for starfish, crabs, fish, shellfish, and other sea creatures.

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