Summer is the top season to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada, for that matter. Not only are people flocking by plane, train, and car to this West Coast city, but cruise ship passengers are also settling in for a night or two. If you're planning to visit in July, the good news is you will almost certainly bask in its sunny, warm weather. The downside is that because it is prime tourist season in Vancouver, you'll find airfares at their peak and hotels also expensive and filled.
If you're planning a trip to Vancouver in July, the smart money is on booking early.
The residents of Vancouver are an active bunch and in the summer, they flock to the surrounding mountains and bodies of water for recreation and exercise. So not only will it be crowded with travelers, but the locals also be making their presence felt at Vancouver's many attractions.
Weather in July
July in Vancouver has the fewest rainy days and most hours of sunlight of the year. That's an important fact in a city famous for its rainy days. There's only moderate humidity, and it is warm and comfortable. The average afternoon high in Vancouver in July is a very pleasant 74 degrees Fahrenheit, with the nighttime low a comfy 54 degrees.
What to Pack
It's super easy to pack for this kind of extremely mild and dry weather. Take long pants, capris, and jeans; short-sleeved shirts or tees; a lightweight jacket, sweater, or shawl for evenings dining alfresco or wandering around the city; and both sandals and closed-toe shoes. Bring shorts and a swimsuit, too; it might not be quite warm enough to wear them, but it could be, and you'll be sorry if you've left them at home. They take up very little room in your bag. Even if it doesn't rain much, relatively speaking for Vancouver, it still might rain, so pack an umbrella just in case.
Don't forget sunglasses for all those sunny days, along with sunscreen.
Besides the perfect weather, July is a top-of-the-list time to visit Vancouver because there are festivals galore and lots of waterfront activities to enjoy. Vancouver is surrounded by water, and there are plenty of beach options. It's also patio season in Vancouver, and grabbing a bite to eat or having a drink on an appealing patio or deck space is a nice way to while the afternoon or evening, especially if the spot is scenic. Try the Boat House in English Bay at sunset for a memorable Vancouver experience.
July 1 is Canada Day, and that's a national public holiday. Banks and most stores will be closed, and beaches and other attractions will likely be as busy as they are on weekends.
Things to Do
Besides the beaches, mountains, and museums, there are special annual events that take place every July in Vancouver that might pique your fancy. Here are the top events:
- Bard on the Beach: It's on from June through September. Check out two Shakespeare productions against a backdrop of sea, sky, and mountains all during July.
- Dancing on the Edge: This festival of contemporary dance presents 30 programs by 20 different Canadian dance companies and happens annually over several days in July.
- Celebration of Light: If you're in Vancouver at the end of July, catch the city's biggest live celebration, which promises fabulous food, live music, and fireworks to light up the night.
- Vancouver Folk Music Festival: If you're a folkie, you might want to plan your visit to Vancouver around this annual three-day folk fest.
- Stanley Park: This magnificent urban park that includes cliffs and water views has much to offer kids, from kiddie driving lessons to a farmyard and a free water park. It's also a superb location for some biking and a picnic.