A Guide to Visiting Vancouver in March

Vancouver skyline with mountains
Photography by Harry Traeger / Getty Images

While early spring in Montreal, Toronto, and most of Canada is a continuation of winter's frigid conditions, Vancouver's weather in March continues to warm up each day and is especially mild compared to the rest of the country.

You will find spring blossoms in bloom, and cherry blossom festivals beginning to take place. This month, like so many other in Vancouver, has plenty of precipitation. You should be prepared for a storm on any given day, but don't let it discourage you. There's plenty to do in Vancouver in March, even on the rainiest days. 

Average Weather Temperatures

The temperatures in March are typically mild, usually staying between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius), though temperatures have dropped as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius). While Vancouver is relatively warm compared to the rest of the country, March is a wet month; more than half the days this month will see some rainfall.

What to Wear

Leave the heavy duty winter wear at home and pack warm, waterproof clothing instead. Sweaters, sweatshirts, and light jackets are a good bet, and because of the rain, you will need rain boots, a raincoat, and an umbrella.  

You will also want to bring T-shirts, shorts, a hat, and light, sun-protective clothing for warmer days, along with at least one pair of closed-toe shoes and sandals.

Robson Square ice rink
Ian Cook / Getty Images

March Events in Vancouver

  • Festival du Bois is a celebration of Canadian folk, Celtic, and world music, dancing, and culture, with a French twist. This three-day event is also the largest and most attended Francophone festival on the west coast of Canada.
  • For a welcome splash of springtime pink, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a must-do in the month of March. In the tradition of Japanese culture, where the festivals began, people gather to celebrate the arrival of spring under the blooming cherry blossoms. Keep in mind that the dates for this festival vary each year, sometimes taking place in April, depending on the weather. The festival lasts all of cherry blossom season, sometimes longer, and includes a Japan fair, bike rides, picnic, concert, and more.
  • The Vancouver International Dance Festival features contemporary dance performances from troupes and dancers from around the globe.
  • Sample over 150 wines at the Vancouver International Wine Festival featuring pours from over a dozen different countries. This fest is considered to be the best wine event in North America.

March Travel Tips

  • Some of the best hotel rates and package specials all year are from January to March. Since the weather starts to warm up, and prices are still low, March is an excellent time for budget travelers to come to Vancouver.
  • Spring ski season at Whistler/Blackcomb is well underway. Snow sports enthusiasts should book their accommodation in advance.
  • Despite the frequent rain, or perhaps because of it, there's plenty of things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day. Don't let a rainy forecast stop you from enjoy what the city has to offer.
  • If you've ever wanted to see storms roll across the ocean, whipping up powerful waves, March is the absolute best time to visit. Head to Vancouver Island for the best storm watching; after all, it's where the practice originated. 
  • You will most likely miss out on whale watching this month. One of the most popular things to do in Vancouver on Canada's west coast, whale watching is generally unavailable from the months of November through March. Though if you're lucky you may spot a whale at the end of the month.
  • Ski resorts and Vancouver's most popular attractions get crowded during March break, when all local public school students are on holiday. Break lasts for two weeks, usually in the second half of the month. If you'll be in town then, book any tickets and reservations well in advance and prepare for longer wait times and larger crowds.
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