Things to do in Vancouver pre and post BMO Vancouver Marathon

Stunning Running. It's no wonder the BMO Vancouver Marathon is ranked one of the top destination marathons in the world by the likes of Forbes, CNN, USA Today, and so many more. Photo: Maylie Lang / RUNVAN®

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is ranked one of the top destination marathons in the world by the likes of Forbes, CNN, USA Today, and more. Photo: Maylies Lang / RUNVAN®

There’s a reason runners from over 60 countries now annually travel to Vancouver, Canada, to participate in the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May. Pre and post race you can enjoy one of the world’s most liveable cities at a slower pace.

Awarded Canada’s Top Travel Destination, Vancouver is a gorgeous, sophisticated city boasting natural beauty, big city experiences, stunning shorelines, and diverse neighbourhoods. Vancouver is the ideal city to explore pre and post race.

Tourism Vancouver suggests 25 free things to do in Vancouver, and 10 Must See Attractions, while Destination BC also provides Trip Ideas and amazing imagery for inspiration.

For runners, here’s a sample, summary itinerary to utilize while visiting this Spring:


Visit the Inukshuk near English Bay. RUNVAN®

Thursday – Visit English Bay and Stanley Park where the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8KM and Relay courses all run through. Get a selfie next to the Inukshuk and Laughing Men statutes, and enjoy lunch or sunset down by the water near Denman and Davie Street.

Bonus: Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery if you’re looking to take in more innovative contemporary displays and historical art, or travel around the Seawall, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, by foot, bike or horse-drawn carriage. If you have time, travel Stanley Park Drive to Prospect Point and get a view from Lions Gate Bridge.


Even the views from the Health & Sports Expo are amazing! RUNVAN®

Friday – Give yourself plenty of time to experience the free Health & Sports Expo with over 100 exhibitors at the Vancouver Convention Centre West! Here, you’ll get lots of goodies and more gorgeous views, plus see the Olympic Cauldron.

From downtown Vancouver, you’re in close walking distance to the popular Yaletown district, West End and Stanley Park, plus the historic districts of Gastown and Chinatown.

To enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains, and Vancouver Island, first take an elevator ride up fifty storeys above the city at the Vancouver Lookout or take in FlyOver Canada, a flight simulated ride near the Expo at Canada Place.


You can float across False Creek via Aquabus Ferries and catch this view from Cambie Bridge. RUNVAN®

Saturday – Join John Stanton and meet your Pace Bunnies for a shake-out run at 9am by the Denman Running Room store near Devonian Park.

Have brunch in the area, and take a second tour of the Health & Sports Expo as there will be new prize giveaways daily! You can also visit Robson Street for more retail therapy.

Catch Aquabus Ferries to Granville Island and venture to Olympic Village to see more of the City. You can catch the ferry or skytrain back to town, or walk over Cambie Bridge where you’ll see the BMO Vancouver Marathon banners on display! Or venture in the opposite direction and catch the Seabus to the North Vancouver Pier where you can capture amazing views looking back at the City skyline.


Enjoy race day! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®

Yeaaaaaaah! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®

Yeaaaaaaah! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®

Sunday – Race Day!

Enjoy the run and cross the Finish Line with a smile on your face! Post-race watch for video of yourself crossing the line and take in the Street Festival. Remember, your race bib is also good for a celebratory Stanley Park Beer or Kettle Valley Wine at any Mahony & Sons location. Enjoy the day. Hang out. Celebrate. #bmovm #runvan


Extend your stay to travel to Victoria or Whistler and take in amazing scenery on-route. RUNVAN®

Monday – Now that you’ve run by them, you may want to relax on ‘em. There is the quiet Second Beach in Stanley Park, the urban David Lam Park and English Bay, Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, and Kitsilano Beach that you may relax at and take in the scenic views you raced by!

Looking to sneak outside of the City? The province also offers hundreds of hiking trails and protected areas. Just a short drive from the City, you can enjoy a light walk around Lighthouse Park or the popular Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

Day trips can be made to catch gondola rides up Grouse Mountain, the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, BC, for spectacular mountain views!

Bonus: Stay the night in Whistler, BC, or catch the BC ferries to Vancouver Island.

Find more inspiration through Tourism Vancouver or Destination BC, and feel free to ask us questions on social @bmovanmarathon #bmovm #runvan #hellobc

Join in!


Inukshuk statute. Photo: Steve Kojima / RUNVAN®


Views from Lions Gate Bridge. Photo: Steve Kojima / RUNVAN®