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Ways to Cool Down in Vancouver This Summer

June 4th, 2009 @ 11:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

That’s right, I’m talking about the weather in Vancouver and I won’t be mentioning rain at all. This time it’s all about the extremely warm record-breaking sunshine that’s been blanketing the Lower Mainland over the last week or so. To help everyone who might be looking for a way to bring down their temperature while still enjoying cloudless days, here are my Ways to Cool Down in Vancouver…


Photo credit: David Drucker on Flickr

Outdoor Pools
The City of Vancouver operates several outdoor pools which have now been open since the May Long Weekend. You can check out my guide for the one in your neighbourhood or visit the Vancouver Parks Board website for more information.

Frozen yogurt
Qoola on Denman was my first real yogurt (and acai) experience and boy could I go for their green tea frozen yogurt right about now. I’ve also tried out Froyoswirl in Yaletown, which is equally delicious, with a few different menu items. There are plenty of gelato places around town but if you spot on of these havens I definitely recommend stopping in for some fresh fruit atop this icy treat.

Walk in the park
A stroll under the canopy at your local park is an enjoyable way to be outdoors while not overheating. If you’re lucky, when you emerge from the cooling shadows there will also be a waterpark nearby (like at Fleetwood Park in Surrey). Better yet, finishing up a hike over at the Lynn Valley Headwaters with a quick dip.

Hit the beach (and get in the water)
Vancouver’s known for its amazing beaches however I’ve noticed the percentage of people out baking on the sand far outweigh those who take to the water. The ocean is probably pretty darn chilly but also the perfect way to refresh and rejuvenate your sun-drenched body.

Patio + Drinks
My Vancouver Patio Guide from 2007 is terribly outdated as I’m sure dozens of other establishments have setup outdoor and street-side seating areas. Hit a patio for some appies and people watching while enjoying a frosted beverage with friends. Cactus Club, Milestones, Joe Fortes (rooftop), Chill Winston’s, The Mill, etc. there’s no shortage in this town. Below is a stream of Tweets in response to my question: Which restaurant has the BEST patio in Vancouver?

Get on a boat
There are plenty of Vancouver charter boat tours, yacht tours etc. but getting out on the ocean in a canoe or kayak will really cool you down. You can take a day trip from Deep Cove or rent by the hour from Granville Island.

One word: Slurpee
We’re lucky enough to have a 7-Eleven and a Mac’s in the neighbourhood and I tell ya, nothing gives you that instant chill like that first over-eager, brain-freezing sip of a Slurpee. It also takes me back to those lazy days of summer when I was growing up, adding to the refreshing (yet tasty) relaxation you get from a frozen beverage. You could also visit one of our bagillion coffee shops for an iced latte but some days just call for a Slurpee… especially July 11th when sample sizes are free.

WATERFIGHT!
Each year at some point in the summer a large group of people converge in a single location to unleash water balloons and the power of their Super Soakers on each other. This is Vancouver’s Largest Waterfight and it’s happening July 11th 2009 at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park.

Also it’s important to note that drinking water is the ultimate way to keep your body cool. Find a water fountain in local parks or bring your own bottle of water out and about (preferably a refillable Sig bottle, not plastic).

In sort of related news I published an article for Tourism Vancouver about 10 Hidden Gems around the city that you simply must check out.

Update: Keira’s got a post about how to keep your pets cool as well.

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13 comments

  1. Darren says:

    Great info Rebecca. Next do a post about ways for pets to cool down. I’ve got a real hot dog these days!

  2. [...] Ways to Cool Down in Vancouver This Summer » Vancouver Blog Miss … [...]

  3. ac says:

    for frozen yogurt, also try “Scoop!” at 4th and Arbutus!

  4. [...] at 1:00pm over at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park. As previously mentioned in my “Ways to Cool Down” blog post last month, it should prove to be an epic event during one of the hottest days of [...]

  5. Duane Storey says:

    Can’t type… Too hot…

  6. Matt Corker says:

    Head over to Spanish Banks (west) where the dogs run free. There is a great little beach there that extends into the ocean, letting you walk way out when the tide is high. A great place to wade as you tan, and you can bring your canine friend too Darren!

  7. Michael Kwan says:

    I actually wrote a post on this exact topic very recently:
    http://btr.michaelkwan.com/2009/07/25/how-to-beat-the-summer-heat/

    Coles Notes version:
    1. A Damp Towel on the Back of the Neck
    2. A Very Hot or a Very Cold Drink
    3. Shutting It All Down (turn off electronics)
    4. The Air-Conditioned Refuge of the Mall
    5. A Wet Towel on the Window

  8. We have lots of gelato places and forest spaces for quick relief.

    But I find that the best way to beat the heat is a mental hack. I simply remember what it’s like to sludge through all the rainy floody months for the rest of the year, and I then I find myself not minding the heat too much at all.

  9. Michael Kwan nailed it with the damp towel. That has been my trick for a while now. Often I hang a damp cool towel in front of a fan or use it as a blanket when I sleep (by the time I wake up its dry anyway).

    @cbjerrisgaard

  10. KOKO says:

    Running through sprinklers!

  11. Don Foran says:

    Slowly melt while browsing the well-stocked supply at the near sub-zero CedarCottage walk-in fridge on Kingsway.

  12. it has to be fish and chips in Steveston.

  13. [...] to “The Chicago Dance Flash Mob“). Here in Vancouver our flash mobs usually involve waterfights or pillow fights, so this seems to be a much more passive [...]

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