Below is the hottest it usually gets at popular destinations in British Columbia. Select a destination to see the best time to go based on your preferred weather.
*affiliate links : find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use. The best times to visit Vancouver is from March to May and from September to November when the weather is mild and hotel rooms can be found at bargain rates.
Summer is the most popular time thanks to the promise of warmer weather ; however, if you're planning a trip then, make sure to reserve your hotel room at least two or three weeks in advance. If you're a winter sports fanatic, then don't let the biting temperatures deter you: This city makes a great home base for skiers and snowboarders looking to challenge the powder at Grouse Mountain or nearby Whistler.
Residents like to kayak in English Bay, stroll through flower beds in Stanley Park and take part in the numerous special events held throughout town. This is also the time to nab deals on hotel rooms before the summer tourists start flooding in.
June-August Summer marks the high season, with travelers flocking to the city from all over North America to enjoy the exciting outdoor activities and numerous special events. And although temperatures only reach the low 70s on average, Vancouverites don their swimsuits and head to Kitsilano Beach at English Bay.
To accommodate the number of tourists and cruisers (Vancouver is a busy cruise port), hotels tend to significantly up their rates. Although the hordes of summer travelers have already headed back home and temperatures have fallen into the 60s and 50s (sometimes even the 40s), the city has yet to go into hibernation.
Vancouverites continue to frequent Stanley Park's walking paths (now littered with red and orange leaves), and the beaches of Kitsilano and Point Grey. Although hotel prices are at their lowest during the winter, temperatures in the 30s and 40s, as well as frequent rain showers, can put a damper on your trip.
June to August: The most ideal time to travel to Vancouver is during the summer (June to August), where the summers are cool and mild. This one is also the peak season and hence the travel and accommodation fares are expected to rise drastically.
September to May: However, those who like to avoid crowds and get an authentic feel for Vancouver can travel during the autumn and spring (September-October and March-May, respectively), although it is quite a bit cooler. But still, this period is also good to indulge in some outdoor activities and being an off season, it's a double treat for budget travelers.
If budget or crowds are a concern, the next best time to visit would be in one of the shoulder seasons. In Vancouver, these are typically in late spring during April and May and during the fall in mid- September and October.
Vancouver's off-seasons include November to mid-December, January (the most off-season month of the year), and February to mid- March. The variable weather (which is really an issue all year) can make a trip less fun.
Some folks are happy to hike and bike whatever the weather, but if enjoying Vancouver's outdoor activities is high on your list, and you know you won't enjoy them as much if you're too wet or too cold, then paying more for summer peak season may be wiser. There are two immutable negatives to the off-season in Vancouver (and they're the same ones locals who live here complain about): weather and short days.
Top Vancouver attractions are open year-round, and you can enjoy them in any weather (especially the indoor ones), but note that there will be more crowds in summer, so for popular attractions, plan further ahead and book reservations or buy tickets in advance if possible. A warm May or September will provide all the benefits of summer's peak season while hotel and flight costs will be (at least a little) lower, and there will be fewer crowds.
Vancouver's hotels and spas often offer special deals and packages to attract off-season travelers. Late November and early-December have snow sports (weather permitting) and ice skating, plus Christmas attractions that open early.
January is also perfect for bargain hunters who love to shop after-Christmas sales. The best time to visit Vancouver for great weather, good prices, and smaller crowds is from April to June and September to early November.
July and August are the best months for warm weather, sunny skies, and little rain but also see higher hotel rates and larger crowds at top tourist attractions. During these months, you’ll have a good chance for sunshine and pleasant temperatures, along with spectacular views from spots like Grouse Mountain, but the crowds have yet to arrive, or are beginning to dissipate with summer coming to an end.
As with popular attractions in most major cities, to avoid the biggest crowds at attractions like the Vancouver Aquarium or Vancouver Art Gallery, no matter what time of year you visit, plan to arrive either early or late on a weekday rather than the weekend. You’ll find a wide range of whale watching tours to choose from, and many offer a guarantee that if you don’t see whales on your first attempt, you’ll get a free trip aboard the same vessel you traveled on.
If you hope to see humpback whales, your best bet is to go between late August and early December. If you’re hoping for a sunny day, on which you can step out on the deck, capture a photo and admire the views, the best time to hop aboard is in July, August or early September.
The Best Time for Skiing : Many people head to Vancouver for the opportunity to participate in snow sports, with Grouse Mountain just 20 minutes from downtown. The best time of the year for skiers is generally in the spring, particularly from mid-March through late April, though the mountain is often open from about mid-November through May, and sometimes even into June.
Spring provides the best time for everyone from beginners to the most advanced, with warmer temperatures, longer and sunnier days, incredible snow and awe-inspiring views. High Season (June through August) : The summer months are the most popular for visiting Vancouver, due to the warmer weather, festivals and opportunities for practically endless outdoor activities.
If you go during this time, expect bigger crowds and higher accommodation rates along with mostly sunny skies, especially in July and August. Shoulder Season (April and May) : Spring may be the very best time to be in Vancouver, when the city typically enjoys mild, pleasant weather with a mix of sunny and wet days, though the rain usually isn’t enough to put a damper on outdoor plans.
September is a particularly fabulous month to be in Vancouver, with lots of beautiful, sunny days, though the temperatures gradually begin to drop as autumn officially kicks in. In the middle of winter, there were be lots of wet, gloomy days, though temperatures below freezing are fairly rare.
Vancouver Weather in January : You can expect the weather in Vancouver in January to be chilly and wet as this is one of the coldest months of the year, though it doesn’t often snow and even when it does, it usually melts by the time it hits the ground and doesn’t accumulate. Although it’s likely to be cool, wet and gray much of the time, the weather is quite mild compared to the rest of the country, and some years it does bring a fair amount of sunshine too.
The days are growing increasingly longer, with sunset at about 7:45pm by March 31st, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. The spring flowers are now in full bloom, and you’ll start to see more people outside in places like Stanley Park, hiking, biking and rollerblading.
The city sees an average of 8 hours of sunshine now, though April’s weather is inconsistent, bringing a full gamut from cool, rainy and dark to pleasant, sunny spring days. Afternoon highs of 16 °C, and sometimes warmer, means that more and more people are taking advantage of it to enjoy the great outdoors.
As the days are fabulously long due to the city’s northern location, you’ll be able to enjoy sunlight until almost 9:30pm. It has the fewest rainy days, the most hours of sunlight, and it’s comfortably warm with only moderate humidity levels.
Afternoon temperatures increase a degree to a very pleasant 22 °C, with lots of comfortably warm, sun-filled days. Like July, you’ll need your summer attire along with a light jacket for evenings with lows averaging around 14 °C.
This is definitely the time to take advantage of the wealth of outdoor activities here, with 11 wonderful hours of sunshine a day. More often than not, you’ll have many consecutive days of warm sunny skies, although as the month progresses, it will start to feel cooler.
On average, high temperatures reach 18 °C, and although precipitation increases to 70 mm over 10 days, much of it will fall later in the month. By visiting during the first half of September, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, with many of the tourists exiting, and lots of beautiful sunny days.
To be prepared for whatever comes, plan to dress in layers, and bring both lighter and heavy clothing for warm and cool days, along with generally cooler evenings as temperatures can dip as low as 11 °C. Vancouver Weather in October : With autumn now in full swing, temperatures are noticeably cooler, and it’s wetter too, though early in the month it can be just like September, mild and clear.
The latter in the month you plan to be here, the more you’ll want to be prepared for gray, dark skies and rain, with an average of 100 mm coming down in October. Bringing an umbrella and/or rain gear becomes advisable once again, along with sweaters and a heavier jacket, and you’ll also want to be prepared for shorter days, with sunset just before 6pm on October 31.
Vancouver Weather in November : The wet, cold and dark season has now arrived. The good news is that if you’re a skier or snowboarder, rain in the city means snow in the nearby mountains.
With the average high temperature just 8 °C, you’ll want to bring your warm weather clothing, including waterproof attire and rain gear. But the good news is there will likely be snow in the mountains and lots of dazzling holiday lights in the city to brighten things up.
Running over three weeks from mid-January through early February, it showcases acclaimed international, Canadian and local artists. There are fishing boats, yachts, jet skis, kayaks and all sorts of watercraft on display.
It includes all-night skiing, snowboarding and ice skating; midnight and sunrise snowshoe tours, a torch parade, zip-lining and more. There are dozens of events that take place at various venues throughout the city over the long weekend, and many popular attractions offer discounts on the holiday too.
One of its highlights is the parade, which generally takes place on the holiday or the Sunday prior to March 17. Visitors can also enjoy street parties, whiskey tastings, Irish theater, live music and more.
It includes music, dance, film and video, visual arts, an amateur sumo tournament, martial arts demos, craft vendors, traditional displays, and plenty of tasty Japanese cuisine. Taking place the last three weeks of summer, starting on August 20 in 2016, it includes a variety of amusement ride, live entertainment, fair food and more.