On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver

Rent A Boat In Vancouver

On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Many Ways To Get Out On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver

We found many ways to get out on the water on False Creek in Vancouver. The False Creek Basin is a short narrow inlet on the waters around Vancouver. Walking and biking paths ran along the shore. Two different ferries provided a quick way to move to points on both sides of False Creek. And if you wanted to get on the water, we saw many fun options.

On this visit to Vancouver, we rented a motor boat and explored the coastal areas around Vancouver on our own. This was a fun way to get a different perspective on this great water city. And gave us stunning views along the way.  Such a good way to explore around Vancouver on our luxury stay at the JW Marriott Parq Hotel.

A Family Stop In Port Moody

Our first stop in British Columbia gave us an outdoor experience in Revelstoke. From there we headed towards the coast for a 5 night AirBnb stop in Port Moody outside of Vancouver. We booked a house with outdoor space and a kitchen for a family visit. We had not seen two of our three children in almost 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was wonderful to spend time with our son Nick. He even cooked a delicious multi-course meal for us! And we were in town for his double-header softball game!

Port Moody Family Dinner.jpg

The AirBnb was located right on the Main Street in Port Moody. So we found it easy to wander into town for coffee. Or down to the river to stroll along the Shoreline Park.

Port Moody Shoreline Trail.jpg

Port Moody Shoreline Trail.jpg

After almost 2 weeks on our road trip from Toronto to Vancouver, it was a relaxing break.

Moving Into Luxury Accommodations On False Creek

We loved to mix up our accommodations on our road trips. The AirBnb was great for our family visit. But we needed a little pampering for our next stop. The JW Marriott Parq fit the bill perfectly. The hotel was located right beside BC Place. Many of the rooms looked out over the BC Place dome.

BC Place.jpg

BC Place - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

At our check-in, we were reminded how customer service really sets some brands apart. We booked a nice room but asked about a suite upgrade for our loyalty status. There were no suites available for the entirety of our 5 day stay. But Kittie did not give up. She found a suite for part of our stay and we were happy to move rooms.

When the front desk called first thing the next day, we were delighted when we learned that they were able to keep us in the suite for our entire stay. With a great 270° view, we enjoyed every minute in the suite.

JW Marriott Parq - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

JW Marriott Parq - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Enjoying All The Hotel Had To Offer

We sure enjoyed the extra room that the suite at the JW Marriott Parq offered for this longer stay. And even though there were football games in BC Place next door during our stay, the rooftop deck and hot tub were never crowded.

JW Marriott Parq Patio Whirlpool - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

JW Marriott Parq Patio Whirlpool - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

With multiple restaurant options, the JW Marriott Parq made dining decisions hard. Free breakfast in-suite was provided for Elite members each day. We even had breakfast one morning for a change in the lovely Honey Salt Restaurant.

JW Marriott Parq Honey Salt Breakfast - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

One night we had a lovely full dinner in the hotel at The Victor. A couple of times we opted for take out from the BC Kitchen. If we wanted a change, there were tons of restaurants in the Yaletown area.

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JW Marriott Parq The Victor Dinner - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

JW Marriott Parq The Victor Dinner - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

We enjoyed our luxury accommodations at the JW Marriott Parq on the water on False Creek in Vancouver. A perfect spot to enjoy in the fall.

JW Marriott Parq Fall Colours - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Ferries Around False Creek

One year we lived with a view of False Creek for the fall. We never tired of the view from our window over the Telus Science Centre and BC Place – day or night. A very different view from this hotel stay right beside BC Place.

False Creek BC Place and Telus Science Centre - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

False Creek BC Place and Telus Science Centre - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

It was a long walk or bike ride around the False Creek Basin. But we found a much easier option. There were two different ferry lines that moved between multiple stops on both sides of False Creek. They even had ferries specifically designed to carry bikes.

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Aquabus Ferry.jpg

Some of the ferries had dedicated routes to just cross the channel. Some of the ferries stopped at a limited number of stops. And some ferries went to all stops. The fares were based on the stops you went to by ferry. A full day pass provided hop-on-hop-off capabilities.

We found the ferry service was a great way to get on the water on False Creek in Vancouver.

Fun Activities On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver

There were a lot of fun water activities available on False Creek. Marinas were located all along the waterway. Several different spots around the False Creek Basin offered canoes and stand up paddle boards (SUPs). There was a large dragon boat club at the base of False Creek by the Telus Science Centre. We just missed a big dragon boat race on this visit.

Yaletown Quayside Marina.jpg

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False Creek Dragonboat.jpg

We even saw the house boats on Granville Island on False Creek. A very different way to have a water view all the time.

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As we moved around False Creek, we saw an interesting array of ways to enjoy the water. Lots of fun for everyone.

Renting A Boat On False Creek

We loved when we got a chance to rent a boat and actually head out on the water by ourselves. Our boat rental on the Amalfi Coast provided lovely views of the coastal towns. And on a boat rental on Navajo Canyon outside of Page Arizona we explored the canyons and interesting rocks. And had a bit of fun opening up the engine on the open waters.

So on this visit to Vancouver, we rented a boat and explored the coast around Vancouver. We booked our boat rental with Granville Island Boat Rentals. There were several different sizes of boats available. We ultimately decided on the 18’ bowrider speedboat. We figured it would be more comfortable and faster than the 17’ boat available.

Granville Island Boat Rental - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Granville Island Boat Rental.jpg

There was a minimum rental of 2 hours and there were two different routes suggested. One route went around Stanley Park and then up Indian Arm for a view of Deep Cover and Granite Waterfalls. The other route went north along the coast towards Howe Sound for a view of birds and seals at Pam Rocks.

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Map From Granville Island Boat Rentals

At first we considered a boat rental over sunset. But ultimately we chose a 3 hour rental that started at 2pm. The weather in Vancouver seemed to deteriorate over the day and we wanted good daylight for photos. But with only 3 hours, we only had enough time to take the boat towards Howe Sound.

We arrived early as required and did our paperwork and watched a safety video. As an ex-Navy officer, David had lots of boat driving experience. And I had quite a bit of boating experience too. We were really not sure how true amateurs would drive and navigate with just the safety briefing and input provided at the shop.

Heading Out Of False Creek

We checked out our boat and got settled in. The inner harbour was wake restricted so we slowly made our way out of the False Creek Basin and under the Burrard Street Bridge.

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Granville Island Boat Rental Burrard Bridge - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

When we passed the final buoy, we turned north and went past Stanley Park. The fall colours had just started to turn. We stayed well offshore and away from the rocks.

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Our first check point was the Point Atkinson Lighthouse. On our recent road trip around New Brunswick, we saw so many lighthouses from the shore. So it was fun when we saw this lighthouse from the water. We navigated past the rocks and continued up the shore.

Point Atkinson Lighthouse.jpg

Point Atkinson Lighthouse - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

As we approached the harbour at Horseshoe Bay, we got a view of the big houses perched on the cliff. We checked out real estate on this visit to British Columbia. But probably not at this price point! As we passed by Horseshoe Bay we watched out for the frequent ferries that crossed to Bowen Island. We knew the larger ferry to Vancouver Island also crossed at this point. And the Langdale Ferry we took on our visit to the Sunshine Coast.

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Granville Island Boat Rental Howe Sound Horseshoe Bay Ferries - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

It was fun to get out on the water on False Creek and see the coast around Vancouver.

Heading Up To Howe Sound

We continued up along the shore towards Howe Sound. We got great views ahead to the mountains still shrouded in mist. Up on the cliff sides we caught sight of the Sea To Sky Highway we took a few days later on our visit to Whistler.

Granville Island Boat Rental Howe Sound.jpg

We finally caught sight of the small set of Pam Rocks. This was our target for this boat trip. We slowed the boat down and prepared to circle slowly and away from the rocks. Once when we drifted a little too close the boat alarm sounded.

Granville Island Boat Rental Pam Rocks - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

At first we thought that the seals were all out in the water. But slowly the forms of the seals as they lazed on the rocks came into view. We loved when we saw this view on other travels along the west coast of California.

Granville Island Boat Rental Pam Rocks Seals.jpg

Granville Island Boat Rental Pam Rocks Seals - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Granville Island Boat Rental Pam Rocks Seals - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

On the other island, we saw birds perched on the rocks. It reminded us of our visit to Gull Island in Newfoundland.

Granville Island Boat Rental Pam Rocks Birds Cormorants.jpg

We drifted along and enjoyed the view of the animal life and the stunning mountain vistas. But it was time to head back.

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Back Into False Creek

Our boat ride back was a bit faster. We knew the landmarks for our turns. When we approached Point Atkinson Lighthouse, we caught a view of the skyline of Vancouver. And far in the distance the snow covered Mt Baker. We chased those Mt Baker views one day when we travelled around the Fraser Valley.

Vancouver from the Water - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

Point Atkinson Lighthous Mt Baker.jpg

Vancouver View Mt Baker - On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver Canada.jpg

When we saw the large tankers anchored in the bay, we knew we were close to the mouth of the False Creek Basin. We turned in and slowed down as we passed the buoys. We followed in a line of sailboats headed back for the day.

Granville Island Boat Rental.jpg

At the dock for the Granville Island Boat Rentals, we were helped to dock. The prop was checked and they confirmed no new damage and thus no new costs. The boat was topped up with the half tank of gas we used for our boat ride up the coast.

Granville Island Boat Rental.jpg

We had such a fun afternoon on the water on False Creek. It was great to drive our own boat and move at our pace. There was lots to discover from the water on False Creek.

Have Fun On The Water On False Creek In Vancouver

We enjoyed our luxury stay at the JW Marriott Parq. It was located close to the False Creek Basin and much water fun.

We enjoyed our time on the water on False Creek in Vancouver. The ferries took us from stop to stop. And passed by those down on the water having fun.

Our boat rental was a great way to head off on our own. We headed north along the coast to the Howe Sound area. And saw great sights along the way.

Have you had fun on the water on False Creek in Vancouver? Did you rent a boat and explore?

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About TravelAtWill 647 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

65 Comments

  1. Water – rivers, lakes, and harbors alike – always add lots of charm to a city. However, I would visit Vancouver for this hotel alone – it’s incredible. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t ever need a room since I would enjoy the entire day on the roof. They can bring me those delish snacks and some drinks up there, please 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading about your stay in False Creek in Vancouver. I also love getting out onto the water and having a different perspective on a city. Hiring a motorboat seems to be a great way to see different area of the creek. You were lucky, spotting the seals. Seals are always so cute! Were there also kayaks available?

  3. I like how you had a variety of accommodations during your trip. We like to do that too. We like to mix in a night of camping, a night in an inn will a hot tub, and some hotels in convenient locations.

  4. I have only been to Vancouver once and will be back for sure! I wish I would have spent more time taking the False Creek around to various sites. Would love to see the house boats on Granville Island from the water Your image of Point Atkinson Lighthouse with the city in the background is postcard perfect

  5. False Creek looks like a great place to be on the water! And the Marriott Parq that you stayed at looked gorgeous – what an awesome hotel. I definitely would love to stay there when I visit Vancouver!

  6. False Creek is a perfect holiday for me. The harbour, kayaking, hiring a boat, seals and the wildlife are so amazing. I am definitely adding False Creek to my list. Also, what a beautiful place to stay with such stunning ambience. It truly talks about luxury.

    • We too love anything that has to do with the water. And the False Creek area in Vancouver had so much to offer. We loved the JW Marriott Parq as a lovely luxury spot to use as a base.

  7. I would also not tire of a holiday by the water. Seeing your pictures, I kept thinking I have never had a holiday by the sea like this. The seals look so cute, though I wonder if they are dangerous. It truly is a good family holiday spot and you got a luxurious suite too!

  8. Just a trip that I would love to indulge in. We are always drawn to water and do make sure that every holiday of ours includes that element of fun. False Creek looks just ideal in that sense. And Marriott Parq looks such an awesome hotel. And the food looks enticing. Yes I do agree Customer care makes a big difference in deciding which chain to go in for.

    • We were delighted with the customer service at the JW Marriott Parq and it is a big reason we have already planned a return visit. We know there is much more to explore around the water on False Creek.

  9. Looks like such a fun visit! The staff at the Marriott really took care of you and what a fun idea to rent a powerboat. Love the seal shots too.

    • Water tours are fun but we always love when we can rent a boat and explore on our own. The trip itself was fun. But great that the seals were there to keep us entertained too.

  10. I had no idea that it was possible to rent a motorboat and explore the coastal areas around Vancouver on our own. I add it to my bucket list as I love Vancouver. It’s one of my favorite cities I have visited so far. I saw the area of the False Creek Basin, and I love it. But different perspectives from the water give great photo opportunities and other experiences.

  11. Awww, those seals are so endearing! With the sea views and the mountain views, it’s no wonder that this marina gets attraction. It was a good decision that you drove your own boat and followed your pacing.

  12. What an amazing post on False Creek, Vancouver. The view from JW Marriott parq is stunning. And I can imagine what fun it must have been to hop into a boat rt ide across the False Creek with such lovely views. And the pancakes and food looked delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    • We sure did love our stay at the JW Marriott Parq. It was the perfect spot to use as a base to explore around False Creek. And we were always well fuelled up with great food.

  13. Oooh nice! We often use the ferries in False Creek to make a day a bit more special (like heading home from a date – goin on the water always makes it more fun…) But I have never hired a boat for a longer adventure up Howe Sound! This is a fantastic idea – I may have to copy you and do this as a surprise for my husband. What a fantastic way to see the North Shore Mountains.

  14. We absolutely love Vancouver, BC. I’ve been a few times and hope to go back again soon. Getting out on the water sounds like a fabulous idea.

  15. I got the opportunity to visit Vancouver a few summers ago and it was beautful!! Walking around the town everyone was so friendly here and helpful considering it was my first time visiting. Seems like you had a great time!

    • I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Vancouver. We have visited many times and each is always a new discovery. Loved the chance to see it from the water around False Creek.

  16. There’s something about water… What a lovely way to spend time on False Creek. I would love to visit Canada & Vancouver sounds like a great city to explore.

  17. Hiring a boat to explore the bay around Vancouver is a fantastic idea, especially to see the seals. Like you I often enjoy mixing up my accommodation options. Staying somewhere else can give you a whole different aspect to your stay…especially if its a suite with all that amazing food!

    • We sure did love our luxury break in Vancouver at the JW Marriott Parq. So much so that we booked a return visit before we start the long drive back home. It was fun to get out on the water and move at our own pace. So many great sights along the BC coast.

  18. What a fabulous way to explore False Creek and the connected waterways. Renting at 2:00 pm as you did gave enough light for land and water scenes, and capture them with your camera. I’ve only ever walked along False Creek and taken those cute little ferry boats across to Granville Island. Thank you fo such an interesting post.

    • I was delighted to be able to share all the fun ways to explore from the water in False Creek in Vancouver. We never tire of spending time around the waters in this beautiful city.

  19. Sounds like such a great experience! We love Vancouver; this sounds like something we might want try next time we go… maybe in a few years.

  20. We stayed a week in Vancouver 2 years ago and spent a lot of time in Stanley Park and Chinatown. So, that is False Creek! I guess that is the part of Vancouver we did not cover and a reason to return! Thanks.

  21. I’ve been to Vancouver only once, and not able to experience some of these hidden gems you’ve shared. I love the adventure you’ve created and going a bit farther to Howe Sound is definitely of interest to me! Can’t beat the 270 degree views that the JW Marriot offer either.

    • We loved the chance to explore on our own on the water on False Creek. A fun day for sure. We loved the JW Marriott Parq so much we went back during the same trip this year.

  22. How wonderful that you got to enjoy boating in and around False Creek! I always envy activity like this since where I came from, the river that runs through the city is dirty. I think you just have to rent a boat, kayak, or SUP when visiting False Creek. The city view from the water is just amazing.

  23. Vancouver is one of the few cities worldwide which I’d consider to make my base for a year or two, even though I’ve never visited. I love the fact that it’s a bustling, big city with lots of culture, but at the same time so close to raw nature and wildlife. Your False River Creek experience sounds like a lot of fun.

    Also, David seems to be keeping in amazing shape. I’m a couple of years younger, but wish I’d have those kinds of biceps. 🙂

    • We are certainly considering the Vancouver area as a spot to live since we have 2 kids in the area. David smiled when I passed your comment on about his biceps! A great day on the water for sure.

  24. So glad to see you enjoyed my city!!! I did a staycation at JW Marriott Parq a few years back and it was incredible. Honey Salt is also a personal fave. Seems like you got lucky with our weather for the most part! 🙂

  25. What a fun trip! I really wish we had spent more time on and around the water when we visited Vancouver – at least I know what to do next time! The boat rental sounds like an amazing experience, especially since I also love finding lighthouses. It’s just incredible that you get amazing urban views right alongside those beautiful mountains and coastline.

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