With beautiful natural clashes of mountain and sea, a diverse population, and vibrant atmosphere it’s easy to understand why Vancouver is a highly sought-after destination. However, Vancouver’s undeniable coolness has not gone unnoticed or without consequence. The British Columbia cultural center has skyrocketed on “Most Expensive” lists lately, and hotels have taken advantage of this. Subsequently, vacation rentals have remained a stable option for more affordable accommodation. Using AllTheRooms’ unique data, we’ve arranged a seasonal breakdown of the busiest and best times to visit Vancouver.
Best to Explore Nearby Surroundings (Winter)
Temperatures in Vancouver during the winter can drop well within the freezing range. While in many cities this might keep people away, because of Vancouver’s proximity to Whistler (regarded as one of the best mountains in the world for winter sports), plenty of travelers still pass through to check out some of the Best Ski Resorts in Canada. Whistler and the surrounding mountains towns are not an easy commute, so many of the resorts of the mountain account for much of Vancouver’s occupancy. However, Airbnb occupancy rates spike right around the Christmas holiday and New Years, increasing from an average of 32% up to 45%.
Best for Getting Back Outdoors (Spring)
According to AllTheRooms data, from 2015 to 2018, spring has consistently performed as the second most popular season for Airbnb rentals in Vancouver. As downtown Vancouver thaws out from the winter, many people flock to the city’s attractive waterfront, which is lined with parks and its famous glass architecture. Wildlife fanatics return to the city in March, this being the beginning of whale watching season, as orca, humpback, and gray whales are common guests to the surrounding inlets and archipelagos of Vancouver. However, occupancy numbers in March do not experience much of an uptick until the final week of the month when rates finally reach over 35%.
Best to Experience City Culture (Summer)
Summer is absolutely the peak season for Vancouver Airbnbs. In fact, in the last three years, the top 81 days — in terms of Airbnb rental occupancy — have fallen within the time between the end of May and the first week of September. The reason the streak ended at 81 is because September 17, 2016, saw rapper Drake (aka The 6 God) host a concert, bringing in hoards of fans in need of a place to crash. The most consistent high-ranking week across the three-year data set occurs at the end of July. During this period, Vancouver’s Beloved Celebration of Light occurs. The Celebration of Light is a weeklong event, which culminates in a musical fireworks competition where teams battle in an attempt to have the most dazzling display of pyrotechnics. The event is truly an unforgettable experience as fireworks burst in sync with music and reflect off the ocean to illuminate the night sky. The busiest day for Airbnb traffic occurred on August 12, 2017 when 61% of Airbnbs were occupied. While there were special events (a tennis tournament, a giant slip-n-slide installation, and half marathon) this high mark is fairly consistent with August numbers, as people are more willing to travel and embrace the nice weather.
Best for Beating the Crowds (Fall)
Fall is generally known as the “shoulder season”, which means it’s the part of the year between peak and low season. However, because of the popularity of Vancouver’s winter appeals, autumn is actually the least-busiest season of the year for British Columbia’s biggest city. This is particularly true in the months of October and November. In fact, in the last three years, the slowest period occurred from October 29th – 31st when less than 5% of all the Airbnbs in the city were rented. Fall can still be an exciting time of the year to visit too — strolls around Stanley Park only require a light sweater and the NHL season is kicking off so Canuck passion will be at an all-time high.
If you’re planning to explore beyond Vancouver, have a look at Airbnb Canada: The 8 Best Places to Stay.