Vancouver’s best museums are those that specialize. The best is the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Not only is the art stunning but the archives are accessible and the building is one of the most striking buildings in the city. If you’re thinking of collecting First Nations art, you won’t find a better place to develop a trained eye. If you want to get a sense of Vancouver life in the 19th and early 20th century, visit the Roedde House. Unlike most house museums, this one is not cordoned off, so you can wander through the rooms and get genuine feel for the experience of living in the past.
Museum of Anthropology
6393 NW Marine Drive
On the UBC Campus
This fabulous museum houses the best collection of Northwest Coast First Peoples artifacts in the world. If you only have one day in Vancouver, this would be a great way to spend part of it. The Museum of Anthropology is located on the UBC Campus. There is bus service to the campus which is located at the western tip of Vancouver. You can also take a taxi or drive.
Roedde House Museum
1415 Barclay Street
The Roedde House Museum provides a glimplse into Vancouver family life circa 1890 to 1925. Its interiors have been carefully restored with period furnishings and family artifacts.The Roedde House Museum offers a unique experience to visitors as none of the rooms are cordonned off or behind glass, and some of the artifacts, including a period stereoscope, can be handled with care. You’re invited to step back in time and enjoy a visit to Vancouver’s first historic house museum.
Beaty Biodiversity Museum
2212 Main Mall at the University of BC
The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is Vancouver’s natural history museum located on the UBC campus. Among the treasures are a 26-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended in the Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium, the third-largest fish collection in the nation, and myriad fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants from around British Columbia and the world.
Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby St. atGeorgia
Housed in the old court house on the corner of West Georgia and Hornby, the Vancouver Art Gallery is not a gallery at all but the city’s art museum. The largest art gallery in western Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents national and international exhibitions of works from groundbreaking contemporary visionaries to historical masters. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of more than 200 major works by the British Columbia artist Emily Carr. It always has something interesting going on both inside and outside on the lawn and steps. And it’s got a great museum store.
Pacific Museum of the Earth
6339 Stores Road (Geological Sciences Centre)
On the UBC Campus
The only museum of its kind in BC, exhibits include an 80 million year old Lambeosaurus found in Alberta in 1913, spectacular rocks, minerals and fossils.
at Vanier Park
Canada’s largest civic museum is full of unique events, programs and exhibits. Check its website to see what’s going on while you’re in town. Located in Vanier Park, just across the Burrard Street Bridge from downtown, the Vancouver Museum is just next to the Pacific Space Centre and just across the way from the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
at Vanier Park
Features Pirates Cove, a self guided tour of the RCMP schooner St. Roch and many rotating exhibits. You can take the tiny False Creek Ferries to the Maritime Museum and from there to Granville Island. Don’t miss the Vancouver Museum and the Pacific Space Centre, also located in Vanier Park.