If you only have 3 full days in the Vancouver area, here are my recommendations based on our trip there to spend those 3 days soaking up as much nature as possible.
We went all out and bought the Ultimate Experience on Grouse Mountain, but there are 2 levels of admission below this price point if this is too much of a splurge. We weren't sure when/if we will get back here so I wanted to experience everything we could.
We decided to experience the Howe Sound on our own and rented a boat just for us. Luckily for us, my husband is familiar with driving our boat so this was an option for us. For the same cost of a 90-minute guided tour we were able to take a boat out for 4 hours and witness even more sights including harbor seals. The waters and mountains are just breathtaking.
So, if you are going to rent a boat on the Howe, you will need to go to Horseshoe Bay Park where you can also catch a ferry, play at a playground, eat a your choice of several venues and go shopping. If you are waiting to catch a ferry to a nearby island or waiting for your guided tour or for a boat to come back in to rent, you will find yourself enjoying all that Horseshoe Bay Park has to offer.
Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge is a fantastic find and is FREE! Hands down, this would be the one place I would recommend to anyone going to Vancouver to check out if they only had time for one place .
Another free find that we enjoyed was Whytecliff park, where we saw Harbor Seals while sitting on shore as well as pelicans. We had a lot of fun exploring on the logs and the rocks.