Simply a city like no other, Vancouver effortlessly combines the excitement and energy of a modern city with the invigorating appeal of the great outdoors. From spring’s abundance of cherry blossoms and summer’s sparkling waterfront days, through to the city’s fall cultural festivals and the snowy winter wonderland on the mountain peaks, Vancouver offers its visitors year-round adventures in this laidback urban metropolis right on the edge of a spectacular natural landscape. Explore diverse neighbourhoods, decadent dining, outdoor pursuits and multicultural attractions - in Vancouver, you won’t have to choose between city and nature.
Which way to the beach? Well, in Vancouver you can find one everywhere you turn. Whether you're looking for a stretch of sand to spread out and relax on with a good book, an outdoor court to spike a volleyball, or a sandy catwalk to strut your stuff, Vancouver's got it. Some of the city’s best beaches are included below.
At Vancouver’s version of Venice Beach, buff and bronzed bodies make their rounds among the mix of joggers, stroller-pushing families, and everyday sun-worshippers. Grassy patches are perfect for tossing the disc, the tennis courts are always popular, and the beach attracts volleyball players from all over the city. The adjacent Kitsilano Pool offers the chance to swim laps in the city’s only outdoor, heated, salt-water pool, all with a wrap-around view of the city, ocean and mountains.
When all the elements are right, fishing and a picnic at the Jericho Beach pier makes for a perfect evening. Enjoy the long, sandy stretch with stunning views of the North Shore Mountains and the downtown core. It's also a great spot for sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking and beach volleyball.
The least crowded of Vancouver's beaches, this stretch of sand is named to commemorate its discovery by Spanish explorers in 1792. Located right by the University of British Columbia, it’s a wonderful retreat for those who wish to escape from the pace of city life. Skimmers alert: this is the perfect place for skim boarding once you learn the optimal tidal conditions.
West End Beaches
At the southern edge of the West End neighborhood, no more than a 30-minute walk from the downtown core, you’ll find two beautiful urban waterfronts - English Bay and Sunset Beach. A jumping off point for rollerblading adventures, strolling for ice cream, and picnics, and the place to lay down your blanket during the Celebration of Light international fireworks held at the end of July. Kids will love English Bay’s floating slide and parents will appreciate the full-time lifeguard.
Stanley Park Beaches
A quick stroll into Stanley Park from English Bay, Second Beach is also home to an immense, heated outdoor pool, complete with a slide for the kids. Further north along the seawall lies secluded Third Beach. Locals tote grills and coolers to this spot, a popular place for summer evening barbecues and sunset watching.