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The Ultimate Guide to Vancouver’s Beaches

Tips August 22, 2017

Vancouver’s beaches.

After months of endless rain, the people of Vancouver want nothing more than to lay in the sun and soak up their dose of Vitamin D. For approximately 2.5 months of the summer, this is exactly what we get to do. As a part of Canada’s westernmost province, the area here is blessed with temperate weather that is consistent. Although it is not always exceptionally hot, we are blessed with summers that make going to the beach a fantastic way to spend a day.

Whether you are into adventure or prefer to stay at home with a good book, the Vancouver beaches have something to offer you. Kayaking, surfing, sailing, fishing, just sitting and talking – all of these options are available to you (in quite a large variety too!).

However, when it comes to choosing which beach to visit for the day, it can get confusing. There are so many options, and so many incredible places to visit. How can you possibly choose?

By far the most popular beach (and it features a pool!), KItsilano beach has everything you could need from restaurants to tennis courts. Neighbouring Jericho beach has incredible amenities as well, and can often be less crowded. Both are good for a romantic stroll, and Kits beach is especially good for an impromptu game of frisbee or volleyball. Looking to have a barbecue? These areas are especially good for that activity as well. Kitsilano beach parking can be quite crowded, so I recommend taking public transit to have your adventure.

Not feeling the crowded and popular area around Kits beach?

Head on down to English Bay or Spanish Banks. There are less people there, and more opportunity for alone time and becoming aligned with nature.

Second and third beaches are a quick jaunt into Stanley Park, covering a massive amount of land. These beaches are a popular place for barbecues and sunset watching. Second beach also features a pool quite similar to the one at Kits. Try bringing a picnic basket down to one of these two beaches as you watch the sun set. It is the perfect setting for romance. As a bonus to this activity, the later in the day it gets, the less crowded the beaches.


English Bay beach features the Honda Celebration of Lights each year. Three contestants from three countries compete with the best music and fireworks compilation according to a set of international standards. The celebration of lights itself is a fantastic show, a variety of wild fireworks set to music, each telling a story. If you visit English Bay at the end of July, you may be lucky enough to see some examples of the delightful firework show.

No list of Vancouver beaches would be complete without mentioning Wreck Beach. Wreck is Canada’s first official ‘clothing-optional’ beach – a completely legal endeavour allowing beach-goers to bare it all as they spend their day on the sand. Wreck is a beach full of enthusiasts and holds a very special place in the local population’s heart.

What about your pets?

This is a good question as dogs are not allowed on most beaches. There are a few “dog friendly” areas around the city. There is a dog off leash area at Spanish Banks, and another near English Bay. These areas allow your furry friends to frolic in the tides while not disturbing the experience of passerbys. The majority of the other beaches do not allow dogs at all.

While some of the beaches are equipped with lifeguards, not all of the aforementioned beaches have an individual lifeguarding them 24/7. Knowing your own limits and the limits of those you are swimming with can really help assist lifeguards in case they ever need to intervene in an emergency.

There is a multitude of beaches in the Vancouver area. Whether you are looking to play sports, relax on the sand, or connect with those around you by having barbecues and picnics, there is a beach for you.