Vancouver’s Best Beaches

off the beaten path, Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Natasha John on June 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Vancouver is a city that is surrounded by water, so it’s not surprising that there are a number of beaches that locals throw their towels down onto. Depending on the type of atmosphere you’re looking for, you will find a place to fit the bill in Vancouver. Most of the city’s beaches tend to be on the West side of Vancouver, with a few on the skirts of the downtown core, around the English Bay area.

The most popular beach may be Kitsilano’s “Kits” Beach and that’s for a number of reasons. The location is incredibly accessible by bus, car and foot, so both locals and people that don’t live in the area can easily access this sandy spread. There’s a large amount of both grass and sand, so if you’re planning on packing a picnic and wanting to avoid those crunchy little morsels in your sandwich, the grass is a plenty, just watch out for flying footballs. This brings to the next point about why people come here, there’s ample room to chuck a football, throw a frisbee or kick a soccer ball, just watch out for your fellow non-sport-playing beach goers. If there was a “meat market”, this beach would be it. So, if you’re looking for something a little more low key, and less of a place where people go to flex their muscles, keep heading West. That being said, it’s definitely a family friendly beach and the heated pool is a major perk that brings people to the beach.

Further along, you’ve got Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach, both are a little more low key than Kits Beach and you’re more likely to find people relaxing against the large logs, or playing beach volleyball. During the day, it can get quite busy, but stick around into the evening and stay for the sunset because it’s really one of the best views of downtown Vancouver, the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore mountains. There’s a concession stand with washroom facilities, and it’s never a far walk to take advantage when opportunity strikes. These beach are a little less easy to get to on public transportation, but if you’re driving there’s ample parking. Riding your bicycle is another easy way to scoot around from beach to beach and if you’re just visiting, there are plenty of places that you can rent a bike from that will also include a bike lock for you.

While you’re on this side of the bridge you’re also pretty close to the nudists of Vancouver’s favorite spot, Wreck Beach. It’s a bit of a trek to get down, so if you are unable to climb a lot of stairs, I wouldn’t recommend that you choose this location. Once your way down the flights of stairs, through some lovely forest, you’re greeted by free spirited sun worshipers that will certainly avoid any tan lines. It’s definitely a secluded beach where all ages are welcome, but I’d issue a tip to stay out of the long grass…

Back downtown, you have a number of options to choose from as well and one of the more popular destinations is English Bay, located at the base of Davie and Denman. Again, there are some grassy patches, a number of logs to claim on the sandy shore and the best part of all is that you’re close to many shops, restaurants and cafes. Sunset Beach is English Bay’s neighbor and it’s definitely a lot less busy, but quite a bit smaller than the other beaches around Vancouver.

Though Vancouver’s summer is taking a little longer to make its grand entrance, the second the sun hits, all of these beaches will be filled with eager, sun-loving, beaching bodies. Pack the sun screen and bring lots of water!

Tags: beaches, best beaches, Jericho, Kits Beach, Spanish Banks, Vancouver, Wreck Beach