The Right to Bare Arms (and Legs): Beach season in Vancouver approaches

Fabulous for skiing, Vancouver’s long, wet winters don’t make for especially great tanning.  So when the sun finally starts peeking out and temperatures begin to rise in late spring, Vancouverites flock to the city’s beaches.

Surrounded by the waters of the Pacific, Vancouver has no shortage of sandy white strands to soak up the rays.  In fact, with more than a dozen options to choose from, there’s a beach to suit every personality.  Here are a few of the local favorites to check out:

  • Kitsilano Beach:  Kits, as it’s known locally, may well be Vancouver’s trendiest stretch of sand.  Located in the upscale Kitsilano neighborhood, the long, white-sand beach is thronged with the young and beautiful during the summer months.  Kits also features a saltwater swimming pool and plenty of beach volleyball courts.
  • Third Beach in Stanley Park:  Nestled within 1,000-acre Stanley Park, Third Beach is a rustic oasis in the midst of a bustling city.  It’s accessible only by foot or bicycle and is literally surrounded by cliffs and old growth forest.  The water is calm and the vibe is relaxed.

  • Wreck Beach:  Canada’s first and largest clothing optional beach, Wreck is located outside the city near the campus of the University of British Columbia.  A long set of wooden stairs descends through thick forest to the beach, affording plenty of privacy and seclusion.  Food and drink vendors and enthusiastic regulars lend a party atmosphere, but there are tranquil spots as well.
  • English Bay:  Vancouver’s most urban beach, English Bay is located in the West End, right at the edge of the Davie Street neighborhood.  The beach is wide, with plenty of space for lounging and people watching.  Ample amenities – restaurants, bars and shops – are just a short walk away.
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