Quick Guide to the Vancouver Seawall

Vancouver seawall

Vancouver’s waterfront ranks among its greatest charms.  Skyscrapers and sandy beaches, old growth forests and posh restaurants all line the long, winding coast.   And threading its way along the whole glorious shoreline is one of the city’s most loved and unique attractions: the Seawall.

A paved, oceanfront promenade for pedestrians, rollerbladers and cyclists, the Seawall extends for an impressive 14 miles, all the way from the ritzy condo towers of downtown’s Coal Harbour to the trendy sands of Kitsilano Beach.  For visitors, it represents one of the best ways to get to know the city and its distinct neighborhoods (and renting a bike makes it easy to cruise the entire Seawall in one day).  Here’s a quick guide to some of the Seawall’s different sections:

  • The Coal Harbour Seawall:  This 1.4-mile section in the heart of downtown takes visitors past oceanfront restaurants and marinas, alongside manicured waterfront parks and past the gleaming new Convention Centre and iconic Canada Place with its white sails.

Coal Harbour Seawall

  • The Stanley Park Seawall:  Probably the best known section, the 5.5-mile Stanley Park Seawall rims almost the entire 1,000-acre park.  It winds past forests and beaches and offers great views of the downtown skyline, the snow-capped North Shore mountains, the Lions Gate Bridge and English Bay.
  • The False Creek Seawall:  This 6.7-mile section threads deep into downtown’s scenic False Creek inlet.  It passes by new highrise towers and urban parks in Yaletown, skirts Science World’s glittering geodesic dome and continues on to the city’s newest neighborhood, Olympic Village, and picturesque Granville Island.  Further on, a gravel path leads through waterfront Vanier Park and dead-ends at trendy Kitsilano Beach.

New False Creek Seawall

Any fans of the seawall out there?  What’s your favourite section?

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3 Responses to Quick Guide to the Vancouver Seawall

  1. Did the Stanley Park Seawall, took twice as long as I expected because I stopped so often to experience the place. Best thing to do in Vancouver!

  2. I like the area between 2nd beach and 3rd beach. Also when it’s stormy out and the waves are crashing against the seawall, the benches near Siwash Rock are awesome to sit and watch them crash.

    What people need to pay attention to is that if you’re cycling around the Stanley Park portion of the Seawall, you have to ride Counter-Clockwise!

  3. Am I a fan? Oh, yes. The last time I moved, one of my only requirements was that the new place had to be very near the seawall.

    Not only is walking, biking or running along the seawall an amazing experience but, also, it’s incredibly convenient. There are often shorter routes but the lack of stop lights and access to just about everywhere downtown is often unbeatable when travelling by bicycle.

    My favourite sections are definitely the newer (newly renovated?) spots by Olympic Village and the Convention Centre. Lots of room for everybody and wonderful amenities like comfy, clean benches and even water fountains (though those never seem to work)