Vancouver has some lucky dogs. In what other city do canines have their own special beaches? And not just any beaches – beautiful strips of sand, prize waterfront real estate right in the heart of the city. White sand to dig in, clean water to swim in, big chunks of driftwood to gnaw on. It’s doggie heaven. In fact, sometimes I get a little jealous.
I’ve done a bit of homework, and – according to the Vancouver Park Board website – there are no fewer than seven designated dog beaches around Vancouver (not to mention all those secret spots for dog dipping). Options range from the wilds of Spanish Banks, way outside the city, to prime downtown waterfront at Sunset Beach, in the shadow of the Burrard Street Bridge.
But I have to confess, I’m not a dog owner. So I’m turning this one over to you:
What’s your mut’s favourite dog beach in Vancouver? And what makes it so special? Please share your knowledge by commenting below.
To make things easier, here’s a list of the seven official dog beaches that I found on the Park Board website, in alphabetical order:
CRAB Park at Portside: This unique park is right next to the industrial port downtown. It’s a great spot to watch the massive container ships load and unload. No people swimming, as far as I know, but apparently this is a good spot for dogs.
Fraser River Park: At the southern tip of the city, along Southwest Marine Drive, this park butts up against the Fraser River. Dogs have free reign on the west side of the park and can indulge in some river swimming.
Hadden Park: This park sandwiched between Vanier Park and Kitsilano Beach gets my vote for the most picturesque dog beach. The secluded crescent of sand, lined with logs, driftwood and rocks, has great views of downtown and English Bay.
Trout Lake Park: On the east side of the city, smack dab in the middle of urban sprawl, this park is a great little retreat for people and pets alike. The freshwater lake is closed to human swimmers, so dogs rule the water.
New Brighton Park: Way out by the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, this park is an unusual combination of green space, industrial facilities and great views of the Burrard Inlet. There are nice beaches and a generous swathe of off-leash area.
Spanish Banks West: At the far western end of Spanish Banks, past the last concession, you’ll find the dog beach. Terrain is alternately sandy and rocky and backed in parts by thick forest.
Sunset Beach Park: Prize for the most urban of Vancouver’s dog beaches may well go to this little patch of sand right under the Burrard Street Bridge. Here, downtown pups can plunge into False Creek and yap at passing Aquabuses.
Are there other dog beaches? Do you have a favourite? Please share your comments.