National Geographic ranks Vancouver in World’s Top 10 Beach Cities

We knew it all along, but now it’s official:  Vancouver has some of the best city beaches in the world, according to a recent top 10 list compiled by National Geographic.

Here’s what the experts at NatGeo have to say: “Canada’s most adventurous metropolis is home to ten beaches, from the family-centric Jericho to the clothing-optional Wreck Beach, many of which offer commanding views of the Vancouver skyline and majestic North Shore Mountains. Sporty types prefer Kitsilano or “Kits,” a six-minute drive from downtown, for its free tennis and basketball courts, and its super-size heated saltwater pool.”

Vancouver ranked as the world’s 10th best beach city in the report, behind Barcelona, Cape Town, Honolulu, Nice and several other sandy capitals – Not bad company to keep!

Interestingly, the report mentions a few great beaches in Vancouver but also leaves off a lot of local favourites.  There’s Third Beach in Stanley Park, for instance, a secluded beach – backed by towering trees and inaccessible by road – right in the heart of a metropolis of more than two million people.  The white sands of Third Beach offer a great refuge for families and nature lovers looking for an easy escape from the bustle of the city.

And what about Spanish Banks?  When the tide is out, the sight of sand flats stretching into the distance – with the city and Coast Mountains behind and maybe a few freighters waiting to enter Burrard Inlet – is just unforgettable.    Spanish Banks is only about 15 minutes by car from downtown, but it feels much, much more remote.  Plus, there’s plenty of sand for beach volleyball and grass for summer picnics.

Then there’s English Bay, what may be Vancouver’s most “urban beach.”  This broad crescent of sand sits literally in the shadow of the highrises and office towers of the city’s West End.  It’s popular among all demographics – from families spending the day with young children to office workers catching a few rays on their lunch hours.

So what do you think about National Geographic’s ranking?  Does Vancouver deserve to be a little higher on the list than 10th place?  What’s your favourite beach in the city?  Please leave a comment below and join the discussion.

Remy Scalza

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