10 Places Near Vancouver to Picnic in Nature

A group having a picnic at Third Beach in Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC

Sunset picnic at Third Beach in Stanley Park. Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver / Hubert Kang

On hot summer days, there’s nothing better than a picnic. In a city like Vancouver surrounded by mountains and ocean, you can go beyond neighbourhood parks and enjoy your picnic in nature. So pack your blankets and picnic baskets, then head out to one of these 10 great picnic destinations near Vancouver.

Belcarra Regional Park

The picnic area at Belcarra Regional Park is pretty spectacular: A grassy field overlooks Burrard Inlet with views across the water to Deep Cove. If you want to explore the ocean, there’s a small sandy beach, plus a long dock for fishing. You can also combine your picnic with a short hike through the lush rainforest to Jug Island Beach or Admiralty Point.

 

Central Park in Burnaby

Burnaby’s Central Park is an oasis of green in the middle of the bustling city. Most of the 86.4-hectare urban park is thickly forested with tall douglas fir, cedar and western hemlock trees. Grassy clearings near the Upper and Lower Ponds make a great spot for a picnic.

Lower Pond at Central Park in Burnaby, BC

Lower Pond in Central Park. Photo credit: Mike on Flickr. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver

If you like to combine photography with picnicking, head to Whytecliff Park. It’s one of the most picturesque places around. Spread your picnic blanket on the beach, on a rocky headland or on the grass near the playground. At low tide, scramble across the rocks to explore tiny Whyte Islet just offshore.

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver

Whytecliff Park. Photo via westvancouver.ca

 

Snug Cove on Bowen Island

Take a scenic trip to Bowen Island on the ferry for a picnic at Snug Cove in Crippen Regional Park. Enjoy your lunch on the lawn while watching boats in the harbour. After you’ve eaten, explore the village shops or take a short hike to nearby Dorman Point.

Snug Cove on Bowen Island

Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Photo credit: Christopher Smith on Flickr. Used under CC BY-ND 2.0

 

Quarry Lookout in Cypress Provincial Park

Part way up the access road to Cypress Provincial Park is Quarry Lookout, a hidden picnic area with great views of the whole Vancouver area. Grab a spot at one of the picnic tables then work up an appetite while throwing a frisbee on the grass. 

 

Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby

Have your picnic on the shores of Burrard Inlet in Burnaby’s Barnet Marine Park. There’s a sandy beach for swimming and lots of shaded grassy areas to spread out your blanket. With views of forest and ocean in every direction, you’ll almost forget you’re in the city.

Kayakers at Barnet Marine Park near Vancouver, BC

The view from Barnet Marine Park. Photo credit: Anne Badjura Photography on the Inside Vancouver Flickr pool

 

Cates Park/Whey-Ah-Wichen in North Vancouver

The Tsleil-Waututh First Nation name for Cates Park in North Vancouver is Whey-Ah-Wichen, which means “faces the wind”. This large park has trails through the rainforest and a sandy swimming beach. There is also lots of First Nations art on display including several totem poles. If you want to learn more about First Nations culture, sign up for a canoe or kayak adventure with Takaya tours.

Cates Park in North Vancouver

Cates Park/Whey-Ah-Wichen Photo via VancouversNorthShore.ca

 

Buntzen Lake in Anmore

Originally known as Lake Beautiful, Buntzen Lake is surrounded by mountains, making it a gorgeous spot for a picnic. There’s a large grassy area adjacent to the swimming beach and plenty of picnic tables. Nearby hiking trails lead you around the lake or up to peaks. 

 

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver

If you’re up for a short hike, you’ll find plenty of picnic spots in Lighthouse Park. Walk out to one of the viewpoints, then spread out your picnic on the smooth granite rocks. There are also a few picnic tables near the main viewpoint near the lighthouse. Either way, you’ll enjoy towering forests and ocean views while you eat.

Point Atkinson Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park. Photo via Djordje Cicovic on the Inside Vancouver Flickr pool.

 

Stanley Park in Vancouver

No list of Vancouver’s picnic destinations would be complete without Stanley Park. There are countless spots for a picnic in the 400-hectare showpiece park. Picnic with sand between your toes at Third Beach, take in the ocean views at Brockton Point or spread out on the grass at Lumberman’s Arch.

Third Beach in Stanley Park. Photo via Mioz on the Inside Vancouver Flickr pool

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