Hit the Beach in Vancouver

English Bay Beach in Vancouver

English Bay Beach. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring

Perched at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is a beach city and you’ll find tons of ways to relax and rejuvenate on the water. #thisisvancouver

 

Choose From 20 Different Beaches

Vancouver has plenty of sandy shorelines on the ocean and nearby freshwater lakes. Popular options include English Bay, Kitsilano Beach, and Jericho Beach. But you can also explore off-the-beaten-path beaches like clothing-optional Wreck Beach, Crescent Beach in Surrey, or the warm(ish) waters of Sasamat Lake at White Pine Beach. Our list of Vancouver area beaches has something for everyone.

Groups of people at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver

Kitsilano beach in Vancouver. Photo: Destination BC/Grant Harder

 

Go for a Swim

In the summer, many Vancouver beaches have designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty, swimming rafts, and slides. English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach, and Kitsilano Beach all have great swimming areas. If you like to ease into the water, head to Spanish Banks – the extensive sand flats mean the water is rarely very deep. If you’d rather swim in a pool, Second Beach in Stanley Park and Kitsilano Beach both have oceanside swimming pools.

Swimming at Kits Pool in Vancouver

Swimming at Kits Pool. Photo: Destination BC/Grant Harder

 

Hike Next to the Ocean

Several of Vancouver’s most gorgeous hiking trails take you along rocky bluffs and to hidden coves. Head to Jug Island Beach or Admiralty Point in Belcarra Regional Park or the trails of Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver for ocean views and shoreline snack breaks.

Jug Island in Belcarra Park near Vancouver

The view of Jug Island from Jug Island Beach. Photo: Happiest Outdoors.ca

 

Go Paddling

Many of Vancouver’s beaches have kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals on-site. Use our guides to find the best places to go stand-up paddleboarding and ten places to go kayaking. Taking a lesson or tour is a great introduction to these sports or a way to up your skills.

Paddleboarder at Spanish Banks Beach in Vancouver

Paddleboarder at Spanish Banks Beach. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Hubert Kang

 

Fly a Kite

With the wind blowing in off the ocean, Vancouver’s beaches are a great place to fly a kite. Spanish Banks Beach and Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen are both great kite flying locations.

A kite flies against a blue sky with wispy clouds

Photo: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

 

Bring Your Pup

Several of Vancouver’s beaches are dog-friendly with off-leash zones that let your pup fetch sticks, dig in the sand or play in the waves. Your doggo will love Spanish Banks Beach, Hadden Park, and McDonald Beach Park. Find more dog beaches in our list of the best off-leash parks in Vancouver.

A man throws a stick for his dog at Hadden Park in Vancouver

Hadden Park Dog Beach. Photo: Destination BC/Grant Harder

 

Watch the Sunset

Many of Vancouver’s beaches face west, making them ideal places to watch the sun go down. Bring a picnic dinner or snuggle up with your sweetie, then watch the sun descend into the water, turning the sky red, pink, and purple. Find lots of beaches on our list of Vancouver’s best sunset spots.

Three friends enjoying a sunset at the beach in Vancouver

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Emily Cook

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