Explore Vancouver’s Beaches This Summer

A woman walking on a log at Spanish Banks Beach in Vancouver

Spanish Banks Beach. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang

One of the best parts of summer in Vancouver is beach season. With stretches of sand downtown, on remote coastlines, and everything in between, there’s a beach for everyone.

 

English Bay Beach

With its location right downtown, English Bay Beach is one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches. It’s a great spot to lie in the sand and enjoy the sun. The lifeguard-patrolled swimming area has a swimming raft with a huge slide, which is popular with beachgoers of all ages. The beach is also accessible to those with mobility challenges thanks to a Mobi-Mat accessible beach pathway and rentable water wheelchairs. If you get hungry, there’s an on-site concession or you can wander down nearby Denman and Davie Streets to discover lots of restaurants and cafes. There’s also a branch of the Cactus Club Cafe overlooking the beach.

People on the beach at English Bay in Vancouver

English Bay beach; Destination Vancouver/Tanya GoehringThi

 

Second Beach

Find Second Beach near the Beach Avenue entrance to Stanley Park. This beach is great for families thanks to a designated swimming area with lifeguards, a nearby playground, and a grassy area for picnics. Kids will also love the heated outdoor Second Beach Pool, which has a sloped beach-style entry and a sea lion-shaped slide.

Second beach in Stanley Park in Vancouver seen from above.

Aerial view over Second Beach. Photo: Jon Ross Films

 

Third Beach

Third Beach is tucked away in Stanley Park and is surrounded by forest, so it feels like you’ve left the city. The best way to get there is by bike, via the scenic Stanley Park Seawall. The beach has lots of fine sand, a swimming area with lifeguards, and great views of Burrard Inlet. Expect crowds on Tuesday nights when the Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle meets for an everyone-is-welcome jam session as the sun goes down.

Family picnicking on the beach

Picnic on Third Beach in Stanley Park. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang

 

Kitsilano Beach

Known to locals as “Kits Beach”, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best places to play beach volleyball in Vancouver. It’s also the host location for the upcoming Vancouver Open Beach Volleyball Tournament from July 12 to 14. Kits Beach is also a great spot for a dip with a lifeguard-patrolled area that boasts a swimming raft. Or go for a swim in the saltwater Kitsilano Pool. At 137 metres long, it is the longest outdoor pool in North America. If you want to go kayaking or paddleboarding, Vancouver Water Adventures has a rental kiosk here. You can also enjoy great views of the beach from The Boathouse Restaurant.

People at Kits Beach in Vancouver

Kitsilano Beach. Photo: Destination BC/Grant Harder

 

Jericho, Locarno, and Spanish Banks Beaches

While they may have separate names, Jericho, Locarno, and Spanish Banks Beaches kind of blend into each other. Located in residential neighbourhoods on Vancouver’s west side, these beaches are connected with walking and biking paths. There are several designated swimming areas with lifeguards, beach volleyball courts, grass for picnics, and concession stands every few hundred metres. Spanish Banks is Vancouver’s shallowest beach: At low tide, you can walk nearby 1 kilometre offshore across the sand bars.

Paddleboarding near Spanish Banks in Vancouver

Paddleboarding at Jericho Beach. Image credit: Tourism Vancouver / Hubert Kang

 

Wreck Beach

If you’re looking for something a little different, head to Wreck Beach in Pacific Spirit Regional Park near UBC. The only way to reach this secluded beach is to hike down steep trails and stairs through the forest to the sand below. Many beach-goers take advantage of the seclusion by going au naturel – this is Vancouver’s only clothing-optional beach so expect nudity!

Wreck Beach

Photo: Wreck Beach Preservation Society

 

White Pine Beach

If you prefer freshwater to saltwater and want warm water, visit White Pine Beach in təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park east of Vancouver near Port Moody. Shallow Sasamat Lake has warm water and a sandy beach. If you want to go for a hike you can explore the easy trail around the lake. More challenging trails lead to nearby Buntzen Lake or Woodhaven Swamp. The easiest way to get there is via transit: Take the Skytrain to Moody Centre Station on the Evergreen Line then take bus 150 right to the beach.

White Pine Beach at Belcarra Regional Park

Photo: təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park

 

White Rock Beach

If you’re looking for beach town vibes, head to White Rock, a small city south of Vancouver. It has an eight-kilometre-long sandy beach and an oceanside promenade path. You can also go for a walk on the iconic pier, which is over 100 years old. Allow extra time to browse the shops and grab a bit to eat at the restaurants on Marine Drive behind the beach.

White Rock Beach and pier near Vancouve

The pier at White Rock Beach. Photo: Explore White Rock

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