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.

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10 Places Near Vancouver to Picnic in Nature

Where to Swim in a Lake Near Vancouver This Summer

Swimming at Lost Lake

Swimming at Lost Lake in Whistler. Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler / Andrew Strain

There’s nothing better than cooling off in a lake on a hot summer day. With lots of lakes near Vancouver, you have lots of freshwater swimming options. Here are some of the best swimming lakes near Vancouver, from the Sea to Sky region to the Fraser Valley.

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Where to Swim in a Lake Near Vancouver This Summer

Kids In Vancouver: 4 Lakes To Explore In The City

Rice Lake | Photo: Flickr

Rice Lake | Photo: Flickr

BC boasts a bounty of beautiful lakes, attracting tourists from around the world to swim, boat and enjoy a quiet lakeside getaway, but there are some lesser-known watering holes located right in the Metro Vancouver area that are equally as enchanting.

All less than an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, these 4 lakes are worth the short trek, even if some are not suitable for swimming. Stroll, bike, bird watch, picnic or play in one of these sweet little sanctuaries, without having to leave the comforts of the city.

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Kids In Vancouver: 4 Lakes To Explore In The City

Vancouver Hidden Gem: Buntzen Lake

(c) Remy Scalza

Natural wonders are in abundant supply in and around Vancouver.  We’ve got rugged beaches, wild mountains, canyons and rivers.  But one thing that can be hard to find is a good lake.  As lake-lovers know, the atmosphere at a lake is different than at the ocean – a bit more tranquil, a bit more intimate.   When you’re in the mood for a day at the lake, nothing else will really do.

Fortunately, there are several gorgeous lakes within reasonable proximity to downtown Vancouver.  My favorite is Buntzen Lake in the suburb of Port Moody, about 40 minutes east of downtown by car.  Nestled within the Coast Mountains, the 4.8-kilometer lake is used to generate hydroelectric power for the city of Vancouver.  And the entire area has been turned into one of the nicest parks in the Lower Mainland by BC Hydro, the provincial power company.

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Vancouver Hidden Gem: Buntzen Lake