20 Vancouver Area Beaches to Visit This Summer

Lifeguard at Third Beach in Vancouver

Lifeguard at Third Beach. Photo: Kate Milford

As the weather starts to warm up and summer approaches, it’s time to hit the beach. Vancouver has lots of sandy shores to choose from including lots on the Pacific Ocean and a few on freshwater lakes. Here’s our list of 20 Vancouver area beaches to visit this summer.

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20 Vancouver Area Beaches to Visit This Summer

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

10 Places to Go Kayaking Near Vancouver

Kayaking in False Creek, Vancouver, BC

Kayaking near Granville Island. Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver / Rishad Daroowala

Want to see Vancouver from a brand-new perspective? Get in a kayak to view the city from the water. It gets you closer to nature and gives you a bit of exercise too. Vancouver is a coastal city with lots of nearby lakes, so there are lots of places to go kayaking. Sign up for a tour or a lesson, or rent a kayak (and safety gear), then explore the water on your own.

Here are 10 beautiful places to go kayaking near Vancouver. They all have kayaks on site so can get on the water right away. 

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10 Places to Go Kayaking Near Vancouver

Whey-Ah-Whichen – Fall Kayaking at Cates Park

cates-park-discover-the-outdoors10

Indian Arm Photo: Rob Weiss

Although the dog days of summer are long behind us, I simply can’t bring myself to put away my paddling gear. Fortunately, Vancouver is not only a world class water sport destination, but our mild climate means any day is a great day to paddle. Granted cooler fall and winter temperatures mean it is extremely important to be safe and sensible, but with proper preparation and good judgement year round paddling is a treat that can be enjoyed by all boating enthusiasts. Recently, my paddling partner and I saw a break in the weather and planned an afternoon trip out of Cates Park in North Vancouver. Known as Whey-Ah-Whichen, the Tsleil-Waututh ancestral name for the land means “faces the wind.” This area is the largest waterfront park in North Vancouver and one of my favourite launch spots. During the summer, the sandy beaches are full of beachcombers in search of treasure and the playground and picnic areas are teaming with families. Cates Park is also home to Takaya Tours and the Cates Park Paddling Centre. Open May to October, Takaya Tours is a First Nation owned eco-tourism company and one of Vancouver’s premiere cultural tourism businesses offering an exciting and authentic interpretation of Coast Salish culture.

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Whey-Ah-Whichen – Fall Kayaking at Cates Park

Kids In Vancouver: 5 Perfect Spots To Snap Fall Photos Of Your Family

Falling Leaves | Photo: Sonika Arora 604 (Flickr)

Falling Leaves | Photo: Sonika Arora 604 (Flickr)

A family visit to Vancouver in the Fall isn’t complete without a colourful photo of your children tossing leaves into the air, grinning from ear to ear as they gaze at the floating foliage that falls to the ground in reds, oranges, greens and yellows. Fortunately, Vancouver is chock-full of photo-perfect spots to capture those special autumn moments. Here are just 5 of the best places to snap Fall photos of your family in and around Vancouver.

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Kids In Vancouver: 5 Perfect Spots To Snap Fall Photos Of Your Family

Where Local Families Love To Play Outside: 5 Can’t-Miss Spots on Vancouver’s North Shore

Cates Park | Dollarton

Photo: Bianca Bujan | Cates Park | Dollarton, North Vancouver

Offering a bountiful selection of beachside splash spots and arborous adventures, BC’s North Shore is the perfect destination for families looking to trek and tumble with tots in tow. From Deep Cove to Dundarave, the options for family outdoor adventure are endless. Unplug, and connect with your kids while exploring these 5 favourite North Shore spots, where locals love to play outside.

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Where Local Families Love To Play Outside: 5 Can’t-Miss Spots on Vancouver’s North Shore

48 Hours in Vancouver for Scenic Viewpoints

Photo credit: Lilian Sue

Photo credit: Lilian Sue

48 Hours in Vancouver is a weekly series appearing on the Inside Vancouver blog featuring photos and information on interest-based itineraries such as food/wine, arts & culture and luxury travel; helping visitors plan the best Vancouver trip possible based on what they love. Today’s feature focuses on scenic viewpoints that showcase the Vancouver travelers think they know-and a few that they don’t.

What You’ll Need to Go on a Scenic Exploration
• A vehicle (rented or your own)
• GPS/Map
• A good quality camera (Doesn’t necessarily have to be an SLR, but should have a good zoom function)
• A tripod (to make it easier for panoramic shots)
• A picnic lunch
• A swim suit
• Good quality hiking boots/walking shoes (You’ll be doing a lot of walking)

Day One

Mid-Morning to Early Afternoon 11am to 1 pm

View of False Creek from Charleson Park. Photo Credit: Vancouver Park Board

View of False Creek from Charleson Park. Photo Credit: Vancouver Park Board

11 am
Start your day off after breakfast in a Vancouver viewpoint not even many locals know about. Located on 999 Charleson Street and a mere 6 minutes from the downtown core is a hidden gem in the Charleson neighborhood. Charleson Park gives you amazing views of False Creek and Downtown Vancouver without having to deal with the crowds across the way at David Lam Park.

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48 Hours in Vancouver for Scenic Viewpoints