The coastal city of Vancouver, BC has many beautiful beaches that host hundreds of tourists and locals every summer.
We show you our top 3 beaches of VanCity!
Want the best beach to even out that tan?
Our best pick to even out your tan is Wreck Beach, in the University of British Columbia. You may have heard about Vancouver's only public nude beach, but it has much more to love than just the option of donning your birthday suit. Wreck Beach is enclosed by forest and the coastal waters of English Bay, giving it the feeling of a hidden beach paradise. Its only entrance by land is via Trail 6: a long descent of stairs, which you can enter just off Marine Drive near University Boulevard in UBC.
Image Source: Wikipedia
The fine beach sands are comfortable beneath your feet, and during the warmer summer days, the beach waters are the perfect temperature for a quick dip. As a nude beach, patrons are encouraged to go nude, but this is not a requirement. The only policy for the nude beach is to refrain from staring at or taking photos of others without permission. With the surrounding forest and beach waters lining the perimeter of the beach, Wreck Beach is a comfortable safe place to even out those pesky sock, sandal, sleeve, and swimsuit tan-lines.
Note of caution: besides a couple food stall vendors and jewelry/beach blanket vendors, there is no access to restaurants or stores on this beach. Make sure to be prepared with food, sunblock, and other necessary supplies before your trek down the stairs to the beach. Also of note: the only restrooms are porta-potties near the bottom of the stair entrance.
Want to hit up Vancouver's most popular and convenient beach?
Image Source: GoToVan (Flickr)
Our top pick for Vancouver's most happening beach goes to English Bay Beach. It has the most central downtown location, and has a Cactus Club restaurant directly on the beach front. Not only that, but there are a myriad of multicultural restaurants, cafes, and stores within walking distance from English Bay Beach. With many summer events around the beach, you can always count on this beach to be packed with people on any given hot summer day.
English Bay has large public washrooms, an outdoor shower to wash sand off your body, and public beach volleyball nets set up during the summer. The beach waters are also great for swimming on the hotter summer days. On top of that, the beach plays host to many events throughout the summer.
Photographer: Colin Knowles
One of the main events on English Bay Beach is the annual Honda Celebration of Light fireworks shows. Every year, 3 different countries put on 3 separate fireworks shows that span a whopping 30 minutes (starting at 10:00pm) on an offshore barge facing the English Bay beachfront. For this year (2017), Japan will be performing on July 29th, UK will show on August 2, and Canada will be putting on our show on August 5th. With an estimated annual attendance of 1.4 million people, expect the beach to be packed to the brim on each of these show days. Our recommendation is to make a beach day of the event by arriving in the early afternoon, claiming a prime viewing location with beach blankets, and enjoy a day at the beach that ends with the fireworks show at 10:00pm!
Note of caution: the streets near English Bay are typically closed off after the show, so if you are driving down, make sure to park a fair distance away. An alternative is to hit up a cafe or go for dessert after the show to wait for the crowds to pass.
Image Source: Vancouver Pride Society
Besides the annual fireworks spectacle, you will also be able to spectate the annual Vancouver Pride parade that passes by English Bay Beach and ends at Second Beach. This year, the parade is on Sunday August 6th, and starts at 12:00 noon on Robson Street.
Looking for a quieter beach away from the crowds downtown?
Image Source: Shuttershock
Kitsilano Beach is the perfect beach for a more low-key beach experience. Although it also gets quite busy on hot Summer days, it is generally a little less busy than the beaches downtown. There are also grassy areas surrounding the beach that are great for outdoor barbecues and picnics.
Image Source: Wikipedia
One of the perks of Kitsilano Beach is the Kitsilano Public Pool nearby. For those that prefer chlorinated temperature-regulated water for swimming, the outdoor public pool also has views of the Kits Beach waters. Public washrooms are available by the Kitsilano Park, Beach, and Public Pool.
Note of caution: Besides a small food vendor with hot dogs, snacks, and cold drinks, there are no restaraurants within walking distance, so be sure to bring all your food and supplies with you to the beach!