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Best Beaches to Visit in Vancouver

Going to the beach has become an essential summer outing for locals and visitors alike. Vancouverites are lucky enough to have plenty of options!

Here are the beaches we like to recommend:

Kitsilano Beach

A game of volleyball at Kits beach from flickr creative commons shot by GoToVan https://flic.kr/p/LTP8UF

Kitsilano Beach, or Kits Beach for short, is one of the most beautiful and lively beaches in our city. There are so many activities you can do at Kits beach from standup paddleboarding to beach volleyball, to shooting hoops at the basketball courts, or even join in one of the many spontaneous outdoor Yoga sessions right on the sand. You can also find a playground and nearby restaurants with incredible views. The beach is on the north end of the Kitsilano neighborhood, looking out on the Burrard Inlet. The outdoor saltwater Kitsilano Pool right by the beach (longest pool in the country) is a great option for long distance laps. There’s a reason this is a Vancouver favourite!

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

This is one of the best spots to spend an entire day. Lounge in the sun, enjoy the many facilities, grab a bite when you need to and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets the city has to offer.

Kitsilano beach pool from flickr shot by Marcio™ https://flic.kr/p/ohN7F5

How to get here from downtown:

Take the #22 MacDonald bus from downtown on Burrard and Georgia near the Burrard station and hop off along Cornwall.

 

Jericho

The grassy picnic-perfect area of Jericho Beach from flickr by Bruno Adamo https://flic.kr/p/a3dVQX

Jericho is handsdown the best beach for a picnic or barbeque. The beach is on the North edge of Jericho Park, with many picnic tables, shelters and barbeque pits. For some fun water activities, you can visit the Jericho Sailing Center to take standup paddleboard, kayak, rowing or wind surfing lessons.

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

Jericho is a perfect location for kite flying. This beach has a great open area, grassy fields extending towards the sandy beach and a gentle breeze that is great for kite flying.

How to get here from downtown:

Board the #4 bus towards UBC anywhere along Granville. Get off at the stop near the beach park (Westbound W 4 Ave. at 4000 block).

 

Spanish Banks

Flat boarding during low tide at Spanish banks by Travis Nep Smith from flickr https://flic.kr/p/2SVJz

This sandy beach is known for the long stretch of very shallow water great for stroll on a hot day. During low tide, the water is one kilometer from the shore. You can bring your barbeque to the beach and parking is free. It also has a dog off-leash area, volleyball courts and public washrooms. Spanish Banks are a series of beaches located along the shores of Marine Drive in the West Point Grey neighbourhood.  

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

This stretch is perfect for those of you who are driving. You can pull right up to the spots by this long stretch of beach. The water is shallow enough when the tide comes in so this beach is perfect for swimming, skimboarding and Frisbee in the water.

How to get here from downtown:

Board the #4 bus towards UBC anywhere along Granville. Get off at 4 Ave and Tolmie St and walk for 10 minutes towards the water.

 

Sunset Beach

Sunset at Sunset Beach by Colin Knowles from flickr https://flic.kr/p/buykmA

This sandy beach offers incredible views. A stroll along the seawall will make you believe you were transported to a tropical location with gorgeous palm trees. Furthermore, you can benefit from the concession stand and pay parking onsite.

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

It’s called Sunset Beach for a reason. Stretch out a mat, bring some music and enjoy a nice relaxing evening with friends and family

How to get here from downtown:

Sunset Beach is located on Beach Avenue between Bute and Thurlow rIght by the Vancouver Aquatic Center. Take the #23 bus on Expo Blvd, get off at Beach and Bute.

 

English Bay

A-maze-ing Laughter at English Bay Beach by Bernard Spragg. NZ from flickr https://flic.kr/p/di4m9X

It’s all about the convenience. Located along Beach Avenue close to the Davie and Denman intersection, English Bay, also known as the First beach, is right next to the downtown core. There are many popular restaurants nearby and one of them has a patio right on the beach. Amenities include a concession stand, kayak rental and storage, a beach wheelchair and two sand volleyball courts. English Bay is connected to the Second and Third Beach via the Stanley Park Seawall.

Waiting for fireworks at English Bay Beach by Robert W. White on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6KUHDB

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

This stretch is perfect for those of you who are looking for a beach day right after shopping or eating downtown. It is also a major tourist destination, home to both the A-maze-ing Laughter statues and the English Bay Inukshuk.

How to get here from downtown:

Take the #23 bus towards beach (closest stop to the hotel is five minutes away on Expo Boulevard and Abbott) or #5 bus towards Denman and Davie.

 

Second Beach

Photo of Second Beach Pool by Karin Lewis (Bookatz) on flickr https://flic.kr/p/6woyyt

Second beach is located in Stanley Park and adjacent to an outdoor heated public pool. There are lifeguards on duty from late May till early September. The beach area offers the convenience of a concession stand and playground so you can easily spend an entire day here in the summer.

Photo of Second Beach Pool by Kaveh on flickr https://flic.kr/p/6VLx6

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

This beach is a family-friendly area on Stanley Park's western side. Already equipped with a playground, Second Beach also offers an ice-cream-serving concession and is close to the Stanley Park Pitch & Putt course.

How to get here from downtown:

Take the #23 bus on Expo Boulevard and get off at Stanley Park (Morton Ave FS Beach Ave), Walk along Beach Ave. in Stanley Park past the Pitch & Putt and you’re there!

 

Third Beach

Photo of drum circle during sunset at Third Beach by Kyle Pearce on flickr https://flic.kr/p/PaqqVC

Also located in Stanley Park right on the seawall, Third Beach offers a great view facing the open water and is perfectly ideal for watching sunsets. It is surrounded by trees and feels like an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Barbecues are allowed and amenities include concession stand, lifeguards and public washrooms for your convenience and comfort.

Staff tips from YWCA Hotel:

Third Beach transforms into a musical oasis in the city on Tuesday nights in the summer if the weather’s nice. The Tuesday night bongo drums meet every week on sunny Tuesdays and jam away freestyle until the sun sets. Bring your dancing flip flops.

How to get here from downtown:

Take the #23 bus on Expo Boulevard and get off at Stanley Park (Morton Ave FS Beach Ave), Walk along Beach Ave. in Stanley Park past Second Beach and the Tea House in Stanley Park and you’re there! Alternative, we suggest biking the seawall (most popular method).



Here's a map of the locations we featured.