In Vancouver, going to the beach is not an activity that requires a lot of pre-planning. If anything, the hardest decision is which beach to pick, as there are so many with great qualities. From the corner of Robson and Granville, all the beaches listed here are accessible, either by walking or transit.
Just off Beach Avenue and next to the Aquatic Centre, Sunset Beach is a sandy expanse with access to the ‘little boats’ that ferry tourists and shoppers back and forth to Granville Island. Designated a quiet beach, it is a wonderful location to lay back against a huge weathered log and watch the sailboats slip under the Burrard and Granville bridges on their way to the False Creek marinas.
Image via yourvancouverrealestate.ca
A small beach compared to the others on this list, but the attraction of Trout Lake is that it is located in a quiet residential community surrounded by large green spaces dotted with families and friends playing sports or just chilling with a cold one. Evenings are for BBQing, skateboarding and off-leashing your dog from 5-10pm.
Image via @troutlakecc
Walk north from English Bay into Stanley Park and you will find ‘Second Beach’. It is renowned for the Siwash Rock, its large outdoor heated pool, playgrounds and traditional snack bars with greasy French fries, potato chips, frozen ice cream treats and amazing sunset views.
Image via @woxunwang
From Second Beach, keep following the Seawall until you come across the next strip of beach. A favourite location for secluded cuddling and grilling, Third Beach is rougher terrain but well worth the walk for the full nature immersion literally 20 minutes from downtown’s crowds.
Image via @third_beach_vancouver
Call it what you will, but Wreck Beach will always be more than a ‘clothing optional’ beach. There is a sense of community and visitors will find food, fun, art, dancing and lots of nudity. August 10th is the annual Bare Buns Run, so if you are interested in getting your ‘naked’ on in a big crowd, that is definitely the day to blend in and feel the wind behind your…
Image via @wreckbeach
For anyone who wishes to step away from the city, but still have cell phone reception and stay within walking distance to great restaurants, this urban beach is for you and your furry pet. With designated off-leash areas and long sandy beaches, it is perfect for that romantic evening romp.
Image via @lhmack62
Kits Beach on an average day is akin to an American coming-of-age movie with pretty young things playing volleyball, slathering on sunscreen and tanning, holding raucous BBQs and cruising the seawall in all the latest gear. When that gets tired, the crowd heads over to Cornwall Street and continues the party on the numerous outdoor patios with mas cervezas.
Image via @nutmegsxo
In the summer months, this log-lined sandy expanse is packed from morning to night with people who enjoy swimming in the ocean, suntanning, eating curbside snacks of popcorn and pretzels, having picnics with squirrels and Canadian Geese, and the occasional sighting of the infamous Spandy Andy and his boombox.
Image via @vanbeachco
Jericho lies between Kits Beach and Spanish Banks and is the chosen location for The Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s annual event. Concert goers enjoy the music, the festive atmosphere and the numerous pathways which are perfect for walking and cycling. Jericho is also a popular launching spot for those who enjoy water sports and there is always a bevy of colourful kayakers and paddle boarders cruising around.
Image via @chantiellemac
Buntzen Lake is tucked north of Anmore in Indian Arm Provincial Park. The beach is an active hydroelectric reservoir with a man-made recreational are and is actually accessible by transit on the C26 (1.5 hours). The beach area may be small and the water cold but that doesn’t stop people from swimming, paddling, and canoeing. There is a launch (no power boats allowed, though), hiking trails, and wildlife, including bears. If you choose to trek, keep your dog on leash and your snacks close.