With its enviable ocean-front location, Vancouver delivers a whole lot of beach bliss–18 km, or 11 miles, to be exact.
With so much choice, how do you know which sandpit is right for you?
Here’s where to head when you’re looking for:
- A pick-up game of Ultimate or beach volleyball: Kits Beach, in Kitsilano
- A place to run Rover: in posted areas at Spanish Banks near the University of British Columbia; Sunset Beach in the West End; Kits Point; and Ambleside Park in West Vancouver
- A place to run the kids: the playground near Third Beach and the water park at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park
- Buffed and bronzed beauties of all ages and persuasions: Kits Beach, or English Bay Beach in the West End
- A long romantic stroll: Jericho Beach, in Point Grey
- Skim-boarding: Spanish Banks, near UBC
- A day-time family picnic: Third Beach, in Stanley Park
- An evening family picnic: Jericho Beach
- A heated outdoor pool: Kits Pool near the beach in Kitsilano, and Second Beach in Stanley Park
- Privacy: Spanish Banks, near UBC
- A quiet beach (no amplified music): Locarno Beach, Sunset Beach, and Spanish Banks West
- An all-over tan: Wreck Beach, at the edge of Spanish Banks near UBC
>>To locate Vancouver beaches, see the Vancouver Parks Board’s map.
There are a number of food concessions at Vancouver beaches, although only a few are open year-round and even then they close in bad weather.
Lifeguards are present on Vancouver beaches from Victoria Day (May) to Labour Day (September), though swimming in the ocean is only for the brave-hearted except during the warmest weeks of high summer.
A few important rules to remember on Vancouver beaches: no off-leash dogs (except in marked areas); no alcohol (officially, but discretion is your best friend); no smoking (yes, really); no fires (bbqs allowed in appropriate containers); no ball-playing except in designated areas; and no blow-up swim assists in the water.
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