Vancouver is known for its stunning natural landscapes, but many may not realize that this Canadian destination is also known for breathtaking beachscapes. From the dog-friendly sands of Kitsilano Beach to the vast seawall lining English Bay, there are plenty of chances for fun in the sun in Vancouver.
Explore the beaches of Vancouver.
Check out this rundown of some of the best beaches in Vancouver:
Those lucky enough to score a room at the Sunset Inn will delight in the fact that Sunset Beach is a short walk from the property. Sunset Beach gets its moniker from the fact that it is THE best spot in town to watch the sun makes its slow and dramatic descent into the horizon.
If you are heading to Sunset Beach to watch the sunset, especially during the summertime, make sure to get there early enough to stake out a good spot. Because of its natural beauty, amenities and views, the best spots get taken quickly.
Sunset Beach is nearby downtown, which makes it the ideal spot for those that want a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is also a jumping-off point for excursions to Granville Island or traversing False Creek. As Vancouver is the quintessential outdoor city, outdoor exercise enthusiasts tend to run along the waterfront walkway that parallels Sunset Beach.
Of the various beach offerings in Vancouver, Wreck Beach is one of the most unique options available. One of the reasons is its proximity to the University of British Columbia. It is tucked away at the bottom of a cliff. However, what is most interesting about Wreck Beach is that it is a clothing-optional spot. This means that during a visit, you are likely to encounter a mix of beachgoers that are wearing traditional swimwear, skimpier options or nothing at all. Yet, the vibe is a communal one and everyone goes out of their way to be respectful to one another.
As you can imagine, this attracts a colorful, diverse crowd that makes a day here a real blast. There are artists wandering around peddling their wares, groups sitting around in deep discussion or listening to music.
One of the most interesting things about Third Beach is that it represents the spot where green, lush nature meets sandy beachscapes. It is so deeply ensconced in its nature-filled setting that it is easy to overlook the fact that you are actually in Vancouver proper. It is hidden behind the tree line, so the views are actually different than those at some of the other local beaches.
Third Beach is popular with the locals because it in a more secluded area, and tourists typically flock to the more well-known, popular hotspots. There are still plenty of amenities to enjoy.
English Bay Beach
English Bay Beach also borders the ocean and the downtown area of Vancouver. It is commonly populated by downtown workers looking for a scenic location to eat lunch or unwind as well as those using the Stanley Park Seawall to get a walk in. As such, there are plenty of opportunities to people watch and see Vancouver’s cutest pooches on their daily strolls.
English Bay Beach is popular with tourists and locals alike, so during the summer months, it’s best to get there as early as possible if you want to score a sweet spot.
This is one of the best-known beaches in Vancouver, in part because of its proximity to the downtown area and in part because there is always something to do here. In fact, this beach is a constant hive of activity because of the myriad amenities offered here.
There is an outdoor saltwater pool and an expansive beach volleyball area. Tennis and basketball are also activity options at the place the locals refer to as “Kits Beach.” There is no shortage of ways to pass the time outside of frolicking in the waves.
There are also tons of local restaurants and shops situated nearby, which means that it is also a good place to take a break from exploring the unique communities of Vancouver.
Second Beach is Vancouver’s family spot, situated nearby Burrard Inlet. Among the reasons that it attracts families is because of the outdoor pool found here as well as the two slides that just beckon water fun. This play area is open from the late spring months to the start of fall. There are also two playgrounds on-site.
Due to its proximity to Stanley Park, Second Beach also does summer movies, complete with a huge projection screen situated right on the beach.
Spanish Banks Beach
Spanish Banks Beach is one of the more quiet beach options in the area. It offers beautiful waterfront vistas on one side and sweeping views of downtown on the other. It is also situated on the Seawall. However, since it is on the quieter end of the beachfront property in the city, Spanish Banks is a good spot to watch the sunset in relative peace.
There are a few quiet beaches in Vancouver, but this small and hidden stretch of sand has actually been designated as a quiet zone. This means that beachgoers cannot bring along anything that amplifies sound, such as a radio or wireless speaker.
As such, Locarno Beach is not as high-profile as some of the other inclusions. However, despite its smaller size, there is still enough room for beachgoers to have a picnic, play classic beach games or enjoy a dip in the salty waters.
Vancouver is known for a number of activities, but hanging out at the beach is one of the most popular pastimes in the summer months especially. If you’re enjoying a lengthy stay at the Sunset Inn, there are plenty of options from which to choose.