The Best Beaches in Vancouver

When you think of Vancouver, beaches may not immediately come to mind as something to do while you visit on your summer vacation. However, Vancouver is filled with many great beaches that offer stunning views, recreational sports, and plenty of relaxation.

While we definitely recommend checking out some of the other tourist attractions during your stay in Vancouver (see our previous post for things to do in Vancouver in the summer here), we gathered a list of great beaches for you to choose from if you’d like to enjoy a bit of relaxing during your trip!

List of Vancouver Beaches

Kitsilano Beach

Where it’s located: Kitsilano Beach is located on Vancouver’s western coast, south of downtown.

Amenities: Outdoor saltwater pool (Kit’s Pool – see note below), tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, grassy park, bathroom

Lifeguard on duty? Yes – Victoria Day through Labor Day

Description: More often referred to as Kit’s Beach, this beach offers something for everyone in your family to enjoy. It’s Canada’s version of Venice Beach with all of the sports offerings, but in my opinion it is much nicer and more family-friendly.

Note: The popular outdoor saltwater pool, Kit’s Pool, may not be open in summer 2022 due to a storm in January that caused extensive damage.

Additional information: If you happen to be visiting Vancouver in August, make sure you visit Kit’s Beach during Kit’s Festival, which celebrates outdoor activities with a weekend full of sports contests. Contests include volleyball, basketball, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, spinning, and HIIT bootcamps.

Wreck Beach

Where it’s located: Western Vancouver, about 15 minutes from downtown

Amenities/Activities: Volleyball, bocci ball, juggling, and beach croquet, volleyball and dicing, live music, body painting, beach casino

Lifeguard on duty? No

Description: Wreck Beach is known as the largest naturalist beach in North America. Please note that this is a nude beach so clothing is optional! Wreck Beach offers great sand and the chance to play many pick-up sporting contests.

Note: There are certain rules that visitors should comply with when visiting Wreck Beach. These include not taking photos without permission (of people), using headphones for your music, no staring at others, and no overt sexual activity. While families are welcome on Wreck Beach, please be aware that it is a nude beach!

Jericho Beach

Where it’s located: Located in the West Point Gray neighborhood of the western part of Vancouver, about a 15 minute drive from downtown

Amenities: Food and drink vendors, washrooms and changing rooms, picnic areas, showers, tennis courts, baseball diamond, ultimate field, and grassy fields for field hockey, rugby, ultimate frisbee, and soccer

Lifeguard on duty? Yes – Victoria Day through Labor Day

Description: Jericho Beach and park offers great views of the sparkling waters of the English Bay (you’re sure to see some sailboats and windsurfers on the west side of the beach here!) The east side of the beach is great for swimming. You can also play tennis or volleyball here, or opt for something a little more chill, like bird-watching or enjoying a picnic.

Additional Information: If you enjoy sailing, make sure to check out the Jericho Sailing Center! It’s located on the English Bay’s south shore and offers a variety of facilities and programs.

Sunset Beach

Where it’s located: Sunset Beach is linked to the West End, only a 30 minute walk from downtown! It’s located at the mouth of False Creek on Beach Avenue. And if you happen to be staying at Sunset Inn, it’s less than a five minute walk from the hotel!

Amenities: Concessions, washrooms, dog-off leash park, volleyball, walking near seawall, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre

Lifeguard on duty? Yes – Victoria Day through Labor Day

Description: Well known for its spectacular sunsets, Sunset Beach is a designated quiet beach that also offers volleyball, along with access to the seawall and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. You can also enjoy a linear walk from Sunset Beach to English Bay, which is a 2 km seawall walk filled with green space and accessible waterfronts. Sunset Beach is known to be a less populated than some of the others mentioned above.

Additional Information: Make sure to check out the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, located right next to Sunset Beach! The Vancouver Aquatic Centre is a 50m indoor pool that offers a diving board, diving tower, rope swing, slide, sauna, and whirlpool. 

Ambleside Beach

Where it’s located: Ambleside Beach is located in West Vancouver, about a 20 minute drive from downtown. If coming from downtown Vancouver, you’ll need to head north over the Lion’s Gate bridge to access!

Amenities: Washrooms, concessions (check out the Boat Shed!), skatepark, tennis courts, par 3 golf course, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball diamond

Lifeguard on duty? Yes, during the summer months

Description: Ambleside Beach and park is great for families, with plenty of activities to enjoy. We recommend checking out the Ambleside Par 3 golf course, an easy yet enjoyable walkable course. There’s also a skatepark and a long boardwalk on the ocean, with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby on Marine Drive. And perhaps the best part of Ambleside? It has an amazing view of Vancouver and the Lion’s Gate Bridge from across the water. Note: the Ambleside pier is currently closed due to damage sustained during a storm earlier this year. However, the pier at John Lawson Park is open.

We hope you enjoy your time in Vancouver, and get to relax at one of the amazing beaches here!