16 Beaches in Vancouver to Visit this Summer
One of the things I love most about living in Vancouver is being so close to the ocean. When it comes to enjoying the ocean, there are so many beautiful beaches in Vancouver to choose from. If you’re planning a summer trip, here are a variety of Vancouver beaches in various parts of town that you can visit.
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Getting There: FLIGHTS & BUSES
Getting There: AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Accommodation: HOTELS & HOSTELS
Things to Do: TOURS & ACTIVITIES
Getting Around: RENTAL CARS
Safety & Health: TRAVEL INSURANCE
Table of Contents
How to get around Vancouver
By skytrain & bus
Vancouver has a really good skytrain and bus system. You can view the skytrain map and times here. Also, if you use Google Maps and input your destination, then click the ‘bus’ icon it will tell you how to take the skytrain and/or buses to get to destination quite accurately.
If you’re hanging out near Science World, Sunset Beach, or Granville Island then you can also get around via False Creek Ferries or Aquabuses.
Also if you want to get from North Vancouver to Downtown Vancouver, you can take the SeaBus ferry from Lonsdale Quay to Waterfront Station.
By Uber, Lyft & taxi
Uber, Lyft, and taxis also service the Vancouver area. I’ve personally found that Lyft is usually the cheapest option.
By rental car
Vancouver has a great public transit system but if you’re planning to visit multiple cities or want to save time then you can search for rental cars here.
Beaches in Vancouver
Deep Cove is such a beautiful beach to visit. Washrooms are available on site and there are a variety of trails, a playground, boat docks, and swimming areas to enjoy. There are also kayak and paddleboard rentals as well as lessons and there are lots of cute cafes and shops to visit too. I’d highly recommend grabbing a donut from the famous Honey Doughnuts during your visit. Just be warned, there is usually a pretty large lineup.
Ambleside Beach in West Van is one of the largest beaches in Vancouver. There are lots of trails and grassy areas as well as sandy shores to enjoy. There is also access to a Seawall that goes all the way from Dundarave Beach to the Lions Gate Bridge.
Ambleside is home to a dog beach area where we often bring our pug, Mowgli, to. From the beachfront, you can get a view of the Lions Gate Bridge to the left and the West Vancouver skyline to the right. There is a playground, restaurant, public washrooms, and more on location too.
Dundarave is located to the north of Ambleside Beach. It’s much less dog-friendly, so if you have a furry friend to bring, go to Ambleside instead. Dundarave is a rocky beach with a small playground and access to a Seawall that connects to Ambleside. It’s a great walk if you want to get some steps in!
Second Beach is a large stretch of shoreline located on the southwest side of Stanley Park. There is also a large outdoor pool there as well as washroom facilities, concession, playground, and a nearby restaurant.
Third Beach is just a short walk away from Second Beach, located a little further up the Stanley Park seawall. It’s smaller than Second Beach and doesn’t have a pool, but it’s a great spot to relax. There are public washroom facilities and a concession as well.
English Bay is a lovely part of town as well as a popular beach area. There are two sand volleyball courts, public washrooms, concession, beach umbrella, and chair rentals as well as kayak rentals. There are also two available water wheelchairs plus other amenities. Not only that but English Bay Beach, sometimes referred to as First Beach, is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and other things to do. It’s also just a short walk from Stanley Park.
Trout Lake Beach
Trout Lake Beach is the only lakeside, as opposed to oceanside, beach on this list. Located in East Vancouver, Trout Lake is more than just a beach. There’s a community center, ice rink, little league baseball pitch, and even a farmer’s market. Concession and public washrooms are also located on-site.
Kitsilano Beach is often referred to as ‘Kits’ or ‘Kits Beach’ by locals. It has a large shoreline to sunbathe on. On sunny days you can see the surrounding cityscape and beautiful mountain views. There is also an outdoor beachfront pool which isn’t usually as cold as swimming in the ocean. Public restrooms, concession, tennis courts, basketball courts, and water wheelchairs along with other amenities are located at Kits.
Hadden is a dog beach located a short walk away from Kitsilano Beach. Dogs can be off-leash and enjoy the waves as well as the many pieces of driftwood they can chew on ashore. It’s a beautiful beach for both dogs and owners to spend time at.
Sunset Beach Park
Sunset Beach consists of a large sandy shoreline to the left (when facing the ocean) and a small sandy bay to the right. The little bay is right next to Barge Chilling Beach. In fact, the barge can be seen from pretty much anywhere on Sunset. Sunset Beach is also known for the sculpture pictured above that children sometimes like to play on.
You can get to Sunset Beach by driving, busing, or even taking a ferry from Granville Island! Concession and public washrooms are located on-site, and the beach is connected to the Stanley Park Seawall system too.
Barge Chilling Beach
Barge Chilling Beach is located right beside Sunset Beach Park. A bad storm in the fall of 2021 caused the barge to become shipwrecked and despite trying to move it on numerous occasions, the city hasn’t figured out what to do about it. It has since been nicknamed ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ and has become a kind of accidental tourist attraction. You definitely can’t swim near it, but you can swim at Sunset Beach Park which is located right beside it (and where the photo above was taken from).
Jericho Beach has not only a large sandy shoreline but also lots of green park space. Dogs are allowed in the grassy park areas and along the trails as long as they are kept on leash. However, dogs are prohibited on sandy beach areas.
Jericho has a ton of amenities, namely the Jericho Sailing Center and the Jericho Kayaking Center. There are multiple schools and clubs within this center that you can rent kayaks or surfskis from. You can even take sailing or windsurfing lessons there!
Other amenities at Jericho include washrooms, concession, tennis courts, picnic tables, and a few beach volleyball nets.
Nearby Accommodation: Book Your Stay at Vancouver Jericho Beach Hostel!
A little further down the trails from Jericho beach is Locarno Beach. Locarno Beach is actually a designated quiet space, meaning that no amplified sounds (like loud music speakers) are allowed. There are six volleyball courts at Locarno. You can also go windsurfing and stand up paddleboarding or have a picnic at Locarno.
Spanish Banks Beach
Another of the beaches in Vancouver worth visiting is Spanish Banks. Spanish Banks Beach is also just a short walk away from Locarno Beach. The beach is divided into East, West, and Extension sections. The water is a full kilometer offshore here at low tide! There are lots of volleyball courts, picnic areas, and concessions at Spanish Banks. Spanish Banks West is a designated quiet beach, so don’t bring a loudspeaker or blast your music there. There is also a kiteboarding launch zone at Spanish Banks Extension.
Wreck is Vancouver’s famous nude beach. In fact, it was established as Canada’s first nude beach on October 30th, 1991, even though the general public had kind of decided it was a nude beach long before that. Wreck Beach is located on the edge of the University of British Columbia campus. If you decide to visit Wreck Beach, don’t stare, take photos or do anything to make other beachgoers uncomfortable.
Iona Beach is actually located in Richmond, about a 30-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver and situated just behind the Vancouver International Airport. The beach has a super long jetty strip that juts right into the ocean. Visitors can walk on the jetty cutting right into the sea for almost 4 km before turning back.
Vancouver Beaches FAQ
Is it safe to swim in Vancouver beaches?
Vancouver beaches are regularly monitored for high levels of E.coli bacteria. If high levels of the bacteria are present there will usually be signs at the beach warning people not to swim. You can also do a Google search before heading out to a beach to check for the current E.coli levels.
Swimming at Vancouver beaches is at your own risk. Although, at some times of the year and on busy holidays there are sometimes lifeguards present at a select few of the beaches. If there are strong currents at any beach, there will likely be warning signs present.
Are the beaches in Vancouver warm?
July and August are the hottest months in Vancouver. While the air is hot and the water is swimmable, the water doesn’t really get warm. However, I find that it’s a great way to cool off when it’s so hot outside.
What ocean is closest to Vancouver?
Vancouver BC is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
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