English Bay Beach
A visit to one of Vancouver’s stunning beaches is a must in the summer months. Almost 18 kilometres (11 miles) of public access beaches surround Vancouver, making the city a fantastic place to live or visit. The city’s beaches extend from the shoreline of Stanley Park around False Creek to the south side of English Bay, and from Kitsilano to the University Endowment Lands. The coastline provides for many types of water sport, and the city is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts.
People enjoy Vancouver’s beaches in many ways such as building sandcastles, having a picnic, going for a jog, playing volleyball, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, or merely sitting and enjoying the view. Special areas are available for swimming to ensure maximum lifeguard coverage.
English Bay Beach
English Bay Beach, also called First Beach, is situated along Beach Avenue between Bidwell and Gilford Streets on the Stanley Park Seawall system. Beach amenities include the Cactus Club Cafe, concession, kayak rentals and storage, pay parking, summer lifeguards, swimming raft, two volleyball courts and washrooms.
Each year, 1000s of people gather at English Bay Beach to participate in the annual Polar Bear Swim on New Years Day. The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the oldest and largest in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920 when a small number of hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. Led by their founder, Peter Pantages, the swim has grown from approximately 10 swimmers in that year to more than 2,200 participants.
Jericho Beach is situated on the north side of Jericho Park at the west end of Point Grey Road between Wallace and Discovery Streets. Jericho Beach has a concession, pay parking, picnic tables, playing fields, Jericho Sailing Centre, swimming raft, summer lifeguards and tennis courts.
“Kits” Beach is located on Cornwall Avenue at the north end of Yew Street. The seawall runs along side the beach and Kitsilano Pool is at the west side. The beach has a Boathouse restaurant, basketball courts, concession, pay parking, playground, summer lifeguards, swimming raft, washrooms and tennis courts.
Locarno Beach is located at the west side of Jericho Park on Northwest Marine Drive between Discovery and Tolmie Streets. Locarno Beach is designated as a quiet beach with no amplified sound. Amenities include free parking, picnic tables, summer lifeguards, swimming raft and washrooms.
Second Beach is located in Stanley Park at Stanley Park Drive and North Lagoon Drive beside Second Beach Pool. Second Beach is on the Stanley Park Seawall system and has a concession, pay parking, playground, picnic shelter, summer lifeguards and washrooms.
Spanish Banks Beach
Spanish Banks Beach, on Northwest Marine Drive west of Tolmie Street, has three distinct sections: east, west and extension. All three sections are on the Seaside Seawall system, have free parking, allow barbeques and have summer lifeguards. Spanish Banks East has a concession, washrooms and picnic tables. Spanish Banks West is designated as a quiet beach with no amplified sound, and has a concession, dog off-leash area, picnic tables and washrooms. Spanish Banks Extension has a dog off-leash area.
Sunset Beach is located at the mouth of False Creek on Beach Avenue between Bute and Thurlow Streets, and is close to the West End and Downtown areas of Vancouver. Sunset Beach is designated as a quiet beach with no amplified sound. Sunset Beach has a concession, pay parking, summer lifeguards, volleyball court and washrooms.
At Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, Third Beach is a naturally sandy beach surrounded by trees. The beach is a great spot for picnics, quiet bathing and watching sunsets. Third Beach is on the Stanley Park Seawall system and has a concession, pay parking, summer lifeguards and washrooms. Barbeques are allowed on the beach.
Trout Lake Beach
Trout Lake Beach is at the south end of Trout Lake in John Hendry Park at Victoria Drive and East 19th Avenue. Trout Lake Beach offers a concession, dog off-leash area at the north end of lake, free parking, picnic area, play fields, summer lifeguards, swimming raft and washrooms. It is also near the Trout Lake Community Centre.
Wreck Beach is a popular clothing-optional beach located at the base of a cliff in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The clothing-optional section is clearly marked with signs and stretches approximately 6.7 km from Acadia Beach, in the north, to the Booming Grounds Creek on the north arm of the Fraser River. The trails to the beach are fairly steep. Trail 6 and Trail 7 both have stairs to the beach. Trail 6 has 473 steps from the top to the bottom and is the better developed of the two trails. The path from the Acadia Beach parking lot is the most gentle slope and provides the easiest access to a clothing-optional area.