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Beaches in Vancouver

There are many great beaches to visit in Vancouver during the summer time. The water is a bit too cold for swimming but just relaxing in the sun is a great way to pass time away. Some beaches are busier than others so plan ahead if you prefer active or quiet.

English Bay

This is a nice sandy beach right in Downtown Vancouver. It's located in the West-End at the foot of both Davie and Denman Streets on Beach Ave. It's a very popular destination for urban dwellers who want to get out of their apartments. This is downtown's favourite beach and is attractive to people of all ages. Vancouver's first self-proclaimed lifeguard, Joe Fortes, resided here in the early twentieth century, guarding and instructing people in swimming lessons. English Bay really comes alive during certain evenings in July when the annual Celebration of Lights sees countries from around the world compete for the best fireworks displays.

Second and Third Beaches

Second Beach is slightly rocky and located in the South West corner of Stanley Park. It's located right near the Beach Drive entrance to the park near the first parking lots. This is a great beach for kids as it is located right inside the park and features a playground, salt water pool, change rooms and concession.

Third Beach is slightly farther into Stanley Park but that much further means less crowds. It is naturally sandy and hidden deep among the large fir trees. This is a great quiet beach for bathing, picnics and sunsets. Both Second and Third beaches are accessible from English Bay via the Stanley Park Seawall Trail that circles much of downtown and Stanley Park at the edge of the ocean. Just follow the sea!

Kitsilano Beach

A happening place to relax on the beach. Located in the heart of Kits on the south side of the Burrard Street bridge at the corner of Cornwall and Yew Streets. It is a splendidly white sandy beach with lots of room for people to lay in the sun, enjoy swimming in the ocean or salt water pool, play beach volleyball or other sports in the large grassy areas, or simply enjoy watching people on the beach.

Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach is noted as a large sandy beach with accompanying park. It's located at the foot of Discovery Street a ways out of downtown towards UBC campus. The eastern edge caters to swimming but the western part of the beach is the location of the Jericho Sailing Association where people can rent or launch sailboats and windsurfers. It's not a bad place at all if you are interested in catching the breeze and spending an afternoon on the water.

Wreck Beach

No mention of Vancouver's beaches would be complete without a mention of Wreck Beach. You can find it by heading out to the western edge of the University of British Columbia (UBC). The beach is located down some steep trails and is somewhat rocky. There is not much there except for the beach and the occasional independent vendor selling food or jewelry. But most people head to Wreck Beach for the clothing optional experience and not the amenitites.