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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Castro

Beaches in Vancouver: 5 Sweet Spots to Visit This Summer, Why We Love Them, and What They Feature

Updated: Feb 25

Summer is still going strong, and the higher temperatures have us reeling about some of the sweetest beaches around Vancouver. With average temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer, Vancouver is one of the most desirable cities in the country, and there is no doubt that its beaches are incredible. The water temperature oscillates between 9 and 12 degrees Celsius, so it's safe to say that during a heat wave, there is hope to cool off. So here is our list of five sweet beaches in Vancouver and why we think they are worth a visit this summer.




The list of beaches in Vancouver goes as follows:


English Bay, or First Beach

Popular for being the beach host to events such as the polar bear swim on New Year's and the Honda Celebration of Lights in July, this beach is a beautiful place to spend the day with your favourite people. Being so close to Stanley Park and right in the West End neighbourhood, it has good transit access, and if you didn't pack lunch, you can relax because it is close to several restaurants, pubs, and cafes.


Why we love it:

We love English Bay because it is easy to access from any point, whether you ride the bus or drive. Or you can ditch the car and bike to it. It is one of two beaches (the other one being Kitsilano) that has accessible beach mats for people with mobility issues, and we also have to say that we really enjoy the endless options for food that there are. So on those days when we don't have time to pack lunch or just don't feel like doing it, we have plenty of options, from hot dogs to mini hamburgers to Mexican and Mediterranean food. I mean, the sky is the limit.


English Bay Features (credit: City of Vancouver) Concession Cactus Club Cafe Public Washrooms Beach umbrella and chair rentals Kayak rentals and storage Lifeguards (Victoria Day to Labour Day, late May to early September) Mobi-Mat Accessible Beach Pathway Two water wheelchairs (two attendants needed to operate, available from Victoria Day to Labour Day) Swimming raft with a large slide Two sand volleyball courts Pay parking Note Not permitted: fishing or harvesting of crabs or bivalve mollusks (for example, clams, oysters, and mussels).


English Bay Beach sunset, pink skies


Third Beach

Third Beach can be both a quiet paradise and a bustling little heaven. It all depends on the time of day you choose to visit this place. I have been there in the mornings to find it almost empty; the sound of the waves is the only sound and can be quite relaxing. Also, if you are looking for a more festive time, some evenings here turn into a drum dance circle, perfect to wait for sunset.


Why we love it:

We love Third Beach because it is surrounded by Stanley Park trees and feels more secluded. The sand is beautiful, and although there is parking close to it, a good plan is to also bike or rollerblade the seawall and stop for a dip in the ocean.

Third Beach Features (credit: City of Vancouver) On the Stanley Park Seawall system Concession Public washrooms Barbecues are allowed (subject to restrictions). Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day (late May to early September) Pay parking Note Not permitted: fishing or harvesting of bivalve mollusks (for example, clams, oysters, and mussels).


Third Beach, sandy beach, clear skies


Jericho Beach

With beautiful views of the mountains and quiet mornings, Jericho Beach is a small paradise that is worth visiting. You can enjoy some time under the sun or relax on the grass under a tree. Perfect for paddle boarding as well as swimming. Check out the bunnies that are running free around the park; just remember not to touch them.


Why we love it:

We love Jericho Beach because it is a beautiful and very relaxing place to have a family outing. We personally enjoy riding our bikes there across the Burrard bridge and spending some time playing in the water, which is refreshing after a hot ride in the summer months.


Jericho Beach Features (Credit: City of Vancouver) On the Seaside Seawall System Concession Barbecues (subject to restrictions) Public washrooms Picnic tables 1 baseball diamond 1 Hockey field 1 Rugby field 3 Soccer Fields 1 Softball field 4 tennis courts Lifeguards (Victoria Day to Labour Day, late May to early September) Water wheelchair (2 attendants needed to operate, available from Victoria Day to Labour Note Not permitted: fishing or harvesting of bivalve mollusks (for example, clams, oysters, and mussels).


Jericho beach, white sand, blue skies

Spanish Banks Beach


Closer to UBC is a gem that offers a beautiful view of the mountains. With a more quiet atmosphere, Spanish Banks Beach is a good place to unwind and recharge. At low tide, you can enjoy walking off shore for about a kilometre and seeing the little sea creatures and other nature's wonders.


Why we love it:

We love Spanish Banks Beach because of its relaxing atmosphere. When it's time to take a break from the routine, we like to take a walk on the shore or lay in the sun reading a good book. Also, a sunset picnic is a good idea to watch the city skyline and the mountains in the distance.


Spanish Banks Features (Credit: City of Vancouver)

Note Not permitted: fishing or harvesting of bivalve mollusks (for example, clams, oysters, and mussels).

 

Spanish Banks East

On the Seaside Seawall System

Concession

Public washrooms

Barbecues are permitted (subject to restrictions).

Picnic tables

Eight volleyball courts

Lifeguards (Victoria Day to Labour Day, late May to early September)

Water wheelchair (2 attendants needed to operate, available from Victoria Day to Labour Day)

 

Spanish Banks West

On the Seaside Seawall System

Designated quiet beach (Amplified sound is not permitted.)

Concession

Public washrooms

Barbecues are permitted (subject to restrictions).

Picnic tables

Eight volleyball courts

Dog off-leash area (200m west of the building)

Lifeguards (Victoria Day to Labour Day, late May to early September)

Water wheelchair (2 attendants needed to operate, available from Victoria Day to Labour Day)



 

Spanish Banks Extension

On the Seaside Seawall System

Barbecues are permitted (subject to restrictions).

Dog off-leash area

Kiteboarding launch zone


Spanish Banks beach, Vancouver, sunset

Ambleside Beach


Located in West Vancouver, Ambleside Beach is serene and a good spot to get social. With a mix of sand and rocks, it is perfect to take a walk, sunbath, swim, or have a sunset picnic while enjoying the views of the Lion's Gate, Stanley Park, and the mountains in the distance.


Why we love it:

We love Ambleside Beach because it is close to other activities within the park. There is a cool little playground in the area, a skate park, and some trails, including the Spirit Trail. On Sundays (May 7–October 29), you will also find the Artisan Farmers Market from 9a.m. to 2 p.m., so you can get your produce after enjoying your beach time.


Ambleside Beach Features:

On the Sea walk

Concession

Public washrooms

Barbecues (subject to restrictions)

Picnic tables

3 tennis courts

Skateboard park

The fitness circuit

3 basketball courts

Fields

2 baseball diamonds

3 golf courses

Lifeguards (Monday, June 26, 2023 through Monday, September 4, 2023, from 12–7 p.m.)

Dog off-leash area

 

Ambleside Beach, sunny day

Wrapping Up:

We hope you continue to have an amazing summer, and if you can, go visit these five beautiful beaches before the hot season ends. You won't regret it.

If you go, don't forget to let us know how your experience was.

Keep on beaching.



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