Beaches in Vancouver offer a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty of the British Columbia landscape with miles of sand, clear water, sun, and unspoiled coastal surroundings. You can relax on the beach with a backdrop of mountains surrounded by evergreen forests with the endless Pacific Ocean stretching to the horizon. Here you can have an active beach holiday by hiking in the wilderness or engaging in water sports. You can relax on a log by the water or take a romantic walk along the coast.

    Every Vancouver beach has its own personality, and everyone has their favourite. Explore some of the best beaches in Vancouver and decide for yourself which is best.

    1

    Kitsilano Beach

    Visit the place to see and be seen

    Kitsilano Beach, or "Kits Beach" as it's known by locals, is a legendary beach that's a hub of outdoor adventure mixing trendy with unpretentious. It's located just across the Burrard Street Bridge from city centre and is the place for locals and visitors to see and be seen. Besides enjoying the sun and sand, you can do laps in a saltwater pool; play tennis, basketball, or beach volleyball; or head for the designated dog beach with your 4-legged friends.

    It's easy to spend entire days here. Just a few steps from the beach you'll discover bustling streets filled with independent shops and fantastic restaurants. This is one of those beaches where people spend their entire holiday.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    2

    Spanish Banks

    Discover a serene and romantic stretch of sand

    Spanish Banks is a hidden gem of a beach offering a quiet place to relax along the golden sand and turquoise waters backed by a serene residential area. This is a romantic place to take long walks along the shore or enjoy spectacular pink, red, and orange sunsets sinking below the horizon with the lights of the city flickering across the bay. The surf is calm, so it's a good place to just cool off, and many people come here to stake out picnic tables and have a barbecue.

    This beach offers many of the same amenities as some of the more crowded beaches, but it's less populated. Spanish Banks Beach is a quick 17-minute drive west from city centre Vancouver.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    3

    Jericho Beach

    Head for an upscale and posh shoreline

    Jericho Beach offers a long stretch of sea and white sand that provides an upscale, posh beachfront experience with a yacht club, tennis clubs, and other amenities. It's important to note that many of the offerings here are of the "members only" variety, like some of the yacht clubs, but you can also find public facilities to enjoy. Here you can find the nonprofit Jericho Sailing Centre where you can rent sailing, paddleboarding, skimboarding, and windsurfing equipment and take lessons.

    Steps away is a park with pet-friendly hiking trails so you can get in a jog with your furry family members. Getting here requires a drive of just 16 minutes west from city centre.

    Location: Point Grey Rd, Vancouver, BC V6R 1B5, Canada

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 604-873-7000

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    4

    Wreck Beach

    Visit one of the few clothing-optional beaches

    Wreck Beach is located on the University of British Columbia campus and offers a clothing-optional, hidden cove at the base of a cliff with a bohemian vibe. This beach 20 minutes west of city centre is where hipsters meet for fun in the sun. You'll see people playing guitar and local artisans selling their work, and enjoy an open and vibrant atmosphere. It's partly named for the abandoned ruins of World War II towers that are always worth an investigation at low tide.

    The waters are calm, so they're good for swimming or cooling off. You will have to climb 500 steps to get to and from the beach, so be prepared for a walk.

    Location: SW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada

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    5

    Second Beach

    Catch a free film right on the beach

    Second Beach is a family-oriented beach offering tonnes of amenities and opportunities for fun to keep the entire family entertained for days on end. Here you can take a hike among shaded tree groves, capture stunning panoramic views overlooking a serene inlet, or head for one of 2 playgrounds where the kids can run and jump all day long. The beach also offers a public heated outdoor pool with 2 waterslides that is open from late spring through early fall.

    In the evenings during the summer, you can catch free films right on the beach. This unique and vibrant beach is located in Stanley Park northwest of city centre.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    6

    English Bay Beach

    Head for a vibrant beach steps from city centre

    English Bay Beach overlooks its namesake bay and offers a quiet sanctuary and escape from the city's hustle and bustle while still offering a vibrant, lively vibe. You'll have plenty of opportunities for people-watching here on this beach on the western shore of city centre within walking distance of the city's shopping and dining opportunities. Early in the morning is the best time to find a spot to relax here before the crowds descend.

    One thing that sets this beach apart from others is the winter activities here. Among the more popular is the Polar Bear Swim held every New Year's Day that's a way to roll in the year's activities.

    Location: Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6C 3C1, Canada

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 604-873-7000

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    7

    Third Beach

    Catch a romantic moment backed by lush forest

    Third Beach offers golden sand and a gorgeous backdrop of lush, verdant forest with calm waters and quiet surroundings that's a hidden gem of local sand and surf. Whether you're in it for hiking and biking or you just want to cop a squat on a piece of driftwood to dip your toes in the sand, this beach has what you're looking for.

    Because it's situated deeper into a parkland than some other beaches, it also tends to get less crowded, so it's a good place to steal away some romantic moments with your beloved. Third Beach is located just 15 minutes northwest of city centre Vancouver.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    8

    Locarno Beach

    Head for a beach where you can escape from the crowds

    Locarno Beach is a smaller beach that's lesser known among Vancouver's stretches of sun and sand and offers a serene escape from the crowds for a few hours. Here you can find epic panoramic vistas and spectacular sunsets, plenty of room for romantic walks, picnic spaces, bocce pitches, and many spaces to relax. One thing that sets Locarno Beach apart is that it is designated a quiet beach. This means nobody will be blasting their stereo here.

    If your idea of a beach holiday is a beautifully maintained stretch of white sand and blue waters with zero crowds and zero noise, this is your destination. It's only a 15-minute drive west from city centre.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    photo by Jeff Hitchcock (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Ambleside Beach

    Catch a festival, see the swans, and play sports

    Ambleside Beach offers a stretch of golden sand and surf just outside of Vancouver that's a vibrant hub of festivals, activities, and events with lots of outdoor adventure. This beach offers golf courses, tennis courts, playground facilities, sports fields, and hiking trails, and is just steps from lots of shopping and dining. You can even catch a glimpse of the local community of swans.

    The area is famed for its music and arts festivals held at various times throughout the year. That makes this beach the place to be for a lively atmosphere where there is always something going on. It's only about a 15-minute drive north from Vancouver across the Lions Gate Bridge.

    Location: Argyle Ave, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1A4, Canada

    Phone: +1 604-925-7275

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    10

    Sunset Beach

    Capture an iconic sunset photograph

    Sunset Beach on False Creek is a stretch of golden sand and calm, clear waters that make for an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the region. From here you can catch a ferry or water taxi to explore Granville Island, Yaletown, and the Olympic Village. You can go jogging and hiking, and bring your dog to this stretch of shoreline. The beach is named for the spectacular sunsets you'll catch here daily, so if you want a romantic vista, this is a solid spot for it.

    Because Sunset Beach is so close to many local amenities, it's a popular and vibrant destination. It's only about 5 minutes southwest from city centre Vancouver.

    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    photo by PamMcP (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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