Vancouver beaches are some of the best in the world, boasting soft sand, thrilling mountain-and-city vistas, and lots of chances for outdoor sports and adventure.
Located in the West End on the edge of Stanley Park (and along the Seawall), English Bay Beach is the epitome of an urban beach: luscious sand and sunbathers on one side of the street, restaurants and shops (along Denman) on the other. It's also one of the best beaches for swimmers (who actually want to swim in the ocean).
English Bay Beach is the perfect spot to watch the annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition, too!
Our version of Venice Beach, Kitsilano Beach--known as Kits Beach to locals--is the most "glamorous" of Vancouver's beaches. While it boasts scenery as gorgeous as the other beaches on this list, the real eye candy here is on the sand: the beach-goers themselves, pretty young people who come here to see and be seen.
Kits is family friendly, too, and great for swimmers: the waves are calm, and the beach's park includes the awesome Kits Pool, the longest outdoor pool in Canada.
Every Vancouverite's favourite beach, Spanish Banks stretches along the west coast of Vancouver, far from the hubbub of the city's urban beaches. Perfect for family barbecues, letting the dog run free (in designated zones), and taking long walks, this beloved beach is best in the morning and early afternoon, when low tide lets you walk far out to sea.
Home to the Jericho Sailing Centre--a great spot for a cheap lunch with an amazing view--and Jericho Park, this beautiful beach is ideal for sailing, walking and biking along the park's pathways, and playing tennis. It's the perfect place for a sunset stroll.
Jericho Beach is also the venue for July's annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
5. Wreck Beach
Considered by many to be one of the best clothing-optional beaches in the world, Wreck Beach is another spot truly loved by locals. Well-known for its hippie-esque, anything-goes vibe, Wreck Beach is as famous for its raw, natural beauty as it is for it is for it's nudity. (You don't have to go nude to enjoy the beach, but you do need to mind your manners--no gawking!) Go early; late-afternoon's high tides put most of the beach under water.
Unlike the other beaches on this list, Wreck Beach is not universally accessible; reaching it requires a short hike through the woods.