Pick Your Perfect Vancouver Beach

Whether you're looking to tan, skinny dip or flex your muscles, we have the best Vancouver beach for you!

It’s no secret: Vancouver is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Find out which one is the right fit for you

With nine beaches in its city limits, Vancouver boasts one of the best waterfront spreads of any city around the globe. In fact, as CTV reported last summer, National Geographic named Vancouver one of the ten best beach cities in the world along with:

  1. Barcelona, Spain
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Nice, France
  5. Miami Beach, Florida
  6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  7. Santa Monica, California
  8. Sydney, Australia
  9. Tel Aviv, Israel
  10. Vancouver, British Columbia

All of Vancouver’s beaches are attended by lifeguards from May Long Weekend until the September Long Weekend, and most have washrooms and a concession. During the summer months, the beaches are packed with happy revelers picnicking, reading, rock pooling, enjoying the spectacular scenery, playing sports, taking a dip in the water—even avoiding tan lines by basking in their birthday suits.

Whether you’re young or old, sporty or bookish, naked or not, read on for our guide to Vancouver’s sandy shores so you're not left wondering, “Where’s the beach?”

Wreck Beach

Location: Western-most tip of the UBC Endowment Lands

Best features: Wreck Beach is over 7km long so there is plenty of space for that long walk on the beach with a special someone. This beach is also rather well known for its clothing-optional policy and hippy vibe where everything from impromptu drumming sessions to special brownie vendors are commonplace. It’s also a spot where waders, swimmers and skim-boarders enjoy one of the most pristine sections of water in Vancouver. Check out this CBC video about this famous landmark.

Target demographic: Free spirits and bohemians

Spanish Banks Beaches

Location: Spanning from western West Point Grey to the northwestern edge of the UBC Endowment Lands

Best features: There are three sections to Spanish Bank: Extension, West and East, and all three sections offer free parking and permit BBQs. You’ll also find lots of sporty types skim-boarding, playing beach volleyball or beach soccer, or tossing around a football on the large grassy area. Spanish Banks West has dog off-leash area with beach access so fido can enjoy the sand and surf too.

Target demographic: Dog owners and recreational sports enthusiasts

Locarno Beach

Location: West Point Grey

Best features: If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, Locarno Beach has been designated a quiet beach, which means you won’t be subject to any loud music while you absorb the breathtaking views of English Bay or enjoy a BBQ in the large grassy area. It’s also one of only two Vancouver beaches where you can launch and land a windsurfer, and it features half a dozen beach volleyball courts.

Target demographic: BBQ'ers and tranquility-seekers

Jericho Beach

Location: West Point Grey

Best features: Flanked by the Jericho Sailing Centre to the west and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to the east, and backed by Jericho Beach Park with its easy walking trails, lovely duck pond and large grassy area, Jericho Beach offers plenty of space for sightseers, picnickers and active-types alike. Jericho also has a swimming raft to paddle out to, making it a good starting point when kayaking around English Bay.

Target demographic: Families and activity-seekers

Kitsilano Beach

Location: Kitsilano

Best features: If you’re looking for prime people-watching territory, head to bustling Kitsilano Beach. Boasting gorgeous views of English Bay and the North Shore, a beautiful stretch of beach, and plenty of options for physical activity (volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, swimming raft and huge salt water pool), this beach is one of the most happening places to be during Vancouver summers. And if you get hungry, fresh seafood and local cuisine await you from the second-floor dining room of The Boathouse Waterfront Restaurant above the concession.

Target demographic: Peacocks and fun-seekers

Sunset Beach

Location: West End

Best features: Situated across False Creek from Vanier Park, Sunset Beach is another designated quiet beach that’s great for reading, relaxing and watching the boats sail in and out of English Bay. A small off-leash dog beach is separated from the rest of the beach by the False Creek Ferry dock, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre is only a few steps away.

Target demographic: Sunbathers and bibliophiles

English Bay Beach 

Location: West End

Best features: English Bay Beach is another happening place to be on a sunny summer day where you’ll find a range of activities including kayak rentals at Ecomarine, a large grassy area to spread out a blanket, volleyball courts, a swimming raft with a slide and plenty of people-watching. English Bay Beach is also one of the best spots to catch the fireworks during the Celebration of Light.

Target demographic: Hipsters young and old

Second Beach

Location: Stanley Park

Best features: Second Beach is a top spot for families. Low tide offers a large area to walk around in search of stranded sea life and the adjacent heated outdoor pool has a lap lane for the adults and a water slide for the kids. There is a designated BBQ area at nearby Ceperley Meadow as well as a playground and large grassy area for a rousing game of bocce ball or Frisbee.

Target demographic: Beachcombers, picnickers and swimmers

Third Beach

Location: Stanley Park

Best features: Shielded by Ferguson Point to the south, Third Beach is one of Vancouver’s most secluded beaches. With a stunning view of English Bay and the North Shore, it’s the perfect spot to catch a romantic sunset or enjoy an evening BBQ—or if you want to go the easy route, just climb the stairs to the concession and enjoy a hotdog at the little patio perched above the beach.

Target demographic: Lovebirds and solitude-seekers