Best Vancouver Beaches

Top 5 Beaches in Vancouver

Sunset, Spanish Banks beach, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
••• Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver. Michael Wheatley/Getty Images

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.

  • 01 of 05
    Young woman sitting on log, looking at view, English bay, Vancouver, Canada
    ••• Rosanna U/Getty Images

    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 also plays a major role in one of Vancouver's biggest summer events: the annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition. This beach is the top spot for viewing the fireworks; it's so popular that it is absolutely packed with people during the three-night event.

    Map to English Bay Beach

  • 02 of 05
    Outdoor Swimming Pool at Kitsilano Beach
    ••• Gunter Marx Photography/Getty Images

    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.

    Map to Kitsilano Beach

  • 03 of 05
    Sunset, Spanish Banks beach, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    ••• Michael Wheatley/Getty Images

    Every Vancouverite's favorite 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.

    Map to Spanish Banks

  • 04 of 05

    Jericho Beach

    Jericho Beach in Vancouver
    ••• Westend61/Getty Images

    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.

    Map to Jericho Beach

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Wreck Beach along the Foreshore Trail
    ••• Keith Levit/Design Pics/Getty Images

    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 its nudity. (You don't have to go nude to enjoy the beach, but you do need to mind your manners--no gawking!)  Go early; the late-afternoon 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. 

    Map to Wreck Beach