Considered by many to be one of the best nude beaches in the world, Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver's top beaches and a local favorite. Well-known for its hippie-esque, anything-goes vibe, Wreck Beach is also famous for its raw, natural beauty. Stretching 4.8 miles (7.8 kilometers) along the coast, Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver's most beautiful and picturesque beaches.
Wreck Beach takes pride in its designation as one of the best nude beaches; in the summer, Wreck Beach plays host to a number of fun, nude beach events, including the annual Bare Buns Run and annual world record skinny dipping event.
Although there are vendors on the beach selling everything from food to hand-made jewelry, it's best to take everything with you that you might need for a day in the sun. Washrooms are available at the foot of the steps from Trail 6, which is the most direct way to get down to the beach but it does involve lots of steep steps, so leave the bulky items at home.
What to Do at Wreck Beach
Thirsty? Hungry? Need a haircut? Wreck Beach is home to several vendors along the eastern edge of the beach near Trail 6, each one sells beach-friendly offerings from towels and sarongs to burgers and beverages. You'll also find wandering sellers, who are not official (and it's not legal to consume alcohol on the beach) but they sell everything from frozen margarita mix to cold beers. And yes, they are nude too. You'll also see musicians playing music, massages on offer and hairdressers offering haircuts.
Events at Wreck Beach
The most famous happening at Wreck Beach is the annual Bare Buns Run. The Bare Buns Run began in 1996 as a "celebration of naturism" and is now a truly beloved Vancouver event. Each year, runners (and walkers) bare their buns—and everything else—for the 5K run along the beach. Aall proceeds from the Bare Buns Run go to the Wreck Beach Preservation Society (WBPS), a non-profit that is dedicated to keeping Wreck Beach natural and pristine.
Since 2009, Wreck Beach has participated in the Guinness World Record for Simultaneous Skinny Dipping in North America, a chance set the record for the largest number of simultaneous skinny dippers at one time. Since then, Wreck Beach has hosted skinny dipping events every summer.
Wreck Beach Etiquette and Tips
Wreck Beach is clothing-optional, but it isn't an appropriate place for anything sexual. Nude beaches are, simply, a place to be nude but to otherwise conduct yourself exactly as you would at any other beach. You don't have to take off your own clothes at Wreck Beach, but you must be respectful of the other beach-goers, whether they are clothed or not.
You also might see hikers as the beach is part of the Foreshore Trail. Whether you're wearing full hiking gear or going full-frontal don't stare or gawk! It's not appreciated on Wreck Beach any more than it would be at a regular beach. Don't take photos of people without asking and be sensitive when taking any beach shots in case anyone feels uncomfortable.
How to Visit Wreck Beach
Wreck Beach is located on the southwestern coast of Vancouver, across from the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. The beach is at the base of a cliff, and the trails leading down to the beach, which can be steep and are not accessible for strollers or wheelchairs, can be hard to find for first-time beachgoers. Two of the main trails down to the beach are located on either side of UBC's Museum of Anthropology; use the Museum as a landmark to orient yourself. Be prepared for lots of steps and don't forget to check the tides.