Kayaking—like hiking—is one of Vancouver's favorite outdoor activities; most Vancouverites grew up with the water sport, and for many locals it wouldn't be summer in Vancouver without at least one trip.
Kayaking around this Canadian city is appealing for two reasons: it doesn't require any special skills (though you should read the Transport Canada Sea Kayaking Safety Guide), and it immerses you in nature in a way no land-based activity can. It's also lots of fun and great exercise!
False Creek in Downtown Vancouver, Year-Round
One of the best kayaking spots is False Creek, the inlet that divides downtown Vancouver from the southern parts of the city. You can rent a kayak at Granville Island, head east to explore Yaletown's waterfront, the marinas and Science World, or head west to Vanier Park (home to the Museum of Vancouver (MOV), the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre).
Kayaks are available for rent at Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre at Granville Island.
Jericho Beach, April through October
If you want to sea kayak, head to Jericho Beach on the western coast of Vancouver, between Kitsilano Beach and Spanish Banks Beach. Here, kayakers can head north toward amazing views of Vancouver and the north-shore mountains, or follow the coastline south to Spanish Banks.
Rentals are typically available for weekends only in April, then daily from mid-May through mid-September.
Rent kayaks from Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre at Jericho Beach.
English Bay Beach & Stanley Park, June through September
Ten minutes northwest of downtown Vancouver, English Bay Beach and Stanley Park are two easy spots to kayak. The summer is the most popular season, however you can kayak from English Bay Beach on the West End any time of the year. Paddle around Stanley Park for some of the best views of the snow-capped North Shore Mountains.
You can rent kayaks on the beach at Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre at English Bay.
Deep Cove (Indian Arm), April through October
As one of the Top 10 Attractions in Vancouver, Deep Cove is not to be missed. While kayaking around this stunning area in the Lower Mainland, keep your eyes peeled for a range of wildlife, including seals, eagles, and sea lions.
Kayak rentals are available at Deep Cove Kayak.
Deer Lake in Burnaby, April through October
Just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Deer Lake in Burnaby is a great option for all ages. The water here is smooth and calm, making it an ideal family-friendly spot to teach the kids how to kayak.
Kayaks can be rented at Deer Lake Boat Rentals.