Best beaches in Vancouver for swimming

By Vancity Buzz

  • Whytecliff Park

    The beach is moderately rocky, but small pebbles and sandy patches make up the best portions of the shore. Entrance into the water is smooth during high tide and gets a little rocky at low tide, but the clean and clear water is well worth the extra work.

  • Third Beach

    Stanley Park's Third Beach is the best beach for lounging and swimming in the park, with its expansive stretch of soft sand and easy ocean entry. At low tide, visitors can gradually wade into the water over small tidal pools or enjoy skim boarding across the shallow water.

  • English Bay Beach

    English Bay is busy even during cooler months, and it attracts a wide variety of peoplem like super-tanned seniors and affectionate young couples. The beach itself doesn't change too much between high and low tide, offering a sandy entrance into the water all day long.

  • Kits Beach

    Kitsilano Beach is the place to see and be seen in Vancouver. By joining the crowds of tanned young people, visitors here will get prime people-watching entertainment and some quality beach time. The swimming experience here isn't the best out of the Vancouver beaches, but there are a few perks, including a swim-out dock during summer months.

  • Spanish Banks

    The best time to arrive at Spanish Banks is during the low-tide when visitors can walk out on the expansive flats. Shallow and warm tide pools make fun for kids and skim boarders and the calm ocean entrance will entice even the wimpiest ocean swimmers. The ocean floor is almost 100 per cent sand, but the water can be murky at times as the sand is swept up into the current.

  • Jericho

    The water and beach entrance here is similar to Spanish Banks, but lacks the long tidal flats at low-tide. Instead, visitors can try to spot bunny rabbits in nearby bushes or rent kayaks or paddle boards from the Ecomarine rental shop near Jericho Sailing Centre.

  • Wreck Beach

    For those not in-the-know, Wreck Beach is Vancouver's only clothing-optional beach, and hence it attracts quite a wide variety of people, from students to hippies and free-wheeling seniors. Besides the distracting views, the beach itself is quite lovely most definitely serene; it is far from any traffic and thus never too busy.

  • Alouette Lake

    Alouette Lake is located in Maple Ridge's Golden Ears Provincial Park and so its vistas are something primed for Instagram (#nofilter). The fresh-water lake is amazing for swimming and water sports - if you're lucky enough to have a boat - because of its warm temperature and flat, sandy bottom.

  • Centennial Beach

    This beach in Boundary Bay is an excellent destination for families and swimmers of all kind, offering one of the longest tidal flat areas in the region. It's a rocky beach with shallow water, but there is lots of sand for stretching out and playing on. Grab a snack at the Centennial Beach Cafe - the only place that sells genuine Hawaiian shaved ice - and bring the kids.