With an abundance of rainy evenings during the winter, Vancouverites just might appreciate their clear summer nights more than most people. Pop down to one of the city’s many beaches on a warm evening and you will find them alive with paddle boarders, beach volleyball players, picnicking families, swimmers and sun seekers – all soaking up those last few rays. When Expedia.ca asked me to put together a list of my favourite beach spots in Vancouver to enjoy a sunset, I couldn’t wait to weigh in. In no particular order (because they are all great), here they are:
The Best Beaches in Vancouver to Watch the Sunset
Let’s start with the most obvious one. Conveniently located minutes from the downtown core, this aptly named beach has been creatively shaped into three points with westward facing beaches, allowing revelers to make the most of the evening sun. Arrive early to get your choice of beach log and get ready to watch the show.
Just around the corner from Sunset Beach is English Bay. If you are not nuts about getting sand between your toes, try to snag a table at the bayside Cactus Club Cafe (head chef Rob Feenie was Canada’s 1st Iron Chef winner). Enjoy a sweet finish with a cone from one of the nearby gelato shops, taking a moment to mug it up with the amusing A-mazing Laughter sculptures. English Bay is also the best beach location from which to view the annual Celebration of Light fireworks competition, which takes place over 3 nights in late July.
Watch the sunset with the young, fit and beautiful from Vancouver’s lively Kitsilano neighbourhood. From beach volleyball to turning a few laps in Kits Pool (Canada’s longest outdoor pool), there are plenty of active sunset pursuits to enjoy here. There is even a fantastic playground where the very young can enjoy the colorful view from their own vantage point.
If you have something more romantic in mind, make a Kits Beach sunset stroll the grand finale after a superb meal at one of Canada’s top new restaurants, Anna Lena, which is only a couple blocks away. Make reservations way in advance so as not to be disappointed.
Locarno Beach, in Vancouver’s upscale West Point Grey neighbourhood, is the perfect place to enjoy a crowd-free sunset. Watch the last of the sailboats turn in for the night at the nearby Jericho Sailing Centre while enjoying fabulous views of the North Shore Mountains in the distance.
Note: Kids with keen eyes are sure to be amused by the abundance of bunnies that make their homes in the shrubbery around the Jericho Sailing Centre.
This secluded beach within Pacific Spirit Park, is the ideal place to watch a Vancouver sunset without any distractions (such as clothes). Wreck Beach is Vancouver’s #1 spot to enjoy a sunset naked (Sorry….no photos for this one.) While a little more remote than the aforementioned beaches, the extra travel time should entirely be worth it to the less inhibited. If this is your thing, make a day of it and enjoy popular events such as the Bare Buns Beach Run.
Still Can’t Decide?
Quite frankly, you could enjoy all the Vancouver beaches in one evening via the city’s extensive bike lane network. Numerous bike rental shops are located around the downtown core, but are most concentrated near the West Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park, in Vancouver’s West End. Summer 2016 will also mark the long awaited launch of Vancouver’s Bike Share Program – Mobi.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.ca.