Are you looking to go for a swim, watch the sunset, or enjoy a cocktail overlooking the ocean? Look no further than English Bay Beach, the most famous and populated beach area in Vancouver’s downtown area. With the Stanley Park Seawall running along the East side of the beach, it’s also the perfect place to enjoy a walk, jog, or bike ride.
English Bay Beach also offers many special features and recreational opportunities. You can rent beach umbrellas and chair rentals, kayaks and storage space. They also have a swimming raft with a large slide and two sand volleyball courts. Visitors with mobility challenges can access the beach via a Mobi-Mat pathway, and use two water wheelchairs. A concession area sells food and drinks on the premises, and pay parking and free public washrooms are also available.
A staple of Vancouver’s downtown lifestyle, English Bay Beach plays host to a number of special events throughout the year. On January 1, Vancouver residents, and visitors crazy enough to join them, take a dip in the ocean for the annual Polar Bear Swim. This is often done in silly, elaborate costumes, and prizes are given out to lucky participants. Another popular event at English Bay Beach is the Celebration of Light. This musical fireworks competition takes place during the last week of July and the first week of August. As one of Vancouver’s most popular festivals, it attracts 1.4 million visitors annually.
Cover image courtesy of Vancouver Park Board.