Whether it’s enjoying a day on the beach and working on a tan, or hiking the coastline then a mountain peak, there is a Vancouver park to offer a perfect day trip. The city’s location amidst mountains and ocean allows beautiful views and lots of outdoor fun.
Here are some of Vancouver’s best known, long-time favorite, and undiscovered parks for beaches, hiking, and stunning views.
Best Parks with Beaches
Vancouver’s position on the water means there are about a dozen great Vancouver beaches to enjoy. Although primarily a summer city, Vancouver parks are popular with dog walkers, runners, and families in any season. The following three Vancouver parks offer the best options for local beaches:
Jericho Park, 3941 Point Grey Rd. – Jericho Park connects Jericho Beach to Locarno Beach and the sands at Spanish Banks. It’s position outside of English Bay and False Creek provides cleaner swimming waters. Nearby outdoor sports enthusiasts can rent windsurfers at the Jericho Sailing Club, before enjoying dinner on the sailing club patio or at one of the beach concession stands.
Stanley Park, west of downtown – Third Beach at Ferguson Point is perhaps Vancouver’s most beautiful beach with stunning sunsets and lots of sand and swimming. The park is also close the popular beaches at English Bay.
Kitsilano Beach Park, 1499 Arbutus St. – Named as one of the North America’s sexiest beaches by Forbes Traveler, Kits Beach sits amidst grassy park lands, a dog beach, and waterfront restaurant.
During the summer months, these beaches (run by the city) are supervised by Vancouver lifeguards.
Best Parks for Hiking
Forest and ocean sit on the doorstep of Vancouverites with many parks and wild spaces around the city. For quick day trip hikes head to these Vancouver parks:
Pacific Spirit Regional Park, near the University of British Columbia – Adjacent to Jericho Park, Pacific Spirit Park offers quiet hiking. The park surrounds the University of British Columbia making it easily accessible by public transit. Extending from the shore near Spanish Bank in the north, the park reaches south to an ecological reserve and historical monument on the Fraser River.
Stanley Park, west of downtown – The park’s seawall is a favorite Vancouver walk, but forested hiking trails also run throughout the center of the park. Hike to the inland Beaver Lake, Prospect Point look-off, or the attractions in the eastern end of the park, such as the Vancouver Aquarium, marina, gardens, and recreation areas.
Lighthouse Park, North Vancouver – On Vancouver’s North Shore, Lighthouse Park features coastal trails, picnic destinations, and a lighthouse.
Best Vancouver Views at Mountain Parks
The best views of Vancouver are also where the city heads in wintertime to ski. Climbing both the Grouse Grind and Mount Seymour reward with great views of Vancouver. Grouse Mountain requires a challenging 3-km (1.9-mile) hike up stairs and steep terrain, while more than a dozen trails in Mount Seymour Provincial Park offer views including the 8-km (5-mile) return hike to Mount Seymour.
But with so much uninhabited landscape in BC, there are many more places to explore around Vancouver and throughout the province.