COVID-19 numbers are low, beaches are open (in fact they even freed the famous logs), and there’s plenty of room to maintain a safe social distance. Summer in Vancouver is defined by our daily choice of world-renowned beaches so pack your swim suits and towels, slather on the sunscreen, and take your pick from our top-five list! Many are situated by famous pools, and we are waiting to hear if and when they will open. In the meantime, enjoy the soft sand and stunning views.
Top 5 kid friendly Vancouver beaches
Second Beach is #1 on this list for good reason! With an oceanside, heated outdoor pool (shallow gradual entry so even the littlest swimmer can splash around) and two playgrounds, kids love it here. Barbeques are welcome at Ceperley Meadow or grab a bite from the concession before playing a round at the Stanley Park Pitch & Putt. Lost Lagoon (2 km trail) and the Stanley Park Seawall are just steps away.
Spanish Banks/Locarno/Jericho Beach Park
Located along the shoreline of West Point Grey, these three adjoining beaches are a picnicker’s paradise! With multiple concessions/washroom facilities, grassy fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and designated “quiet areas,” these well-maintained parks are perfect for family BBQs and lazy summer afternoons. Adventure seeker in your family? Skimboarders and kitesurfers love Spanish Bank’s low tide flats that seem to stretch forever across English Bay.
English Bay / Sunset Beach
A popular tourist destination and hot spot for West End locals, English Bay Beach (or First Beach) is bustling with sunbathers, seawall pedestrians, bicyclists, and performers. If you don’t mind crowds and cold water, it’s one of our city’s most beautiful beaches and insta-worthy sunset spots. The floating raft/slide is always a hit with kids. Hungry? Hit Denman Street. You’ll find an abundance of cheap eats and bike/kayak/paddleboard rental shops. En route, stop and share a giggle with the famous “A-maze-ing Laughter” statues.
For free-spirited beachgoers, this popular clothing-optional beach can be accessed after a 500-stair decent down the bluff. Located on the westerly tip of Pacific Spirit Park (part of the University Endowment Lands), follow trail 6 past the licensed (and unlicensed) vendors to one of the loveliest stretches of sand and warm shore swimming in Vancouver. Be sure to pack your own drinking water; outhouse-style toilets are located at the top and bottom of trail 6. Pay parking is available on campus, or if you’re lucky enough, snag a free spot along SW Marine Drive.
This beach has it all: a waterfront restaurant, playground, concession, and a salt water pool (still waiting to hear if will open this summer – fingers crossed)! The nearby Vancouver Maritime Museum offers interactive exhibits for kids, and the heated outdoor pool underwent a recent renovation. With spectacular panoramic views of downtown and the North Shore Mountains, relaxation is beckoning. NB: This beach may be uncomfortably crowded on summer weekends for those worried about virus spread.
Jeanine is a teacher, writer, and mom to two active and curious toddler boys. She has a passion for education and outdoor adventures. She loves to discover and share the best hidden parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Greater Vancouver. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her and her boys playing in the dirt or peeking under logs in the forest.