Summer is the best time to visit Vancouver, as the normally wet coastal rainforest city comes alive when the rain eases up. This dry period usually lasts from May to September, with July and August being the most weather friendly months. During this break from the rain, people flock to the many beaches and parks throughout the city, including today’s featured destination, English Bay. English Bay is located in the West End of the downtown peninsula, a mostly residential area located between Stanley Park and Downtown Vancouver. This is the most popular beach in the city, and the views overlooking the water along the sandy beach is hard to beat.
This summer, we’re trying to showcase some of the most popular neighbourhoods in the Vancouver, sharing some of our best pictures taken throughout the city. We are slowly working on some great guides to the city – from our favourite hiking trails to the best Public Art pieces – but sometimes it’s good to just sit back and relax at the beach. It has been a really dry spring and early summer so far, and just this last week the rain returned (which was much needed) and looking through these beach pictures only gets us more excited for August and early September, the best months in the city for weather.
The city of Vancouver is surrounded by water on three sides, with the Fraser River (south), Burrard Inlet (north) and English Bay and the Georgia Straight (west) forming the natural boundaries of the city. These waterfront areas of Vancouver are an important part of the fabric of the city, and there are many places to enjoy the beaches, from Ambleside in West Vancouver to Spanish Banks on the west side bear UBC. Without a doubt, English Bay is the most popular of the beaches.
There is so much activity going on here, and it is the perfect place for people watching or sitting on the sandy beaches enjoying the sunshine. Bikes go whizzing by on the seawall, so be careful navigating the crowds of people leaving the city streets and onto the beach. There are many grassy areas nearby to set up camp, either at sunset beach or 2nd beach in Stanley Park, only a few steps away from the water.
It is the main beach for the downtown core, where close to 20% of Vancouver’s population lives, and it is very popular for tourists and visitors from other parts of the city congregate and battle for a piece of beachfront property. Most weekday afternoons, people will walk down to the beach after work, to sit back and enjoy the views and wait for the sunset. In the summer months (especially on the weekend) the beach is full of people lining the waterfront, enjoying the best of what Vancouver has to offer. This is also the center stage of the popular Celebration of Light, an annual fireworks display that takes over downtown Vancouver 3 nights every summer.
English Bay is an important part of Vancouver, and the best place to start exploring during the summer months. It seems fitting that we will use these pictures to springboard us into our summer adventures in the city. Stay tuned for more Vancouver features coming up over the next few months. We hope you enjoy.