Canada is often lumped into the category of cold, but Vancouver is one of the most southern cities of the country. During the summer months of July, August and early September, don’t be surprised to see the temperature rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius.)

One of the best ways to cool off is to hit one of the local beaches. When you’re visiting downtown Vancouver, the beaches are often no more than 15 minutes away. Here are a few that you shouldn’t miss.

ENGLISH BAY

Visiting English Bay Beach, also called First Beach, makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to a completely different place. With palm trees and street vendors you may have thought you landed in Waikiki. English Bay is the most populated beach area in Vancouver's downtown area and is located just west of the Stanley Park Seawall, the popular running and biking route.

SECOND BEACH

This lively beach is located in Stanley Park. Young adults looking to socialize, play beach games, and take in the heat frequent this beach. Make a stop here if you’re biking the seawall or visit on a Tuesday night to catch the drum circle at sunset.

KITSILANO BEACH

With playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and many restaurants nearby, Kitsilano Beach (called Kits beach by locals) makes it a great place to take the family. Lots of park space also make it a popular picnic destination. If the ocean isn’t calling your name for a dip, head over to Kitsilano Pool, a few minutes walk away. At almost three times the size of an Olympic-length pool, it is Canada’s longest pool and Vancouver’s only heater salt water pool.

WRECK BEACH

Wreck Beach is a 4.8 mile (7.8 km) long clothing-optional beach located in Vancouver, making it North America's largest naturist beach. Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Wreck is easily-accessible and is popular with all ages including families. As you emerge from the stairway in the forest and arrive at the beach, you’ll be greeted with beautiful sand and calm waters. The water here makes for a great swim, so come prepared to get wet.