Beaches, Parks & Gardens

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Vancouver's temperate climate and soft, plentiful rains encourage exuberant growth throughout the Lower Mainland. Gardens, parks and green spaces can be found all around Vancouver, enhancing its already natural beauty of mountains and ocean.


Beaches

Surrounded by water, Vancouver offers a selection of wonderful beaches around the city:

  • Kits Beach
    One of the most popular pieces of sand in the city, it also offers a great saltwater pool. Located just over the Burrard Bridge with stunning city and mountain views, people spend the day choosing between sports, picnicking and relaxation options.
  • English Bay
    Right on the edge of Denman Street, at the end of Davie and the edge of Stanley Park, you can find English Bay beach. People gather here for suntanning, volleyball, dog walking, watersports and of course, people watching.
  • Ambleside Park & Beach
    In West Vancouver, on the North Shore of Vancouver, just across Lions Gate Bridge sits Ambleside Park. With a lovely waterfront seawalk, many restaurants and shops to visit, this is a great place to spend a day in the sun. The main beach area of Ambleside is just off Marine Drive and 13th Street.

Gardens

Enjoy the exquisite splendor and relaxing retreat of the following Vancouver gardens:

  • Bloedel Floral Conservatory & Queen Elizabeth Park
    Location: 33rd Avenue and Cambie Street
    604.257.8584
  • Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
    Location: University of British Columbia
    604.822.9666
    www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
    Location: 578 Carrall Street
    www.vancouverchinesegarden.com
  • Nitobe Memorial Garden
    Location: University of British Columbia
    604.822.6038
    www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org
  • Park and Tilford Gardens
    Location: 440-333 Brooksbank Avenue
    North Vancouver
    604.984.8200
  • VanDusen Botanical Garden
    Location: 5251 Oak Street
    604.878.9274
    www.vandusengarden.org  

Internet Tour:
Visiting photographer Lloyd R. Fortney has put together a picturesque Internet tour of the major gardens, including the ones mentioned here. Visit Lloyd's website.

Note: Lloyd's photos are copyright. For usage info, email: jtfortney@compuserve.com


Parks

There are large, medium and small parks located throughout our beautiful, green city. A few of the more well known and most loved ones include:

  • Stanley Park: Located on the edge of the downtown core, offering 400 hectares (1000 acres) of woodlands, gardens, flowers, trails, lakes, beaches and wildlife, and also the location of the Vancouver Aquarium - Stanley Park is a must while visiting Vancouver.
  • Vanier Park: Just across the Burrard Street Bridge from downtown Vancouver, Vanier Park is home to Bard on the Beach summer Shakespeare festival - one of the most memorable theatre experiences available! The Park provides easy access to Granville Island and Kits Beach.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park: As the highest point in the city, this park offers stunning views of the city and mountain. Trails, pitch & putt, beautiful gardens and a spectacular arboretum and Bloedel Conservatory. Main entrance at Cambie Street & 33rd Avenue.
  • Central Park: Central Park is located in Burnaby and has much to offer in activities - a swimming pool, running track, playing fields, pitch and putt and miles of walking trails make this a very popular spot for locals and visitors on sun Vancouver days!
  • Ambleside Park & Beach: Just across the Lions Gate Bridge in West Vancouver, you can enjoy beautiful Ambleside Park. A paved seawalk, sandy beach, duck pond, pitch and putt, playing fields are some of the options to stay active all day. Main access is just off Marine Drive and 13th Street.
  • Lighthouse Park: Also located in West Vancouver, heading towards quaint Horseshoe Bay, this park offers spectacular views of Vancouver and its harbour, excellent walks through rainforest, and lots of opportunities to just sit and relax in the sun.