English Bay Beach (First Beach) is probably the busiest and well-known beach in Vancouver. Located right on English bay in the West End neighbourhood of Vancouver, it has been the main beach of Vancouver for over 100 years! It is very accessible by transit and driving and is only a 15-20 minute walk from the highrises of downtown Vancouver.
This is the beach where the famous Joe Fortes taught countless children to swim. There is a monument to Joe in the little park across Beach Avenue from English Bay.
This beach is a long and wide sandy stretch that as with most Vancouver beaches has giant logs laid out parallel to the waterline which provide a wind break and on which you can lean comfortably to sit up. Many people go to the beach to lay or sit in the sun, and in the summer months swim in the ocean.
During the summer, a large raft with a water slide is put out in the water in front of the beach.
During the summer, there is usually a booth from which you can rent paddleboards and kayaks. It is located directly in front of the English Bay bathhouse.
There are 2 sand volleyball courts on English Bay beach. There are stanchions (posts) for volleyball nets. You can bring your own net or borrow one from the lifeguard station(with credit card or id as deposit). The volleyball courts are on a first-come, first serve basis. There is no time limit. Note that courts cannot be reserved unless it is for a tournament. You need to bring your own ball.
During the summer months, many people swim at the beach. There are changerooms, showers, and bathrooms at the English Bay Bath House right next to the beach. There are lifeguards during the summer months. Also in the summer, there is a giant slide that can be used during high tides! On the beach itself, there are 2 volleyball courts with poles that you can affix a volleyball net to. There are kayak and paddleboard rentals right in front of the English Bay Bath House.
English Bay beach is host to some of Vancouver's most popular events. In the summer, there is the Celebration of Light Fireworks and Festival which hosts 3 nights of fantastic fire works. On New Year's Day, thousands of crazy people go for a quick swim in the ocean as part of the world famous Polar Bear Swim! For all these events, English Bay beach is packed solid with people!
English Bay beach is one of the first beaches to be wheelchair accessible. There are mats which stretch out towards the water on which wheelchairs can roll on making the beach accessible. The mat is located directly in front of the English bay bathhouse. There are also 2 water wheelchairs that are available(late May to early Sep), but must be operated by 2 attendants.
Dogs must be leashed when on this beach.
English Bay beach is the located on English Bay in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The address of English Bay Beach is approximately 1800 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Denman Street in the West End of Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Yes, it is safe to swim in English Bay. The waves are not that large and you can go out a ways before it gets too deep. However, the water is normally cold most of the year and is really only swimmable from July to September. Lifeguards are on duty from late-May until early September for your safety!
Yes, there are washrooms in the English Bay bathhouse which is right in front of the beach. There is also a shower and water fountain in front of the bathhouse.
Legally no, but many people indulge in an alcoholic beverage on the beach. Unless you are causing problems, you are not usually ticketed. The only time that the no alcohol policy is strictly enforced is during the Celebration of Lights Fireworks.
There is no parking lot at English Bay Beach. There is meter pay parking on the main streets near English Bay beach. There are a couple of parking lots along Beach Avenue near Sunset Beach.
Yes, there is a bus route that runs both ways along Davie Street and Denman Street. The corner of these streets is one-half block from English Bay beach.