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The Resort Town of White Rock

White Rock

White Rock is a pretty seaside resort town located less than an hour from downtown Vancouver and close to the Peace Arch border crossing to the US.


In response to the coronavirus pandemic, and similar to other Metro Vancouver municipalities, the City of White Rock closed some of its facilities and implemented various initiatives to help slow the spread of the virus and discourage people from congregating in large groups.

Starting on March 23rd, most parking spaces at the waterfront were closed temporarily. Short-term parking, for up to 15 to 30 minutes, was still available up until April 9th for parking on the north side of Marine Drive to allow for takeout food pick-up from area restaurants. As of May 21st, however, the city is once again allowing people to park for up to two hours.

Also on March 23rd, in response to scenes of crowds of people ignoring health authority orders to maintain appropriate physical distancing, White Rock City Council voted to close public access to the White Rock Pier. Almost three months later, on June 17th, the pier reopened and people can now once again walk along it and enjoy the views.

On May 29th, 2020, the city reopened the promenade, which had been closed since April 10th. Also, as of June 1st, children’s playgrounds in White Rock have reopened. Bit by bit, things are slowly returning to normal (or at least closer to normal than they have been).

As of June 11th, 2020, more of the city’s outdoor facilities, including sports fields and spray parks, have now reopened. White Rock also announced that it will be running a selection of modified outdoor summer day camps, with lower instructor-to-child ratios and enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols.

To learn more about what’s happening in the community in response to the virus outbreak, see the City of White Rock‘s website.

For information about the pandemic’s impact on other parts of the Lower Mainland, see our article about COVID-19 Cancellations & Closures in Metro Vancouver.

White Rock, BC

White Rock is a popular destination in the summer with its beautiful coastline, beaches, pier and array of trendy restaurants and cafes. If visiting White Rock, be sure to go for a walk along the waterfront and along the pier.

In White Rock there is a small museum, and lots of places to stop for lunch, including Moby Dick, which is White Rock’s most famous restaurant for fish and chips. Moby Dick serves great fried food, and the atmosphere and decor of the place make it so popular.

Moby Dick Fish and Chips Restaurant
Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

Best Times to Visit White Rock

White Rock can be a nice place to visit any time of the year, but it’s a seaside resort so obviously the prime time is in the summer and on sunny days.

Walks along the water are wonderful any day that it’s not raining, but especially when the sun is out.  During July and August especially, the place can get packed.

Absolute best times to visit White Rock if you don’t mind the crowds are on sunny days in the summer (to enjoy the beautiful beach) or during a special event day, including the following:

  • White Rock Polar Bear Plunge – an annual polar bear swim on New Year’s Day each year.
  • Canada Day by the Bay – Canada Day celebrations at the waterfront on July 1st.
  • Tour de White Rock – a cycling race around the area in mid-July.
  • White Rock Sea Festival – a popular multi-day festival that can attract up to about 100,000 people over the BC Day Long Weekend at the beginning of August.
  • Concerts at the Pier – a series of free outdoor concerts in July and August.
  • Picnic on the Pier – a fundraising event for the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation where participants dine alfresco out on the White Rock Pier in August.
  • White Rock Buskers & Comedy Fest – live entertainment at various venues and in the streets of downtown White Rock in September.
  • White Rock Festival of Lights – a new event featuring Christmas lights and illuminations along the waterfront in the area of the White Rock Pier from early December until the beginning of January.
White Rock Sunday Market
White Rock Farmers Market

Another good time to visit White Rock is on Sundays when you can also check out the White Rock Farmers Market – a small weekly farmers market every Sunday (10 am to 2 pm) at Miramar Plaza at 15154 Russell Avenue between early May and late October.

ACCESSIBILITY NOTE:  The seawall and pier at White Rock are both wheelchair accessible and on flat terrain (although not all the shops and restaurants are along the main waterfront commercial road).

The Pier at White Rock

Other Interesting Places to Visit

White Rock is one of several little villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s Best Places.

If you like White Rock, other similar places you might enjoy include Horseshoe Bay (terminal for BC Ferries), Fort Langley (a historic site), Steveston Village (a historic fishing village in Richmond) and Deep Cove (a picturesque village on the North Shore).

Beach at White Rock
White Rock in early spring