Located on the North Shore across Burrard Inlet via the Lions Gate Bridge from Vancouver, West Vancouver is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada.
The municipality is also one of Canada’s most beautiful communities. It has a ski hill, beautiful parks, beaches and more.
In this article you’ll find the following information about West Vancouver:
Top West Vancouver Attractions | West Vancouver Festivals and Events | West Vancouver Parks | What to do in West Vancouver | Other Information
The District of West Vancouver
With a population of close to 43,000, West Vancouver is home to movie stars, professional athletes, old-wealth families and successful business people from around the world. It’s also home to splendid parks, ski trails, beaches and miles of natural beauty.
Top West Vancouver Attractions
The top attractions in West Vancouver include the following:
- Ambleside – one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular beaches with paved walking and biking trails.
- Dundarave – an attractive seaside neighbourhood and beach.
- Cypress Bowl – Metro Vancouver’s largest ski hill with the most advanced terrain. In summer the resort also has its Eagle Coaster ride.
- Horseshoe Bay – a picturesque seaside town and gateway to Vancouver Island and Bowen Island via one of BC Ferries‘ main terminals.
- Gleneagles Golf – an exceptional par 35 9-hole golf course that’s open to the public.
- Kay Meek Centre – a community performing arts centre where concerts, plays and other events take place.
- Park Royal – a large shopping centre with hundreds of stores not far from Ambleside Park.
- Stearman Beach – a rocky beach near Caulfeild Park.
- West Van Aquatic Centre – a swimming pool facility with a water slide and large children’s play areas.
West Vancouver Festivals & Events
West Vancouver is host to four of the North Shore’s main festivals as well, all of which take place in or around Ambleside Park during years when there isn’t a pandemic:
- Persian New Year Fire Festival – around the third week of March.
- Bridge Festival – a 2-day event with a parade, live music and various family-friendly activities at Ambleside Park
- Canada Day in West Vancouver – the district’s July 1st celebrations at John Lawson Park include live music and fireworks.
- Squamish Youth Nation Powwow – at Capilano Reserve Park in July.
- Harmony Arts Festival – a festival with concerts, outdoor movies and food in August.
- Rock Ambleside – a music festival featuring rock bands from decades past in August.
- Coho Festival – a community event with live music, family-friendly activities and a salmon barbecue in early September.
- Remembrance Day – a parade and ceremony on November 11th at Memorial Park.
- Light Up The Village – a free community event marking the start of the Christmas season at the Park Royal Shopping Centre in mid-November.
- Dundarave Festival of Lights – Christmas lights every day in December with live entertainment on weekends that month at Dundarave Beach.
- Wassail & Bonfire Night – the Dundarave Festival of Lights event on the Saturday the week before Christmas.
West Vancouver Parks
West Vancouver also has a number of gorgeous parks where folks can go for a leisurely stroll.
- Caulfeild Park – a waterfront park with walking trails, a rocky shoreline and sandy beach areas near Lighthouse Park.
- Cypress Falls Park – a forested park with hiking trails and a few waterfalls. It’s a fairly small park, but a really nice one.
- Cypress Provincial Park – a large forested park with hiking opportunities in the spring, summer and fall, and snow sports in winter.
- John Lawson Park – an ocean-side park with a fabulous children’s play area that’s halfway between Ambleside and Dundarave.
- Lighthouse Park – one of the Lower Mainland’s most stunning yet lesser-known parks.
- Millennium Park – a small park on the waterfront between Ambleside and John Lawson Park. Alcohol may be consumed from noon until dusk in designated areas, 7 days a week.
- Whytecliff Park – a rugged ocean-side paradise near Horseshoe Bay.
- Whyte Lake Park – a park in West Vancouver with trails and a small lake.
What to do in West Vancouver
There is a fair bit to do in West Vancouver. It’s a beautiful place with amazing homes, fabulous places to walk and fine places for a swim.
House Window Shopping
In addition to visiting the above first-class venues, an interesting activity is to simply drive around the residential areas of West Vancouver admiring all the private estates. British Properties in particular has some especially spectacular homes.
Walks and Bike Rides
A popular pastime for locals of all ages on the North Shore is going for strolls (or bike rides) along the seawall from Ambleside to Dundarave. Just a block or so up from the waterfront, and running parallel to the seawall, is Marine Drive which represents downtown West Vancouver with all its shops and restaurants. This can be a good area for shopping or getting a bite to eat.
West Vancouver is blessed with some amazing beaches. Ambleside is beautiful, with views of Stanley Park across the water, the Lions Gate Bridge and English Bay. Dundarave has a nice beach as well. Swimming is also popular at Lighthouse Park and Whytecliff Park, although with less sandy beaches.
Another popular place for locals (especially ones with kids) is the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre. This is one of Metro Vancouver’s best pool facilities. It includes a leisure pool, sauna, steam room giant water slide, swimming lanes and hot tubs.
Check out West Vancouver’s Best Bars and Restaurants for places to eat and drink on the North Shore.
See our article about North Vancouver Hotels for a list of places to stay on the North Shore.
Other articles that might be on interest include the following:
- North Vancouver and the North Shore
- Metro Vancouver Municipalities
- Lower Mainland Ski Hills
- Vancouver Parks and Nature
- West Vancouver Restaurants
- Marine Drive on Vancouver’s North Shore