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West Vancouver British Columbia

West Vancouver

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 Van Festivals & Events | West Van Parks | What to do in West Vancouver | Other Information


Rotary Ride for Rescue in 2024


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.


Squamish Nation Welcome Figure at Ambleside
Squamish Nation Welcome Figure at Ambleside Beach


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 over 200 hundred 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.


Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market

Shipyards Night Market

Market Vendors at Ambleside
Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market


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:


Jensen Signs


West Van Bridge Festival at Ambleside
West Vancouver Bridge Festival


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, seven days a week.
  • Whytecliff Park – a rugged ocean-side paradise near Horseshoe Bay.
  • Whyte Lake Park – a park that’s above the Trans-Canada Highway in West Vancouver with trails and a small lake.


Squamish Nation Youth Pow Wow
Squamish Nation Youth Pow Wow


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.


Millennium Park Walking Path and Beach
Beach and Walkway at Millennium Park



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.


Beach at Ambleside
Ambleside Beach


Other Information

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: