Dundarave is a seaside village in West Vancouver with a shopping street, children’s play area, seawall along the ocean and both sandy and rocky beaches.
Dundarave Beach and Village
Located in affluent West Vancouver on the North Shore, Dundarave is a small and attractive neighbourhood. It comprises a couple of blocks of quaint shops and restaurants, a pier and one of Metro Vancouver’s best areas for walking – the seawall that stretches along the waterfront all the way to Ambleside.
Things to do at Dundarave
Dundarave is a nice place to visit if you are on the North Shore and looking for a flat place to walk any time of the year with stunning views of the ocean. Dogs are welcome, although not on the beach.
West Vancouver’s Seawall
The seawall at Dundarave and all along West Vancouver’s waterfront is exceptional.
Some areas along the pathway are canine-friendly and others are not. This is a bit inconvenient for dog owners. The views though are spectacular. The seawall stretches all the way from Dundarave to the far end of Ambleside. There are only a few minor disruptions along the way.
If you’re looking for a place for a stroll, the seawall is highly recommended! The walk is about half an hour one-way from Dundarave Beach to John Lawson Park.
The Beach House Restaurant
At the waterfront in Dundarave is the Beach House Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the area and well worth a visit. The Beach House is in a landmark building. It has a heated outdoor patio overlooking the ocean and Dundarave Pier. Interestingly, the venue is part of the Earls chain of restaurants and boasts a wine list of just over 100 wines.
The Beach House makes a great destination after various activities. This may include a walk along the seawall, an afternoon at the beach and fishing on the pier. The restaurant also makes for an enjoying an evening out while the kids swim down the street at the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre. This facility has one of the Lower Mainland’s best indoor swimming pools for children and families.
Dundarave Beach and Seawall Video
The following video is of Dundarave Beach and West Vancouver’s seawall. It was filmed in the late afternoon in winter.
The video starts with a scene of the seawall and finishes with a view of the beach at dusk. As you’ll see, the area is beautiful and the sunsets are stunning.
In the video, the person is walking along the seawall in the direction of Ambleside. The park is about a half-hour walk away.
Special Events at Dundarave
A number of special events take place at Dundarave over the course of the year. This includes fireworks displays on Canada Day in July and Christmas tree decorations and live entertainment in December.
Fireworks at Dundarave
The waterfront at Dundarave is a good place to see the fireworks from during the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks displays in English Bay in late July and the beginning of August, especially if you’re living or staying those nights on the North Shore. The Fireworks are in the distance, but there are thousands of fewer people watching at Dundarave than in Vancouver’s West End (which is at the heart of the fireworks action and shouldn’t be confused with “West Vancouver”).
An even better time to see fireworks at Dundarave is on Canada Day. This happens on July 1st each year. Not only can you see the Canada Day fireworks being set off in front of downtown Vancouver, but simultaneously a second set of pyrotechnics are launched from a barge just off Dundarave Beach. Get there early to find a spot!
(Note: The Port of Metro Vancouver has funded the fireworks for the last few years, but has announced that they no longer plan to do so. As a result, 2019 might have been the last year for the pyrotechnic displays on the North Shore. However, future details are to be confirmed.)
Christmas Time at Dundarave
Another good time to visit Dundarave is in December during the Dundarave Festival of Lights. It’s a small festival featuring dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees outside in the park. Free concerts that take place in the afternoon and evening occasionally happen too.
This can be another great time to visit the Beach House Restaurant, although be sure to make reservations in advance if you can, especially if going on a Saturday featuring live entertainment.
(Note: In 2020 the Festival of Lights event comprised just its “Forest of Miracles” Christmas tree displays component. The live entertainment activities were all cancelled because of COVID-19.)
How to get to Dundarave
Dundarave Village is located in the 2400 block of Marine Drive in West Vancouver. The beach, pier and Beach House Restaurant are all on the water at 150 – 25th Street.
To get to Dundarave from Vancouver via the Lions Gate Bridge, cross the bridge and head into West Vancouver along Marine Drive. Past Park Royal shopping mall (on both sides of the street), the turn-off to Ambleside at 13th Street, and the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre on your right at 21st.
Alternatively, you can just park your car at Ambleside or John Lawson Park at 15th Street and enjoy a fabulous walk to Dundarave along the seawall.
To get to Dundarave via the Trans-Canada Highway (a.k.a. the Upper Levels Highway), head west toward Horseshoe Bay. Take the exit at 21st Street and then turn right when you get to Marine Drive.
There is free parking in Dundarave along Marine Drive and Bellevue Avenue, as well as by the beach.
Dundarave Beach is a fabulous place to admire the sunsets, either from the beach or from the patio or window seat at The Beach House restaurant. The best times for sunsets are from October to March, but evenings at Dundarave can be beautiful any time of the year.
Check out February North Shore Sunsets for more Dundarave sunset photos, as well as some from Ambleside and North Vancouver.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Marine Drive on the North Shore
- Dundarave Festival of Lights
- West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- North Vancouver’s Deep Cove (which is a comparable place that’s also on the North Shore)
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Places for a Walk, Job or Cycle