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English Bay Beach and Region

Stanley Park Seawall at English Bay

English Bay is the body of water where the shores of Vancouver meet the Pacific Ocean. It’s also home to beautiful English Bay beach in downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver’s English Bay

English Bay, the open body of water, is surrounded by West Vancouver to the North, the City of Vancouver to the east, and the region from Kitsilano to Point Grey in the south.

It is a stunningly beautiful bay, with picturesque views in every direction, including from the western section of the Stanley Park seawall, from Ambleside to Dundarave and Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, and from Kitsilano, Jericho, and Spanish Banks beaches in the south.

From English Bay there are great cycling and walking pathways along the water, all the way to Stanley Park in one direction, and then on to Point Grey via Science World, Granville Island and Kitsilano Beach in the other.

English Bay Beach
Vancouver and English Bay Beach

English Bay – The Beach

English Bay is also the name of one of Vancouver’s most beautiful and popular beaches.

Located at the far end of trendy Denman Street, English Bay is where Vancouver’s annual January Polar Bear Swim takes place (yes, hundreds of crazy Vancouverites do go swimming in the freezing ocean the morning of January 1st each year).

English Bay is also home to the city’s annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival that takes place on three or four separate nights in late July and early August.

Even when there isn’t a big event going on, the beach at English Bay is always popular.

Connected to Stanley Park along the seawall, English Bay is Vancouver’s most central, urban and arguably most exotic beach. Not only is there a bit of nature, but there are also lots of great restaurants, ice cream stores and coffee shops right close by (not to mention palm trees and one of Vancouver’s most amusing collections of statues).

Places to Eat

There are lots of trendy restaurants near English Bay, mostly along Denman Street. Cactus Club is a nice restaurant right next to the beach, and The Boathouse Restaurant is also popular.

English Bay Restaurants
The Boathouse and Cactus Club

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your experience at English Bay Beach.

TIP #1: Be prepared to walk a fair ways as there isn’t a lot of parking in the immediate area – just downtown street parking. If you are going for a bicycle ride along the seawall, consider parking your car in Stanley Park or somewhere further down the way and then riding to English Bay if you don’t find parking closer by.

TIP #2: Get there very early on fireworks nights in the summer and park a ways away as the place can be a zoo with all the people – up to 400,000 on a good night.

English Bay Lawn on Fireworks Night
English Bay Crowds on Fireworks Day

Click the following link to learn more about Metro Vancouver’s other top beaches.

Click Celebration of Light for more on the summer fireworks competitions at English Bay.