Being a coastal region, Vancouver offers amazing opportunities for boaters. This article lists some of the area’s main marinas and places to visit by boat.
Whether you’re a local just cruising around, or a boater in town for the first time, it’s good to know where you can dock for the night, stock up with supplies or simply access parts of town by water.
Lower Mainland Places to Visit by Boat
Most people travel in Vancouver by car, by bus or on foot. One of the best ways to explore the region, however, is by boat. Whether you rent a boat or have one of your own, below in our opinion are some of the best places to visit.
This article contains a list of waterfront attractions followed by a list of marinas in the Lower Mainland. It’s useful for anyone planning to explore the Vancouver region by boat. To jump directly to information about marinas, their locations and amenities, click Lower Mainland Marinas. To learn about waterfront places of interest as well, continue reading.
Below are other additional articles that might also be of interest.
- Vancouver International Boat Show
- Vancouver Sightseeing Tours
- Lower Mainland Whale Watching
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- Richmond Maritime Festival
- Vancouver Maritime Museum
Articles we have about specific marine vessel companies include the following:
- BC Ferries
- Harbour Cruises
- Aquabus Ferries
- False Creek Ferries
- Shoreline Cruises on Harrison Lake
- Vancouver Boat Parties
Metro Vancouver Waterfront Attractions
Some of the region’s top attractions and places of interest are accessible by boat. They include the following (some of which have places you can dock at and others you can’t):
In the City of Vancouver
- Coal Harbour – a nice place to walk, jog or ride a bike in downtown Vancouver not far from the Vancouver Convention Centre.
- English Bay – the best beach in downtown Vancouver where Davie Street and Denman Street intersect.
- False Creek – a stunning inlet with walking and biking paths that connect English Bay with Science World on the east side and Granville Island on the south.
- Granville Island – an inner-city “island” (that’s not actually an island) with world-famous shopping, entertainment and art located directly below the Granville Street Bridge.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – Vancouver’s planetarium lives right beside the entrance to False Creek and Vanier Park.
- Jericho Beach – a stunning beach in Vancouver that plays host to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival every July. It’s located about half way between downtown and the University of British Columbia (UBC).
- Kitsilano Beach – an amazing beach just west of Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge.
- Locarno Beach – yet another beautiful beach in a strip of many located in the Point Grey neighbourhood of Vancouver.
- Spanish Banks – for sandy beaches that extend forever at low tide and beach volleyball extraordinaire.
- Stanley Park – located on the edge of downtown, it’s one of the world’s most famous and beautiful city parks surrounded on most sides by water. This park also includes:
- Second Beach – a popular beach with a large outdoor swimming pool and arguably one of the best places to enjoy summer fireworks.
- Third Beach – one of Vancouver’s most beautiful beaches that is west-facing for stunning summer sunsets.
- Vancouver Maritime Museum – for anything related to the North Pacific and Arctic’s maritime history, this museum is located right beside the beach at the mouth of False Creek just west of Vanier Park.
On the North Shore
- Ambleside – a sandy beach on the North Shore just west of the Lions Gate Bridge which hosts one of the area’s most popular walking/biking trails along the ocean.
- Cates Park – a great park for young children and from which to kayak in the summer. It is located at the far east end of the Dollarton Highway in North Vancouver. Highlights include an impressive playground, kayak rentals, a rocky beach for beachcombing and grassy fields for playing and relaxation.
- Deep Cove – a stunning seaside hamlet that’s popular for kayaking and paddle boarding at the most eastern point that you can go in North Vancouver. Nearby is the Quarry Rock forested hiking trail leading to impressive views of the entrance to Indian Arm.
- Dundarave – a quaint beach at the furthest point west along the seawall in West Vancouver.
- Horseshoe Bay – host to the West Vancouver BC Ferries Terminal this picturesque village is a gateway to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island via private boat and the ferries.
- Lighthouse Park – a stunning, yet lesser-known park that features forested walking trails and rugged beaches about a 10-minute drive from Horseshoe Bay.
- Lonsdale Quay – arguably one of Metro Vancouver’s best public markets (and one with breathtaking views of the Vancouver skyline from across the water in North Vancouver.)
- Lower Lonsdale – the area of North Vancouver that’s home to the Polygon Gallery, Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards. It’s also where you’ll find the Shipyards Night Market in the warmer months.
- Whytecliff Park – a sheltered bay offering a little bit of paradise near Horseshoe Bay.
Other Ocean-Accessible Places of Interest
- Barnston Island – an agricultural Fraser River island in Surrey that’s a best place for cycling with little people as there are almost no cars, it’s flat and it is only accessible by a quaint little barge. Remember to pack your own lunch – it truly is rural.
- Bowen Island – a stunning rural island just a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
- Crescent Beach – certainly one of Metro Vancouver’s best beaches for its vast sandy spaces when the tide is low. Perfect for building sandcastles!
- Port Moody – an attractive community that is accessible via Burrard Inlet. The sheltered water offers breathtaking views of landscapes ranging from the mountains to the sea.
- Sea to Sky Region – following the coastline of West Vancouver north, you encounter pristine waters interrupted only by a few smaller islands or daunting mountains right up to the snowline. Take your camera!
- Steveston Village – a picturesque, seaside resort town in Richmond known for its strolling and cycling trails along the dykes as well as its various exhibits related to the fishing history of the region. Buy some fresh delicacies from the ocean to cook onboard your boat at the local fish market on the docks, and be sure to visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.
- Sunshine Coast – a region of the mainland that is only accessible by boat, ferry or air. Population centres there include Gibsons, Sechelt and other small communities.
- White Rock – one of the region’s most popular seaside resort towns in South Surrey. A great place for a summer day trip and enjoying a meal al fresco overlooking Crescent Beach.
Lower Mainland Lakes and Other Bodies of Water
The above communities and places of interest are all ocean-front locations (or in inlets, plus a few spots on rivers). Along bodies of water like the Fraser River there are also other places like New Westminster, River District Vancouver and various places in Delta, Richmond and other communities.
Lakes are also wonderful places to enjoy time out on the water. Some of the best lakes for boating include the following:
- Alouette Lake – one of the region’s nicest provincial parks and best places for camping (in Maple Ridge). This is a large lake that can accommodate everything from small rowboats on the shoreline to fast motorboats.
- Cultus Lake – home to some of the Lower Mainland’s top campgrounds, provincial parks and amusement parks. You can have small dinghies up to speedy waterski boats on this lake.
- Harrison Hot Springs – one of the region’s top places to get away and relax. A very large lake with endless places to explore.
- Pitt Lake – a large lake north of Maple Ridge.
There are small lakes too that are fun to paddle around. They include Alice Lake, Buntzen Lake, Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake, Rolley Lake, Sasamat Lake and others.
Lower Mainland Marinas
There are places to dock, pick up supplies and get various marine-related services all over the Lower Mainland. Below is a list of marinas within the City of Vancouver as well as in other municipalities within the Metro Vancouver region.
(Note: Facility details are subject to change. For exact details see individual marina websites.)
Marinas in the City of Vancouver
The following marinas are all within the City of Vancouver and organized by location.
Coal Harbour Marinas
- Bayshore West Marina – at 450 Denman Street. Services include water, restrooms, Internet and underground parking. (It’s just a short distance from the Westin Bayshore Hotel.)
- Coal Harbour Marina – at 1525 Coal Harbour Quay. Services include water, restrooms, showers, laundry, Wi-Fi, restaurant and 24-hour service.
- Harbour Cruises – at 501 Denman Street. Services include year-round moorage only, plus shopping and restaurants nearby.
Click Coal Harbour to learn about the area.
On or Near Granville Island
- False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf – at 1505 West 1st Avenue. Services include water, full bathroom facilities, laundry, Internet and security.
- Granville Island Boatyard and Marina – at 1676 Duranleau Street. Services include water, power, restrooms, showers and security (for long-term moorage only).
- Pelican Bay Marina – at 1221 Johnston Street. Services include water, bathrooms, refuse disposal, 24-hour security and easy access to restaurants, shops and entertainment.
Click Granville Island to learn about the neighbourhood.
In False Creek
- Burrard Bridge Civic Marina – at 1655 Whyte Avenue (near Vanier Park). Services include water, restrooms, garbage disposal and security.
- False Creek Yacht Club – at 1661 Granville Street (across the water from Granville Island). Services include showers, power, water, easy access to downtown Vancouver and restaurants nearby.
- Quayside Marina – at 1088 Marinaside Crescent (near Yaletown and the Cambie Street Bridge). Services include power, water, restrooms, showers and Internet.
Click False Creek to learn about the region.
On the Fraser River
- Milltown Marina – at 9191 Bentley Street (near YVR Airport). Services include restaurants, Internet, storage and 24-hour security.
Other Marinas in the City of Vancouver
Below is a list of marinas located in other parts of the Lower Mainland including in Delta, Crescent Beach (Surrey), North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond and West Vancouver. Also in the list are marinas in Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast.
- Captain’s Cove Marina – at 5311 Admiral Way (on the Fraser River near Deas Island and Highway 99). Services include water, restrooms, gas, Wi-Fi and restaurants nearby.
- River House Marina – at 6255 River Road (across from Deas Island). Services include water, a restaurant, garbage and electricity.
Crescent Beach (Surrey)
- Crescent Beach Marina – at 12555 Crescent Road (near Crescent Beach). Services include power, water, laundry, bathrooms, fuel and both shops and restaurants nearby.
- Deep Cove North Shore Marina – at 2890 Panorama Drive (in beautiful Deep Cove Village). Services include water, washrooms, showers, laundry, fuel and security, plus restaurants and hiking trails nearby.
- Lions Gate Marina – in a fairly industrial area at 1331 McKeen Avenue. Services include water, restrooms, showers, security and restaurants nearby.
- Mosquito Creek Marina – at 415 West Esplanade in Lower Lonsdale (and within easy walking distance of Lonsdale Quay). Owned by the local Squamish Nation, the facility offers water, bathrooms, showers, laundry, refuse disposal, fuel and 24-hour security services. It’s also close to restaurants, shops and various places of interest.
Click North Vancouver to learn about the area.
- Pitt Meadows Marina – at 14179 Reichenbach Road (on the Pitt River). Services include fuel, a snack bar, Internet and water facilities.
See our article about Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to learn about the area.
- Reed Point Marina – at 850 Barnet Highway. Services include gas, water, restrooms, showers, nearby restaurants and 24-hour security.
Click Port Moody to learn about the community.
- Imperial Landing – at 4000 Bayview Street in Steveston Village. Moorage here is limited to a maximum of three days and on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Richmond Marina – at 8191 River Road (on the Middle Arm of the Fraser River near Sea Island Way and the Moray Bridge). Services include water, fuel, parking, garbage, restrooms, showers and Internet.
- Shelter Island Marina and Boatyard – at 6911 Graybar Road (on the Fraser River near Annacis Island). Services include water, security, washrooms, restaurant and stores.
- Vancouver Marina – at 8211 River Road. Services include water, bathrooms, Wi-Fi, gas, grocery store, snack bar and 24-hour surveillance.
Click Richmond to learn about the city.
West Vancouver & Area
- Lions Bay Marina – at 60 Lions Bay Avenue in the community of Lions Bay (just north of Horseshoe Bay). Services include gas, water, washrooms, a store and security.
- Sewell’s Marina – at 6409 Bay Street in the heart of Horseshoe Bay. Services include water, restrooms, garbage disposal and gas, plus access to a range of amenities in the village.
- Sunset Marina – at 34 Sunset Beach (about 5 km north of Horseshoe Bay). The facilities feature water, washrooms, gas, a snack bar, mechanical services and 24-hour surveillance.
- Thunderbird Marina – at 5776 Marine Drive (by the West Vancouver Yacht Club). Services include water, restrooms, showers, garbage, a snack bar and 24-hour surveillance.
See our articles about West Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay to learn about the area.
Howe Sound, Bowen Island & Sea to Sky Area
- Bowen Island Marina – at 400 Bowen Island Trunk Road on Bowen Island (near the BC Ferries Terminal). Services include water, restaurants, shops, boat rentals and garbage disposal.
- Sea to Sky Marina – at 1460 Pemberton Avenue in Squamish (on the Mamquam Blind Channel). Services include water, power, a secure gate and free parking.
- Squamish Yacht Club – at 37778 Loggers Lane in Squamish. Services include water, restrooms, showers and electricity.
- Union Steamship Marine Resort – at 431 Trunk Road on Bowen Island (in the heart of the village and not far from the BC Ferries Terminal). Services include restrooms, showers, laundry, garbage disposal, a pub and Wi-Fi.
Check out our articles about Bowen Island, Squamish and the Sea to Sky Region to learn about the different areas.
- Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority – at 611 School Road in Gibsons (at the Gibsons Landing Waterdrome). Services include electricity, water, restrooms, showers, laundry, Wi-Fi and refuse disposal.
- Gibsons Marina – at 675 Prowse Road in Gibsons (near the Gibsons Public Market). Services include power, water, washrooms, showers, laundry facilities, garbage and miscellaneous supplies.
- Lighthouse Marina and Pub – at 5764 Wharf Road in Sechelt (at the Sechelt/Porpoise Bay Water Aerodrome). Services include electricity, bathrooms, showers, laundry, garbage disposal, restaurant, Wi-Fi and a bank machine.
- Pender Harbour Hotel and Marina – at 12671 Sunshine Coast Highway in Pender Harbour. Services include electricity, water, a restaurant and hotel with liquor store.
- Porpoise Bay Government Dock – a government-owned facility at 5770 Wharf Road in Sechelt. Services include electricity, garbage and recycling disposal, water and 24-hour surveillance.
- Secret Cove Marina – at 5411 Secret Cove Road in Sechelt. Services include electricity, water, restrooms, showers, various fuels, liquor store, grocery store and Internet. (Open only between Easter and Thanksgiving.)
- Trail Bay Pier Day Float – at 5482 Wharf Road in Sechelt. Services include a summer day float dock and various downtown amenities close by.
See our article about the Sunshine Coast to learn about the area.
Vancouver Boat Show
The Vancouver International Boat Show is a large event that showcases the boating industry to the general public at the start of the boat season each year. It takes place at both Granville Island and BC Place Stadium, usually sometime in early February.
The following slideshow-style video shows scenes of the event from past years (pre-COVID).
For more information about boating opportunities and important marine-related things to know in the Lower Mainland, check out PacificYachting.com, the City of Vancouver‘s website or the Tourism Vancouver website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Lower Mainland Sightseeing Tours
- Vancouver Whale Watching
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- Vancouver Maritime Museum