Vancouver’s beaches are a favourite post-class or end-of-day spot for UBC students. Whether it’s collecting rocks or spotting bunnies, basking in the warm sun that we get here two months a year or jumping into freezing waters during the Polar Bear Swim, there’s no better place to unwind than the beaches of Vancouver.
UBC is home to many beaches, but possibly none better known than Wreck. Located right on the west side of campus, this clothing-optional beach is a popular sunset point for residents of UBC Vancouver. The approximately 8km stretch of coastline is a short walk from residences like Place Vanier and Marine Drive — as long as you’re in for some cardio, since you’ll have to walk down a 490-step staircase first!
It’s also home to UBC’s iconic Polar Bear Swim, where students gather at Wreck on the last day of classes in December and plunge into the icy waters. Official opening hours for Wreck are 7 a.m. to sunset, year-round.
About a 20-minute bus or bike ride from campus, Jericho is one of the many naturally sandy beaches that wrap around the shoreline of Vancouver. With grassy lawns, picnic tables and beach volleyball courts, it’s perfect for a day out with friends. It’s also known for a large (and adorable!) bunny population, often seen munching away in grassier areas of the beach park.
If you like being out on the water, Jericho is home to Jericho Sailing Centre, where you can access equipment and classes for sailing, wind- surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and more! Open hours are from dawn to dusk.
Kits beach gets quite busy in the summers, with the number of outdoor activities and other options that it offers, as well as a panoramic sight of the North Shore mountains and downtown Vancouver. It’s surrounded by food locations, including the Boathouse Waterfront restaurant which is on the beach itself. Catch a bus down to Kitsilano to enjoy the views! Open hours are from dawn to dusk.
English Bay Beach
In the heart of downtown, accessible by the 2 bus route, English Bay is loud and cheerful, rich with music and culture. Take a walk or rent a bike to follow the Stanley Park Seawall, or simply venture into Stanley Park, which is just adjacent to the beach. Or take part in major Vancouver events like the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival or the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim! The beach is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.