English Bay, Vancouver

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 Reviews

corner of Beach & Davie, Vancouver

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  • English Bay
    by hanspeter_W.
  • Sunset over English Bay
    Sunset over English Bay
    by Ann75
  • Beach Avenue at English Bay
    Beach Avenue at English Bay
    by Ann75
  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    English Bay

    by Carmanah Updated Mar 31, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    English Bay as seen from the seawall
    4 more images

    English Bay is a beautiful beach in the south-western corner of downtown Vancouver's West End neighbourhood. When the weather's sunny and warm, English Bay is a popular area for sun tanning or swimming. Even off season the beach always attracts people enjoying the views. You can always guarantee a beautiful view of the mountains, islands, and water.

    In the summer months English Bay often attracts perfoming artists and buskers, from musicians to fire jugglers. Hot dog vendors stay there year round.

    The most famous event to take place at English Bay is the HSBC Festival of Light. While it used to be called the Symphony of Fire, the Festival of Light is an annual international fireworks competition that takes place during four nights over English Bay at the end of July and at the beginning of August. The 45 minute fireworks displays are all timed to music. Hundreds of thousands show up at the beach and there's really nothing else like it.

    If you're visiting in the winter, English Bay hosts another event - the annual Polar Bear Swim. During the morning of January 1st, hundreds of people arrive at English Bay to go for a brisk swim. Even if you don't plan to get wet, it's always amusing to watch the people, as they're often wearing silly costumes.

    English Bay is also one of many stops along downtown Vancouver's seawall. Just to the north-west of English Bay is the entrance to Stanley Park. To the south of English Bay is False Creek, and the ferries over to Granville Island.

    The best part about English Bay is that you can access it from downtown Vancouver. If you're staying at a hostel in downtown, you can take a bus, ride your bike, or just plain walk down to English Bay. You're never more than 30 minutes away.

    Nearby on English Bay are many cafes and affordable restaurants on Denman Street. If you're looking to go somewhere for an after dinner stroll, or if you want to enjoy a coffee while watching the sunset, English Bay is the place to be.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    One of my favorite spots in Vancouver

    by Jefie Written Jan 19, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    English Bay Beach in Vancouver
    3 more images

    If you walk along the Seawall counterclockwise, you'll eventually leave Stanley Park and end up in the beautiful English Bay area. Its nice sandy beach is popular with visitors and locals alike, especially for sunbathing during the day and watching sunsets in the evening. English Bay is also part of the lively West End area - Denman St. and Davie St. begin at English Bay, and on both streets you'll find a great variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars - should you feel like going out for some Indian, Greek, Italian, French, Asian, Brazilian, African or Mexican food, English Bay is the place to go!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

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  • spitball's Profile Photo

    Plenty of things to do in this city

    by spitball Written Feb 5, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visiting Tall Ship in Vancouver Harbour
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    As in most large cities, you can find plenty of things to keep yourself interested in any month. Summers always seem to have more, but then its usually warm and sunny, and getting out there is much more enjoyable. From visiting Tall Ships, sporting events, concerts, local hikes, festivals...etc.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Seniors
    • School Holidays

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  • Biljana's Profile Photo

    ~ENGLISH BAY~

    by Biljana Updated Oct 15, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is almost totally dark!

    English Bay is one of Vancouver's finest attractions. The beaches surrounding the bay are not really stunning and the ocean is not all that clean or breathtaking.......but if you want to see a beautiful sunset this is the place to visit. The street that runs along the Bay, Beach Avenue, is lined with interesting buildings. One of my favorite buildings in the city is located right by beach. Look for the highrise with a tree growing on its penthouse floor.

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  • JennysTravels's Profile Photo

    English Bay

    by JennysTravels Written Sep 4, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    Our hotel was right down the street from English Bay. I have to say I was disappointed with this beach. Litter scattered everywhere, bums bumming around ... over all it was not a pleasant experience. I certainly hope it's not always like this as I can see it's full potential.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    English Bay

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Jan 4, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    So cold!

    In English Bay you find lots of restaurants, bars, nightclubs. Take a walk along the beach and watch the sunset even you are freezing (as I was when I went in January). During the summer, the beach hosts the Festival of Light, an international fireworks contest which you can't miss! I watched them in my hotel room as the beach gets really crowded.

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  • Ann75's Profile Photo

    Beautiful English Bay

    by Ann75 Written Apr 4, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of English Bay beach and downtown Vancouver
    4 more images

    English Bay in Vancouver is the area where you kind of look over the open sea, to the left you have UBC and to the right you have North and West Vancouver. English Bay Beach, near the city's West End residential neighbourhood, is the most popular sunbathing, swimming, and sunset-watching beach in the downtown Vancouver area. Other downtown beaches facing English Bay include Sunset Beach, Second Beach, and Third Beach. Along the south shore of the bay lie Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, the Spanish Banks beaches, and Locarno Beach, while on the North Shore are Ambleside Beach and various smaller cove-beaches in the city of West Vancouver. English Bay beaches are all great beach to visit all year long, with the peak season being late summer.

    English Bay Beach is host to a number of public events. The Celebration of Light is a fireworks competition that is held for two weeks every summer (usually the last week in July and first week in August). While this competition often struggles to secure funding, it has successfully run since 1997 and is the largest off-shore fireworks display in the world. Each winter it is the host of Vancouvers' annual Polar Bear Swim on January 1st and each summer the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival is held on English Bay Beach.

    So, it's a great place to visit and enjoy a walk, sunbathing, a beautiful sunset and more. Close to the beach area are several restaurants, diners, coffee shops and more where you can enjoy a meal with a great view over English Bay.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • tigerjapan's Profile Photo

    Just Take A Walk

    by tigerjapan Written Oct 17, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Havin' a chat.

    The great thing about Vancouver is the amount of parks and places to walk (down by the sea wall etc).

    You should just head off to each area of interest and stroll around. Everywhere, away from Gastown, felt safe and there were some beautiful places.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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  • katpanou's Profile Photo

    English Bay, all day long

    by katpanou Written Oct 2, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    catching the sun

    One of the most popular and central areas of Vancouver, it is fantastic on a sunny day.
    Lie on the grass, watch people, dogs and horses go by, run, swim, have a drink in a coffee shop or bar and just let time flow

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  • tylercdurden2004's Profile Photo

    Sit and Watch the Sunset at English Bay

    by tylercdurden2004 Written Mar 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sunset at English Bay

    One of the great things in Vancouver to do is to spend the day at English Bay one of Vancouvers most famous beaches. Staying till sunset offers some of the most beautiful sunsets you will see. There is amazing backdrop of mountains and forests as well as the occasional freighter to make it interesting. From English Bay you can spend the night trying out some of Vancouvers best restaurants, which are in the area.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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  • CdnJane's Profile Photo

    Watch the Ships Out in the Harbour

    by CdnJane Written Aug 13, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ships out in English Bay

    Driving from downtown Vancouver towards Stanley Park, or Lions Gate Bridge, don't forget to look to your left and catch a picture of English Bay and the ships out there.
    Oh yes, lots of nice beach but from a car, this is all I could photograph this time.

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  • illa's Profile Photo

    Celebration of Lights

    by illa Written Aug 17, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waiting for Night to Come

    Every summer, there is a fire show at English Bay. That's the second time I see so many people at one place in this country (the first time was skiing in Banff during winter time). This year, 2003, there were 3 teams participating this event: Canadian, Chinese and Czechic. I was happy that China finally won the championship; however, it really doesn't matter who wins. We go there for the beautiful beach, for the sunset, for the dancing fire...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

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  • heitzenrater's Profile Photo

    Sunset Beach State Park

    by heitzenrater Written Oct 31, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Well with a name like Sunset Beach State Park I figured i would show you some sunset pictures. Take not of the rocks that are balanced on other rocks. Copious amounts of people fill the park. Young to the old. People were involved in sports, conversation, and just plain old relaxing. It was amazing to soak in the atmosphere. Along the shore there is a bike path that you should take advantage of, especially around dusk.

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  • btex's Profile Photo

    Beaches

    by btex Written Aug 30, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are a number of beaches in the Vancouver area. The ones I saw were Sunset Beach, English Bay Beach, Second Beach and Third. I was there in April, so there weren't many swimmers or sunbathers. The first night I was in Vancouver, I walked along Sunset and English Bay, and the weather wasn't too great. The wind coming off of the water was pretty cold and strong; it was blowing the sand...which felt like little bullets hitting me. It wasn't really that bad. I bet the beaches are much better with warmer weather.

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    • Beaches

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  • Mauswara's Profile Photo

    Hangin' on DENMAN.

    by Mauswara Updated Apr 29, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vibrant street scene. Tons of cafes, bars and restaurants. Great places to go for dessert. Funky shops. Second-run movie theatre. Close to Stanley Park and English Bay. It's where the locals hang out, drink super-charged coffee and shoot the breeze. More mainstream and less eclectic than the Drive, but cool nonetheless.

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