Situated between Kistilano and Stanley Park, English Bay is one of Vancouver’s best spots for water sports, such as swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Two popular beaches—Kitsilano Beach and English Bay—face out onto the bay, as does part of the Stanley Park seawall, a waterside promenade used by cyclists and walkers.
Walking or cycling along Stanley Park’s seawall is an essential Vancouver experience, and one of the best ways to see English Bay. Visitors can rent bikes and cycle along the path solo, or dive deeper into Vancouver on guided bike tours that visit other downtown sights. Visitors can also swim at English Bay Beach or Kitsilano Beach, take an exciting Jet Ski ride, kayak, or take a stand-up paddleboard tour around the bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Public amenities, including restrooms and restaurants can be found at English Bay Beach, Kitsilano Beach, and Stanley Park.
- Lifeguards are stationed at both English Bay Beach and Kitsilano Beach from late May to early September.
- Both beaches are equipped with Mobi-Mats (portable pathways that provide access to the sand) and water wheelchairs, which can be booked in advance.
- The waters of English Bay are suitable for swimming.
How to Get There
English Bay Beach is situated in the West End neighborhood of Vancouver, adjacent to the downtown area. The No. 6 bus connects Yaletown with English Bay Beach.
When to Get There
The bay is best explored between May and September when warmer weather facilitates water-based fun. Strolling and cycling along the seawall and the beaches can be enjoyed year-round. For an invigorating winter activity, attend the Polar Beach Swim in January, when thousands of brave swimmers plunge into the cold waters of English Bay.
Celebration of Light
Every summer, the skies above English Bay explode with light during the annual Celebration of Light fireworks competition. This pyrotechnic spectacle, produced by teams representing different countries, is choreographed to music and launched from offshore barges. Crowds of spectators gather on the waterfront around English Bay to watch the show.