When the BC bank Holiday known as Victoria Day passes in May we know for sure that this is where Summer begins in earnest and that marks the beginning of the activities for the late Spring and Summer season. The Patios at many restaurants and bars are open for the patrons, Farmers Markets pop up all over the various and varied districts of Vancouver, the best part for us is the opening of the many outdoor swimming pools and the freedom to swim on the many beaches of Vancouver.
The best Beaches and Swimming Pools.
One thing you will notice with Vancouver is that it is quite literally surrounded by Beaches, with a great Sea wall hugging the downtown core all the way around False creek to the South and then ending at the Kitsilano district which is where we will begin our tour.
Kits Beach as it is more commonly known with the locals is our version of ‘Venice Beach’ in California, it is an appropriate title considering Vancouver is literally known as the Hollywood north of Canada and this Beach certainly fits the bill. It has glorious views of the downtown core, Stanley Park and the North shore cities and mountains, and has no shortage of people getting some serious tans playing Frisbee and beach Volleyball, but don’t be perturbed by the beach loving sun soaked buff bodies – everyone is welcome here and so you should as it is a stunning place to visit.
There is more – Kits Beach is home to Vancouvers largest outdoor heated swimming pool.
Kits Outdoor Swimming Pool
This is the daddy of all outdoor pools in Vancouver at a length of Length 137m which means it is almost three times the size of an Olympic pool. It also features 3 Slides, a Café and is accessible for all as it is wheelchair accessible has aquatic wheelchairs and is fitted with an aquatic pool lift.
The pool is filled with salt water and is heated, this year Windbreakers will be installed as this will benefit the pool in many ways, it will prevent heat loss from the heated pool and it will also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 220 metric tonnes which equates to removing 46 cars from city streets. This was proven the case last year when the city installed windbreakers at other pools, it is anticipated the drop in these emissions will be much more.
Sunset Beach, English Bay & Second Beach
English Bay is undoubtedly the most popular & well known Beach in Vancouver due to its prime location in the downtown Vancouver area and is sat at the entrance to the popular Stanley Park.
A great way to get to English Bay will be to walk south from the Sunset Inn hotel and in a little over 5 minutes you will reach our namesake beach Sunset Beach. Here you get gorgeous views of the Burrard Bridge and False Creek – start waking west along the Seawall and you will be greeted by the famous Inukshuk stone monument which is located at English Bay. Keep following the Sea Wall and after 10 to 15 minutes you will reach Second Beach – it is called this as English Bay is the ‘first beach’ but generally not known as such.
Second Beach Pool
Second Beach Pool is a heated, outdoor pool located near the beach & sea wall, trails, and forest of Stanley Park.
The summer pool is open May to September. It features a a sloped entry and gradual depths for families, and separated lanes for lap swimmers. The pools Length is 80m with a 50m section for some serious swimming lengths -like the Kits pool it is wheelchair accessible.