First Beach, English Bay, Vancouver

First Beach (English Bay Beach) in the West End in Downtown Vancouver is a popular destination for spectacular sunsets which bring dozens of people out onto the beach and surrounding seawall to admire these nightly explosions of colour. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE:

Sunset in late winter during low tide off English Bay Beach (First Beach) looking south-west toward Kitsilano and Point Grey.





All Seasons


Overcast, Clear, Sunny, Hot, Calm, Not Raining


1 hour



What to bring:

Drink, Snack, Bird Book, Sun Glasses, Blanket

Located on the edge of Vancouver's West End, First Beach, also known as English Bay Beach is a popular destination throughout the year, appealing to a variety of interests. The first of every year sees its shores filled with people awaiting the start of the frigid Polar Bear Swim and the summer sees the beach full of visitors sunning themselves on the warm sand, swimming, playing volleyball or renting a kayak from the nearby kiosk. Late summer brings the annual Celebration of Lights where three countries compete to win over the millions of people who come to watch these spectacular fireworks shows. The beach is never empty as sunsets over English Bay are shows in themselves and the nearby seawall provides a constant stream of visitors exploring the shores and enjoying the surrounding beauty.

First Beach (otherwise known as English Bay Beach) on the shores of Vancouver's West End is undeniably a favourite spot in the warm summer months.

The beach was best known for its intrepid self-styled lifeguard, Joe Fortes who resided on the beach in the 1900s patrolling its shores and teaching swimming lessons.

Located close to one of Canada's highest density residential areas, it has become a premier attraction throughout the year boasting Vancouver's annual Polar Bear Swim on January 1, where brave (or foolish depending on the sentiment) people of all ages take a freezing dive into the waters in a variety of costumes or swim wear to welcome the beginning of another year.

In late summer, Vancouver hosts the Celebration of Lights which sees over a million people over a span of four nights gather on the shores of the beach to watch this annual fireworks competition.

The city's annual Pride Parade route passes the beach and hosts its annual festival on its shores as well. Throughout the year many marathons and runs use the seawall directly adjacent to beach as a rout for a variety of different charities.

Known for its stunning sunset locale, the beach is most popular in the evening hours as the sun slowly creeps to the horizon in a blaze of colours. Summers see the beach packed with people enjoying the warm sun, playing volleyball, swimming or renting a kayak from the seasonal outlet. Its central location is a magnet for beach-goers looking for convenience with concession stands, public bathrooms, the seawall and nearby Denman Street, location to the city's most diverse eateries.

The beach continues to be one of the West End's most endearing attractions, drawing thousands to its shores to enjoy sunny days, low tides, ice cream or the surrounding seawall amidst the backdrop of Vancouver's famed ocean scenery.

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Surrounded by one of the most densely populated boroughs in Canada, Vancouver's West End, First Beach (otherwise known as English Bay Beach) is a popular year-round area with spectacular sunsets, seawall access and outdoor summer entertainment.

Location of First beach, English bay near Stanley park

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around First beach, English bay near Stanley park

First Beach is located on the corner of Denman St. and Beach Ave.

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