English Bay Beach

Beach in Downtown & West End

Wandering south on Denman St, you'll spot a clutch of palm trees ahead announcing one of Canada's best urban beaches. Then you'll see Vancouver's most popular public artwork: a series of oversized laughing figures that makes everyone smile. There's a party atmosphere here in summer as locals catch rays and panoramic ocean views…or just ogle the volleyballers prancing around on the sand.

Be sure to snap a few photos of the beach's towering inukshuk (Inuit sculpture), south of the main area, or just continue along the seawall into neighboring Stanley Park. The beach is a popular (but crowded) spot to catch the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival, and it's also where the city's annual, wildly popular Polar Bear Swim takes place on January 1.