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 one of Vancouver's most popular public artworks: a series of oversized laughing figures that makes everyone smile. Across the street is the beach, where a summertime party atmosphere has locals catching rays and panoramic ocean views…or just ogling 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 wildly popular Polar Bear Swim takes place on January 1.