Vancouver’s famous Seawall is the undeniably the city’s outdoor recreational hub. However, it also functions as a vital transportation link that will connect you to many of the Vancouver’s main attractions and best beaches.
I’ve summoned all of my years of experience navigating this local treasure to compile the ultimate Seawall itinerary for visitors looking to take a self guided tour. Or perhaps you’d prefer a comprehensive guided tour? We’ve got you covered there too.
The choice is entirely up to you!
So lace up your most comfortable walking shoes and lets get started.
- User Guide
- Bike Rentals
- Seawall Tours
- Coal Harbour
- Stanley Park
- West End
- False Creek South
- Point Grey
The Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted urban pathway. This scenic thoroughfare provides users with spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains, the Salish Sea and Vancouver’s skyline at virtually every turn.
The path’s name is derived from the 8.8 km long stone wall around the perimeter of Stanley Park. This iconic structure was erected between 1917 and 1971 in order to prevent the erosion of the park’s foreshore.
However, the term is more commonly a reference to the city’s famous 28 km long walking, cycling and rollerblading pathway that stretches from Downtown’s Coal Harbour to Spanish Banks Beach.
Seawall User Guide
The Seawall is separated into two distinct sections. The pathway closest to the water is designated for walkers and joggers only. While the inside path is for use by cyclists and inline skaters.
You may travel in both directions in all area’s with one exception. Cyclists in Stanley Park must travel from North to South do the high level of traffic in the area.
Those wishing to return to Coal Harbour can do so via a path on the Southside of Lost Lagoon near Second Beach or the park’s extensive network of trails.
Be sure to follow all of the signs and keep your eyes peeled for cyclists when using the path. It can get extremely busy, particularly on warm Summer weekends.
To quote Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry, I’ve seen some awful smacks!
How to Get Around
What is best way to navigate the Seawall? On foot or via bicycle?
This question is just about as old as the pathway itself. In fact, it even led to a protracted decades long conflict among groups of hardheaded Vancouverites. This culminated in the brief banning of cycling for a period in the 1970’s.
Luckily the Seawall was eventually widened, leading to the twinning of the path and allowing the respective parties to enjoy the Seawall in relative peace.
While each option has their advantages, in my personal opinion the best way for visitors to enjoy the Seawall is on bicycle. I’ve come to this conclusion for the following reasons:
- You can cover more ground.
- It’s less physically taxing (it’s flat almost the entire way).
- It’s more fun!
If you’re a visitor to Vancouver presumably you’d like to see as much of the city as possible. However, you’re time is limited.
A bike simply allows you to cover more ground in a more efficient manner. You can knock off a good chunk of our recommended Vancouver itinerary via the Seawall in one day!
On foot this would simply be impossible.
Vancouver Seawall Bike Rentals
While this all may sound great. But where is a traveller supposed to get a bike?
Well luckily we’ve got you covered!
Our friends at Van City Bikes have a great 5 hour rental package from their convenient Waterfront Station location near the start of the Seawall. This will give you plenty of time to explore Stanley Park and hit an attraction or two along the way.
For more information or to rent a bike click on the button below.
Vancouver Seawall Tours
Would you’d like to learn about the history and nature of BC with a group of likeminded travellers? Or maybe you’d prefer to spend the day outside getting a little exercise?
Well now you can do both at the same time!
Our partners at Viator offer a range of exciting and informative guided cycling tours around the Seawall. Lets have a look at the different options.
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tours-The Grand Tour
This popular 5-hour bike tour of Vancouver takes place on the Seawall and the city’s dedicated cycling lanes.
Stop at sites like Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown and Chinatown to hear tales of the city from your knowledgeable guide.
Stanley Park Bike Tour
Avoid the urban chaos and disappear into Stanley Park’s lush forest on this 3-hour bike tour of the world’s best urban park.
You’ll explore all of the major sights at a relaxed pace. Check out the majestic First Nations totem poles in Brockton Point, Lost Lagoon, and beautiful Third Beach.
City Sights E-bike Guided Tour
If you’d prefer a slightly less strenuous approach to a guided cycling tour then this is the option for you.
Explore can’t miss attractions like Stanley Park, Granville Island and False Creek. Only do it from the comfort of an electric bike.
Vancouver Seawall Itinerary
If you’re like me and you’d prefer a more cost effective and open approach to touring the Seawall then you’re in luck. I’ve composed a complete Seawall itinerary from start to finish.
In order to do so I’ve elected to divide it up into the following sections:
- Coal Harbour
- Stanley Park
- West End/Davie Village
- False Creek South
- Point Grey
For each neighbourhood I’ve provided a list of the top things to do, my favourite food and drink options and the best parks and beaches. All of these can be found on the map above.
Because after all, the Seawall isn’t just an attraction in and of itself. With a local knowledge it can truly function as your key to the city!
So put away that transit pass and lets get started!
Coal Harbour Seawall
Kilometre zero is marked by The Drop, a famous blue steel sculpture built to resemble a rain drop, an entity of which Vancouverites are intimately familiar!
The Eastern section of Coal Harbour is dominated by two major landmarks, Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. Outside the former you’ll find the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre in addition a variety of shuttles to attractions such as Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Situated above the later you’ll find Jack Poole Plaza, which contains the 2010 Olympic Torch and the famous Digitalized Orca by local author and artist Douglas Copeland.
The name of the game here is to simply stop and soak in the spectacular views of Burrard Inlet, the North Shore Mountains and the Vancouver skyline. Take a moment to grab some snaps of what many have dubbed the most beautiful city in the world.
As you proceed Westward you’ll pass through a decidedly residential neighbourhood composed of the glass condo towers immortalized in Douglas Copeland’s famous book “City of Glass“.
Along the waterfront you’ll encounter picturesque parkland and marinas with a number of bars and restaurants interspersed throughout.
Coal Harbour Things to Do
Flyover Canada is a state-of-the-art 4D video flight simulator experience that will whisk you away on an exhilarating 8 minute journey across Canada.
Gaze down at towering mountain peaks, expansive river valleys and vast prairies as you experience the sights, sounds and smells associated with flight.
Located at Canada Place, this attraction is the perfect cap to a long day spent biking or walking along the Seawall.
Take a Whale Watching Adventure
There simply isn’t a better vantage point to experience the unique beauty of British Columbia than from the water. You can depart on a half day whale watching tour in search of the majestic beauty of up to 5 species of whales, dolphins and marine mammals.
And the best part is sightings are guaranteed!
These 3-5 hour tours depart from the outside the Bayshore Hotel, right along the Seawall. Spend your morning exploring the Seawall, Coal Harbour and Stanley Park before tracking back for an afternoon departure. You’ll still be back in time for dinner!
Located across the street from Waterfront Station, this iconic observation deck offers visitors 360 degree panoramic views from its perch 553 feet above the city streets below.
You’ll have a birds-eye view of historic Gastown, Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. These are simply the best views Vancouver has to offer.
Simply return your bike to Waterfront Station and walk across the street to take in the unparalleled views of Vancouver’s iconic sunsets. It’s the ultimate cap to a day spent cycling along the Seawall.
Coal Harbour Bars & Restaurants
- Tap and Barrel-Located above the Convention Centre, this taphouse contains a massive seasonal patio that offers amazing views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore. Great place to sample the best local craft beer.
- Lift Bar and Grill-This Westcoast marine bistro situated right along the Seawall combines jaw-dropping views with a more refined Westcoast take on classics like sushi, seafood and steaks.
- Cardero’s-Located right at the top of the Coal Harbour Marina, Cardero’s features a refined casual menu that is heavy on seafood and items from their wood-burning oven.
Coal Harbour Parks
- Harbour Green Park-Quaint waterfront park that’s home to rolling lawns, spectacular views and a small water park. Relax and gaze out over the water to watch seaplanes taking off from the neighbouring Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre.
- Devonian Harbour Park-4.2 hectare seaside park that bridges Coal Harbour with neighbouring Stanley Park. Built upon the former site of Denman Arena, home to the Vancouver Millionaires, the city’s first professional hockey club which won the Stanley Cup in 1915. Bonus points for those who can find the plaque that honours this accomplishment!
Stanley Park Seawall
As you reach kilometre 2.2 you’ll come upon what is undisputedly Vancouver’s crown jewel. Stanley Park is a massive 4.049 square kilometre park that comprises the entirety of the Western portion of Vancouver’s downtown peninsula.
What more can be said about the park that Trip Advisor has dubbed “the top park in the entire world“?
The first thing you’ll notice is the park’s idyllic and unspoilt nature. Landscape architects sat back and let mother nature take the reigns. And what a job she did!
Stanley Park’s 6.6 kilometre stretch of Seawall is undoubtedly the most famous portion of this waterfront path. Just be sure to note that is also far and away the busiest.
Along the way you’ll encounter many of Vancouver’s most Instagram able sights, including; Brockton Point, the Lions Gate Bridge and Siwash Rock.
To truly enjoy the park I highly recommend venturing off the Seawall and taking advantage of Stanley Park’s vast 27 kilometre network of trails.
Not only will this get you away from the crowds, it’ll provide you with access to a whole range of attractions such as The Vancouver Aquarium, the Totem Poles and Stanley Park Railway.
Make sure to check out the Stanley Park map to get yourself oriented before you leave the Seawall. You wouldn’t want to get lost
Stanley Park Things to Do
The Totem Poles
There is no more prototypically British Columbian experience than visiting Stanley Park’s most visited site.
There are currently ten totems that date back as far as the 1880’s. These majestic poles were erected to represent and commemorate ancestry, mark family lineage or recount notable events.
Simply lock up your bike and make the 50 meter walk to admire these remarkable pieces of artwork. Then be quickly on your way.
If you’d like a more comprehensive experience, I recommend taking part in the popular Spoken Treasures Walking Tour. Stroll around the Seawall with a local indigenous cultural ambassador to gain a deeper understanding of the poles and the region’s complex history.
The Vancouver Aquarium
With over 70,000 animals, 9,500,000 litres (2,500,000 gallons) of water and 166 aquatic displays the Vancouver Aquarium is the biggest facility of its kind in Western Canada.
Watch Ellen the Pacific White-sided Dolphin leap acrobatically in the air. Then check out the Stellar’s Point sea mammal rescue centre, penguin point and the lovable sea otters.
Lock up your bike and pop in for an hour or two. Otherwise your kids will never let you here the end of it!
Cyclists receive discounted admission.
Stanley Park Pitch and Putt
Whether you’re a scratch golfer or an aspiring Chi Chi Rodriguez Stanley Park’s very own 1200 yard par 54 golf course is sureto not disappoint.
Located near picturesque Second Beach, it gives you the perfect opportunity to shake the crowds and pitch and put your way around one of the area’s most picturesque golf courses.
Club rentals are available on site for a minimal fee.
Stanley Park Bars & Restaurants
- Stanley’s Bar and Grill– Located in the Stanley Park Pavilion, this casual restaurant features a menu composed of casual Westcoast fare and a collection of craft beers from nearby Stanley Park Brewing. Contains a stunning patio that overlooks the Stanley Park Gardens.
- Stanley Park Brewing-This restaurant and brewpub is one of the newest additions to Vancouver’s craft beer scene. Features a Westcoast casual menu and a rotating cast of seasonal taps that are brewed inhouse.
- Stanley Park Teahouse-Located at Ferguson Point, this Vancouver institution boldly claims to be home to “the best sunset in the city“. As the most refined option in the park it’s the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion.
Stanley Park Beaches
- Third Beach-Just past the famous Siwash Rock you’ll encounter this naturally sandy beach. It’s surrounded by trees that provide a sense of isolation from nearby Downtown Vancouver. This makes it perfect for sunbathing, picnics and watching sunsets.
- Second Beach-Located further along the Seawall, this small sandy beach tends to be much busier due to its close vicinity to Vancouver’s West End. It also contains a playground, volley ball courts and a large fully heated outdoor pool.
Both beaches are staffed by lifeguards in the Summertime and possess public washrooms and concession stands that offer a variety of food and beverage options.
If you’ve burned up all of your time and need to get back to Coal Harbour now is the time to do it. At kilometre 8.8 near Second Beach there is a path that heads back towards the Coal Harbour section of the Seawall alongside Lost Lagoon.
If not there’s plenty left to see, so lets get going!
West End Seawall
As you continue on past Second Beach you’ll leave the peaceful tranquility of Stanley Park behind in favour of the densely populated residential neighbourhood of the West End.
The first thing you’ll notice is the scores of area residents sprawled out on Sunset Beach Park’s expansive lawns. This is Downtown Vancouver’s most popular spot to enjoy a picnic or a brief moment of reflection.
However, if you’d prefer to hit the sand nearby Sunset Beach offers a better option for sunbathers and swimmers. Just be warned, this is a full on urban beach. So don’t expect much in the way of privacy.
Augmenting the incredible views of English Bay are the popular Inukshuk and Amazing Laughter sculptures, two of Vancouver’s most photographed works of art.
As you proceed further East you’ll quickly notice many peoples’ attempts to create their own Inukshuk using rocks from the shoreline below.
Why not stop and give it the old college try?
If you’d like to lock up your bike in order to refuel nearby Denman Street is home to a seemingly endless choice of bars and restaurants of every shape and stripe.
Alternatively you can head up the hill along Davie Street towards Vancouver’s famous “gaybourhood”, Davie Village. You can sample from the area’s wealth of drinking and dining options and check out the famous rainbow crosswalk at Davie and Bute.
West End Things To Do
The Really Gay History Tour
If you’d like to learn more about the untold history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community then you’re in luck.
Join your knowledgeable local guide on this highly rated walking tour through the streets of Davie village and Downtown. You’re guaranteed to be inspired by the tales of struggle, unity, and celebration.
Enjoy the Sunset
A wise man (or woman) once said that the best things in life are free. If you require a salient reminder of this fact then I recommend catching sunset over English Bay on a beautiful Summer’s night.
Do as the locals do and grab some local take out and a couple drinks and claim your spot on the sand. Then let nature do the rest.
After all, it isn’t called Sunset Beach by coincidence!
West End Bars & Restaurants
- Cactus Club– This local premium casual chain has been blessed with a location right on the Sunset Beach stretch of the Seawall. Grab a seat on the patio to enjoy their fantastic happy hour specials.
- The Sylvia Hotel– Located across Beach Avenue from the Seawall, this Vancouver institution offers a great selection of happy hour drink and appy specials. Be sure to try the famous Vancouver cocktail!
- The Bayside Lounge– This 1970’s style lounge serves innovative cocktails from its second floor perch above the corner of Davie and Denman. A great spot to get out of the sun and easily my favourite bar in the neighbourhood.
West End Beaches
- English Bay Beach-The most popular beach in the downtown core, English Bay Beach contains extensive food and beverage options, volleyball courts, kayak rentals and public washroom facilities.
- Sunset Beach-Located a short distance down the Seawall from English Bay Beach at the mouth of False Creek. This beach tends to have fewer people giving it a slightly more relaxed feel. Come here to grab the Granville Island False Creek Ferry.
Once you pass under the Burrard Street Bridge you’ll enter the neighbourhood of Yaletown. This former warehouse district cum yuppie playground contains a plethora of hip restaurants and chic cocktail lounges targeted at Vancouver’s beautiful people.
While the neighbourhood is still largely residential, you’ll notice a drastic change from the West End’s primarily older rental units to glitzy glass condo towers.
The Seawall area is typified by a number of large parks that contain sizeable lawns, recreational areas and playgrounds. These parks are a great spot to sit and watch the marine traffic go in and out of neighbouring False Creek.
As you proceed East you’ll encounter the Marinaside Crescent area, which has a number of waterfront bars and restaurants overlooking the Quayside Marina.
As you exit the area you’ll also pass the Parq Casino, BC Place and Rogers Arena, the home of the Vancouver Canucks.
Yaletown Things To Do
Hit up a Happy Hour
The most popular thing to do in Yaletown is to kill the late afternoon blues by taking advantage of happy hour on one of the area’s spacious patios.
The old loading platforms of Yaletown’s red-brick warehouses have been repurposed as delightful sunny patios for the area’s trendy restaurants, luxe lounges and brewpubs.
Simply lock up your bike and walk up Davie Street to Mainland or Hamilton Street. You’ll have an endless choice of local haunts to wet your whistle.
Visit the Engine 374 Pavilion
Yaletown was formerly the Western terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway in its former industrial past.
To honour this history the Engine 374 Pavilion contains the train of the same name, which was the first trans-continental train to arrive in Vancouver in 1887.
Located a stones throw from the Seawall at Roundhouse Turntable Plaza, the attraction is open 7 days a week and has free admission.
Yaletown Bars & Restaurants
- Ancora Waterfront-Located right between the Burrard and Granville Street bridges, this Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant incorporates a heavy dose of Westcoast inspiration. Their waterfront patio provides great views of Granville Island.
- Baggio Gelateria & Pizzeria– What’s better on a warm Summer’s day than a refreshing scoop of artisan gelato? This Marinaside Crescent gelateria makes their ice cream in-house using only the finest local ingredients.
- Yaletown Brewing Co.– For a casual option in the heart of Yaletown hit up this bustling brewpub that offers a variety on in-house brewed craft beers and pub grub.
- George Wainborn Park-This 2.5 hectare waterfront park welcomes you to Yaletown and offers a great spot to stop and watch the world go by. Check out the “Khenko” sculpture, built to celebrate the return of the Heron to this formerly industrial area.
- David Lum Park-Located a pitching wedge away is the larger David Lum Park which has a similar feel with the addition of recreational facilities like basketball courts, soccer fields and tennis courts.
If you need to get your bike back to Waterfront Station then now may be the time. Option A is to simply follow the Seawall all the way back to Waterfront.
However, if you need save a bit of time I’d recommend Option B, Downtown Vancouver’s network of bike lanes.
- Take a left on the Carrall Street Greenway just after Rogers Arena.
- Follow it for two blocks until Pender Street and take a left.
- Continue on for five blocks until Richards Street and turn right.
- After two blocks you’ll see Waterfront Station on your left hand side.
As the Seawall leaves the downtown peninsula it begins to take on a much less urban feel and the crowds begin to dissipate.
But there’s still plenty to see. So if you’ve still got the time lets get after it.
South False Creek Seawall
Soon after you pass Rogers Arena you’ll make the turn past Science World’s iconic geodesic dome towards the Southside of False Creek.
Here you’ll find the neighbourhood of Olympic Village, which housed competitors during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The area was subsequently repurposed into one of the world’s greenest residential developments.
You can now find over 1,100 residential units as well as a collection of bars, restaurants and parks catering to those who can afford to live there.
As you continue West Downtown and Olympic Village’s high-rises eventually give way to older low and mid rise buildings. As a result, you’ll begin to notice a welcome decline in pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
This stretch of the Seawall’s end will be signalled by the arrival of Granville Island, one of Vancouver’s most famous tourist attractions. Actually a peninsula, this area contains a popular public market and a variety of cultural attractions.
South False Creek Things to Do
Science World at TELUS World of Science is located at the Eastern end of False Creek. The museum features an extensive array of interactive exhibits, galleries and displays targeted at kids of all ages.
Science World is one of Vancouver’s most popular attractions and a great way to kill a rainy day or break up a day spent exploring the Seawall.
Formerly a drab industrial manufacturing area, Granville Island was transformed into a vibrant shopping, cultural and tourism hub in the 1970’s.
The area is home to numerous quirky boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and Vancouver’s largest public market that combine to attract millions of visitors every year.
You simply cannot continue on down the Seawall without stopping at this can’t miss attraction.
Grab a Beer on Beer Island
Not every attraction needs to be on Trip Advisor’s top ten list. Sometimes we just need a place to sit back and soak in a destinations beauty away from the tourist hordes.
Officially dubbed Habitat Island, Beer Island is a favourite stop off point for local Sea Wall users looking for a quick breather and a quick drink to cool off.
Just grab a drink from nearby Legacy Liquor and make the quick two minute walk to the most aptly named location in town. Take a break and enjoy the fantastic views of the Vancouver skyline.
South False Creek Bars & Restaurants
- Tap and Barrel-This sister restaurant to the Coal Harbour location offers the same killer patio, awesome views and extensive local beer and wine selection. Located right on the Seawall, its a perfect spot for a quick break.
- Gusto-This Olympic Village hotspot brings a piece of Rome to the Westcoast. Come here for their house made gelato, aperitivo hour and authentic scrocchiarella, a crispy Roman-style pizza.
- Edible Canada-This Granville Island restaurant is a practitioner of the concept of ‘Canadian table’. All dishes are composed using only the freshest Canadian ingredients. Who says there’s no such thing as Canadian food?
South False Creek Parks
- Creekside Park-This popular park situated right along the Seawall bridges the gap between Yaletown and Olympic Village. It’s known for its massive playground and as a host for a variety of Summertime events.
- Hinge Park-Constructed as part of the 2010 Winter Olympic’s Athletes Village, Hinge Park contains a rainwater wetland, a large play area for children, picnic areas and of course Beer Island!
- Charleson Park-This famous waterfront park is most famous for its stunning views of Vancouver’s skyline and lush greenery around its waterfall and pond. One of the most peaceful spots along the Seawall.
As you continue West on your adventure you’ll see Fisherman’s Wharf on your way out of Granville Island. Once you pass under the Burrard Street Bridge you’ll enter the neighbourhood of Kitsilano.
This primarily residential area was formerly known as Canada’s answer to Haight-Asbury. Despite becoming “yuppified” in recent decades, Kits’ laid back reputation endures via the proliferation of quirky cafes, small local boutiques, and trendy restaurants.
You’ll quickly notice a significantly ‘less urban’ nature to the area’s foreshore. The neighbourhood takes its name from Kitsilano Point, which is surrounded by parkland, beaches and recreational facilities.
It’s not by chance that locals have the reputation as the city’s most active residents. Nor is it a coincidence that lululemon was founded here.
However, that doesn’t mean there is a lack of culture. Vanier Park is home to three of Vancouver’s most popular museums.
Kitsilano Things to Do
Hit the Beach
Known as “Kits Beach” to locals, Kitsilano Beach is quite possibly the most popular beach in Vancouver.
You’ll find thousands of sun starved Vancouverites sunbathing, swimming or playing beach volleyball on its golden sand on a warm Summer day.
The area is undoubtedly the beating heart of Kitsilano. And the best part is it’s located right on the Seawall.
Cool Off in Vancouver’s Largest Pool
Looking to cool off after a long day spent navigating the Seawall in the hot July sun? Well I hope you brought your trunks, because I’ve got just the spot.
Kitsilano is home to its own fully heated outdoor saltwater pool. But this isn’t just any pool. At an astounding 137 metres in length, Kits Pool is the longest saltwater pool in North America.
The pool is divided into three sections. So it’s perfect for everyone, be it children, casual swimmers or Michael Phelps himself.
Kits Pool is usually open from May to September.
Visit a Museum
In addition to being a great spot for a picnic, Vanier Park is home to three of Vancouver’s most popular museums:
- The Maritime Museum-Recounts BC’s historical ties to the Pacific Ocean via a series of interactive exhibits and displays. Come here to see the legendary St. Roch, the first boat to traverse the Northwest Passage.
- The H.R MacMillan Space Centre-A space museum, planetarium and fully functioning observatory. This museum aims to educate, inspire and evoke a sense of wonder about our universe.
- The Museum of Vancouver-The largest civic history museum in Western Canada. The MOV takes you through the entirety of Vancouver’s transformation from pioneer outpost to cosmopolitan metropolis.
Each of these medium size museums can be explored in an hour or two. This will allow you get back on the road to explore the Seawall in no time.
Kitsilano Bars & Restaurants
- Local Public Eatery-Conveniently located right across the street from Kits Beach. This Californian beach town themed bar and grill is home to the most popular patio in Kits. Great place for a casual afternoon drink.
- The Boathouse-Situated above the Kits Beach concession. The Boathouse is one of Vancouver’s favourite destinations for wild and sustainable seafood, aged steaks and BC wines.
- Nook-This neighbourhood Italian restaurant offers authentic pizza, pasta and antipasti along with good wine in a fun each-casual atmosphere.
Kitsilano Parks & Beaches
- Vanier Park-Situated on Kits Point, halfway between Granville Island and Kits Beach. This large municipal park features large open fields, tranquil ponds and spectacular views of Downtown Vancouver. It’s also home to the Maritime Museum, HR MacMillan Space Centre and the Museum of Vancouver.
- Hadden Park-Once you’ve past Vanier Park you’ll encounter this small waterfront beach that is home to a large totem pole, some lovely gardens and a small dog beach.
- Kitsilano Beach–Vancouver’s most popular beach, Kits is home to a swimming raft, windsurfing and paddleboard rentals and the city’s largest pool. On Summer weekends you’ll often encounter festivals, volleyball tournaments and a collection of food trucks.
At the path’s 11 kilometre mark near Kitsilano Beach Park the Seawall officially comes to an end. However, the cycling path extends well beyond that point to UBC and Point Grey’s many beaches and parks.
If you need to head back you can save a bit of time by using the Burrard Street Bridge’s bike lane. This can be easily accessed using the Seaside Bypass along Cypress Street.
But remember there’s still one more hood to see. So if you’re still game to continue I am too!
I promise it’ll be worth the trip!
Point Grey Seawall
As you leave Kitsilano Beach Park you’ll briefly be required to join the Point Grey Road bike route. This thoroughfare will transport you past Point Grey’s ritzy waterfront homes to the parks and beaches on the other side.
Once you’re past the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Jericho Tennis Centre you’ll come upon tranquil Jericho Beach Park. Here you’ll rejoin the waterfront path and be transported to Jericho’s strip of golden sandy beach and its iconic pier.
Continue West past the parks weeping willows and you’ll finally arrive at peaceful Locarno and Spanish Banks Beaches and the massive Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Were it were not for the spectacular views of Vancouver’s skyline this area may cause you to forget you’re even in the city.
And out here that’s actually the point!
Locals come here to avoid the massive crowds of Kitsilano and the downtown beaches. There is no better spot in town for a BBQ, picnic or a moment of peaceful reflection.
Point Grey Things to Do
Take the Jericho Explorer Kayak Tour
Kayaking is a fantastic way to get a little exercise, explore Vancouver’s beaches and see some local wildlife.
Depart from the Jericho Kayaking Centre for a guided four hour tour. Along the way you’ll learn interesting tales of the regions nature and history while paddling along the scenic waters of English Bay.
Enjoy the Beaches
Technically the Northside of Point Grey is home to four different beaches. But in reality it houses one continuous 3 kilometre stretch of sandy beach from Jericho to Spanish Banks West.
This secluded area is popular with families, runners and locals looking for an escape from the urban grind. But perhaps most importantly, it’s home to Vancouver Planner’s unofficial Summertime “staff meetings”, usually around a BBQ and well stocked cooler.
So avoid English Bay’s crowds and Kits’ over the top pretentiousness and head straight to the best beaches in Vancouver.
Just don’t forget to say hi!
Bike Your Way Through Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Pacific Spirit Regional contains over 73 km of walking/hiking trails. About 50 km of these are designated multi-use and can also be used for cycling and horseback riding.
The massive 874 hectare park stretches from English Bay in the North to the Fraser River in the South. It’s home to forests, creeks, cliffs and a bog that provide habitat to a wide variety of plants and animals.
The extensive trail system that meanders throughout the park’s old-growth rainforest is the perfect playground for those looking to avoid the Seawall’s crowds.
Point Grey Bars & Restaurants
- The Galley Patio and Grill-Truly one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets, The Galley is located on the roof of the Jericho Sailing Centre. Burgers, fish and chips and craft beers may be on the menu. But it’s the stunning views of English Bay that are the star of the show.
- Concession Stands-There are four concession stands located between Jericho and Spanish Banks-West. Each location serves a variety of cold and hot drinks, ice cream and food options. Favourites include the burgers, curries and fish and chips.
Point Grey Parks & Beaches
- Jericho Beach-This quaint sandy beach contains a pier, concession stand and picnic tables as well as soccer and baseball fields in the large adjoining park. Additional amenities include a youth hostel, the Jericho Kayaking Centre and the Jericho Sailing Centre.
- Locarno Beach-Once you cross through Jericho Beach Park you’ll come to Locarno. As one of Vancouver’s designated “quiet beaches” it’s popular with families and couples for picnics and barbeques.
- Spanish Banks-Although technically one bank, the beach is divided into three (East, West and Extension). Swimming is popular on the Eastern bank, while the Western bank’s long tidal flats are perfect for skim boarding.
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park-This 874 hectare park stretches across Point Grey and separates the Vancouver from the University of British Columbia. It’s home to over 117 kilometres of forest trails that are teeming with plant and animal life.
How to Get Back
Once you reach the dog park at Spanish Banks Extension the Seawall finally comes to an end. So give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve finally made it!
But how do you get back?
Diehards have the option of continuing up the hill on NW Marine Drive towards The Museum of Anthropology, Wreck Beach and the University of British Columbia. This area is very well served by city buses, which possess bike racks. Just be warned, its quite the climb.
Most people will just turn around and head back the way they came. You should be able to make it back downtown across the Burrard Street Bridge in around 30 minutes by bike. Alternatively, you can catch the #4 bus from the South side of 4th Avenue across from Jericho Beach Park.
Vancouver Seawall FAQs
What is the Vancouver Seawall?
Stretching 28 kilometres from Coal Harbour to Point Grey, Vancouver’s Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path.
It contains two separate paths, one for walkers and joggers and another for cyclists and in-line skaters.
Where is Vancouver’s Seawall located?
The Seawall begins outside the Vancouver Convention Centre in the neighbourhood of Coal Harbour. After travelling around Stanley Park’s perimeter it encircles False Creek before coming to an end at Spanish Banks beach.
What is the Best Way to Experience Vancouver’s Seawall?
Cycling is the most efficient way to see as much of the Seawall as possible. This way can take your time and enjoy the attractions, beaches, parks, bars and restaurants along the way.
Well that’s about all I can cram into your ultimate Seawall itinerary. I hope I’ve displayed the wealth of recreational options available on the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path.
However, if you have any additional comments or questions don’t be afraid to hit us up on our Facebook page or in the comments below
I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Enjoy the Seawall