5 Metro Vancouver parks for picnics with a view this summer

Jun 1 2021, 2:45 pm

Please note: As ordered by health officials, non-essential travel between regions in BC is not permitted at this time. Currently, indoor gatherings of up to five visitors or one other household are allowed. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are also permitted, but use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.

In recent weeks, we’ve had a sweet taste of summer weather in BC, prompting us to dig out our shorts and sandals, throw on our shades, and embrace the warmth of the sun against our skin.

Although we’ve had some brief periods of rain and arguably moody clouds in between (let’s not forget we’re living in a city dubbed “Raincouver”), the countdown to the most glorious season of the year is officially on.

If, like us, you’re looking for new local spots to explore this summer, there are plenty of beautiful parks across Metro Vancouver where you can picnic while legally enjoying a beverage or two — safely and responsibly.

But before you scope out the perfect spot at one of the parks listed below to plant down your blanket, make sure that your picnic basket is filled to the brim with treats to enjoy! Our tip on ensuring the yummiest picnic is to include a classic Italian libation, like the Aperol Spritz.

Waterfront Park

 

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Located in North Vancouver, this harbourside park is largely underrated. It’s easy to access from the city via the SeaBus, and once you’re there, you can find a cozy picnic spot north or south of the train tracks (excluding the playground), where alcohol consumption is allowed from 12 pm to dusk. Take in the action on the water and picturesque views of Burrard Inlet as you dine al fresco.

Kings Mill Walk Park

Also located in North Vancouver, Kings Mill Walk Park is a wonderful haven for outdoor wining and dining this season. Choose a spot in the designated area between Harbourside Place and Fell Avenue, lay down your picnic blanket, and marvel at Vancouver’s cityscape beyond the shimmering waters of Burrard Inlet. Planning to bring your four-legged friend along? The park also has an off-leash area for their leisure.

Castle Park

 

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Port Coquitlam’s Castle Park — the location for the city’s annual Canada Day fireworks display — is a spectacular place to celebrate the start of picnic season. To get there from downtown Vancouver, you can take the Expo Line followed by the 159 bus. When you arrive, explore the park’s many walking paths and lush green spaces. Then, turn your gaze to views of the Fraser River and Port Mann Bridge as you set up a picnic table for the ultimate feast.

Evergreen Park

 

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Situated off Cedar Drive in northeast Port Coquitlam, Evergreen Park boasts wide open, grassy areas with ample space to settle for a sunny afternoon picnic and drinks. If you don’t have a picnic blanket or chairs, simply make use of one of the picnic tables found within the park and relax as you dine outdoors with nature all around you. From downtown Vancouver, you can get there by taking the Expo Line, Millennium Line, and the 172 bus.

Gates Park

 

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There’s no shortage of impressive picnic-worthy parks in Port Coquitlam, and Gates Park is up there with our favourites. It’s an ideal destination for anyone hoping to play a game of tennis or soccer or embark on a loop trail with views for days (we recommend the Traboulay PoCo Trail) before sitting down to eat. The park is accessible from 2300 Reeve Street, and sipping on the alcoholic drink of your choice is allowed here year-round.


We know that packing a picnic basket can be a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Our personal go-to is a selection of BC-made cheeses and cured meats, freshly-baked baguettes from a local bakery, and homemade basil pesto as the base for everything.

As you begin to envision the charcuterie you’ll be munching on with friends in your bubble to recover from those long, virtual-meeting-filled days, consider adding an Aperol Spritz (or two) to your spread.

The beauty of this great-tasting Italian aperitif is that it can be used to recreate the restaurant experience of a cocktail we regularly order. Light, chic, and simple — the Aperol Spritz is the perfect treat to accompany your picnic blanket this summer in a local North Van or PoCo park. 

By following the foolproof three-two-one ritual, you and the friends in your bubble can bliss out in style, requiring only prosecco (3 oz.), Aperol (2 oz.), sparkling water (1 oz.), ice, and stemmed wine glasses. For an added touch, we garnish the glasses — even our convincing plastic picnic wine glasses — with an orange slice.

If this sparks your curiosity, you can conveniently pick up a bottle of Aperol at your nearest BC Liquor Store. Please remember to drink responsibly.

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