Here are the 10 best swimming spots in BC ranked

Jul 6 2021, 12:05 am

If the sunshine and warm temperatures weren’t obvious indicators, summer is well underway in Metro Vancouver. And with many people in need of quick ways to cool off, there’s nothing better than doing a little swimming.

Fortunately, British Columbians are lucky to have an abundance of beaches and lakes in our backyard, meaning that there’s no shortage of refreshing public swimming spots.

If you’re looking for the best of the best, real estate marketplace Zolo recently released a top 10 ranking of the best places to go swimming in BC.

The ranking was created after asking 400 people to rate the best swimming spots in the province.

So, pull out your bathing suit, slather on the sunscreen, and check out some of the best spots in BC to go for a swim. And if you decide to visit swimming holes that have fast-moving water, such as rivers, be sure to practice caution and wear a flotation device if necessary.

1. Cultus Lake

Cultus Lake (Ruth Hartnup/Flickr)

Cultus Lake (Ruth Hartnup/Flickr)

Cultus Lake boasts sandy beaches, clean freshwater swimming, and convenient access to nearby food and amenities. Given its popularity, however, paid parking is in full effect, so be sure to arrive early in the day.

2. Okanagan Lake


Okanagan Lake/Shutterstock

The massive Okanagan lake attracts both locals and tourists alike. According to Zolo, it’s large enough for plenty of people to gather without feeling crowded. It’s also divided to offer motor access as well as swimmer-only areas.

3. Kootenay Lake

kootenay lake

Kootenay Lake/Shutterstock

Located in southeast British Columbia, Kootenay Lake is another popular choice for freshwater swimming. Be prepared though, since it’s a glacier-fed lake, the body of water is definitely on the cooler side. But hey, what better way to beat the heat, right?

4. Harrison Lake


Bumper boating at Harrison Lake (Harrison Watersports)

Located in the beautiful town of Agassiz, Harrison Lake is in close proximity to campsites, hiking, horseback riding, and the popular mineral hot springs. In addition to soft sand and swimming, visitors can also take advantage of water skiing, wind surfing, and sailing.

5. Windermere Lake

Windermere Lake (Larry Halverson)

Windermere Lake (Larry Halverson)

With views of the Rocky Mountains, it’s hard not to love Lake Windermere, which is located in southeastern BC. Not to mention, at almost 18 km in length, it’s one of the largest and warmest lakes in the Kootenay region.

6. Shuswap Lake

shuswap lake

Shuswap Lake/Shutterstock

Shuswap Lake features stunning clear water, campsites, and rentals for a variety of aquatic activities. Plus, once you’re done with the water, there are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

7. Cordova Bay Beach

cordova bay

Cordova Bay Beach (District of Saanich/Twitter)

Cordova Beach is approximately 10 km north of downtown Victoria. It offers roadside parking and multiple access points, making it popular with swimmers and sunbathers alike. It’s also located right by Cordova Bay Golf Course, allowing for a quick round before or after your swim.

8. Christina Lake

christina lake

Christina Lake at Gladstone Provincial Park (Shutterstock)

Christina Lake Provincial Park is located at the south end of the lake. The park offers a stunning beach that stretches approximately 1,000 feet along the shore and if you’re looking for activities between swims, there are plenty of picnic tables and volleyball nets.

9. Kitsilano to Wreck Beach

Kitsilano Beach downtown Vancouver skyline

Kitsilano Beach and the downtown Vancouver skyline during the summer. (Shutterstock)

Located in downtown Vancouver, Kits Beach is a fan favourite when it comes to local swimming holes. The beach has a designated swimming area that includes a daily lifeguard patrol, and there are plenty of other amenities to take advantage of, such as tennis and basketball courts and a playground.

10. Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake, Whistler/Shutterstock

Lost Lake is one of the many stunning swimming spots in Whistler. The lake itself is small compared to others in the area, making it a warmer choice for swimming. It’s also a short walk from Whistler’s Upper Village and has a trail that surrounds the lake, catering to cyclists and dog walkers alike.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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