The 10 most scenic dog-friendly beaches in and around Vancouver

May 3 2019, 3:14 am

You know you live in a great city when many of the best beaches aren’t just for humans to enjoy – you can bring along your four-legged best friend too.

There are loads of beaches across the City of Glass where you can run, swim and frolic with your pup.

We’ve sniffed out the best dog beaches you can enjoy with Fido.

Kits Dog Beach/Hadden Park 

Perhaps the most iconic of the Vancouver beaches that allow canines, dozens of dogs can be found enjoying the shores of Hadden Park (its official name) at any given time.  Smack between the perpetually-busy (and heavily patrolled) Kits Beach, and the throngs of tourists at Granville Island, Kits Dog Beach is an extremely chill beach with loads of excellent driftwood logs to sit on to relax and enjoy the ocean views.


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Sunset Beach Park (West End)

As its name reveals, Sunset Beach Park is the perfect place to take in the sundown with your pup by your side. It’s a wee park just off the seawall with plenty of good natured pups and their owners taking in sand and surf with their buddies. A lovely beach for dogs to play in the sand and take a swim, and far enough removed from the seawall that they won’t get in the way of pedestrians and bikers. You also get fantastic views of the boats shuttling in and out of False Creek.


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Crab Park/Portside Park (Gastown)  

With stunning vistas of downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and surrounding mountains, Crab Park (formally called Portside Park) is an oasis for Gastown and Railtown residents.  The park boasts fantastic amenities without being overcrowded and is a great place to chill with your dog.


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Spanish Banks Beach 

Near the entrance to Pacific Spirit Park on NW Marine Dr. lies this West Coast oasis. It has a large expanse of pebbly beach to play fetch and let your pooch have a swim. Here, pets are welcome to join you off-leash as you play in the marine surf – and you can grab a spot of lunch afterwards at the outdoor concession stands.

There are kilometres of trail adjacent to the beach to enjoy the seawall. If you’re looking for a longer jaunt, park on Chancelor Blvd. on the UBC grounds and take the Canyon Trail loop (approximately one hour) for a calming walk in the woods.


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New Brighton Park (Hastings-Sunrise)

Located in the Hastings-Sunrise area just west of the Second Narrows Bridge, New Brighton Park has beach access to the Burrard Inlet and views of the North Shore Mountains.  This park is surrounded by a network of excellent walking and running trails, so it’s the perfect end to a workout with your pooch. There’s a huge grass area for your four-legged friends to run.


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John Hendry Park / Trout Lake (East Vancouver)

A hidden oasis smack dab in the middle of East Vancouver. With sandy shores on the bank of Trout Lake, Fido can run, swim and play to his heart’s content as you pull up a log or bench nearby and hang out and take in the sunshine. Bonus: On weekends the famed Trout Lake Farmer’s Market happens in the adjacent parking lot, and dogs are welcomed on-leash.


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Devonian Harbour Park (Coal Harbour)

This little-known off-leash park actually serves as a gateway between Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. Tucked away just north of West Georgia and Denman streets, there are rolling lawns for playing endless games of fetch. The grassy area leads to a rocky beach that’s perfect for swimming. Of course, the views of Coal Harbour aren’t too shabby either.


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McDonald Beach Park (Richmond) 

On the banks of the Fraser River, and just a skip away from YVR, lies this oasis for our four-legged friends. The stretch of dog-friendly beach stretches for several kilometres and expands at low tide! There’s also a network of wooded trails to explore and a large field to play fetch.


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Ambleside Beach (West Vancouver)

Truly a dog’s dream. With 3.5 hectares of beach, grassy areas and trails, this dog-friendly park is a perfect weekend destination for North Shore and Vancouver dog owners alike. Ample space for swimming and exploring and playing with dogs of all sizes. Lovely views of the Lion’s Gate Bridge and Stanley Park.


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Buntzen Lake (Anmore)

Although it’s about a half hour drive from the city (when there’s no traffic), this off-leash recreational area is worth the drive. The popular lake has a fenced-off swimming area for dogs, so you don’t need to worry about Fido bugging – or being bugged by – kids and swimmers. There are lovely trails nearby as well. If you’re feeling like a big adventure, get up early and check out Diez Vistas with your pooch and finish with a dip in the lake.

Darcy MathesonDarcy Matheson

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