Being located on the west coast makes Vancouver one of the best places to watch the sunset. Here are some places to watch the sun slowly sink on the ocean horizon in a palette of pink and orange or reflect off the tall buildings and mountains with a warm glow.
Kitsilano Beach is a busy but beautiful beach located near the shopping and dining hub of West 4th Avenue. Consider checking out the sunset before or after a meal at a local restaurant. (As this is written restaurants are only offering takeout and, in some cases, patio seating.)
Look northeast to see the sun glinting off the mountains. Look west to see it fall off to sea. Take a walk along the seawall to enjoy the ocean views. Kits Beach also is home to the North America’s longest saltwater swimming pool.
Kits Beach has beach volleyball nets, basketball and tennis courts, a concession stand, washrooms and places to rent watersport equipment.
Travelling west from Kits Beach along Point Grey Road will take you to Jericho Beach which is a little less bustling than Kits but still very popular on warm days. This beach also has washrooms, a concession stand, beach volleyball, tennis courts and playing fields. Walking and bike paths and a green park offer lots of space to explore.
When there isn’t a pandemic going on, Jericho Beach is home to the annual Folk Festival.
False Creek is a bustling urban area with plenty to see along the seawall from Granville Island to Yaletown. There are many different vantage points from which you can see the shining off of the downtown towers, over the bridges and the round dome of Science World.
False Creek is an inlet and not a Creek. Hence after realizing his mistake one of Vancouver’s early European visitors hastily renamed it and the name stuck for some reason. False Creek was an industrial area at one time, but today it is mostly residential and commercial with parks and other amenities allowing residents access to the waterfront.
The seawall walking and bike path follows the entire inlet providing a mostly uninterrupted access to the waterfront. The city is promising more improvements including recognition of the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people, as well as redress for some of the harms that the mostly working-class northside neighbourhood experienced because of development. Currently, the seaside route features installation works by Indigenous artists.
Boat tours and kayak rentals are available in the area for those who prefer to experience the sunset on the water. If you are paddling, keep in mind that the water quality is poor. You can also take the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries. These miniature ferries stop at several points on both sides of False Creek.
Plenty of restaurants, coffeeshops and bars are available to make an evening out of it, and the southside is known for its craft breweries.
Of the three bridges that link downtown to the south city Burrard is the farthest west. The Burrard Bridge, which was completed in 1932 was built in the Art Deco style. In 2017, the city added safety improvements, but you can still fit your camera lens through the tall metal bars that have been installed. The bridge now has separated bicycle lanes as well making it a great way to travel to Sunset Beach, English Bay and Stanley Park from the southside. If you don’t mind the traffic noise, there are benches at the top of the bridge from which to enjoy the view.
Lighted “braziers” were installed on the towers to honour veterans of the First World War as they would have huddled around something similar in the fields and trenches. They have been refitted with LED lights in the most recent bridge upgrade and rededicated to all veterans.
On the north side of the bridge is the aptly named Sunset Beach with beautiful views west towards the mouth of the inlet and across to Vanier Park and Kitsilano. The False Creek Ferry has a stop here. This park includes washrooms and a concession and is close to the Aquatic Centre. In non-pandemic times, this is a hub for events like Pride Day, 4/20 and the Festival of Lights. Continue west to English Bay and Stanley Park for more sand and scenery.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in Vancouver and also happens to be in the geographic centre of the city. Visit the fountain and viewing platform at the Bloedel Conservatory from which you can view the downtown and North Shore Mountains at a distance. Stroll around the park to view trees, sculptures and flowers. The Conservatory features exotic plants and birds. Once the sun goes down, nightlife can be found at nearby south Main Street.
What are your favorite places to view the sunset? Drop a comment below.