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English Bay

Take a delicious dip in the sea before sinking your toes into the soft sand and watching the passing boats from the shorefront of this urban beach paradise.

Not far from the city centre lies this beautiful stretch of sand perfect for soaking up the sun. Take an afternoon nap, stroll the shoreline, or hire a kayak at the ever-popular English Bay which sits just a short walk from Stanley Park. Here you'll find cycling and hiking trails. Grab a bite to eat at the many cafés, bars, and shops across the road in Denman Street.

Originally established as a swimming beach in 1893 with a few shacks built along the shore for shade and changing, English Bay, as well as the nearby group of beaches known as Spanish Banks, were named in honour of an international collaboration in 1792 between Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy, and Captain Dionisio Galiano of the Spanish Navy, in charting the region for their native countries.

The English Bay affords visitors fabulous views of the greenery at Stanley Park and the towering mountains that loom large above the shore. As the day draws to an end, find yourself a place amidst the crowds to watch the sky put on a dazzling show of reds, pinks, and oranges.

Every year, an increasingly large crowd converges at the bay for two popular events. If you’re visiting in July/early August don’t miss the Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition. The three-day carnival sees three international teams compete against each other to be the brightest spark in the largest off-shore fireworks display in the world.

If you’re around in the winter and are brave enough, take a plunge on New Year's Day into the icy waters of the Pacific at the annual Polar Bear Swim, a tradition dating back to 1920. Or just come to watch people in all sorts of costumes, fancy dress, or even their birthday suit take up the challenge of the 91-metre swim. To take part in the swim, you must register (for free) with the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club before the race.

English Bay is an easy stroll from downtown. It’s also accessible by bus. Street parking is available, but can be hard to find during the busy summer season.


Lodging Near English Bay Inukshuk

See all 1,494 Properties near English Bay Inukshuk
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront

Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront

1133 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Coal Harbour, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from United States Consulate and Vancouver Waterfront. Robson Street and Canada Place are also ...

    Pinnacle Hotel HarbourfrontAU$180

    Pan Pacific Vancouver

    Pan Pacific Vancouver

    999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC
      4.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Coal Harbour, this luxury hotel is steps away from Canada Place and Vancouver Waterfront. Granville Street and Vancouver Convention Centre are also ...

      Pan Pacific VancouverAU$287

      The Sutton Place Hotel - Vancouver

      The Sutton Place Hotel - Vancouver

      845 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC
        4.5 out of 5.0
         
         
        4.5 out of 5 (2 reviews)

        Located in Downtown Vancouver, this luxury hotel is steps away from Robson Square and Robson Street. Granville Street and Vancouver Art Gallery are also within ...

        The Sutton Place Hotel - VancouverAU$203

        The Burrard

        The Burrard

        1100 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC
          3.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in Downtown Vancouver, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Paul's Hospital and Granville Street. Robson Street and Sunset Beach ...

          The BurrardAU$99

          Century Plaza Hotel & Spa

          Century Plaza Hotel & Spa

          1015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC
            3.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in West End, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Granville Street, Robson Street and Vancouver Art Gallery. Pacific Centre Shopping Mall and ...

            Century Plaza Hotel & SpaAU$166

            Hyatt Regency Vancouver

            Hyatt Regency Vancouver

            655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC
              4.5 out of 5.0
               
               
              5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

              Located in Coal Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pacific Centre Shopping Mall and Vancouver Art Gallery. Granville Street and English ...

              Hyatt Regency VancouverAU$210

              Sandman Suites Vancouver on Davie

              Sandman Suites Vancouver on Davie

              1160 Davie St, Vancouver, BC
                3.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in West End, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Paul's Hospital and Sunset Beach. Robson Street and Granville Street are also ...

                Sandman Suites Vancouver on DavieAU$161

                Hotel Blu Vancouver

                Hotel Blu Vancouver

                177 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Downtown Vancouver, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of BC Place Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Vancouver Central Public Library and Rogers ...

                  Hotel Blu VancouverAU$168

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