BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Best Beaches: Sand, Surf, And Sun Are Waiting For You (PHOTOS)

06/01/2015 06:35 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 01:59 EDT
Tim Gage/Flickr

Few things are better than landing the perfect beach hangout on a hot summer's day. But as the weather heats up, finding a spot to lay your towel down for a sunny siesta can be difficult when everyone else has the same idea.

So, we've rounded up some of the best beaches in B.C. to help you find the perfect place.

Whether you're looking to surf, take the kids to a water park, or simply lounge on the sand, the province has a stunning variety of beaches to choose from.

Enjoy!

  • Chesterman Beach, Tofino (Vancouver Island)
    Brian Danyliw/Engel & Volkers
    The white-sand beach stretches for 2.7 kilometres and is one of Tofino's most popular tourist hangouts. There are tidepools to explore, wood carvers to watch, or you can sign up for a surfing class!
  • Skaha Lake, Penticton (Okanagan)
    Located just south of Penticton, Skaha Lake Park has red sand beaches, volleyball courts, picnic areas, fire pits, plenty of parking, and a children's water park.
  • Spanish Banks, Vancouver
    Vancouver Park Board Facebook
    Less crowded than Vancouver’s English Bay or Kits beach, Spanish Banks is a perfect escape for locals yearning to unwind before the broad backdrop of the North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet. Accessible by the Seawall and public transit, this beach attracts a mix of solo sunbathers, family groups and teams of volleyball players. There are also free parking lots nearby. Parents, rest assured, there’s a lifeguard on duty all summer until Labour Day.
  • Ambleside Park, West Vancouver
    HelloBC
    Need a reminder why you put up with the rain, pricey housing, and early patio hours that come with Vancouver living? It’s for moments sitting at Ambleside, daydreaming and heron-spotting while walking along stunning shorelines. The off-leash dog area is also a draw for pet owners.
  • Ambleside Park, West Vancouver
    Facebook
  • Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Vernon (Okanagan)
    The 4209-hectare park has three bays fit for swimming in on hot Okanagan days: Red Gate Bay, Cosens Bay, and Jade and Juniper Bays — the latter of which is the most popular. Pets are only allowed at the eastern end of Cosens Beach and must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Vancouver Island
    Dea/G Cappelli/Getty
    The reserve is made up of three communities — Tofino, Ucluelet, and Port Alberni — but all are fit for exploring the coastline. Popular beaches include Schooner Cove, Long Beach, and Wickaninnish Bay.
  • Saturna Island, Southern Gulf Islands
    Over half of Saturna Island is park, and the area has plenty of stunning beaches to choose from. Narvaez Bay offers spots for camping, Thompson Park has a pebble beach with picnic areas, and Echo Bay overlook the San Juan Islands.
  • White Rock Beach, White Rock (Metro Vancouver)
    Facebook
    Besides an eight-kilometre sandy beach, White Rock’s waterfront has street musicians, a newly launched food cart program, and a 1,500-ft. long pier to explore. It’s the kind of beach that encourages beachcombing more than sunbathing (those keen on developing that bronze hue tend to set up in the grassy area) because of the damp sand low tide leaves behind. Sailing, swimming, and crab fishing are popular activities to enjoy off White Rock’s beaches.
  • White Rock Beach, White Rock (Metro Vancouver)
    Facebook
  • White Rock Beach, White Rock (Metro Vancouver)
    Facebook
  • Tribune Bay, Hornby Island (Northern Gulf Island)
    Facebook
    Nicknamed “Little Hawaii,” the beauty of this Hornby Island beach is exaggerated by its aquamarine water. Summertime is especially magical with temperatures rising near tropical levels and local berries ripening in nearby trails.
  • Bonanza Beach, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)
    Haida Gwaii Tourism Facebook
    Do you enjoy long, quiet walks down the beach? Well, you’re going to think you hit the jackpot with Bonanza. This Haida Gwaii beach has calming waves on one edge and lush, thick forest on the other. Heads up: going barefoot is risky. This is a beach strewn with sticks, stones, sand dollars, and shells.
  • Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville (Vancouver Island)
    Vancouver Island Travel Facebook
    Known for its dramatic low tides that recede for nearly a kilometre, this Parksville beach is a popular family destination. The wide beach also plays hosts to the annual Parksville Beach Festival with its headlining outdoor sand sculpture exhibition. Qualicum Beach is the next town over, also worth checking out.
  • Parksville/Qualicum Beach (Vancouver Island)
    Parksville and Qualicum Beach
    At low tide, the beach turns into a kilometre of sandy space perfect for playing on. The area also offers a boardwalk, beach volleyball courts, outdoor gyms, children's playground, and a skatepark. See more here.
  • Parksville/Qualicum (Vancouver Island)
    Parksville and Qualicum Beach
  • Long Beach, Tofino (Vancouver Island)
    Vancouver Island Travel Facebook
    A mecca for coldwater surfers, this part of the Pacific Rim attracts up to one million visitors each year. To watersports thrill-seekers, Long Beach’s waters are known for their strong rip-currents. Beachside campgrounds, resorts, and cabins can be booked nearby.
  • San Josef Beach, Cape Scott Provincial Park (Vancouver Island)
    Facebook
    This is a beach destination for hiking enthusiasts. Located at the northwestern part of Vancouver Island in Cape Scott Provincial Park, this sandy beach is dotted with unique rock formations called “the sea stacks.” Recently, wolf sightings and confrontations with dogs have prompted the provincial government to issue a wolf advisory, so leave your pets at home.
  • Miracle Beach Provincial Park, Black Creek (Vancouver Island)
    This is the kind of beach you take your family to once and it becomes an annual vacation destination. Located at Black Creek in the Comox Valley, the park’s main attraction is Miracle Beach and its white(ish) sand. Campsites are equipped with amenities such as hot showers, picnic areas and recreational activities – fishing to horseback riding – nearby make this a popular spot during the summer. Campsite reservations are recommended.
  • Sun-Oka Beach Provincial Park, Summerland (Okanagan)
    Getty
    Just three kilometres south of Summerland, Sun-Oka is one of the most popular beaches in the Okanagan. Locals love the variety of waterplay activities ranging from swimming to boating, and it can become very crowded out there. Rent pedal-boats or bring your own inflatable tubes to enjoy in the water.

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