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Top Five: Places to Watch the Sunset

May 20, 2024 |
Wendy Underwood
Drum Circle at Third Beach, Vancouver - Kyle Pearce

Taking in a Vancouver sunset can be beautiful at any time of year, but these long, late-spring days make them even more special. Whether you’re looking for an outside vantage point, or a view from up high (maybe with a glass of wine in your hand), these are our top five choices for catching the sun go down.

Sunset Beach
West End
Right there in its name, Sunset Beach tells you what it’s all about! On the south side of the downtown peninsula with a view straight out into Burrard Inlet, this spot is known as a less crowded beach than either English Bay or Second Beach, and very conveniently it’s actually the closest beach to The Burrard. Bring a picnic blanket and join the locals!

Kitsilano Beach
There are plenty of activities on offer in close proximity to ‘Kits Beach,’ as locals refer to it. There are basketball and tennis courts, beach volleyball is always popular, and you’re a short seawall stroll away from both the Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It’s also pretty much front row, centre to catch the many hues of the sun setting beyond Bowen Island and the North Shore. Afterwards, it’s just a few minutes walk over to the bottom of Yew Street to grab a drink and a snack at buzzy spots like Nook or Lucky Taco.

Grouse Mountain
North Vancouver
Could there be anything more “Vancouver” than catching the sunset from the top of a mountain, seeing the waning light reflect off the water, casting a warm glow over the city’s skyline? We don’t think so! Timing your Skyride gondola journey up Grouse Mountain to coincide with the sunset is spectacular; but if you’re not quite that organized, catching the sun go down while you’re at Altitudes Bistro at the peak with a frosty beer in your hand comes in a very close second place.

Third Beach
Stanley Park
This is Stanley Park’s most remote beach, meaning it attracts the most committed sunset enthusiasts. Still an easy 20-minute walk into the park, Third Beach feels more rugged than the other beaches, surrounded by towering fir, hemlock and cedar trees. On Tuesday nights, the beach is home to a very popular sunset drum circle – an attraction in its own right! If drumming is not your thing, you can always back towards the West End neighbourhood (but still in the park) to Stanley Park Brewing Restaurant & Brewpub for local refreshments.

Lonsdale Quay
North Vancouver
Right opposite downtown, on the North Shore, is Lonsdale Quay. Not only is it home to a great public market, the Polygon Gallery, and a collection of restaurants, it’s also home to an enviable Vancouver sunset view! Looking back to downtown, the sun sets over the skyline – the perfect backdrop as you enjoy a drink at Tap & Barrel or JOEY Shipyards. Award yourself double points if you find yourself on the SeaBus heading back to Vancouver’s Waterfront Station while the sun is setting!

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Photo Credits:
Feature Photo: Third Beach Drum Circle – Kyle Pearce via Flickr
Sunset Beach:
Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic
Kitsilano Beach: Alex Ramon via Unsplash

Grouse Mountain Sky Ride: Grouse Mountain Instagram account
Third Beach: Dronepicr via Flickr
View from Lonsdale Quay: Noel Reinhold via Flickr