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Vancouver abounds with activities for water-lovers. Here are three of the most popular ways to get wet:
Swimming. Beaches surround Vancouver, both around the downtown peninsula and on the city’s West Side. Downtown, you can swim at English Bay Beach and at Second and Third Beaches in Stanley Park; Second Beach also has an outdoor pool overlooking the ocean. On the West Side, the most popular stretch of sand is at Kitsilano Beach, where there’s an oceanside pool as well. Further west, you can swim at Jericho, Locarno, and Spanish Banks Beaches, and at the clothing-optional Wreck Beach. If you prefer to swim indoors, the city has excellent public pools at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre downtown and at the Hillcrest Community Centre, near Queen Elizabeth Park.
Kayaking. The waters around Vancouver’s False Creek are popular with kayakers. You can rent gear or arrange a paddling tour at the Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres, which has locations at Granville Island, English Bay, and Jericho Beach. Creekside Kayaks at the Olympic Village rents kayaks as well. On the North Shore, about a 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, you can paddle the beautiful waters around Deep Cove; get outfitted at Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding. What’s SUP? In Vancouver, it’s the latest water sports craze. The Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres rent boards and related equipment and also offer lessons if you’re just getting started.