The most obvious and most popular activity on Kits Beach is simply swimming in the Pacific Ocean and sunbathing nearby. There are parts of the beach specially designated for swimming enthusiasts, so you don’t have to worry about colliding with sportsmen, kayaks, or boats. Swimming is ever more wonderful due to an amazing view of Vancouver’s skyline as well as the mountains the city is beautifully surrounded with.
Kitslano Pool is a good alternative to ocean swimming if you prefer closed spaces. Don’t let the name ‘pool’ fool you, though – the water here is almost as salty as in the ocean. Moreover, the pool is beautifully located outdoors, just next to the ocean waters, so the view from it is as good as from the ocean. The pool’s opening hours for the public differ, but tend to be in the evenings.
Kitslano Pool, 2305 Cornwall St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604-731-0011
Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare Festival
This festival is a famous outdoors Shakespeare festival that is held in Vancouver at the Kitsilano Beach every summer, managed by the artistic director Christopher Gaze. Its mission is to celebrate the playwright’s work and educate people about him. It is the largest Canadian Shakespeare festival, and it is non-profit. It encompasses several plays as well as creative and cultural workshops. This year’s plays choice – ‘The Comedy of Errors’, ‘Kind Lear’, ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, and C.C. Humphreys’ ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ – are still on in September.
If you are the active, sporty type, Kits Beach offers a lot of water sports opportunities, ranging from aerobic to kayaking to paddle boats. Alternatively, you can also play basketball or tennis at the courts. What is particularly typical for Vancouverites is to rent a kayak or a paddleboat and make your way across different beaches, mounts, or simply the city center, depending on your aesthetic preferences. You can do so individually or participate in a series of professional classes.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum, located on Kits Beach, is a sightseeing must, as the city’s history and everyday life is so tightly intertwined with the ocean and the opportunities it gives. The permanent exhibits include The Avenger of the People – a detailed model of the famous French warship – and the Arnold 176 chronometer which was used by George Vancouver when he was exploring the Pacific coast. The new temporary exhibition is on the quest of the Northwest Passage – various people’s attempts and struggles concerned with exploring the Atlantic and Pacific coasts across the top of North America. In summer, this museum is open every day from 10 am until 5 pm.
Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604-257-8300
Another active idea is cycling. You may start at Kits Beach and make your way across the hip Kitsilano quarter all the way to the popular Granville Island or the False Creek. Vancouver has plenty of bike rental places, some of which offer both private rentals and cycling tours to various destinations.
Dining at the Boathouse Restaurant
Kits Beach’s Boathouse Restaurant celebrates Vancouver’s seafood culture. Its location and patio enable every visitor to have a great view whilst dining. It specialises in high-class seafood and wine, both from British Columbia. As an appetiser, try the Canadian famous yum fries or the Boathouse Signature Calamari. As the main course, you can choose between grilled fish (halibut, salmon, steelhead or tuna), various signature dishes, and beef.
Boathouse Restaurant, 1305 Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604-738-5487
By Olga Lenczewska