The Best Western Sands Hotel is located in one of the best locations in downtown Vancouver, nestled comfortably next to English Bay. English Bay encompasses the West End and Stanley Park and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Vancouver. The area has everything a person could ever need- restaurants, cafes, bars, beaches, parks, entertainment plus exciting outdoor recreation. No matter if you’re visiting Vancouver for the food or the outdoor fun, the 6 must see attractions listed below are sure to please every type of traveler in your group.
English Bay Beach
English Bay Beach just off Beach Avenue is Vancouver’s most popular beach, offering a slew of fun activities throughout the summer months. The beach was home to the city’s first official lifeguard, Joe Fortes, who now has a famous restaurant named after him on Thurlow Street in downtown Vancouver!
The Best Western Sands Hotel is a mere blocks from English Bay Beach, giving guests quick access to a beach known for its breathtaking pink and orange sunsets. English Bay Beach is also a hub for annual events in the city, including the Polar Bear Swim in January, an international fireworks display mid-summer and the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival at the end of July.
The world-renowned Stanley Park is a 1000 acre outdoor oasis for both travelers and local residents, providing the ultimate urban nature experience. Surrounded by English Bay and the Vancouver Harbour, Stanley Park features a host of fantastic outdoor activities for the entire family including the famous Sea Wall, an 8.8km waterfront path around the park for cycling, walking or jogging. Stanley Park also features a children’s water park and miniature railway, a lawn bowling club, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium, the largest aquarium and aquatic life conservation centre in Canada.
One of Vancouver’s most popular annual events is the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition in the middle of the summer. Taking place in English Bay every year, this world-class fireworks display spans three nights and features fireworks by a different country every night. This year, the Netherlands, Australia and the United States take the spotlight, showing off their pyrotechnics skills to the crowds of spectators on July 23rd, July 27th and July 30th 2016, respectively. Claim your spot early though! With hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to attend, prime seating will go quick.
Vancouver is known for many things, including its fine array of delicious restaurants. There are many neighborhoods known for their dining located throughout the downtown core, Denman Street being one of them! Denman Street connects English Bay to Coal Harbour and features dozens of restaurants, cafes and shopping boutiques. It’s famous for its eclectic range of restaurants, offering every type of cuisine under the sky. Italian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican…you name it, the neighborhood has it. Denman Street is a definite must-see when touring English Bay so take a walk down the one kilometre stretch, enjoy a meal or two, and then take in the sights of Coal Harbour on the other side!
English Bay is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering the best in water sports and activities in the region. Visitors can choose from a list of fun options like kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, jet skiing and scuba diving. The best part? All of these activities come with an amazing view of downtown Vancouver, with the ocean and mountains in the same frame.
While not located directly in English Bay, Granville Island is only a few minutes from the bay area. Located across from False Creek, Vancouver’s very own island is a must see for any tourist visiting the city for the first time. It has its very own public market, filled with the best local products including baked goods, meat, fish and crafts. There’s a waterfront courtyard to take in the sights of the downtown skyline and even a Kids Market, with a water park, magicians and an indoor Adventure Zone. Granville Island also plays host to a slew of improvisational comedy, theatrical productions and classic plays.