Places To Kayak In Vancouver (10 Amazing Places and Tips)

Unleash your inner adventurer and immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of Vancouver, where glistening waters beckon you to grab a paddle and embark on an unforgettable kayaking expedition.

From tranquil lagoons to rugged coastlines, this Pacific Northwest gem boasts a myriad of awe-inspiring kayaking spots that will leave you spellbound.

So, grab your gear, prepare to dip your oars, and join us as we unveil the top places to kayak in Vancouver, where every stroke promises a new chapter of exploration and serenity.

Overview Of Places to Kayak in Vancouver

If you’re looking to explore the beautiful City of Vancouver by water, kayaking is arguably one of the best ways to do it.

With several kayak rental spots located all over the city, it’s never been easier to get out on the water. Vancouver boasts some truly unique kayaking opportunities, from paddling through bays and inlets to enjoying some of the city’s incredible wildlife.

Seymour River is a popular spot for kayakers of all skill levels; its gentle current makes it suitable for both novices and experienced paddlers alike.

Our local waters can also be quite unpredictable, so make sure to remain vigilant when navigating. Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, take advantage of everything Vancouver has to offer by taking a peaceful kayak spin across its pristine coastline.

Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Vancouver

Experience Stunning Natural Scenery

Vancouver is renowned for its awe-inspiring natural landscapes that include lush forests, picturesque mountains, and sparkling waters.

By taking a scenic drive, visitors have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the magnificent beauty of these surroundings.

Vibrant foliage, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife sightings serve to heighten this sensory experience.

Get A Unique Perspective On The City

Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods, historic landmarks, and architectural marvels can be more fully appreciated when viewed from the vantage point of a scenic drive.

This bird’s eye perspective allows visitors to grasp the evolution and layout of this thriving metropolis, as well as to gain an understanding of its distinct character.

Uncover Hidden Gems And Local Attractions

Scenic drives in Vancouver often reveal lesser-known attractions and charming local spots that may not be featured in traditional travel guides.

From quaint seaside villages to artisanal food markets and secluded hiking trails, these off-the-beaten-path discoveries add depth and authenticity to any trip.

Indulge In Serenity And Tranquility

Away from the congestion and noise of the urban environment, scenic drives offer a serene and tranquil escape in which to unwind and recharge.

The gentle hum of rolling wheels on the open road, coupled with the soothing backdrop of natural scenery, is a recipe for complete relaxation.

Capture Stunning Shots

The photogenic allure of Vancouver’s landscapes simply cannot be overstated. Scenic drives provide ample opportunity to snap stunning shots of the city and its surroundings, ensuring a treasure trove of cherished memories to look back on for years to come.

Uncover The Past, Embrace Local Culture

Visitors can enrich their understanding of Vancouver’s complex history and cultural diversity through the lens of its scenic drives.

Information on indigenous heritage, early settlers, and significant events can be gleaned from interpretive signage and displays, deepening one’s appreciation for the area’s unique story and identity.

Seek Serenity, Escape Urban Chaos

The frenetic pace of city life can be overwhelming for both tourists and locals alike. Scenic drives offer an opportunity to leave the hustle behind and connect with the soothing rhythms of nature.

Disconnect, Embrace Nature’s Harmony

In today’s hyper-connected world, we often forget the importance of unplugging and spending quality time in nature. A scenic drive in Vancouver is the perfect opportunity to switch off devices and reconnect with the earth, sky, and sea.

Customize Your Own Route And Itinerary

Scenic drives allow for maximum flexibility and personalization with regard to route and itinerary. Travellers can choose to follow set routes, such as the Sea-to-Sky Highway, or create their own adventure by combining multiple scenic drives.

Suitable For All Ages And Fitness Levels

Scenic drives in Vancouver are accessible to everyone regardless of age, fitness level or interests. Whether you’re a solo traveller, a young family, or a multi-generational group, exploring Vancouver’s stunning landscapes via a scenic drive is a universally enjoyable experience.

10 kayaking places in Vancouver

1.  False Creek

This is a popular kayaking spot in downtown Vancouver that offers stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains.

False Creek is one of Vancouver’s most beloved kayaking spots. Located in the heart of the city, it boasts incredible scenery with mesmerizing views of the surrounding mountain ranges as well as the glittering skyline of downtown Vancouver.

For any fan of kayaking or anyone wanting to explore the beauty of Vancouver from a unique perspective, this popular spot should definitely be at the top of their list.

Not only does False Creek offer breathtaking panoramas, but also plenty of interesting sites such as Granville Island and Science World each providing their own distinct charm. So come on down and experience everything False Creek has to offer.

2. English Bay

Located just west of downtown Vancouver, English Bay is a great place to kayak along the city’s coastline and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

English Bay is an ideal refuge from city life, just minutes away from downtown Vancouver. Located right along the beautiful Pacific coast, it’s a fantastic spot to kayak with an inspiring view of the horizon and passing ships in either direction.

At sunset, kayakers are often framed by bright orange and pink hues in the sky as they glide gently along the shoreline.

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a newcomer to this activity, English Bay provides an unforgettable experience full of majestic beauty and calming relaxation.

3. Deep Cove

Located on the North Shore of Vancouver, Deep Cove is a popular kayaking spot that offers calm waters, beautiful scenery, and plenty of wildlife.

Deep Cove is an ideal destination for kayakers of both beginner and advanced levels. Its gently flowing waters offer a tranquil setting for nature lovers to explore, while its diverse wildlife population invites plenty of opportunities to observe abundant species of birds, fish, and other animals.

The beauty of Deep Cove’s peaceful setting with its rugged mountains, wide beaches, and clear blue waters is breathtaking, providing visitors with an abundance of photography opportunities.

With its access to many protected waterways and coves, paddle boarders and even fishermen are also invited to take advantage of this hidden gem located on the North Shore of Vancouver.

4. Indian Arm

This is a stunningly beautiful fjord located in the Burrard Inlet that offers some of the best kayaking in Vancouver. It is known for its scenic waterfalls, rocky cliffs, and wildlife sightings.

Indian Arm is one of Vancouver’s most spectacular natural wonders. Nestled in the stunning Burrard Inlet, this fjord promises some of the best kayaking in the area, where you can take in the beauty of its cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, and wildlife sightings.

It’s a nature-lovers paradise that is sure to bring a sense of awe and wonder to any who explores its depths. From the crystal clear waters of Indian Arm to its winding coves, this fjord has something for every adventurer to enjoy.

5. Jericho Beach

This beach located in Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighborhood is a great spot for beginner kayakers. It offers calm waters and great views of the city and the mountains.

Boasting stunning views of the City of Vancouver and the surrounding mountains, Jericho Beach is definitely an ideal spot for beginner kayakers.

The calm waters make it a great place to learn and practice your kayaking skills. In addition to its scenic beauty, Jericho Beach is nestled in the heart of West Point Grey, offering plenty of nearby amenities like restaurants, supermarkets, and parks.

Whether you just want to enjoy a casual paddle or take on some waves, with its relaxed atmosphere and spectacular scenery, Jericho Beach is sure to satisfy your needs.

6. Bowen Island

Located just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, Bowen Island is a great place to explore by kayak. It offers a variety of paddling routes, including secluded bays, rocky coves, and rugged shorelines.

Bowen Island offers both escape and exploration with its stunning coastline and secluded bays, kayaking around Bowen Island allows you to get away while still easily accessible from Vancouver via ferry.

The variety of paddling routes offers something for all levels of adventurer, with a combination of rocky coves, peaceful bays, and rugged shorelines.

It makes for an amazing day out of the city – what better way to connect with nature than by kayaking around this beautiful island?

7. False Creek Island

This small island located in False Creek is a great place to kayak and explore. It is home to several parks, beaches, and marinas, and offers great views of the city.

False Creek Island is a great place to experience Vancouver’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

The island offers plenty of paths to wander and explore, with stunning views of the cityscape, mountains, and ocean.

Kayaking is also a popular way to experience the rich marine life near the island nature lovers can take note of migratory birds that pass through during summer months and bald eagles which can often be seen perched atop its trees.

With several scenic parks, romantic beaches, relaxed marinas, plus historical sites such as native middens where artefacts have been discovered False Creek Island is a perfect destination for any adventure seeker looking to get off the beaten track and immerse themselves in this picturesque paradise.

8. Pitt Lake

Located east of Vancouver, Pitt Lake is the largest freshwater tidal lake in North America and is a popular spot for kayaking. It offers calm waters, beautiful scenery, and plenty of wildlife.

Pitt Lake is truly a gem of outdoor recreation, located only 40km east of Vancouver. Its clear waters and dramatic landscapes make it a perfect spot for kayaking or canoeing.

As one of the largest freshwater tidal lakes in North America, there’s plenty to explore each day, from shallow rock pools to hidden bays, soundtracked by abundant wildlife.

The best time for kayakers is at high tide when the lake is especially tranquil. The bonus here is that with two tides per day coming in, each twice-daily visit guarantees new sights and perspectives.

Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced paddler, Pitt Lake ensures an enchanting experience.

9. Steveston

This historic fishing village located south of Vancouver is a great place to kayak and explore. It offers calm waters, scenic views, and plenty of wildlife, including seals and sea lions.

Steveston is a fishing village located south of Vancouver and is an ideal destination for exploration.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful kayaking getaway or just to take in the views, Steveston has it all.

Start off by exploring its captivating shoreline, being sure to keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the various wildlife in the area including seals and sea lions.

After you’ve had your fill of nature exploration, you can unwind and relax with some local cuisine at one of the many restaurants situated around this scenic village site.

10. Horseshoe Bay

This bay located in West Vancouver is a great spot for kayaking and exploring. It offers calm waters, beautiful scenery, and plenty of wildlife, including eagles and seals.

Horseshoe Bay is a paradise for anyone seeking moments of peace and adventure. Located in beautiful West Vancouver, this bay offers calm waters, bestowing visitors with the chance to explore the area in tranquillity.

While kayaking, presented with the privilege of being immersed in nature’s beauty, riders can witness bald eagles soaring through the sky or seals basking on rocks.

On a clear day, visitors are rewarded with stellar views of mountains and horizon along with vivid blue hues from the sea; a perfect spot for photographers and adventurers alike.

Tips for Safely Enjoying the Drive

Best Time to Visit

One of the best times to visit Vancouver for a drive is in the summer when the weather is mild and sunny. The days are warm, allowing for comfortable driving conditions.

Additionally, take caution during windy times, which can make roads more difficult to navigate. Be sure to check the local weather forecast before setting out on your journey.

Preparing for the Kayaking

Before enjoying a kayaking adventure near Vancouver, it is important to come prepared with all necessary safety equipment such as a life jacket and helmet.

Additionally, bring some extra water and snacks so that you do not become dehydrated while out on the water.

It’s also important to research any wildlife that may be present in order to avoid any potential danger while kayaking.

Must-Have Supplies

Along with safety equipment, there are other must-have supplies for a kayaking trip near Vancouver such as sunscreen, insect repellent and a first aid kit.

Bring along your phone or camera so you can capture amazing photos and share them with friends and family back home.

Kayaking Laws Vancouver

It’s important to familiarize yourself with any laws or regulations surrounding kayaking in Vancouver before embarking on your journey.

This includes knowing where it is safe to launch from, understanding restrictions related to fish or wildlife protection areas and being aware of any speed limits that may be enforced in certain areas of the bay or river you plan on kayaking in. In addition, be sure to follow all posted signs and respect private property rights whenever possible.


Kayaking in Vancouver is a great way to explore the city and its surrounding scenery as well as cultivate your skills.

The sheer number of places to kayak around Vancouver allows paddlers to find the perfect spot, regardless of their expertise level or preferences.

Whether in search of a relatively relaxed river paddle or a choppier coastline journey, Vancouver has it all.

With rentals available, the fun and relaxation of paddling through the city waters are just one call away, ensuring that anyone can experience this special urban adventure.