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Third Beach – Stanley Park


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Devonne Jester



Welcome to Third Beach, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Stanley Park. Located in Vancouver, Canada, Third Beach offers visitors a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its pristine sandy shores, tranquil waters, and lush surrounding forest, Third Beach is a haven for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.


As one of the city’s most popular beaches, Third Beach attracts both locals and tourists seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, and breathtaking views. Whether you want to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic with friends and family, or explore the diverse wildlife that calls the area home, Third Beach has something for everyone.


Surrounded by the majestic beauty of Stanley Park, Third Beach offers a unique coastal experience with its breathtaking scenery and diverse natural environment. From stunning sunsets to peaceful walks along the shoreline, visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquility and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.


Whether you’re a beach lover, nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Third Beach is the perfect destination. With its picturesque setting and array of amenities, it’s no wonder that locals and visitors alike flock to this hidden paradise year-round.


So, pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the natural wonders and idyllic charm of Third Beach. In this article, we will explore the location, history, features, wildlife, activities, events, and provide tips for visiting Third Beach, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this enchanting slice of paradise.


Location of Third Beach

Third Beach is situated on the western edge of Stanley Park, a renowned urban park located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is easily accessible and offers a peaceful retreat just minutes away from downtown Vancouver.


To reach Third Beach, visitors can take the scenic route through Stanley Park, either by foot, bicycle, or car. Traveling along the picturesque Seawall path, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding forested areas. The beach is conveniently located near the westernmost point of Stanley Park, making it an easily accessible destination for both locals and tourists.


The tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty of Third Beach make it a standout location within Stanley Park. Surrounded by towering trees and bordered by the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, Third Beach provides a serene escape from the bustling city. Its location away from the main beach areas of Stanley Park also ensures a more secluded and intimate experience.


Another highlight of the location is its proximity to other attractions within Stanley Park. After enjoying some time on the beach, visitors can explore the park’s many trails, visit the Vancouver Aquarium, or take a stroll to famous landmarks like the Totem Poles and the Lost Lagoon.


Overall, the location of Third Beach offers a perfect combination of accessibility, seclusion, and stunning natural surroundings. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a tourist seeking a unique beach experience, Third Beach is a must-visit location that showcases the best of Vancouver’s natural beauty.


History of Third Beach

The history of Third Beach traces back to the early days of Stanley Park and the development of Vancouver as a city. Originally inhabited by indigenous Coast Salish people for thousands of years, the area that is now known as Third Beach has a rich cultural and historical significance.


Prior to the establishment of Stanley Park, the land where Third Beach is located was unoccupied and pristine, known for its lush forests and beautiful coastline. It was in 1888 that the area was designated as a public park, named after Lord Stanley, the Governor General of Canada at the time.


Over the years, as the park grew in popularity, improvements were made to enhance the visitor experience. It was in the early 20th century that Third Beach gained recognition as a designated beach area within Stanley Park. The beach became a popular destination for locals and tourists seeking a place to relax, swim, and enjoy the outdoors.


During the mid-20th century, Third Beach underwent further developments to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. Amenities such as picnic areas, washrooms, and lifeguard services were added to enhance the beachgoers’ experience.


Throughout its history, Third Beach has remained a beloved spot for both residents and visitors of Vancouver. Its serene atmosphere, stunning natural surroundings, and proximity to downtown Vancouver have contributed to its enduring popularity.


Today, Third Beach continues to be an important part of Stanley Park’s legacy, serving as a gathering place where people can connect with nature and enjoy the coastal beauty of Vancouver. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day by the ocean or a spot to unwind and watch the sunset, Third Beach offers a glimpse into the park’s storied past while providing a tranquil escape from the modern world.


Features and Amenities at Third Beach

Third Beach offers a range of features and amenities to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages. From sandy shores to recreational facilities, here are some of the highlights:


1. Sandy Beach: Third Beach boasts a beautiful sandy shoreline, perfect for lounging, building sandcastles, or playing beach volleyball. The soft sand provides a comfortable spot to relax and soak up the sun while enjoying the picturesque views.


2. Picnic Areas: The beach is equipped with picnic tables and grassy areas, ideal for picnicking with friends and family. Pack a lunch or grab some takeout and enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the stunning natural surroundings.


3. Swimming and Water Activities: The calm waters of Third Beach create a safe environment for swimming and water activities. Whether you prefer to take a refreshing dip in the ocean or try your hand at paddleboarding, there are plenty of options to enjoy the water.


4. Concession Stand: A concession stand is available on-site, offering snacks, beverages, and beach essentials. Grab a cold drink, ice cream, or a quick bite to fuel your beach adventures.


5. Washrooms and Changing Facilities: Restrooms and changing facilities can be found near Third Beach, providing convenient amenities for beachgoers.


6. Lifeguard Services: Lifeguards are stationed at Third Beach during the summer months, ensuring the safety of swimmers and providing peace of mind for visitors enjoying the water.


7. Scenic Trails: Surrounding Third Beach, you’ll find a network of scenic trails that meander through Stanley Park’s lush greenery. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the paths, exploring the park’s natural beauty.


These features and amenities combine to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience at Third Beach. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the sand, have a delicious picnic, or engage in water activities, Third Beach has everything you need for a memorable day by the ocean.


Wildlife at Third Beach

Third Beach is not only a scenic destination for beachgoers but also a haven for a diverse array of wildlife. Nestled within the natural beauty of Stanley Park, the beach provides a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate various species in their natural habitat. Here are some of the wildlife highlights you may encounter at Third Beach:


1. Birds: The beach and surrounding forested areas are home to numerous bird species. Keep an eye out for bald eagles soaring overhead, seagulls gliding along the shore, and herons fishing in the nearby waters.


2. Marine Life: Third Beach offers glimpses of marine life, such as seals and sea lions swimming near the shore or basking on nearby rocks. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins or orcas in the distance.


3. Squirrels and Chipmunks: The park’s wooded areas are teeming with lively squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about. These small mammals add a playful element to the beach experience.


4. Raccoons: Stanley Park is known for its raccoon population, and Third Beach is no exception. These curious creatures may make an appearance in search of food, so it’s important to secure and properly dispose of any snacks or garbage.


5. Butterflies and Insects: The park’s variety of flowers and vegetation attract a diverse range of butterflies and insects. Take a moment to appreciate their vibrant colors and delicate presence as they flutter around.


6. Fish and Marine Plants: The clear waters off Third Beach support a variety of fish species, which can sometimes be seen swimming close to the shore. Additionally, the rocks and tide pools along the coastline provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of marine plants and organisms.


It’s important to remember that while encountering wildlife can be a captivating experience, it’s essential to observe from a distance and respect their natural habitat. As a visitor, you have the opportunity to appreciate and learn about the diverse wildlife that calls Third Beach and Stanley Park home.


By being mindful of the natural environment and following park guidelines, you can help protect the wildlife and ensure future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty of Third Beach and its inhabitants.


Activities at Third Beach

Third Beach offers a wide range of activities to keep visitors entertained and engaged throughout their beach visit. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some popular activities at Third Beach:


1. Swimming and Sunbathing: With its calm waters and sandy shores, Third Beach provides an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. Take a dip in the refreshing ocean or lay out on the warm sand, basking in the sun’s rays.


2. Beach Volleyball: Third Beach features volleyball courts where you can gather a group of friends or join in on a game. Enjoy some friendly competition while feeling the sand between your toes.


3. Beachcombing: Explore the shorelines and discover treasures that the ocean washes ashore. From seashells and unique rocks to driftwood, beachcombing at Third Beach is a fun and rewarding activity for all ages.


4. Picnicking: Take advantage of the picnic areas and enjoy a delightful outdoor meal with family and friends. Pack a picnic basket filled with delicious treats and find a scenic spot to set up for a leisurely al fresco dining experience.


5. Walking and Jogging: Third Beach is located along the Seawall, a popular pathway that spans the perimeter of Stanley Park. Take a stroll or jog along the paved trail, enjoying the stunning ocean views and the fresh ocean breeze.


6. Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for the various wildlife inhabiting Third Beach and Stanley Park. Birdwatching enthusiasts will particularly enjoy observing the diverse bird species, while those interested in marine life can watch for seals, sea lions, and other coastal creatures.


7. Photography: With its picturesque surroundings, Third Beach provides an excellent backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Capture breathtaking shots of the beach, wildlife, and stunning sunsets to create lasting memories of your visit.


8. Yoga and Meditation: Take advantage of the peaceful atmosphere of Third Beach to practice yoga or engage in meditation. Find a quiet spot on the beach or on the grassy areas and connect with your inner self while surrounded by nature’s serenity.


These activities at Third Beach ensure that there’s never a dull moment during your visit. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventures, or an opportunity to connect with nature, Third Beach offers a plethora of options to make your experience truly unforgettable.


Events and Festivals at Third Beach

Throughout the year, Third Beach plays host to a variety of exciting events and festivals that bring the local community and visitors together for fun-filled gatherings. These events offer a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant culture and diverse entertainment scene of Vancouver. Here are some notable events and festivals that take place at Third Beach:


1. Sunset Beach Social: This popular summertime event transforms Third Beach into a lively gathering spot, featuring live music performances, food vendors, and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy the sunset while dancing to live tunes and savoring delicious street food.


2. Beach Volleyball Tournaments: Third Beach is a hotspot for beach volleyball enthusiasts, and it regularly hosts tournaments and friendly matches. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a spectator, these events showcase the enthusiastic energy and competitive spirit of the beach volleyball community.


3. Outdoor Movie Screenings: Experience the magic of cinema under the stars at Third Beach. During the summer months, the beach becomes an outdoor movie theater, screening a variety of films for all ages to enjoy. Bring a blanket, grab some snacks, and settle in for a night of cinematic delight.


4. Cultural Celebrations: Third Beach serves as a vibrant backdrop for cultural celebrations and festivals throughout the year. From cultural dances and musical performances to traditional food and art exhibits, these events offer a glimpse into the diverse communities that make up Vancouver.


5. Yoga and Fitness Workshops: Third Beach provides a scenic and serene setting for yoga and fitness enthusiasts. Various organizations and instructors host workshops and classes, allowing participants to connect with nature while practicing yoga, tai chi, or other fitness disciplines.


6. Canada Day Celebrations: On Canada Day, Third Beach becomes a hub of patriotic festivities. Join in the celebrations, which include live music, family activities, fireworks, and a sense of community pride as Canadians come together to honor their country.


7. Photography Exhibitions: Third Beach attracts photographers from near and far due to its stunning natural beauty. It is not uncommon to find photography exhibitions featuring captivating images captured by talented photographers. These exhibitions provide insight into the unique perspectives and artistic interpretations of Third Beach and its surroundings.


Keep an eye on local event listings and city announcements to stay informed about upcoming events and festivals at Third Beach. Attending these events provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the local community, enjoy live entertainment, and create lasting memories in this picturesque beach setting.


Tips for Visiting Third Beach

If you’re planning a visit to Third Beach, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:


1. Check Weather Conditions: Before heading to Third Beach, be sure to check the weather forecast. Vancouver’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to dress accordingly and come prepared for changing conditions.


2. Arrive Early: Third Beach can get busy, especially during weekends and holidays. To secure a good spot on the beach and avoid crowds, consider arriving early in the day.


3. Pack Essentials: Make sure to bring beach essentials such as sunscreen, towels, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Consider bringing a picnic blanket, beach chairs, and beach toys if you plan to spend an extended time at the beach.


4. Respect the Environment: Help preserve the natural beauty of Third Beach by practicing responsible beach etiquette. Properly dispose of your trash, use designated recycling bins, and avoid disturbing or feeding the wildlife.


5. Stay Hydrated: Remember to stay hydrated during your visit. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it at the provided water fountains or bring enough water for your stay.


6. Be Mindful of Wildlife: While observing wildlife at Third Beach can be exciting, it’s important to keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing or approaching any animals you encounter. Enjoy their presence from a respectful distance and never feed them.


7. Respect Beach Rules: Adhere to any posted beach rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. This may include following guidelines for swimming, barbecuing, and keeping noise levels to a minimum.


8. Plan for Parking: Parking can be limited near Third Beach, especially during peak times. Consider utilizing public transportation, biking, or walking to avoid any parking frustrations. If driving, arrive early or be prepared to search for parking in nearby areas.


9. Enjoy the Surrounding Park: Take advantage of the proximity to Stanley Park by exploring its trails, attractions, and viewpoints. Extend your beach visit by embarking on a leisurely walk or bike ride around the park.


10. Check for Special Events: Stay updated on any special events, closures, or activities taking place at Third Beach. These events may enhance your experience or require additional planning, so it’s best to be aware of any scheduled happenings beforehand.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Third Beach, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable day by the ocean.



In conclusion, Third Beach in Stanley Park offers a remarkable beach experience in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. With its stunning natural beauty, convenient location, and a range of amenities, Third Beach is a destination that appeals to locals and tourists alike.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the sandy shores, engaging in water activities, exploring the diverse wildlife, or attending vibrant events and festivals, Third Beach has something to offer everyone. The beach’s tranquil atmosphere, surrounded by the magnificent Stanley Park, provides a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.


As you plan your visit to Third Beach, be sure to check weather conditions, arrive early to secure a spot, and pack all the necessary beach essentials. Respect the environment, wildlife, and fellow visitors to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone.


Make the most of your time at Third Beach by exploring nearby trails, visiting attractions within Stanley Park, and immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Keep an eye out for special events and festivals that add an extra layer of excitement to your beach visit.


Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day of sunbathing, an active beach volleyball game, or a cultural celebration, Third Beach provides the perfect backdrop. It’s a place where you can connect with nature, create lasting memories, and experience the vibrant spirit of Vancouver’s beach scene.


So, pack your beach essentials, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Third Beach. Whether you’re a local looking to unwind or a visitor seeking a unique coastal experience, Third Beach is sure to leave a lasting impression and beckon you to return again and again.