Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Love song to Third Beach, Vancouver

Third Beach in winter
I am a self-confessed beach-aholic. And in our neck of the woods (the Lower Mainland/Vancouver area, in BC, Canada) one of my favorite beaches for a day trip with the kids is Third Beach, located in Vancouver's Stanley Park. In the summertime it is my favorite beach to go to.

There are a few reasons why I love taking the kids to this beach:
  • It's good for swimming - A few of my family's other favorite beaches like Tsawwassen's Centennial Beach and Spanish Banks in Vancouver, are awesome but the water is pretty shallow for a loooooong stretch (forever almost). At Third Beach you can really get into the water. This is great for the my now when they are a little older and more ready to get into the water to play than when they were younger.
  • There's lots to look at - Ships go in and out of the harbor, seagulls strut and forage, C-planes fly overhead, people walk and bike by on the Seawall, and in the water there's always lots of activity with sailboats, speedboats, kayaks, jet-skis, and more.
  • Lots to do - Third Beach is great for beach-combing for shells and rocks. The sand is good for digging in and squashing your feet into, and writing your name 8 feet high in. Depending on the tide, there are critters in the tide pools and on the rocks to look at.
  • It's versatile - In the summer it's great for swimming and playing in the sand. In the winter we still come here just for the view and a walk and the scenery.
And, of course, Third Beach is located right inside glorious Stanley Park where there is lots to do for tourists and locals alike: several playgrounds, the Vancouver Aquarium, hiking trails, Beaver Lake, Prospect Point, and the Sea Wall.

Tips: In the summer, arrive before noon to get a good parking spot, a good log, and avoid the rush. There's lots of parking just above the beach. Facilities at this beach include change rooms, bathrooms, showers, and a concession. There's also a big grassy picnic area next to the concession.

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