There’s no denying I’m a city girl, through and through. But as soon as the mercury begins to rise, there is no where I’d rather be than in the great outdoors. I’m not talking about roughing it in a rustic cabin or camping in the middle of the bush (although I have been known to do this). I’m talking about uncovering all those urban oases that make summer in Vancity so great.
New to town? No worries. Been chained to your desk all summer? Lookie here. These are my most cherished chill-out locales in the Lower Mainland…
Also known as White Pine Beach, affectionately dubbed the Moody Shore (Port Moody/Jersey Shore hybrid). There’s a massive dock that stretches across the lake (mostly adults, kids stay on the beach). Ripped construction workers and white trash hoochies provide hours of entertainment, and the cops always check them first for booze and drugs…naturally. It’s a quick 40 minute drive from the downtown core.
A leisurely bike ride around the seawall and a brief detour through Stanley Park and you’re there. There’s parking but fuck that, ride your bike. Topless sunbathing is not unusual towards the end of the beach (just say no to tan lines) and there are outdoor showers, great views and a drum circle. What else does one need in life?
There’s plenty of muscle heads and bronzed beauties to pursue or keep you entertained and the cops don’t check your coolers for booze unless you’re making a scene (minor risk here). Easy to get there from downtown via the False Creek Ferries. There’s parking but fuck that, take the ferry. Sick of the sand? Hit the salt water pool. A melange of restos are nearby for après la plage.
The Mill Patio
Situated on the Coal Harbour side of the seawall, this is arguably the biggest patio in downtown Vancouver, capturing full sun all day long with a view of the montagnes. The caesars will blow your mind, the wine pours are plentiful and there are tons of bike racks. Too hot? Have a frolic through the water park out front (the mind blowing caesars offer ample encouragement).
The Grassy Knoll
Not an official name, but this is what I’ve been calling it since I moved to the city in 2002. Easily my favorite place to watch the world pass by. Located at Beach Ave @ Nicola (my home for 7 years) it’s a lovely spot to set up for a BBQ or a bocce ball comp. Situated right on the seawall with a view of English Bay, it’s the best place to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine. Vancouverite tip: forget fighting the crowds on the beach during the Celebration of Light, the grassy knoll is hands down the best place to watch the fireworks.
What are your favorite Vancouver summer haunts? Did I miss a good one? Post a comment or tweet me @urbancowgirl