Summer is here and the sun is shining. One of the best daytime activities around is a few hours of lounge-worthy relaxation surrounded by the beauty of Vancouver. Pair this lazy day lounging with some quality snacking and you have yourself a good old fashioned picnic! But where to go, you ask? We’ve got you covered with some of the best little burrows that are easily accessed from the city, are not your everyday tourist-crammed locations, and offer some of the most killer views…
The Secret Garden: The Law Courts
Situated in the very core of Vancouver is a secret green garden hideaway, sparse with passersby, with one of the most spectacular cityscapes around. The Law Courts Building (designed by world-renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson) can be accessed directly from the street and by an upper-level walkway connecting to the Robson Square rooftop garden (main entry from Hornby and Nelson). Once you’re in this 7-storey structure, you will immediately be feasting your eyes on the hidden gem, with sloping steps and quiet nooks for perfect picnics. The views will leave you absolutely awe-struck and we love that this is such an ambiguous location for those quiet, tranquil days.
The Hidden Hideaway: Tower Beach
Jaw-dropping cliffs near the residences at UBC have been home to some of the most beautiful views of neighbouring Wreck Beach – and are quiet little hideaways for picnics. To reach Tower Beach, take Trail 3 (located east of the Museum of Anthropology) which will take you to the foot of the gun towers (or use this handy map to make your way there). We recommend utilizing the public parking at UBC for a small fee and then tackling this trail by foot. Pack lighter with some good walking or hiking shoes for resistance against the sometimes damp climate up there. Then kick off those shoes and spoil in the beauty of it all with someone special. This is a make-out worthy location, tucked away from the crowds. For a map, visit the Wreck Beach Preservation Society website.
The Locals’ Beach: Third Beach, Stanley Park
Located at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, we usually pair this picnic-worthy beach location with a scenic bike ride (easier access to peddle rather than drive). Third is where the locals go, offering a laidback vibe from bustling English Bay or people-watching Kits Beach. Shielded by shady trees, this calm, quiet beach spot is one of the best locations to picnic in the city. Head out early on your bikes to scout out your ideal locale and enjoy the casual, down-to-earth vibes and stunning scenery.
Serenity on a Lake: Deer Lake Park Paddle Boating
Situated at 5434 Sperling Avenue in Burnaby (a 15 to 20-minute drive from the city) is the most relaxing lake you’ll ever set foot in (but we wouldn’t recommend swimming in there). Appearing more like a large pond, the lake boasts a family-run boat rental shack that will get you set-up with some very low-key paddle boats. Once you hit the lake for a reasonable $20, you are soon enjoying an amazingly peaceful retreat, paddling around lily pads and soaking up the warm afternoon sun. Transporting some snacks on the lake is not frowned upon and we’d recommend some easily portable treats that can be passed around effortlessly.
The Make-out Point: Queen Elizabeth Park
Nestled within Queen Elizabeth Park is a hidden haven known to locals as “Make-out Point.” Facing west, this little private picnic spot is surrounded by tall trees, tucked away from the usual crowds that congregate within the core of QE. We recommend utilizing the public parking near the entrance (close to the pitch ‘n put), then head to the top of Queen Elizabeth Park where you get that jaw dropping view of the city. Find the circular path that loops down into the garden. Continue to follow the path west and you’ll be led up to a bench surrounded by trees. You’ll feel a million miles away all the while in the middle of the city.
What are some of your favourite picnic spots in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.