Vancouver is well known for its abundance of beautiful nature. Mountains, sea, fields, lakes… we have it all. Accessible and wonderful as they are, we sometimes just want to take a casual stroll nearby without having to find our best runners or break a sweat. I also enjoy relishing in both a bit of nature and a bit of the city at the same time, and there are plenty of neighbourhood paths for that. These are some of my favourite areas to go for a walk when I’m looking for some tranquillity and a balanced scenery of buildings and trees.
Just a bridge across from downtown Vancouver, Kitsilano is a local favourite. With a more intimate beach than English Bay, not only is it a great place for barbecues, beach volleyball, and buskers but the lively neighbourhood is also laced with beautiful, serene streets and biking trails. Be it spring, summer, fall, or winter, this neighbourhood has something to offer all year round, and taking a stroll amongst the beautiful homes can be quite soothing.
2. False Creek
Opposing the south side of downtown Vancouver is a quiet neighbourhood of Fairview. Though it can get crowded during the summers due to its popular tourist spot, Granville Island, this is otherwise a rather calm area. Taking the path along the seawall between Granville Island and Science World provides great views of the downtown skyline as well as a tranquil False Creek dotted with kayaks and paddleboards. It’s also perfect for a scenic afternoon run. The Olympic Village also has a nice dog-park and some pit stops for a drink or two.
3. West Point Grey/Locarno Beach
Further to the West is a neighbourhood that will really treat your eyes. Walking North from West 4th Avenue anywhere between Jericho Beach Park and UBC will take a wanderer on a tour of some of the most expensive mansions Vancouver has to offer and stunning high-point views of the Burrard Inlet. Some hilly roads lead down to the Spanish Banks and the slightly lesser-known Locarno beach.
4. Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Take West 4th Avenue, West Broadway, or any bus that says “UBC” on its front all the way to the end to reach a sizeable campus that is actually quite nice to mindlessly wander around. The surrounding areas are scattered with casual forest trails and following Marine Drive will take you on a long trip with multiple points to get to the water. During the summers when it isn’t jam-packed with students (or anytime during the pandemic actually), loitering around the campus itself can also be a pleasant opportunity to reminisce about younger days gone by.
Shifting focus to the North Shore now, this is one of my personal favourites. Though a little further out from Vancouver, the little district of Dundarave is an elegant break from the bustle of the city. Enjoy majestic and open views of the Burrard Inlet from the well-groomed seawall, or savour the chic streets of Marine Drive and the aptly named Bellevue Avenue. A good starting point is Dundarave Park, which is great on its own as a relaxing spot for meditation or—if you’re like me—a nap in the sun.
About the Author
Upon obtaining a degree in Science, Yongnak pursued a career in the food services industry working in restaurants and mobile catering. He is currently a full-time MBA candidate at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.