Why not rent a bike and go on an adventure while you’re in Vancouver? Vancouver is a cycle-friendly destination and has more than 300km/186mi of bike routes throughout the city. Since 1990, the city has constructed bikeways that connect to form an impressive cycling network.
Routes wind through parks, in urban forests, and by ocean settings, such as the popular Stanley Park seawall.
Perhaps Vancouver’s most irresistible cycling tour is along the Seaside Bicycle Route. Approximately 29km/18mi long each way, the path extends from Spanish Bank near the University of British Columbia, through the West End’s Stanley Park and on to Coal Harbour, with its luxurious sailboats and yachts.
Stanley Park Seawall
Located just minutes from downtown Vancouver in the city’s West End, Stanley Park is an urban oasis.
Cycle counter-clockwise around the Stanley Park Seawall along a paved path past the famous Brockton Point totem poles, under the Lions Gate Bridge, along two of the city’s most popular beaches, and finish at English Bay.
Approximately 10km/6mi in length, the seawall path boasts spectacular views of mountains, ocean, forest and city.
Stanley Park is within easy cycling or walking distance of downtown Vancouver. This is an easy cycling route that takes approximately 1-2 hours.
Seaside Bicycle Route
Arguably the world’s most beautiful urban bike path, the Seaside Bicycle Route begins at Sunset Beach, on the northeast shore of English Bay.
Cycle past marinas, parks and some of the city’s priciest condos on a paved, pedestrian-free route up to the head of False Creek (a pedestrian path runs alongside the bike path to that point). From there, the route traverses a combination of roadways and shared pedestrian/cycle paths until it reaches Granville Island, beyond which it’s pedestrian/cycle all the way to Spanish Bank beach. About 20km/12mi, roundtrip, it’s one of the most pleasurable ways to experience Vancouver’s famous ocean-mountain-city views.
Highlights of the route include the trendy Yaletown neighbourhood; Science World, which is housed in a spherical, silver building originally built for Expo ’86; Granville Island, an artsy enclave filled with theatres, restaurants, market stalls, artists’ studios and specialty shops; and Jericho Beach, a popular sunbathing, picnicking, fishing and sailing destination.
This route is a direct extension of the Stanley Park Seawall, so it’s possible to lengthen a ride by beginning with the seawall route. Or, connect to a forested trail system in Pacific Spirit Park from Spanish Bank at the end of the route.
Sunset Beach is located just south of the downtown core, below the intersection of Thurlow Street and Beach Avenue. This easy bike route takes approximately 3 hours roundtrip to complete.