Ambleside beach is the epicentre of beach life in West Vancouver, and probably on the North Shore. This long sandy strip of a beach is located in the expansive Ambleside Park which stretches from Lions Gate Bridge and Park Royal all the way to the foot of 13th Street, and exploring the park and surrounding area can easily fill a day.
ACCESS & FACILITES
If driving, the best entrance to the park for beach access is via 13th Street, off of Marine Drive. From 13th Street, turn east (left) on Argyle, and you’ll find parking all along the street as well as in dedicated dirt lots with entrances along Argyle. The park is also easily accessible from transit stops on Marine Drive, or you can walk along Centennial Seawalk, the seaside paved path that follows the water’s edge from Park Royal (about 1.5 km).
Cycling or rollerblading is not permitted on the seawalk. Note that Ambleside also has a dog beach and over 3 hectares of green space dedicated to an off-leash dog park, but this area is between Park Royal and the east end of Argyle street, and you will not be able to bring your furry kids on the ‘people’ beach.
Ambleside Park has pretty much every amenity you would need for your visit, from washrooms to picnic tables to playground to food. If visiting with older kids, there are basketball courts, a skate park and sports fields. Since the paved seawalk runs all along the beach, you can easily get around with a stroller.
The sandy beach is perfect for swimming in the summer, and for exploring any time of the year. While sandy, it is not the whitest of sands, but a mix with tiny wood chips and pebbles. Close to the water’s edge, there is a narrow band of small rocks to cross, so depending on your and your little ones’ hardiness, you may want to wear water shoes. If you visit during very low tide, the receding water leaves behind shallow mini pools and wet sand that’s perfect for young kids to play in. In the middle of the beach, near the lifeguard towers, there is a designated spot for wheelchair access.
Beyond visiting the beach, you can explore the larger Ambleside Park, from admiring the ducks and swans in the pond at the very end of Argyle Street, to running around or playing ball on the large grass fields, to walking out over the water on the pier. For more food and refreshments, head to Ambleside Village on Marine Dr. If you want to stroll or run with a stroller, you can get on Centennial Seawalk - the paved path along the water’s edge - and head east to Park Royal, or west to Dundarave for more playgrounds and another beach.
For biking, head over to Spirit Trail.