Ambleside is one of the more well-known and well-loved beaches in Vancouver. Situated in West Vancouver, the beach spans a huge area from Lions Gate Bridge all along to about 13th St where you can continue along the waterfront path to many shops and restaurants, to John Lawson Park, or the beautiful seawall walk to Dundarave. The park itself features huge grassy fields for kite flying, a concession, a duck pond, and a playground.
The beach itself is one of the more ‘sandy’ beaches on this side of the water, though it doesn’t compare to beaches in Kits or Second Beach. Being exposed to the ocean traffic as it is, the waves can be quite large here (I have a memory from my own childhood of being pulled under from a large wave).
Depending on the tide, you will either enter the water from the sandy-ish beach or will have to pass through the seaweed / rock belt. Very low tide offers the best sand at waters edge. This is a beach that requires water shoes or sandals no matter the tide. The tidal pools in low tide are fun to search for shells and crabs and for collecting seaweed. Aiden is a little hesitant about the ocean at the moment, and finds the waves here particularly overwhelming, but I’m sure that will fade with time.
The playground isn’t huge, but it does offer some great activities for the really little ones. The ‘water park’ is essentially two fire hydrants with a controlled flow, so Aiden was completely in his element there. There are a couple of slides, some swings, and a playhouse to round out the toys.