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23 Best Places to Kayak in Vancouver in 2024

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If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that offers a perfect blend of excitement and tranquility, kayaking is the perfect choice. And what better place to kayak than beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia?

There are plenty of great spots to paddle in this province, and we’ve put together a list of the 23 best places to kayak near Vancouver.

So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there’s a spot on this list for you!

Beginners will prefer a relaxing paddle alongside Stanley Park. More experienced paddlers will enjoy the rougher seas in Haida Gwaii. And those looking for a unique experience will want to head to Egmont to paddle through bioluminescent waters.

No matter what your level of experience, there’s a perfect place for you to go kayaking in Vancouver.

So grab your paddle and get ready for an unforgettable adventure kayaking in Vancouver!

👉 Explore the Gulf Islands on this amazing kayak and seaplane tour from Vancouver

My Top 3 Picks: Best Vancouver Kayaking Tours


Gulf Islands Kayak and Seaplane Adventure

✔️ Kayak the Gulf Islands
✔️ Seaplane flight
✔️ Round trip transportation


Kayaking Vancouver Tour
✔️ 2 hours
✔️ Hike in Quarry Rock
✔️ Private transportation


Snorkel, Kayak, and Seal Adventure
✔️ 5 hours
✔️ Expert adventure guides
✔️ Snorkel and see wild seals

Where to Kayak in Vancouver: 15 Best Places

kayaking in vancouver false creek mikaela anne
Image (c) Voyageur Tripper

1) False Creek Kayaking

A great option for those living in the city and want to go on a day paddle, or even those visiting Vancouver and want to see the city from a different perspective.

False Creek is a body of water that was once an industrial hub but has since been gentrified and is now home to many high-rise apartments, parks, and a marina.

You’ll get amazing views of the West End and Yaletown from the water, and as you travel the inlet, you’ll also see downtown Eastside.  

You’ll get to paddle with harbour seals, cormorants, and even geese!

It is surrounded by downtown Vancouver on three sides making for some stunning scenery as you paddle around.

Just be sure to stay close to the shore as the water can get choppy in the middle of the inlet.

This is an easy place to get to, no matter where you’re staying in Vancouver.

Kayak Rentals: Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre

Distance From Downtown: 10 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Can you kayak in False Creek?

Yes! You can kayak in False Creek!

In fact, it’s one of the best places to kayak in Vancouver.

False Creek is a great place for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

jericho beach kitesurfing vancouver

2) Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach is the home of the Jericho Sailing Center Association and is a great place to go for your water activities while visiting Vancouver.

Jericho Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood.

It is an oceanfront area that sits between Kitsilano and West Point Grey. Typically, the East Side of the beach is reserved more for swimming while the West Side is where you’ll want to go to participate in water sports.

It’s a great place to go for a swim, sunbathe, or picnic on a sunny day.

And it’s also one of the best places to go kayaking in Vancouver!

I recommend kayaking along the north shore to get views of the mountains. But many people prefer to kayak hop amongst the sandy beaches along the southern Spanish Banks.

Be mindful of boaters and kiteboarders who may feel they have the right of way on the water.

This sea kayaking spot is best paddled in summer, from April to October. In winter, the water gets too cold and often too choppy.

Kayak Rentals: Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre

Distance From Downtown: 20 minutes

Skill Level: Easy to Intermediate

stanley park vancouver

3) English Bay and Stanley Park

One of the best places to go kayaking in Vancouver is English Bay. The water is calm and there’s plenty to see along the way. And it’s right in downtown Vancouver, so you can get here by public transportation!

I recommend starting at English Bay Beach and paddling around Stanley Park. You’ll get stunning views of the city, the North Shore mountains, and plenty of wildlife.

Stanley Park is best known for its seawall, even though it’s in the heart of the city – the best of all worlds. 

Surrounded by the Burrard Inlet and English Bay, it’s a great place to kayak and take in the views of the historic parks and beautiful trees in the area. You can cross into this area directly from Jericho, so it’s easy to access!

Most people opt to cycle around the park or walk the pathways, but they’re missing out on the best views!

The best time of year to enjoy this paddling experience in Vancouver is in summer, June through September, when the winds are calmer so it’s easier to paddle.

Much like kayaking in the Toronto Islands, this is a great way to get epic pictures of the city skyline.

Kayak Rentals: Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre

Distance From Downtown: 10 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Can you kayak around Stanley Park?

Yes! You can kayak around Stanley Park!

In fact, it’s one of the best places to kayak in Vancouver.

The park is surrounded by water on three sides, making it the perfect place to explore by kayak.

Just be sure to stay close to the shore as the water can get choppy in the middle of the inlet.

deep cove vancouver boats

4) Deep Cove Kayaking in Indian Arm

This is a great place to go kayaking if you want to paddle in some salt water. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards at Deep Cove should you not have your own.

Deep Cove is the community in the easternmost part of the District of North Vancouver. The small bay beside it shares its name.

The launch area is right near the Panorama Recreation Centre where you’ll find public washrooms and showers. Paddle around in the protected waters of the Salish Sea or venture out into the open waters where you can get a great view of Mount Seymour.

Just be sure to bring your camera as there are many photo opportunities including the Twin Islands, Buntzen Lake and Belcarra Regional Park. You might even spot some seals or eagles!

There may not be whales to rock your kayak, but the strong winds can mean currents dragging you backwards. So be prepared for a tough arm workout.

Kayaking in Indian Arm is excellent for kayakers looking to make camp on the beaches as they paddle for multiple days. The sheltered waters make for easier starts and ends to the day as well. I recommend Jubilee for camping.

Kayak Rentals: Deep Cove Kayak Centre

Distance From Downtown: 35 minutes

Skill Level: Intermediate

Can you bring your own kayak to Deep Cove?

Yes! You can and should bring your own kayak to Deep Cove.

I recommend bringing an inflatable kayak as they are easy to store and transport. You can even bring them on public transit when they’re deflated! It’s also easy to pack them in your car if you’re visiting on a day trip from Vancouver.

Deep Cove has it’s very own Kayak Centre, aptly named Deep Cove Kayak Centre, so they obviously know a thing or two about it! You can rent a single kayak, double kayak, or dragon boat and they will provide you with all the gear you need. 

deer lake vancouver

5) Deer Lake

This is one of the best kayaking spots in Vancouver for those who want to paddle close to the city. It’s located in Burnaby and is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

Deer Lake has beautiful gardens, trails, and heritage homes to explore. When you are done exploring on land, though, you can rent paddle boats and kayaks to explore on the water too! 

Deer Lake is calm and serene, making it ideal for beginners or those wanting a relaxing day on the water.

Paddle around the lake and take in the sights of the surrounding wetlands and forest.

You might even see some wildlife like painted turtles or herons!

The lack of motorboats on Deer Lake also means it’s one of the quietest lakes in Vancouver. So if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the spot for you.

Kayak Rental: Deer Lake Boat Rentals

Distance From Downtown: 20 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

kitsilano beach

6) Kits Beach

This is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver and it’s easy to see why. It has everything you could want in a beach: sand, sun, swimming, and stunning views. In fact, it was named one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

I could spend weeks every summer at this gorgeous beach listening to the waves. On busy days, you may be dodgeing beach volleyballs as they get spiked over nets on the crowded sand.

Kits Beach is also a great place to kayak as it’s located near False Creek. This means there are no waves to contend with and the water is usually quite calm.

You can launch your kayak from the beach or nearby Kitsilano Yacht Club. And if you get tired of paddling, you can always pull up on one of the many docks lining False Creek and take a break.

Just be careful of the heavy boat traffic as you paddle around. There are often large ferries and pleasure boats cruising through the waters.

Vancouver Water Adventures has another location here, making kayaking near Vancouver easy as you visit this beautiful place. With a variety of tours and lessons offered there’s a little something for everyone!

Kayak Rental: Vancouver Water Adventures

Distance From Downtown: 15 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

bowen island british columbia

7) Bowen Island

Bowen Island is accessible by ferry in West Vancouver. Once there, you’ll find Bowen Island Sea Kayaking, which offers both kayaking and paddle boarding for all your water adventure needs. 

It’s located in Howe Sound and is considered one of the most beautiful places in British Columbia.

This is a great option if you want to paddle in some salt water but don’t want to go too far from the city. You can take a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to get to Bowen Island.

Once you’re there, you’ll find plenty of sheltered coves and beaches to explore by kayak.

The island is also a great place to go camping, with many campsites located near the water. So you can paddle during the day and relax by the campfire at night.

Just be sure to bring your camera as there are some stunning views of Howe Sound and the surrounding islands.

Bowen Island is also home to a number of artists and galleries, so be sure to check them out while you’re there. I love hanging up my paddle for some hiking boots to explore the island’s trails leading to overlooks with panoramic views of the ocean.

Kayak Rental: Bowen Island Sea Kayaking

Distance From Downtown: 1 hour

Skill Level: Beginner

👉 I recommend this tour of Bowen Island via kayak with a private ferry ride!

Can you kayak from Vancouver to Bowen Island?

Yes, you can kayak from Vancouver to Bowen Island! It’s a great way to see the city from the water and get some exercise in at the same time.

The trip takes about 2 hours, depending on your pace and stops along the way.

I recommend starting from Kitsilano Beach and paddling around False Creek before crossing over to Granville Island. From there, you can head across English Bay to Stanley Park.

Once you’re in the park, paddle around Lost Lagoon or Beaver Lake before crossing over to where the ferries leave for Bowen Island.

The whole trip is about 12 kilometers and is suitable for kayakers of all levels.

Just be sure to pack some snacks and water, as there are no stops along the way to get supplies.

8) Porteau Marine Park

Porteau Marine Park is a Provincial Marine Park located just south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway. The park offers picnicking, camping, swimming, windsurfing, and a boat launch.

You can explore the beach and go diving or snorkelling here. Remember to practise Leave No Trace ethics when observing marine life by not removing or handling wildlife and leaving everything as you find it.

If you’re interested in stargazing, the park is a great place to see the northern lights.

Canoeing and kayaking are also available in the ocean area. Just be careful of the strong currents and tides. You can rent a kayak in Squamish or bring your own.

Porteau Cove is a great place to kayak if you’re looking for a challenge. The waters can be rough, so it’s not recommended for beginners. But if you’re up for an adventure, it’s a beautiful place to paddle.

Kayak Rental: Sea to Sky Parks

Distance From Downtown: 45 minutes

Skill Level: Intermediate

howe sound sailboat bc

9) Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound

Horseshoe Bay is the southernmost entry point to Howe Sound, making it a great place to start your kayaking adventure.

Howe Sound is a narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. It’s known for its dramatic scenery, with towering mountains and rocky shores.

This 42 km long fjord (a long, deep, narrow body of water) is known for excellence in water activities. It joins a number of other fjords northwest of Vancouver. 

You can paddle around the bay and explore the many coves and islands. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including seals, eagles, and otters. Seals regularly take an interest in kayakers.

You may even get lucky enough to spot a whale!

It is the perfect place to book a kayaking trip because it has incredible views, but keep in mind this will probably entail a multi-day trip stopping to camp along the way.

There are also 6 wilderness campsites located in Howe Sound, so you can paddle during the day and camp under the stars at night.

Just be aware that conditions can change quickly in Howe Sound, so always check the weather forecast before heading out.

Although the 40km marine trail can be paddled in a very intense single day, it’s better to spread out your experience. Make the most of the rugged shorelines featuring my favourite – rocky beaches. And enjoy views of the snowcapped Whistler mountain in the distance.

Kayak Rental: Sea Dragon Charters

Distance From Downtown: 25 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

granville island DebbieFettback 04

10) Granville Island

Granville Island is a hub of activity, with a bustling public market, shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

It’s also a great place to go kayaking!

Vancouver Water Adventures offers kayak rentals and tours from their location on Granville Island. Kayak rentals from Granville Island is sure to be a highlight of any trip.

You can explore the False Creek area, paddle under the Granville Street Bridge, and check out the Vancouver skyline.

They also offer stand-up paddleboard rentals and lessons.

Granville Island is a great place to start your kayaking adventure because it’s close to downtown and there are plenty of things to see and do in the area.

You can get to it by traveling across False Creek from downtown, and it’s known for its great food, so after your water adventure you’ll be able to get something delicious!

Kayak Rental: Vancouver Water Adventures

Distance From Downtown: 10 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

chilliwack river bc

11) Chilliwack River

The Chilliwack River is a great place to kayak for both beginners and experienced kayakers.

The river is relatively calm, making it a good choice for those new to the sport.

And there are plenty of things to see and do along the way, including fishing, swimming, and picnicking.

It’s a famous spot in Canada for whitewater rafting, so if you’re looking for a thrill, this is the place for you.

Just be aware that the water level can rise quickly during the rainy season, so it’s important to check the conditions before heading out.

Distance From Downtown: 2 hours

Skill Level: Beginner

12) Coast Mountains

The Coast Mountains are one of the most unique places to kayak in Canada.

In Newfoundland, you can paddle upto a glacier. But here in BC, you can kayak ON a glacier at the Coast Mountains.

In the Garibaldi Mountain range, you’ll find the Coast Mountains. For a short time in late spring, the glacier lakes begin to melt on the service in slushie-blue coloured rivers throughout the mountains.

This creates a playground for kayakers of all levels where you can explore and paddle through some of the most stunning scenery in BC.

Most people arrive in shorts after a quick helicopter flight with Compass Heli Tours. Then they take to the waters in a lightweight kayak to paddle this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Most people never even know this is an option!

You can read about one kayaker’s experience in the Coast Mountains here.

Kayak Rental: Compass Heli Tours

Distance From Downtown: 5 hours total

Skill Level: Beginner

13) Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Canada.

It’s known for its dramatic scenery, with towering mountains and rocky shores.

You can paddle around the bay and explore the many coves and islands. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including seals, eagles, and otters.

When I asked British Columbians where to go kayaking, about 50% of them told me that Desolation Sound is their #1 pick! The warm waters alone seemed to have it towering above other kayaking destinations.

With 60km of coastline to explore, you can easily spend a weekend or more kayaking in Desolation Sound.

If you paddle a few more kilometres, you can reach the Powell Forest Canoe route that leads you on an inland journey for a few days.

Kayak Rental: Desolation Sound Resort

Distance From Downtown: 2 hours via flight

Skill Level: Intermediate

capilano river vancouver bc

14) Capilano River

You’ve heard of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but have you ever been told to kayak the Capilano River?

Locals know this river better than tourists – who seem to arrive for the suspension bridge then immediately head to Whistler.

But the Capilano river is where it’s at.

This is a advanced kayaking trip that’s best done in the spring when the water levels are higher.

You’ll find 5.6km of river to paddle with plenty of rapids and waves to keep you entertained.

Just be sure to wear a helmet and expect to get wet!

The best put in spot is at the salmon hatchery at the top of the river.

From there, you can paddle downstream and take out at Capilano Road.

But be aware that this is more of a whitewater kayaking situation than a peaceful paddle. In fact, it’s recommended that beginner kayakers avoid this area, even with a guide.

Distance From Downtown: 20 minutes

Skill Level: Advanced

Can you kayak on Capilano Lake?

Yes, you can kayak on Capilano Lake! This is a great option for those looking for a peaceful paddle with stunning scenery.

The lake is located in North Vancouver and is about 5.5km long.

You can put in your kayak at Capilano Dam and paddle around the lake. There are also a few small beaches where you can stop and take a break.

bioluminescence starry night

15) Egmont Bioluminescent Kayaking

Egmont is a small town on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

And while it’s best known as the gateway to world-famous Skookumchuck Rapids, it’s also home to some of the best kayaking in BC.

In particular, the bioluminescent kayaking is an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the province.

Every night, the waters of Sechelt Inlet come alive with a natural light show.

As you paddle through the water, the movement creates a blue-green glow that’s simply magical.

It’s an unforgettable experience and one that should definitely be on your BC kayaking list!

Unlike some kayaking where it’s a bit rough or is about chatting with others, this experience feels quite meditative as you take in the nocturnal world and the glowing waters beneath your paddle.

Distance From Downtown: 3 hours

Skill Level: Beginner

👉 This kayak tour is the best way to experience the bioluminescence in Vancouver

Bonus: Kayaking White Rock Vancouver

White rock, which gets its name from a large white boulder at its beach, has amazing restaurants, cafes, piers, and of course- water! 
The coastlines are stunning and the beaches are a great place to do some sea kayaking in Vancouver.

Bonus: Cates Park in North Vancouver

Cates Park is just a five minute drive away from Deep Cove, so you could explore these places and do some kayaking at both within a very short timeframe.

The Cates Deck Beer Garden is also open for a bit of fun post-kayaking from Thursday – Sunday. 

Bonus: Port Moody

Port Moody is situated on the Burrard Inlet and has views of both coastlines and mountains, which is a rare occurrence in a lot of other places. It is a city within Vancouver, about 25 minutes from downtown – one of the “tri-cities” along with Coquitlam and Burnaby. 

It’s home to Rocky Point Kayak, which gives you the opportunity for kayaking near downtown Vancouver while still feeling like you’ve escaped the city for the wilderness.

Bonus: Alouette Lake

When you visit Alouette Lake, you’ll get a little bit of everything as it has a lake (obviously!), views of mountains, a sandy beach, and a green lawn which is a perfect place for picnicking.

With clean, fresh water this is a great place to go with a family for water sports. As with many other spots in Vancouver, they have their own boat rental shop named “Alouette Boat Rentals” located in Maple Ridge.

8 Best Kayaking in Vancouver One- and Multi-Day Trips

gibsons british columbia waterfront

1) Sea to Sky Marine Trail (West Vancouver to Gibsons)

The Sea to Sky Marine Trail is the water equivalent of the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia.

This kayaking route follows the coastline from West Vancouver all the way to Gibsons.

Paddle among stunning scenery, and keep an eye out for seals, eagles, herons, otters and whales. The Georgia Strait provides gentle waters perfect for beginners, making this one of the best kayaking spots near Vancouver.

There is a launch site conveniently located in Gibsons Harbour, so you can jump right into your adventure.

Within minutes, you will be surrounded by spectacular west coast scenery with views of Howe Sound and Whistler.

👉 This guided kayak tour in Gibson is an amazing way to explore the Sea to Sky Marine Trail

woman in red hat kayaking canada

2) Victoria

Located across the harbour from Vancouver, Victoria is one of the best places to paddle near Vancouver.

The city’s Gorge Waterway Park is perfect for kayaking and SUPing, and is lined with maple trees and weeping willows.

Rentals are available from the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club, which also offers lessons for beginners.

Paddle through calm waters and take in the stunning scenery of Vancouver Island’s capital city.

👉 I love this tour of the Gorge Waterway Park in Victoria

whale watching tofino

3) Tofino

Tofino is a small town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and is one of the best places to kayak in British Columbia.

This kayaking destination is renowned for its beautiful scenery, with towering trees and rugged coastline.

Paddle through Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and keep an eye out for orcas, sea lions and bald eagles.

There are several kayak rental companies in Tofino, so you can easily explore this stunning area.

Or bring your own and launch from the beach near your accommodation.

4) Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) is an archipelago located off the coast of British Columbia. People refer to it as the “Canadian Galapagos” because of its diverse wildlife.

This remote destination is one of the best places to go kayaking in Canada, with its sheltered bays, calm waters and stunning scenery.

Paddle among ancient trees, towering cliffs and wildlife including orcas, sea lions and bald eagles.

There are several kayak tour operators on Haida Gwaii, so you can easily explore this beautiful area.

Haida Gwaii is also home to some of the world’s best surfing, so don’t forget your surfboard!

Ucluelet beach for kayaking celeste klassen
Photo (c) Celeste

5) Ucluelet

Ucluelet is a small town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s known for its rugged coastline, lush rainforest, and abundant wildlife.

Paddle among towering trees and rugged cliffs to explore the wild beauty of Ucluelet.

You’ll want to explore Barkley Sound in a kayak to be able to get safe sightings of wild bears, deer, eagles, and shorebirds. You may even spot an orca if you go sea kayaking!

👉 I recommend this Ucluelet Harbour kayak tour

telegraph cove vancouver island kayaking

6) Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island

Telegraph Cove is a small town located on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

If you’re wondering where to kayak in Vancouver, this is a great day trip to add to your list.

When you launch your kayak here, you’ll be able to take a self-guided tour of the Johnstone Strait. Which is home to orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life.

There are also a number of different kayaking trails to explore in the area. Including the Glendale Cove Marine Park and the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve.

The area isn’t for beginners. It’s best for intermediate to advanced kayakers who understand how to navigate islands like the Broughton Archipelago and the rougher seas.

If you rent a kayak from At The Water’s Edge Adventures, based in Telegraph Cove, you can even have them deliver it to Great Bear Rainforest!

gulf islands british columbia

7) Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands are a group of islands located in the Strait of Georgia.

They’re a popular destination for kayakers, since there are so many different islands to explore.

Each island has its own unique character. And you can find sheltered coves, beaches, and cliffs to paddle around.

Some of the most popular kayaking spots in the Gulf Islands include Saturna Island, Pender Island, Galiano Island, and Mayne Island.

You can reach the islands from Vancouver on a seaplane tour. My favourite tour includes a kayak excursion to allow you to enjoy paddling worry free of finding rentals or carrying your own kayak in a seaplane.

👉 Explore the Gulf Islands on this amazing kayak and seaplane tour from Vancouver

8) Broken Islands Group

The Broken Islands Group is a group of small islands located in Barkley Sound.

It’s one of the best places to kayak in Vancouver if you’re looking for an adventure.

There are over 100 islands in the group. And many of them are only accessible by kayak.

When you paddle around the islands, you’ll be able to see wildlife like sea lions, seals, otters, and bald eagles.

There are also a number of different hiking trails on the islands. So you can explore them even further.

The Broken Islands Group is the best place to kayak Vancouver for intermediate to advanced kayakers.

If you’re a beginner, there are plenty of sheltered coves and beaches where you can practice your paddling.

👉 I love this 3 day kayak tour of the Broken Group Islands

7 Best Kayaking Vancouver Tours

1. Snorkel & Seal Adventure in Howe Sound

What an adventure! This tour allows you to take a half-day boat tour to see seals and go snorkeling. 

In addition, you can kayak around the bay and view the coastal scenery from a lower profile boat. All equipment for snorkeling and kayaking is included as well as some light refreshments!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

2. Vancouver Kayaking in Deep Cove

If you’d like to combine one of the best kayaking Vancouver experiences with hiking, then this is the tour for you! 

You’ll do two hours of kayaking, a 90-minute hike in Quarry Rock, and then finish up with restaurants, shops, and Honey’s doughnuts.

If you are looking for the quintessential Pacific Northwest tour, this is the one you’ll want to book. You’ll see Deep Cove, Panorama Park, Quarry Rock, and Lynn Canyon Park with its famous suspension bridge all within a day.

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

3. Gulf Island Kayak and Seaplane Tour

For the best chance at spotting wildlife, this is where you’ll want to be. You’ll start your day with a seaplane tour, exploring the natural beauty.

Then, you’ll kayak along Saltspring Island and have the potential to see whales, harbor seals, otters, and more! A barbeque picnic lunch on the beach is also included. Sounds like a perfect day to me!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

4. Vancouver City Tour with Bowen Island Kayaking

If you are looking to see almost everywhere we’ve chatted about in this post so far, look no further! This tour has it all.

With eight different stops throughout the day, you’ll get to experience almost any activity you can think of that Vancouver has to offer. You’ll end the day at Bowen Island and Bowen Bay Beach, where you can participate in hiking, biking, horse backriding, and so much more. Most importantly- they offer kayaking!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

5. Vancouver to Tofino Day Trip with Kayaking

This one-day tour also includes a massive amount of stops, giving you an incredible experience within a short amount of time. You’ll see various beaches, ports, and sacred lands.

One of the main attractions is Pacific Rim National Park where you can kayak, surf, and relax!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

6. North Vancouver Island 8-Day Tour with Kayaking

If you are looking for an extended experience as you seek the best kayaking Vancouver, this 8-day tour will fulfill that urge for adventure. There is so much included!

All your meals, accommodations, and private locally guided tours are included. On Day 4, you’ll kayak the Johnstone Straight, taking in the gorgeous scenery and wildlife. 

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

7. Vancouver Private Day Tour with Kayak

What a deal! On this tour, you’ll experience downtown, Gastown, Chinatown, the Steam Clock, the lookout, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Robson Street, Granville Island, Kitsilano Beach, Stanley Park, and the Metropolis At Metrotown. I’m honestly not sure how they do it all in a day!

You’ll have your own private, air-conditioned vehicle and a professional guide. The opportunity to kayak will come when you arrive at Granville Island, so take advantage while you’re there!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

Sunset Kayaking in Vancouver

This is exactly what it sounds like- and it’s so worth it! 

Offered by Jericho Beach Kayak, you’ll rent high-quality kayaks and make your way out with a guide who will ensure you get the most spectacular views of the sun setting over Vancouver’s harbor waters.

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

Kayaking with Whales in Vancouver

This 3-hour tour will give you an immersive experience in the waters of Victoria Harbor. 

You’ll pass by whale-watching boats (giving you a chance to see them too!) and experience the scenic views of both nature and architecture. All with a guide to make sure you don’t miss a thing, it’s an experience unlike any other.

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

Night Kayaking in Vancouver

The tagline for this tour is “an evening paddle with a special light show!” as you head out in the dark and experience the wildlife that creates bioluminescence in the water, giving it a blue and white glow.

You’ll have a professional guide and be in a double kayak to ensure your safety going out in the dark, but this is a truly magical experience you won’t soon forget!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

White Water Kayaking in Vancouver

Tidal journeys specializes in multi-day kayaking trips. If you are a more advanced kayaker, and are looking to share this experience with others, this tour is a must-do. 

The guides provide food and adventure, as well as expertise and connection with each other and nature!

🚣‍♀️ Check prices!

inflatable kayak ottawa

Best Inflatable Kayak for Vancouver Paddling

If you’re looking for the best kayak for paddling around Vancouver, then you should consider an inflatable kayak.

Inflatable kayaks are easy to transport and store. And they’re perfect for exploring all of the different waterways in Vancouver.

After trying many that felt like they were leaking air as I paddled or ones that felt like lugging around a full mattress, I’ve found that the Explorer K2 from Advanced Elements is the best inflatable kayak for Vancouver paddling.

It’s made with a durable PVC material. So it’s built to last. And it has an aluminum frame that adds to its durability.

The kayak also comes with a number of different accessories. Including two paddles, an inflatable seat, and a foot pump.

So you have everything you need to get out on the water and start exploring.

If you’re looking for a kayak that you can take on all of your Vancouver adventures, then the Explorer K2 is the perfect choice.

🚣‍♀️ I recommend this inflatable kayak

What to Take Kayaking in Vancouver

  1. Kayak
  2. Paddle
  3. Life jacket
  4. Bilge pump (to get water out of your kayak if it starts to fill up)
  5. Dry bag (to keep your things dry)
  6. First-aid kit
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Hat
  9. Insect repellent
  10. Waterproof outer layer, like a shell
  11. Plenty of snacks and drinks
  12. Waterproof camera

What to Wear Kayaking in Vancouver

When kayaking in Vancouver, you should keep the water temperature in mind over the weather. You are more than likely going to get wet – and if you’re a beginner, possibly end up in the water! – so it’s best to be dressed for this situation.

Avoid cotton fabrics as they hold water and tend to stay wet and clingy on you if they become wet. They make suits specifically for kayaking, but if you choose suitable fabrics for your clothing, you can stay comfortable on your excursion. Also, invest in waterproof shoes or wear older shoes you don’t mind getting wet. 

Instead, opt for synthetic materials or wool.

Layering is also important. So you can add or remove layers as the temperature changes.

Finally, make sure you wear shoes that can get wet. Like sandals or water shoes.

Then, get out there and have a great time!

Kayaking Safety in British Columbia

Before you go kayaking in Vancouver, it’s important to know the safety regulations.

In British Columbia, all kayakers must wear a life jacket at all times.

You should also have a whistle attached to your life jacket. So you can signal for help if you need it.

It’s also a good idea to take a first-aid kit with you.

In case you or someone else gets injured while you’re out on the water.

Following these safety regulations will help to ensure that you have a fun and safe kayaking experience in Vancouver.

Do I need a license to kayak in BC?

No, you do not need a license to kayak in British Columbia.

A license is only required to drive a motorized vehicle on the water – like a motorboat or a jetski.

Kayaks are self-propelled by your paddling, so anyone can use one without a license in BC.

Is it illegal to kayak without a life jacket in BC?

Yes, it is illegal to kayak without a life jacket in British Columbia.

All kayakers must wear a life jacket at all times.

You should also have a whistle attached to your life jacket. So you can signal for help if you need it.

Best Time to Kayak in Vancouver

While you can go at all times of the year, and may even get views of snow-capped mountains if you do, the summer months- June through September – are when you want to go kayaking in Vancouver.

The temperatures are mild, the water is warmer, and you are more likely to have great weather than any other time of the year.


Where can I launch a kayak in Vancouver?

There are many places to launch a kayak in Vancouver. Some of the most popular spots include:

  • False Creek
  • Kitsilano Beach
  • Jericho Beach
  • Spanish Banks
  • Granville Island

Where can I kayak with kids in Vancouver?

Here are some of the best places to kayak with kids in Vancouver:

  • Kitsilano Beach
  • Jericho Beach
  • Spanish Banks
  • Granville Island

Can I kayak in the rain in Vancouver?

Yes, you can kayak in the rain in Vancouver. However, you should be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.
Wearing quick-drying, breathable clothing is a good idea. You’ll also want to wear layers so you can add or remove them as the temperature changes.

Can you kayak anywhere in Vancouver?

Because Vancouver is surrounded by lakes, oceans, sounds, and inlets, there are lots of places to go kayaking. It’s a metropolis, but feels more like a coastal town with the beaches, seawalks, and boating opportunities found there. The bonus of being in a city when you are done with your water activities is dining and shopping!

How much is kayaking in Vancouver?

On average, you’ll pay around $25 for a one-hour solo kayak or SUP rental. However, keep in mind that throughout Vancouver you’ll find opportunities for guided kayak tours, half and full-day rentals, family packages, and more. The price will vary depending on all of these factors and what kind of kayaking experience you are looking to have.

Best places to kayak near Vancouver?

Head north to Nanaimo kayak rentals – but be warned, it’s colder there! Or rent a kayak to go kayaking around Vancouver Island.

Wrap Up: Where to Kayak in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a great place to go kayaking. There are many different spots to launch your kayak, and the scenery is beautiful.

My favourite unique place to kayak is at the top of the Coast Mountains on a glacier in its seasonal thaw. But for a more year-round, easy-to-access option, I recommend heading to Kitsilano Beach.

For the best kayaking Vancouver, BC experience, you can’t go wrong as you visit one of these places or book one of these incredible tours. 

From single day to multi-day, visiting one place or many, or including the kids or not, there is truly an option for everyone that will make your kayaking experience unforgettable.

As you combine it with all of the other incredible activities Vancouver has to offer, and take in all the beauty in the surrounding landscapes, you won’t be able to help but fall in love with this place.

It’s a little bit beach, a little bit city, a little bit town, and everything in between. Now go get out on the water and take in all its glory!

Just be sure to follow the safety regulations and dress appropriately for the weather. And you’re sure to have a great time out on the water!

👉 Explore the Gulf Islands on this amazing kayak and seaplane tour from Vancouver

Looking for more BC things to do?

Canada Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Canada travel insurance?

100% YES! — Canada has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens! Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I recommend World Nomads – starting at just $5 a day!

💧Can you drink the water in Canada?

Yes — In all major cities in Canada, you can drink the tap water. There are very few, rural areas that you can’t. However, you should never drink river or lake water anywhere in the country! I recommend a Brita Water Bottle for long hikes and backcountry camping to stay safe and hydrated.

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Canada?

Yes Renting a car is a necessity in most of Canada! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, you’ll need to rent a car. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Canada?

Maybe — Some American companies work in Canada, but many will not. If your phone doesn’t work in Canada, I recommend getting a Canadian SIM card so you can get around and stay in contact with loved ones. We don’t have a lot of free WIFI in Canada, so you’ll need your phone for maps.

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Canada accommodations?

My go-to for Canadian hotels is For hostels, I use Hostel World. If you want a home-y feeling, check out VRBO (which is cheaper and safer than Airbnb).

Or get free accommodations with Trusted Housesitters!

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Canada flights?

For finding cheap Canadian flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Canada?

Likely Not — US, UK, and EU passport holders don’t need Canadian visas. However, some other countries do (check here!). And if you plan to stay for more than 4 weeks (an average tourist visa length), you will need to look into visas to live in Canada.