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Locarno Beach in Vancouver – Everything You Need To Know

Locarno Beach, located in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighborhood, is a surprisingly quiet and peaceful getaway in comparison to Vancouver’s busier city beaches. With all the amenities you could need for a perfect beach day, the hot sandy beach, and the shaded park area, Locarno is great for a quiet escape or a family barbecue.

locarno beach looking east towards downtown

Where is Locarno Beach?

Locarno Beach is at the center of a row of 3 beaches in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighborhood; the first being Jericho, and the third Spanish Banks. Locarno sits on the southern shore of the English Bay and faces the North Shore across the water. Locarno is connected to Jericho and Spanish banks beach by an extension of the Vancouver Seawall. You can easily walk or bike from Locarno to the surrounding beaches. 

To access the beach, take NW Marine Dr and drive past Jericho Beach Park. Jericho Beach Park is a large multi-purpose park with several sporting fields. Parking is available along NW Marine Dr, or you can continue along NW Marine Dr to the Locarno Beach Sasamat or Trimble Street Parking Lot. Locarno Beach is also available by bike or foot along the seawall, and there are several bus routes to the area. 
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locarno beach in vancouver looking out over the water towards stanley park

A quiet alternative to other Vancouver beaches

Locarno is a relatively underrated beach in Vancouver. I was born and raised in Vancouver and have only visited Locarno beach less than a handful of times. Perhaps Locarno gets overlooked for the surrounding Jericho and Spanish Banks beaches, which are more well known by name, but Locarno has just as much to offer. I visited Locarno on a Saturday afternoon on a beautiful August day and was easily able to find a spot on the beach (and a log) to set up with my family. These coveted beach logs are prime real estate at any Vancouver beach and are swiftly occupied at any other beach in the area, like Kits Beach, or Spanish Banks. 

locarno beach volleyball posts in vancouver

Despite the beautiful day, and the fact it was a Saturday afternoon, the beach was relatively quiet. Most of the crowd was actually in the park just behind the beach, celebrating birthday parties and large family barbeques. The water was free of noisy boats, and the swimming was refreshing and clean. We set up our blankets on the sand and enjoyed some lunch from the concession and a few dips in the water. Overall the crowd was very family oriented and respectful of each other’s space. 

locarno park in vancouver

Reasons to visit Locarno Beach

There are plenty of reasons to visit Locarno Beach, so we’ll break them down for you and you can decide if Locarno is the right spot for your next beach trip.

Locarno is a designated quiet beach

Locarno is special in that it is a designated quiet beach. This means that no amplified sound is permitted (for example playing music from a speaker). This is nice if you want some peace and quiet. 

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Barbequing is allowed

At Locarno park, there are plenty of picnic tables, and barbecuing is allowed in designated areas. There are also coal disposals in the park. 

view of the north shore from locarno beach in vancouver

Amazing scenery

Jericho, Locarno, and Spanish Banks arguably have the best views out of any beaches in Vancouver. At Locarno, you get uninterrupted views across the English Bay of West Vancouver, Mount Cypress, and Mount Seymour. To the west, you can see Lighthouse Park and Bowen Island. To the east, you can see Stanley Park and the gorgeous Downtown Vancouver skyline, without any of the noise. 

Beach volleyball nets

There are a total of 6 free-to-use volleyball courts at Locarno Beach. You can rent a net from the lifeguard station near the concession stand, and bring your own ball from home. There is no reservation required to use these volleyball courts. 

All the needed amenities

Stay comfortable at the beach with public washrooms, change rooms, outdoor showers, and a concession stand for an easy lunch. 

concession stand at locarno beach in vancouver

Locarno Beach concession stand 

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that there is also a concession stand at Locarno Beach, as I thought the only concessions were at Spanish Banks, about a 10-minute walk from Locarno. Luckily, I was mistaken. The concession stand is located at the main building in the center of the beach on the pathway. 

menu at locarno beach concession

The concession stand at Locarno appears to not yet to have been updated to the Vancouver Parks and Recreation menu that is shared amongst Spanish Banks, Second Beach, and Third Beach, but still offers many of the same items with a slightly more stripped-down menu. There are your classic beach items like burgers, fries, and ice cream with some specialty options like fish & chips and salmon burgers. We grabbed a veggie burger and fries, and some chicken strips and fries and enjoyed them on the beach. Additionally, there are some picnic tables around the concession, as well as in the park to eat your food. 

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concession food from locarno beach

The pros and cons of Locarno Beach

Locarno Beach is all around a great beach. The beach and park are clean and well maintained, and barbecuing is permitted. The concession stand and public washrooms and change rooms also mean you don’t have to come prepared with a picnic or schedule bathroom breaks on your way to the beach. Because it is a designated quiet beach it also means you can find some peace and quiet instead of listening to someone else’s speaker halfway down the beach. Locarno is a great family beach, and it is easily accessible without any hiking needed. 

locarno beach looking at downtown skyline

The only negative I can provide for Locarno Beach is that there is a pump station located on the eastern end of the beach. These pump stations are used to manage sewage from boats that are docked at nearby harbors. Depending on the direction of the wind, this can sometimes leave a slight sewage smell at Locarno. It isn’t overly offensive but can be unpleasant. Luckily because of the popularity of barbecuing at Locarno, the smell of barbecue usually covers up any smell. Other than that one small detail, Locarno is absolutely perfect. 

locarno beach looking west

FAQs about Locarno Beach

Is there parking at Locarno Beach? 

Yes, there are two parking lots at either end of Locarno Beach, on Trimble and Sassamat street on NW Marine Dr. Both parking lots are free to park at, and there is additional parking along NW Marine Dr. 

Are there public washrooms at Locarno Beach?

Yes, there are public washrooms and changerooms located at the concession building at the center of the beach, as well as outdoor showers and water fountains. 

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Is Locarno Beach busy?

Locarno Beach is far less busy than Jericho or Spanish Banks beach, but you can still expect to see lots of people in the park and using the beach on a summer day. Even on a weekend or holiday, you won’t have trouble finding a spot on the beach.