Drive Around Point Grey - Vancouver
Kitsilano pool and beach
Old Hastings Mill Store Museum
Museum of Anthropology
Pacific Spirit Park
The Southlands area of Vancouver
have one of the best drives right in the heart of Vancouver. Point
Grey is the chunk of land that sticks out to the west and is home to the
University of British Columbia (U.B.C.), Kitsilano, Dunbar, and other neighbourhoods.
It makes for a great Sunday drive.
Expense rating: Depends if you stop and do things, or just keep driving.
: This drive has everything, right here in the city...starting with the beautiful people of Kitsilano, the beaches (Jericho, Spanish Banks, and of course the world famous, clothing optional Wreck Beach), an institution of higher learning (U.B.C.), and the forested trails of Pacific Spirit Park.
: Can't think of anything negative.
Details: Here's how we do the drive:
Start at the south end of the Burrard St. Bridge. The road forks at the sign "Welcome to Kitsilano". Take the fork to Cornwall Street. The first intersection is Cypress St. (1 block), taking a right on to Cypress St. will lead you to Vanier Park.
Continue along Cornwall St. for 4 blocks will lead to your to the intersection of Arbutus St. and Kitsilano Pool and Beach.
Continue along Cornwall for about another 4 blocks, and Cornwall turns into Point Grey Road. All along Point Grey Road are swanky waterfront homes on your right.
Continue on Point Grey Road until the intersection of Alma St. Here you'll find the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Turn left on to Alma St. and continue on for a couple of blocks until the intersection of 4th Avenue. Take a right on to 4th Avenue.
Not far along 4th Avenue, you'll see Jericho Park on your right, site of the Vancouver Folk Festival each July. Continue on for about .5 km, and you will come to an intersection. Take the right street called N.W. Marine Drive.
Continue along N.W. Marine Drive. The first street on your right is Discovery St. which leads to the Jericho Beach Fishing Pier, and Youth Hostel.
About 1 km further along NW Marine Dr. you get to Locarno Beach with its fantastic view of the freighters sitting in the harbour and the North Shore mountains. There's a walkway that runs from Locarno Beach in both directions.
About an half km further down Marine Drive, Locarno Beach turn into Spanish Banks, a wide beach that is popular with volleyball players in the summer. On the left side of the road you'll notice a trail that starts up the slope to Pacific Spirit Park -- popular with cyclers.
About 1.5 km from the start of Spanish Banks, Marine Drive starts going uphill. The beach from here on is within Pacific Spirit Regional Park. As you go up Marine Drive towards the University of British Columbia (U.B.C.), notice the swanky houses on the left side of the road. Soon you will come to an intersection. Straight through the intersection takes you into U.B.C. A left turn takes takes you through the U.B.C. Endowment lands and back to Vancouver. Take a right, and continue along Marine Drive which snakes around the perimeter of U.B.C. About a block from the intersection, on your right, is the Museum of Anthropology. A bit further down Marine Drive, on your right, you will see a parking lot and signs for Pacific Spirit Park. The path from this parking lot leads to Wreck Beach, a popular clothing optional beach. As Jenavieve would say, shame, shame, double shame.
Another kilometre down Marine Drive and you will see the U.B.C. Botanical Gardens on your right. On your left is the intersection of 16th Avenue and Marine Drive and another section of Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Approximately 2 km past the U.B.C. Botanical Gardens there's a great viewpoint of the open mouth of the Fraser River lined with log booms, the Airport, and Iona Beach Park. Another 2 km along Marine Drive takes you to the intersection with 41st Avenue. Take the right and continue along Marine Drive. All along this part of Marine Drive to Granville Street are some very nice houses. For a special treat, about 1.5 km from the 41st Ave./Marine Drive intersection, take a right on Balaclava Street and go down a couple blocks into the "Southlands" district. The Southlands area will remind you of the privileged English countryside with many horse stables, country houses, and people dressed up with those formal riding outfits, sitting upright on show horses. Cruise around Southlands for awhile, then head back up to Marine Drive and continue along.
Take note of the huge mansions on the right side of the 2100-1800 blocks of Marine Drive. Some of them are just like castles.
A kilometre or so further down Marine Drive, intersects with Granville Street. At this point, take a left on to Granville, and head back to town. Or take a right to Vancouver International Airport.
Season: All seasons
Educational highlights: The University of British Columbia.
Fun for the adult?: Yes
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