Pretty much everyone who lives in Vancouver has probably had their alcohol dumped out at one point or another during a hot, summer day. For some reason, enjoying a cold one outdoors still remains a big fat no-no in Vancouver. We get it, people can be idiots when drinking is involved. But, it is still nice to drink outside in moderation when the mood strikes.
So, until the antiquated laws get changed and people can sip a beer while watching the sun go down without having to put it in a McDonalds cup, we’re still going to have to be sneaky about it. Drinking in public in BC remains illegal, so if you’re going to do it – do it discreetly, or face a $230+ fine. If you do get caught, be respectful and at worse you’ll get your booze dumped out.
Here are a few tried and tested spots we’ve enjoyed some secret beers at. Just remember to keep it mellow and clean up your mess! Nothing ruins nature like a bunch of abandoned beer cans.
Tower Beach / Wreck Beach
Wreck Beach is the usual suspect for all sorts of scandalous activities drinking and illegal substances (allegedly). It’s a secluded paradise that is pretty much lawless. Until the cops come that is. There will usually be a rumour (or a whistle) sent out if the cops are in the vicinity, so usually you can get away with drinking in peace.
But, if you’d really like to enjoy some drinks without being hassled, you can head down the way to Tower Beach. It’s a bit rockier and much more secluded, so most of the time you won’t see anybody else in the vicinity. It’s also a great place for a little bonfire. (location details)
Sunset Beach Kitsilano
Front row seats to the sunset! This little beach is a bit of a ways down from the outdoor pool in Kitsilano. Keep walking along the footpath until you go down a few steps to the beach, keep going until you get to a big tree. There’ll likely already be a few people enjoying some drinks in this area. Bonus: there’s a fun little swing set up (most of the time), for evening’s entertainment.
This park is close enough to Main & Hastings that drinking a little beers outside just doesn’t seem as bad as injecting a bunch of heroin. It’s got a nice view with interesting characters and is close to the city centre but with less crowds than English Bay or Stanley Park. There’s a cop presence, but most of them seem to have more important things to do. But, just in case, be ready to hide your beers just in case. (location details)
Is this still a thing? In the past, this little gem of an island in False Creek was very popular for the after work crowd. It’s a great place to sit and soak up the sunshine and the small access path means it’ll be easy to spot any cops looking to give out tickets. Again, the cops are trying to crack down on people drinking on this island, so keep it low-key. (location details)
Less busy than second beach and English Bay, Third Beach is a little more secluded, which makes it much better for fans of outdoor drinking. The vibe is very laidback and there’s a pretty crazy bongo drum party on Tuesday nights. Expect to see a lot of fixed-gear bikes chained up near this beach, because it’s a hipster haven. (location details)
At the end of a hike
Nothing like enjoying a refreshing reward after hiking up a giant mountain! Invest in a good insulated bag and stuff it full of ice packs to make sure you’ll get to enjoy some frosty suds at the end of your climb. Nothing like cheers-ing after a great workout in the woods. But don’t forget to pack out what you packed in, or you’re a big stupid jerk and everyone will hate you.