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Vancouver is home to some of the world’s best sunsets. Whether you decide to go on a sunset stroll or are looking for a romantic spot to set up camp, the city boasts plenty of places where you can watch the sun go down.
From picturesque parks to mountain tops, here are some of the best places to watch the sunset in Vancouver.
Cypress Mountain or Grouse Mountain
One of the best places to watch the sunset is at the top of a mountain and fortunately, there is plenty of choice in Vancouver.
If you’re taking advantage of the different Canada car rental options available in the city, then you can easily drive to Cypress Mountain or Grouse Mountain.
The two mountains on Vancouver’s North Shore offer some spectacular views of the city at sunset and UK-based travel blogger Lucy Ruthnum, who runs the site Absolutely Lucy, has both on her bucket list.
“I love to find an epic viewpoint for sunset and Vancouver has some beautiful mountains that would make the perfect place to watch the sun go down. I would want to hire a car and head to either Cypress Mountain or Grouse Mountain for breath-taking sunset views. I can just imagine the stunning photo opportunities up there!”
From Grouse Mountain, we’d recommend you head to The Observatory. There, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner as the sun sets over Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.
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Located close to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, Whytecliff Park is one of the first marine protected areas in Canada. It’s home to over 200 marine animals, including plenty of sea lions you’ll be able to spot sunbathing on the beach.
The park has a variety of walking trails and is a popular spot for hikers. It is also renowned for being a great location for swimming and underwater diving.
The main beach is the best place to go swimming, while the best areas to dive are just to the east and west of the beach. According to the Vancouver Scuba Diving School, the main dive site can be reached via a five-minute surface swim from the beach and is an area around the rocky ridge and offshore boat marker. In shallow water, you can see urchins, starfish and a variety of fish species.
Macca Sherifi, a travel blogger that runs An Adventurous World, agrees that the park is one of the best places in Vancouver to watch the sunset.
“This is a beautiful area on the west coast where you can climb over the rocks and grab yourself that perfect sunset spot. Honestly, the sunsets from there are among some of the best I’ve seen in all of Canada.”
Sherifi recommends bringing a tripod when taking a photograph of the sunset here to prevent the rocky terrain blurring photos.
Stanley Park’s Seawall
One of Vancouver’s best sunsets can be seen from the Stanley Park Seawall.
The 10-kilometre path—great for both walking and cycling—stretches around the park. Stop at Siwash Rock and Third Beach for the best possible view.
If you’re visiting during summer, we’d recommend you head to the park on a Tuesday when the Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle takes place. This unique event (now in its 14th year) is an informal jam of drummers done for the ‘Love of Unity, Rhythm and Community’.
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English Bay is one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches and another great sunset-watching spot.
You can either bring a blanket with you and sit on the beach or head to one of the beachside restaurants and bars like the Cactus Club Cafe to see the sunset over Vancouver Island, Jericho Beach and Bowen Island.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in Vancouver and it offers great views of the city below. Don’t leave without visiting the Bloedel Conservatory and witnessing its beautifully landscaped gardens.
The park often plays host to special events like Vancouver’s annual cherry blossom celebrations, so be sure to check out what’s going on in the area before visiting.
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Tips for taking photos of the sunset
A photo album of your holiday in Canada wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the sunset, but it can be tricky to take one. We’ve enlisted the help of some expert photographers for tips on how to get that perfect picture.
•Planning is vital – ‘If you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail’ is a saying that you should take to heart when photographing the sunset. Kim Stone, a photographer and founder of Kistography, says, “Once the sunset begins to set, you have a small window of opportunity of about 30 – 40 minutes. For this reason, you need to be in the location before the sunset, so that you can get your equipment set up and prepare your composition.” Kim also reveals that getting in location 30 – 60 minutes before sunset can produce great light, while “30-60 minutes after sunset is known as blue hour offering softer textures and muted light”.
•Make sure you have the equipment you need – It is important that you have all the camera equipment that you need, but Kim Stone also likes to take some other items with her whenever she is photographing something. “If you’re doing long exposure shots of the sunset you will more than likely need a spare battery as the camera will certainly use up a lot of battery,” she says.
•Don’t stick to the automatic settings on your camera – You should look to try other settings that your camera has on offer — and journalist Lucy Ruthnum recommends getting familiar with the aperture and ISO settings. If you shoot in RAW, the photo won’t be over-exposed and whilst it might look super dark, they’ll look incredible once they’ve been edited.
•Get creative – Lucy Ruthnum encourages you to get creative when photographing the sunset and recommends you “angle your shots so there is a point of interest in the foreground as it can really add depth to the photo.”
If you’ve been inspired and want to visit this great Canadian city, then look at our cheap flights to Vancouver and book your holiday today!