The crisp air we’ve been noticing at night means one thing: fall is nearly upon us. It’s almost time to dust off those sweaters, crank the heat, and put pumpkin spice in everything. The rainy season lasts for many months here in the Pacific Northwest and we don’t know about you, but we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to the warm, sunny weather just yet. And so before we embrace the crunching leaves beneath our feet, how can we take advantage of these last rays of sunshine at UBC Point Grey if we have only one day in the area?
1. Ride a bike to Wreck Beach
Wreck Beach is known as one of Vancouver’s best beaches with its sandy shores and laid-back vibes. Facing West, it boasts just about the best location to watch the sunset. But it’s a popular spot to be when the weather is warm, and so it pays to get there earlier in the day. One thing to know about Wreck: it’s North America’s second-largest clothing-optional beach, so don’t be alarmed if you see many beach-goers in the nude.
If you don’t live terribly far away, we’d recommend taking your bike for a ride to the beach — there are lots of lock-up spots (at your own risk) at the entrance. Wreck Beach is located at the bottom of a cliff and there are ~500 steps down to get there. You’ll definitely be getting your daily workout in on your way home!
If you choose to drive, there’s free parking on NW Marine Drive, but this often fills up quickly. There are many paid parking lots and parkades on UBC campus as well.
For public transit, the 068 campus bus takes you just a 9-minute walk away.
2. Sip a cold beer on BierCraft’s patio
After a long morning laying in the sun at Wreck Beach and working up a sweat from that staircase, you’re surely thirsty for a nice cold one on a chill patio! Well, you’re in luck because BierCraft in Wesbrook Village more than has you covered. Boasting more than 120 craft beers, daily specials, and a covered patio, they’re sure to have something that tickles your fancy. If you’re feeling peckish, they have a multitude of burgers, appies, and more to satisfy those post-beach cravings.
If you spent longer than you thought you would at Wreck, BierCraft also has a stellar Happy Hour menu from 3-6pm Monday – Friday, and 9-close Sunday – Thursday.
BierCraft is located smack-dab in the middle of Wesbrook Village. There’s free 2-hour street parking in the area as well as beneath Save On Foods. Or hop back on the 068 bus after Wreck Beach and you’ll be sipping a beer in 20 minutes.
Speaking of hopping —there’s another method of transportation! Hopr is a pay-per-ride (or multi-day pass) bike share program exclusive to the UBC Point Grey campus (that is, in the Metro Vancouver area – they operate in other select cities too). For a small $1 per ride fee and $0.15/minute, you can hop on one of the shiny blue Hopr bikes to zip around campus for less than the price of an iced coffee. Just be sure to park them in a ‘pond’ indicated by a white square painted on the ground or else you’ll incur a $2 fee.
3. Take your little one to the WCC splash pad
If you brought your mini-me along for your adventure day at UBC Point Grey, they might need an afternoon pick-me-up! Just a short walk away from BierCraft is the Wesbrook Community Centre splash pad — an area for kids to play featuring automatic water fountains meant for running around and cooling off. If you’re feeling the heat too, it might be wise to put your feet in, just be careful of those sudden blasts of water!
The splash pad is located on the South side of the Wesbrook Community Centre in Wesbrook Village. There’s electric vehicle parking right outside, so you can charge up simultaneously.
4. Visit the Nitobe Memorial Garden
The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a peaceful sanctuary in your own backyard. Nitobe is a traditional Japanese stroll garden featuring an authentic tea house with scheduled tea ceremonies. The garden bridges cultures and fosters a sense of peace and understanding. You can witness the beauty of nature like cherry blossoms, irises, maple leaves changing colours, koi ponds, and blankets of moss throughout the year.
The Nitobe Gardens are located in the north-west corner of campus. Bus 068 stops right outside, and there are pathways to walk or cycle too.
5. Finish the day off with an ice cream & stroll in Pacific Spirit Park
What’s a day outside without some ice cream? A day we don’t want imagine!
Luckily Rain or Shine Ice Cream has you more than covered. And you can feel good about it too — their real ice cream is made locally with fresh, natural, and sustainable whole ingredients and comes in a variety of flavours like London Fog, Honey Lavender, Blueberry Balsamic, and Malted Milk Chocolate. They also have take-home pints to bring some of the creamy goodness back home to your family (or just for yourself, who are we kidding).
Grab a scoop (or two) of your favourite flavour and finish off the day with a nice walk in Pacific Spirit Park. The park has more than 55km of walking and hiking trails that are very well marked and maintained, making it fun and safe for all ages (and pets!). There are even a few public toilets throughout the park.
Pacific Spirit is the home habitat of many native flora and fauna. Along your walk, you will be surrounded by evergreen and deciduous trees, and rainforest plants like ferns, mosses, lichens, and mushrooms. Animal life include many types of birds, rodents, small mammals, and maybe even the odd coyote.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath of that sweet forest air!
Rain or Shine ice cream is located on University Boulevard next to a bus loop, so you’ll be able to arrive on the doorstep no matter your origin. There’s lots of paid parking under the MacInnes Field (entrance on the right side of the street after Brown’s Crafthouse) building if you’re driving, and there’s a bike lane directly there from Wesbrook Village on Wesbrook Mall road.
Since Pacific Spirit Park is between Vancouver and UBC Point Grey, there are many methods of getting to the park. Major bus stops are near the entrances off SW Marine Dr, 16th Ave, Broadway/U Blvd, and 4th Ave/Chancellor Blvd. There’s lots of free street parking, or you can ride your bike there and around in the trails.
And there you have it! A full day of leisure to take full advantage of the weather before we pack it indoors for the season. UBC Point Grey has so much to offer for people of all ages! If you have any questions or need more information, visit the Live at UBC Welcome Centre located in Wesbrook Village.