We’ve recently hit the road to Tsawwassen to visit the Boundary Bay Regional Park. It’s been a while since the last time we went to this corner of Metro Vancouver, and there’s nothing more exhilarating than rekindling that adventure!
Now, we’re eager to share with you all the wonders of Boundary Bay. As we go through all that the park has to offer, you’ll gain insights into why this regional park ranked second busiest in Metro Vancouver with 1.06 M visitors in 2022. So, let’s dive in!
What is the Boundary Bay Regional Park known for?
The Boundary Bay Regional Park, located in Tsawwassen, Delta in Greater Vancouver, is best known for the birdwatching, hiking, and recreational boating opportunities that it offers. It is also known for protecting rare coastal sand ecosystems.
The Boundary Bay Regional Park is one of the more popular parks to visit outside of Vancouver. Sitting on the shores of Boundary Bay, as it stretches along the Canada-US border, the park is located near the border between BC and the state of Washington.
In fact, the beach stretches all the way to Washington, and the beach on their side is called Maple Beach. This transboundary connection adds to the park’s unique appeal.
The park is a magnet for nature enthusiasts. It’s an important stop for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway while the park’s Centennial Beach and the 12th Avenue Dike Trail offer various outdoor activities that will let visitors immerse themselves in natural beauty.
With its substantial 47.3-acre expanse, Boundary Bay Regional Park is managed and maintained by Metro Vancouver Regional Parks.
Things to Know
Fees: Boundary Bay Regional Park offers free admission to the public, with no entrance fees.
Traffic: Visitors walking on the Dike Trail should be aware of farm vehicles sharing the path. It’s important to yield the right of way to these vehicles and stand aside to allow them to continue their work safely.
Parking: There is currently no parking fee in place at the parking lots of Boundary Bay Regional Park.
As of March 2023, Metro Vancouver has installed cameras at both Iona Beach and Boundary Bay Regional Park to provide visitors with real-time information on parking availability.
Dogs: Dogs must be on leash at all times to avoid disturbing the sensitive bird habitat in the area.
Accessibility: Boundary Bay Regional Park considers provides a wheelchair accessible viewing platform, accessible washrooms, a concession area, picnic tables, a playground, and parking facilities.
Best Time to Go
The best time to go to Boundary Bay Regional Park is during the summer. The park has a sandy beach, hiking trails, bike paths, and other amenities that are perfect for outdoor activities during the warm months.
For birdwatchers, the prime times to visit are during the spring and fall migration seasons, spanning from late March to early June and late July to early November, respectively.
Windsurfing enthusiasts will find the best conditions following a storm when the breeze is optimal for their sport.
Low tide is another wonderful time to explore the intertidal zone and discover the rich marine life that remains hidden during high tide.
To savor a quieter experience and avoid crowds, consider planning your visit during weekdays or opt for an early morning excursion on weekends.
How to Get to Boundary Bay Regional Park
Car: To get to Boundary Bay Regional Park from Vancouver, take Highway 99 south through Richmond and cross the Massey Tunnel. Afterward, take exit 28 onto Highway 17A and merge onto Highway 17.
Upon reaching the traffic light, make a left turn onto 56 Street or Point Robers Road. Drive for approximately two kilometers into Tsawwassen, then take a left onto 12th Avenue and continue along as it bends and transitions into Boundary Bay Road.
Public transit: You can also take the 601 bus from Bridgeport Station, and it will stop right by the park on Boundary Bay Road. From this point, it’s a short 0.5-kilometer walk along the access road to reach the entrance to Boundary Bay Regional Park.
Things to Remember
- Outside of wildfire season, visitors are welcome to build fires within the designated fire rings at Centennial Beach. It’s important to use bundled firewood and ensure that the fire is fully extinguished 30 minutes before closing time.
- For electric vehicle users, there are charging stations available in the parking lot where you can charge your vehicle for up to two hours.
- Horse riding is permitted on specific sections of the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail, with the exception of the area between 12th Ave and Centennial Beach, which is off-limits to horses.
What to Do at Boundary Bay Regional Park
Enjoy the Beach
Hitting the beach at Boundary Bay Regional Park is a delightful experience for several reasons. The park boasts a wide and inviting sandy shoreline along the picturesque Boundary Bay, providing ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and beachcombing.
One of its standout features is the warm and shallow waters, particularly during the summer months, making it a safe and comfortable spot for families with children to swim and play.
If you need a space for a small outdoor gathering (up to 75 individuals), the Centennial Beach at Boundary Bay Regional Park is a reservable facility. In October 2023, the site can be reserved for four hours at around CAD 98 plus GST.
Boundary Bay Regional Park is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area, along with Sturgeon Bank and Roberts Bank.
Birdwatching enthusiasts are in for a treat as the park offers opportunities to spot various bird species, including the Western Sandpiper, with spring migration numbers often exceeding 500,000 in a single day.
The park is also a favored stopover for Dunlins, Black-bellied Plovers, American Wigeons, Northern Pintails, and Western Grebes in significant numbers. Depending on the time of year, visitors can plan their trips to specifically observe these species.
However, one of the remarkable attractions of Boundary Bay Regional Park is that migratory birds are a frequent sight year-round. At any season, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a lot of migratory birds passing through this birdwatching destination.
Hike the Park’s Trails
Boundary Bay Regional Park offers a number of trails but the most popular remains to be the Dyke Trail. It’s the trail from 17A Ave to Mud Bay which provides 34.4 kilometres out and back and stunning views of the bay.
You can access this trail from several points in the park, but it’s mostly a flat gravel path that appeals to hikers, cyclists, and even birdwatchers who want to spot ducks and other waterfowl.
This trail usually takes 6 hours and 18 minutes to finish. Casual hikers may prefer the Savannah & Raptor or Dune trails instead.
The Savannah & Raptor trails consist of pedestrian only routes with scenic views, while the Dune trail is known for granting access to the beach and showcasing the coastal dune habitat.
Explore on Two Wheels
Cycling at Boundary Bay offers a diverse range of scenery. You’ll pedal alongside the bay with its stunning views of the water, marshlands, and surrounding nature, and the changing landscapes create an ever-interesting backdrop for your ride.
Beyond just birdwatching, cyclists may also have the chance to spot other wildlife such as rabbits, squirrels, and various coastal critters. The peaceful pace of biking often allows for closer encounters with these animals.
The park’s trails provide flexibility for bikers to customize their routes. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride along the Dyke Trail or a more challenging exploration of the longer paths, you can tailor your biking experience to match your skill level and time available.
The flat terrain and well-marked trails make it accessible for riders of all ages, and it’s a great way to introduce children to the joys of cycling in a safe and scenic environment.
Savor a Picnic in the Park
Boundary Bay Regional Park provides well-maintained picnic areas with tables, which make it convenient for visitors to enjoy a meal in a comfortable and scenic environment.
Additionally, Centennial Beach offers two picnic shelters available for rental from 7:30 AM until 30 minutes before the park’s closing time, with rental prices ranging from CAD 77 to CAD 157 at the time of writing.
For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, spreading a blanket on the sandy beach and enjoying a packed meal is a perfect option.
If you didn’t bring your own food, you can purchase refreshments from the park’s concession stand. Just make sure to check their schedule for availability.
Whether you’re with family or friends, the expansive area can accommodate various group sizes and create a relaxing and enjoyable outing.
Ride the Wind
Boundary Bay’s strategic location makes it a prime spot for windsurfing. The bay’s proximity to the ocean and the geography of the area create consistent and favorable wind conditions, and so provide a reliable playground for windsurfers.
The bay offers ample open water space, allowing windsurfers to enjoy freedom of movement and explore the bay at their leisure. This spaciousness ensures that enthusiasts of all skill levels can partake in this thrilling sport comfortably.
Additionally, the park provides a vehicle-access ramp just south of the main entrance, which further enhances the convenience and accessibility of windsurfing activities.
Where to Stay near Boundary Bay Regional Park
Coast Tsawwassen Inn
Address: 1665 56 St, Delta, BC V4L 2B2, Canada
Phone: +1 604 943 8221
Just minutes away from the BC Ferry terminal, the Coast Tsawwassen Inn provides modern and well-maintained rooms and common areas that are spacious and impeccably clean. These accommodations offer guests a comfortable stay.
For added convenience, the hotel features the Browns Socialhouse, which not only offers a pleasant dining experience but also provides a complimentary breakfast, perfect for a quick and convenient start to your morning.
The accommodation already comes with free parking, but the best part? You’ll receive chocolates upon check-in and you’ll have the option to communicate with the hotel via text messages for any needs or inquiries.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Riverport Richmond, an IHG Hotel
Address: 10688 No 6 Rd, Richmond, BC V6W 1E7, Canada
Phone: +1 604 241 1830
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is conveniently located just 19-minute drive from Boundary Bay Regional Park. This hotel is an excellent choice as a home base for your park exploration adventures.
Besides its proximity to the park, the hotel offers easy access to other nearby attractions, such as the Richmond Ice Center, which is just a short three-minute walk away.
This means you can enjoy a variety of activities during your stay, both in the natural beauty of the park and within the local community. And when you’re done for the day, the heated indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness centre will help you have an enjoyable stay.
Accent Inns Vancouver Airport
Address: 10551 St Edwards Dr, Richmond, BC V6X 3L8, Canada
Phone: +1 604 273 3311
Accent Inns Vancouver Airport is another ideal choice for those planning to explore the Boundary Bay Regional Park as it’s conveniently located just a little over 10 minutes away.
The hotel offers over 200 comfortable and spacious rooms, with some featuring convenient kitchenettes. However, what truly sets this hotel apart is its exceptional housekeeping service, characterized by courteous and detail-oriented staff.
While the hotel may not have a pool and its fitness center is compact, its close proximity to Boundary Bay Regional Park allows guests to easily access the park’s natural amenities for swimming and physical activity.
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Vancouver Airport
Address: 8640 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1C4, Canada
Phone: +1 604 276 2711
At around 25 minutes away from the Boundary Bay, this hotel is located a little farther than the other hotels. But what clearly makes up for it is that the hotel is strategically located at the heart of excellent dining options and nearby attractions.
You can take a seven-minute walk to the Lansdowne Centre for retail therapy and delicious dining adventures. And if you’re up for a quick seven-minute drive, you can immerse yourself in the Richmond Art Gallery’s cultural delights.
You can’t expect it to be as grand as other hotels in our list. It may have a few years on it, but it’s there to provide comfort and value that won’t leave your wallet feeling light.
Hilton Vancouver Airport
Address: 5911 Minoru Blvd, Richmond, BC V6X 4C7, Canada
Phone: +1 604 273 6336
The Hilton Vancouver Airport hotel has a grand total of 237 exquisitely appointed guestrooms and suites. These elegant spaces offer a touch of luxury, and many come complete with balconies that frame beautiful views of the ocean and mountains.
The hotel also has full amenities, including a fitness center to keep you in tip-top shape, an indoor whirlpool for indulgent relaxation, and an outdoor rooftop swimming pool that can transform into your personal oasis from June to September.
Now, if you’re thinking of where to get a great dining experience, the hotel’s Carmichael’s and Sax on Minoru offer different levels of socialization but the same fantastic experience.
Where to Eat near Boundary Bay Regional Park
Illuminaté Restorante – Steakhouse, Seafood, Italian
Address: 1077 56 St, Delta, BC V4L 2A2, Canada
Phone: +1 604 943 5900
This ristorante offers Italian food that can hold its own against some of our beloved downtown and nearby favorites.
Their caprese salad is a delightful start, boasting refreshing flavors, and the wine list impresses with its versatility and rich flavors. For a sweet ending to your meal, the tiramisu proves to be the perfect choice.
Stepping into this restaurant feels like a journey into classic Italian decor, creating an inviting ambiance for socializing and enjoying a memorable night out.
What we’ll be on the lookout for? With just a bit of fine-tuning in the service department, the entire dining experience has the potential to reach a level of perfection that matches the outstanding cuisine and classic ambiance of this ristorante.
Address: 1105 56 St, Delta, BC V4L 2A2, Canada
Phone: +1 604 943 4442
Mario’s Kitchen is another Italian restaurant worth exploring. Diners often rave about their tortellini and steaks, which are clear crowd-pleasers.
When it comes to dessert, their cheesecakes and coffee make for delightful choices to conclude your meal.
But here’s the real gem: their takeout pizza. If you’re making a quick pit stop on your way to Boundary Bay Regional Park, grabbing one of their delicious pizzas is a time-saving treat that can enhance your outdoor experience.
Families will also appreciate the kid’s menu, which includes a drink, ice cream, and generously portioned dishes.
Browns Socialhouse Tsawwassen
Address: 1665 56 St, Delta, BC V4L 2B2, Canada
Phone: +1 604 948 5194
When you’re staying at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, you’re in luck because you have a fantastic dining option right at your doorstep. And let me tell you, it’s no second-rate choice – the dishes here are bursting with outstanding flavors.
The Butter Chicken is a particular standout, but the menu is extensive. Whether you’re in the mood for burgers, handhelds, bowls, soups, salads, or house-made desserts, you’ll find something here to satisfy your cravings.
They even have a secret kids’ menu, which of course you can only order if you have a child in tow.
Address: Tsawwassen Shopping Center, 1270 56 St, Delta, BC V4L 2A4, Canada
Phone: +1 604 943 3251
Toto Sushi can compete among the top Japanese dining experiences in Greater Vancouver, and for good reason. Their Crunch Roll is a must-try, and you won’t want to miss out on the delectable teriyaki, avocado roll, and agedashi tofu.
While the menu is extensive, it stays true to its Japanese roots. What truly sets Toto Sushi apart is that you can savor this exceptional food alongside impeccable service, all at a reasonable price.
The quick four-minute drive from the restaurant to Boundary Bay Regional Park is a definite advantage, making it a perfect choice for those looking to satisfy their Japanese food cravings before or after a visit to the park.