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Your Traveler’s Handbook to Cates Park in North Vancouver

Ultimate Travel Guide to Cates Park in North Vancouver
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Did you know that Cates Park in North Vancouver made a cameo in a famous sci-fi drama, “The X-Files”? Yep, it’s got that cool Hollywood vibe that draws in pop culture buffs from all over the place!

But there’s a whole lot more to this picturesque spot than its TV appearances. Stick with us, and we’ll dish out more about the best bits of Cates Park!

What is Cates Park in Vancouver known for?

Cates Park in Vancouver is known for its stunning waterfront, sandy beaches, forest trails, and deep cultural roots reflected in its original name, Whey-ah-Wichen, which means “faces the wind” in Tsleil-Waututh.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Cates Park is on weekdays, when the crowds are thinner and nabbing a parking spot is a breeze. 

And while the season of fall sees fewer visitors, we think nothing quite beats the months of June through September. This is mainly for summer activities like soaking in those epic beach and waterfront scenes.

Things to Know

  • Operating hours: Cates Park’s the go-to escape for travelers, open daily from 6 am to 10 pm. Perfect for a casual sunrise stroll or a moonlit picnic!
  • Parking: Snagging a parking spot is usually a breeze. But on sunny weekends, it’s like a parking party! It’s best to get there early or carpool—spots go fast, and sorry, no overnight stays!
  • Washroom Facilities: Nature calls? No problem! Cates Park’s got washrooms in the main area and Little Cates. 
  • Dogs: Bring your furry pals, but keep ‘em on a leash. They’re free to roam most spots, just not the picnic areas and beaches.
  • Picnic:  There are plenty of picnic spots to chow down. Think tables, benches, and even a covered shelter for that perfect outdoor feast!
  • Water Sports: Summer’s the time to splash with fun water activities. Hit the concession stand and paddling center for kayaks or paddle boards. 

How to Get Around 

  • Trains: No train stations are directly at Cates Park, but you can take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay. From there, catch a bus or enjoy a scenic walk to the park.
  • Buses: Several bus routes serve Cates Park, like the 212 and 211. These buses run frequently, offering convenient access from various spots in North Vancouver.
  • Taxis: Taxis in North Vancouver can drop you off near Cates Park, though there might be some waiting during peak hours.
  • Car: Easily reach Cates Park by car with ample parking available, giving you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

What to Do in Cates Park, North Vancouver

Explore Scenic Trails

Cates Park is a sweet 3.7-km trail near North Vancouver, perfect for a leisurely 49-minute stroll. It’s a hotspot for birdwatching, cycling, and running, so you’ll likely bump into others along the way. 

The way we see it, this route is like a gem full of sandy beaches, killer views, and amenities like sports fields and playgrounds. You’ll even find a boat launch and crab fishing spots! For us, it’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Wheelchairs and leashed dogs are welcome too. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are paths leading to the long beach—you can wander along the shores and discover some hidden treasures along the way.

Treasure Hunt on the Beach

Up for a bit of treasure hunting? Well, you’re in luck because Cates Park Beach has it all, from low tide beachcombing to some good ol’ summer splashing. Surrounded by trails and playgrounds, it’s wonderful for hours of exploration!

Getting to the beach is a breeze too—just hit up various points along the shoreline, near the parking, concessions, and washrooms. If you’re feeling extra curious, we suggest following the Malcolm Lowry Trail towards Little Cates Park for some hidden gems.

Here, you’ll get chill vibes and lovely views of Indian Arm (a scenic coastal inlet) and Burrard Inlet (a deep, narrow waterway). And if you want to get away from the crowd, you may sneak away to quieter spots beyond the parking lot area. 

Go on a Kayak Quest


Address: 4141 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1A1, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-985-2925

Should you want a cool water sport adventure, Cates Park Paddling Centre offers a great spot to grab a kayak or paddleboard and explore the waters of North Vancouver. 

This is open from May to September, so we believe you’ve got plenty of time to plan your adventure. From single kayaks to stand-up paddleboards, they’ve got all the gear you need for a day of fun on the water!

Just remember that the staff hours depend on the weather, and they operate on a reservation basis mid-week. If you’re itching to paddle out, it’s best to book your spot online or call ahead of time. 

Reel in Some Fishing Fun

Reel in Some Fishing Fun

Cates Park is a fisherman’s paradise, with flounder, sole, and even pink salmon ripe for catching during the summer salmon run. And beyond the fishing spots, this park is bustling with activity, offering many chances to trap dungeness and red rock crabs!

What’s more, you can take your boat out for a fishing trip, but keep an eye out for the nearby rockfish conservation areas. These spots are dedicated to preserving marine life, ensuring that fishing is kept a thrill for future generations. 

Let Your Kids Play

Little Cates Park in Deep Cove is the perfect kiddie spot! It offers a toddler-friendly playground with breathtaking views of the water.

The playground features two baby swings, a ride-on horse, slides, climbing obstacles, and rings to hang from. We think the older kids will love the taller slide and challenging climbing structures, along with swings overlooking the water.

But the highlight for us is the “castle”—the concrete remains of a mill foundation with 4 tunnel entrances and concrete “barricades.” In our opinion, it’s a fantastic spot for kids to unleash their imaginations while parents kick back and enjoy the scenery.

Where to Eat near Cates Park

De Dutch


Address: 1634 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3B4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-985-0328, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$

Looking for a spot to grab breakfast near Cates Park? Well, De Dutch Pannekoek House is here to serve up some Dutch delights. This place looks a bit snug, but we think it’s part of the charm.

Now, if you’re feeling indecisive (hey, we get it), why not dive into a Dutchman-style breakfast platter? In our book, it’s a little bit of everything tasty here! We also recommend their debakon—a Dutch twist on Canadian back bacon. 

And did we mention this breakfast place also offers gluten-free pancakes? So don’t be afraid to indulge in some sweet or savory, fluffy goodness.

Glenburn Soda


Address: 4090 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2H9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-565-0155, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$

Calling all ice cream lovers at the park! Glenburn Soda Fountain is your sweet spot for a yummy cold treat. This charming, family-owned parlor serves up ice cream sundaes, shakes, and more, all with a delightful vintage vibe.

You can indulge in hand-made desserts crafted with their own ice cream and house-baked cookies. We think everything from their sundaes to creamy milkshakes and malts is worth a try—but not so fast that you’d get a brain freeze!

And don’t forget to check out their selection of candy, soda syrups, and nostalgic toys. Not only will you satisfy your cravings, but you’ll also take a trip down memory lane. 

X-Site Grill & Bistro


Address: 4625 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2K8, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-298-7483

Pricing: $$

Want to dine and catch a game after a day at Cates Park? X-Site Grill & Bistro serves up delicious dishes and great cocktails, making it the ideal laid-back spot for sports enthusiasts.

Our top picks would be the Chicken Souvlaki Platter and Monday Steak Special—they’re the bomb! And if you’re into veggies, they’ve got killer vegetarian options too, like Caesar salad, cheese garlic bread, and nachos.

Plus, it’s a family-run joint, which is why we appreciate that the owner maintains a welcoming vibe while continuously sprucing up the place to keep things fresh.

Nuvola Gelato & Dolci


Address: 4712 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2K7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-379-8634, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$

Craving a sweet escape near Cates Park? Nuvola Gelato & Dolci is a charming gelateria offering a taste of authentic Italian gelato, churned fresh daily with local and organic ingredients.

Aside from the gelato, we say the pastries and cakes here are the real deal too! We suggest trying some timeless classics like tiramisu gelato or treating yourself to their signature rose cake, available in 3 sizes to suit any mood or appetite.

We love that the menu is always on the move too. For example, the sorbetto flavor depends on the season and the freshest fruit available. So expect various flavors, like zesty lemon, sweet strawberry, or tropical mango, to be the stars now and then.



Address: 4088 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2H9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-558-3838

Pricing: $$

Want something different? How about authentic Vietnamese cuisine near the park? Brokenrice Vietnamese Restaurant is our choice for noodles, flavorful entrees, and mouth watering spring rolls that capture the essence of Saigon’s street food.

Now, their broken rice (com tam) isn’t just any rice dish—it’s a very tasty tribute to Vietnam’s culinary heritage. Veggie options are also available, like green papaya salad with tofu toppings, pho, and spring rolls. 

Plus, with outdoor seating and a fully stocked bar, we know you can easily unwind while indulging in some seriously tasty eats.

Where to Shop near Cates Park

Nesters Market


Address: 415 Dollarton Hwy N, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1M9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-929-0241

Nesters Market isn’t your run-of-the-mill supermarket near Cates Park—it’s been a local favorite for over 30 years! From fresh produce to household essentials, they’ve got everything to keep your pantry stocked and your family fed.

We also love their wide variety of local, organic, and specialty items—like a treasure trove of goodies! And about the deli and meat department: they whip up fresh sandwiches that are lovely for a quick lunch, and their meat selection is also top-notch. 

For us, this is handy whether you’re planning a BBQ or just need an item or two for dinner. And with their same-day delivery, you can have your favorite products brought right to your doorstep hassle-free!

Escape Travel Wear

Address: 1151 Mt Seymour Rd #116, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2Y4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-988-6362, [email protected] 

Searching for stylish and comfortable clothing for your next adventure at the park? Escape Travel Wear is a haven for women seeking both versatile and practical clothes.

Nestled in Parkgate Mall in North Vancouver, this clothing store isn’t just all about travel fits. It’s got everything from snuggly coats to chic dresses, and everything in between! 

We also appreciate the variation here in terms of colors, textures, styles, and sizes—we reckon that makes it easier to mix and match. So whether you’re jet-setting or just chilling, you’ll likely find something that suits you.

Parkgate Village


Address: Mt Seymour Pkwy, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2Y5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-513-8880

Parkgate Village is a one-stop shopping destination near Cates Park. This mall attracts many visitors with its wide array of shops and services conveniently located all in one place.

From Safeway to the produce market, butcher shop, and bakery, it’s all good! And don’t miss the Starbucks inside Safeway for your caffeine fix or the liquor store for those special occasions.

On top of that, this mall is a bustling hub for dining and fast food options, catering to every craving from hearty meals to quick bites.

Mount Seymour United


Address: 1200 Parkgate Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2X9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-339-4399, [email protected]  

Want to buy some affordable finds near the park? Mount Seymour United’s thrift shop is a hidden gem run by volunteers who are all about providing high-quality goods to the community.

Despite its size, this thrift store is packed with treasures, from cozy coats to preppy shirts and CDs. With prices as low as $6 for shirts and $1 for CDs, thrift shopping at Mount Seymour United is really for the budget-friendly and eco-conscious. 

For Pet’s Sake


Address: 3650 Mt Seymour Pkwy #168, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2Y5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-924-2455

For Pet’s Sake is an awesome pet shop near Cates Park. This is where you can get all the top-notch stuff for your furry friends, whether they’re cats or dogs.

Unlike impersonal big-box stores, the staff here are known to be like pet-loving wizards—always ready to offer advice and a friendly chat. Don’t forget to grab some of those free samples while you’re at it!

And if you’ve got burning questions about your pet’s nutrition or care, this seems like a great spot to ask. 

Where to Stay near Cates Park

 Accent Inns


Address: 3777 Henning Dr, Burnaby, BC V5C 6N5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-473-5000, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$

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Accent Inns is a cozy place to crash after spending a whole day at the park. With its quirky “do not disturb” signs, handy pet policy, and even cute rubber ducks, this North Vancouver hotel makes sure your stay is anything but ordinary.

We really dig the spacious rooms and thoughtful amenities. We’re stoked that there are no hidden fees, either! There won’t be any nickel and diming here—everything is all-inclusive and about making sure you get the most bang for your buck.

The hotel’s location also looks very convenient. Need to pick up a few things? It’s right near shopping centers like Costco. And if you’re into biking, you might love that the area is bike-friendly too!

Seaside Hotel North Vancouver


Address: 125 Victory Ship Way #130, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0G5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-973-1473, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Seaside Hotel North Vancouver offers luxe amenities and stylish design, perfect for unwinding after your adventures at Cates Park.

For us, each room is really fancy—natural wood detailing, marble bathrooms, and large windows that let in plenty of natural light. And with motorized window coverings in every room, we’re glad that you can easily adjust the ambiance to suit your mood.

We’re also thrilled that there’s lots to explore nearby. Located in North Vancouver’s Shipyards district, the hotel is surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, markets, and museums, all within walking distance.

On top of that, the hotel is a short hop to Lonsdale Quay Station, where you can catch the SeaBus to downtown Vancouver in just 15 minutes!

Executive Suites Hotel


Address: 4201 Lougheed Hwy., Burnaby, BC V5C 3Y6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-298-2010, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$

Book Now

The Executive Suites Hotel is a full-service, all-suite hotel near the park designed for modern comfort and scenic views. Whether you’re admiring the North Vancouver skyline or the mountains, we love that every room here has a picturesque setting.

You’ll likely enjoy the suites equipped with conveniences like a fridge, microwave, and sink for a homey atmosphere. You can also stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and make use of spacious workspaces for productivity.

If relaxation is what you’re after, we reckon you’ll love the outdoor heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, and patio with a charming gazebo garden—perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring!

Plus, with added conveniences like an ATM, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, and parking, we believe you won’t need to go anywhere else.

Element Vancouver Metrotown


Address: 5988 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC V5H 2A7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-568-3696

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Element Vancouver Metrotown is your cozy retreat near Cates Park. Conveniently, this hotel offers access to incredible destinations like Deer Lake Park and Metropolis at Metrotown. It’s like having the best of Burnaby right at your doorstep!

With modern, outdoor-inspired decor, plush bedding, and flat-panel TVs, we believe the accommodations are designed to give clients a VIP treatment.

And when it’s time to kick off another day, we’re happy with the wide array of options at the breakfast buffet. After fueling up, we recommend either heading to the fitness center for a workout session or unwinding in the indoor saltwater pool.

Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier


Address: 138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B1, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-986-7437, [email protected] 

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

The Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier gives front-row views of the breathtaking Burrard Inlet. Whether you’re captivated by the sunset or watching boats sail by, the accommodation offers a peaceful escape near the park.

Forget cookie-cutter rooms. Here, we love that you have many options, from cozy rooms to spacious suites. Plus, with modern amenities like high-speed WiFi and 42” TVs, we think you’ll feel right at home.

We also find it handy that its restaurant and bar serves up mouthwatering dishes with a side of gorgeous waterfront views. After indulging, you can take a refreshing dip in the pool or explore the vibrant neighborhood surrounding Lonsdale Quay.

Here’s the cherry on top—this hotel is pet-friendly too! Because, let’s be honest, furry friends make every trip better.

Tips When Visiting Cates Park

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on the must-sees in this North Vancouver park, let’s dive into some extra tips to ensure a smooth-sailing visit!

Bring first aid.The barnacles on the rocks along the shoreline can be sneaky! It’s better to be ready for a little scrape than to be caught off guard at the beach.
Park at the top lot.Note that there’s a time limit when parking down below, but no worries—head up to the top lot for longer stays.
Zen out with yoga.Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Unwind with yoga sessions held in the park, offering serenity amid nature for some serious relaxation. 
Mind the wind.Planning a barbecue? Just be mindful of the wind. We don’t want your burgers flying away!
Snap pics with guided walks.Ready to upgrade your photo game? Join a guided photography walk to capture the park’s beauty like a pro.

Apps to Download When Visiting Cates Park

Transit: Monitor transit options, departure times, and transit schedules

iOs | Android

Parks Canada: Guide for travelers exploring Canada’s top destinations

iOs | Android

AllTrails: Detailed trail maps and reviews for hiking, biking, running, and walking routes

iOs | Android

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