Crescent Beach, while growing in popularity, is still largely an unknown gem in the Fraser Valley. While Vancouver beaches swarm with people, on any given weekend there’s still plenty of room for sun-bathers, swimmers and beach lovers.
Located in South Surrey, adjacent to White Rock, Crescent Beach is Surrey’s only beach community … but it’s a great beach community. The entire beach is public, so come on down for a walk or a full day and evening, ending your day with a spectacular sunset.
A Perfect Day
It’s easy to spend a day here. Start with a 3 km walk around the area on the walking trail.
- Grab a coffee or tea at the Wired Monk.
- Find your spot on the beach.
- Go for a swim (or two or three).
- Have fish and chips on the beach for lunch.
- Toss the ball or frisbee around on one of the grassy areas throughout the community.
- Go for another swim.
- Have a nap on the beach.
- Go for dinner at one of several restaurants.
- Buy an ice cream cone.
- Settle in and watch a stunning sunset.
Discover many more fun things to do in Crescent Beach.
On the Map
As you can see, CB (as referred to by the locals), is within easy driving distance for many Fraser Valley towns and cities. In fact, it’s a destination for people in people in Vancouver who want to get away from the busy city.
The beach is the primary reason people come here. It spans well over 1 kilometer and offers plenty of space for sun-bathers, picnics and of course walking. When the tide is out, it’s way out offering an enormous amount of beach, walking and tidal pools for kids.
Large driftwood logs pepper the beach making for ideal seating spots and backrests.
The beach sand is a mix of fine sand and pebbles. It’s not a lush fine sand beach, but it’s still comfortable enough for sitting on. There are spots made up predominantly of fine sand … but they’re often the first spots taken.
The beach faces west, which makes for unbelievably spectacular sunsets. Many people come for the sunset alone.
The beach is situated on Boundary Bay, which is a shallow bay. This makes for warm water swimming when the tide is nearly in on warm days. In fact, in the shallow waters you’ll be astonished how warm the water actually is in the late afternoon as the tide comes in.
There’s a swimming area with a lifeguard and dock as well. This portion of the water is deeper (it gets deep quickly), so it’s colder water (still warm enough June through September). This is also one of the nicer areas of the beach for sun-bathing. The downside is that this is one of the more crowded areas of the beach.
There are many Crescent Beach restaurants. From fine dining to casual beach food to an organic sandwich shop to a fine coffee shop to a takeout fish chips stand and of course ice cream shops. There’s something for every palette, taste and budget.
Most restaurants are located on the communities main road, called Beecher street. One popular dine-in establishment, called the SeaHorse Grill is located on Sullivan Street, which is near the swimming hole portion of the beach (their taro root chips are amazing).
Because the community is not large, you can walk to any of the many eating establishments from any part of the beach.
Parking in Crescent Beach
If there’s one frustrating aspect with CB, it’s the limited parking available. There is a large parking lot at the north end of McBride Avenue, but it fills up quickly on the weekend (on sunny days).
There are roadside spots available throughout the community, but be sure to pay attention to “no parking” signs from residents and merchants … it’s never fun ending the day with a trip to the car impound lot. Parking throughout the community is very laisez-faire and it’s first-come, first-serve.
Cost: To date, parking is free, which is fabulous if you find a spot.
When to arrive: If you can, arrive before noon on weekends which will vastly improve your chances of finding a parking spot. The earlier, the better. After noon, expect to drive around looking for a spot.
There’s a small boat launch at the end of the northern end of McBride Avenue (near the main parking lot) where you can launch motor boats, wave runners, sail boats and other small watercraft.
If you have a larger boat, it’s best to launch from the nearby Crescent Beach Marina.
If you’re into learning sailing, the Crescent Beach Sailing Club offers lessons with small sail boats provided.
Power boating in Boundary bay requires careful navigation. It’s an extremely shallow bay and therefore power boats must navigate via a dredged channel. Please boat with care and inquire about the appropriate navigation before launching.
Learn more about Boating in Crescent Beach here.
There isn’t much nightlife other than a sunset. There are no bars or pubs in CB; it becomes quiet at dusk. Most people head out once the sun has set except for lingering diners.
While a big beach destination, CB is also a great place for parks. There’s the main grassy area with picnic tables at the end of the northern part of McBride Ave. This area fills up fast with large groups (no reservations required).
There’s a dog park tucked behind the main parking lot. It’s a large enclosure where your dogs can run and enjoy the outdoors.
Also behind the main parking lot is a large field wrapped with walking trails. This is the protected wild bird sanctuary where bird watchers and walkers come to enjoy the sanctuary of the great outdoors on the water. In fact, this part of CB is not well known and so on busy days, there are very few people in this area, yet it’s a great place for walking, having a picnic and enjoying nature.
Check out a map of all Crescent Beach parks and grass areas here.
Several home owners list their homes for vacation rentals during the summer months. While the prices are steep, if you’re visiting for an extended time or just a week, it’s a great place for a family vacation. Go here to discover the latest vacation rentals.
There are no hotels or motels in Crescent Beach. The closest hotels are in White Rock and on King George Boulevard south of 152nd Street.
Living in Crescent Beach
As you can imagine, home prices are high. Most homes cost in excess of $800,000, many soaring about $1 million. However, there are still some old, small cottage style homes that may be priced from $550,000 to $750,000.
In recent years, the trend is for home buyers to demolish existing, smaller homes and building custom homes. As a result, CB is a community of a real mix of home styles, sizes and designs. It’s almost eclectic, but makes for checking out some very interesting homes.
Despite high home prices, because lots are small, the sizes of homes are relatively small. You won’t find McMansions here (but you’ll find many throughout South Surrey). Choosing to live in CB means giving up on certain luxuries such as large, expansive lawns and large homes. In return, though, you gain living in an area that is absolutely terrific for raising a family or spending your retirement years. There’s always something to do outdoors … and it’s extremely convenient as everything, including the bird sanctuary is within easy walking distance from any point within the community.
There’s an elementary school nearby (on 128th Street and 24th Avenue). The local high school is about 1 kilometer further away on 24th Avenue. Therefore, CB is a great place for kids if you can afford the home prices.
Rent a Home in Crescent Beach
While there isn’t a large rental inventory at any given time, there’s usually a few rentals available year-around. Because it’s a tourist destination, rentals may be year-around (permanent) or seasonal.
Rent prices range from $850 to $5,000 plus per month. Like home prices, renting is expensive.
The best place to discover rentals in CB is to check Craigslist.
The walking trails alone are worth a visit to CB any time of the year. There’s a trail that wraps the entire community. Most people stroll the beach walk (a nicely kept gravel path). However, for people in-the-know, there the path continues beyond Blackie’s Spit into the bird sanctuary bringing you back to the CB entrance on Beecher Street. The full walk can be done in 40 to 60 minutes.
View a map of walking trails here.
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