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Kitsilano Beach – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

It's hard to imagine a Winter Olympics host city that also boasts a vibrant beach culture, but Vancouver has always been a place that defies assumptions. Though the British Columbia city is north of drizzly Seattle, area waters still reach summer highs of over 70°F—not much different than you'll find on, say, the Jersey Shore—thanks to the warming effects of the Kuroshio Current coming across the Pacific. Only a five-minute drive from the heart of downtown, Kitsilano (or "Kits") Beach is one of the city's most accessible places to hit the sand, attracting sporty types with seven volleyball courts, a grassy lawn for Frisbee, windsurfing and stand-up paddleboard rentals and the scenic 14-mile Seawall, perfect for cyclists, runners and walkers. And if that water proves just a little too chilly, there's always the onsite heated saltwater pool—at almost three times bigger than an Olympic pool, it ranks as the longest in all of Canada.

(Credit: Flickr / Mark Faviell Photos)
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