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People packed Kits Beach in Vancouver during a heatwave last September. ((Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press))

Vancouver's Kitsilano Beach is one of the top 10 sexiest beaches in North America, according to an annual ranking by Forbes Traveler magazine.

The sexy status may come as no surprise to many Vancouverites, who have known for some time that "Kits Beach," as the locals call it, is one of the city's hottest spots for people-watching in summer months.

Now it appears the world is waking up to some of the city's stunning attractions, and it's no longer just the stunning views of the local mountains garnering praise from sightseers.

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Vancouver's popular Kits Beach on the shores of English Bay heats up on a sunny summer day. ((CBC))

In its annual listing of North America's sexiest beaches, the travel magazine praises "the hedonistic frenzy that graces Vancouver's Kitsilano Beach when the July and August sun heats this intoxicating nexus of sea, forest and mountains."

The magazine ranks the people-watching on the prime Vancouver waterfront in the same league as more famous surfside hangouts like South Beach in Miami, Fla., Laguna Beach in Orange County, Calif., and Ka'anapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii. Kits Beach comes up third in the magazine's online slide show.

The beach, located on the shores of English Bay near the trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood, is popular with young sunbathers looking for an afternoon break. It also has the city's largest outdoor pool, beach volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, and a popular beachside bistro.