What To Do In Vancouver – Stanley Park

What To Do In Vancouver BC- Stanley Park

Vancouver BC has a huge park situated on the outskirts of the busy downtown core. Stanley park is approximately 1000 acres of natural forestry surrounded by water and the century-old Vancouver Seawall.  Named in honour of Canada’s sixth Governor General, the park draws locals and visitors to its awe-inspiring beauty year-round.  If you are looking to discover Stanley park but do not have all day then you can take advantage of the park’s main road that takes you on a one-way journey (counter-clockwise) around the park.  Be sure to stop for photos at the entrance Totem Poles, pull over to view the North Shore Mountains at Brockton Point, and buy ice cream at the Lions Gate Bridge Lookout.

vancouver stanley park

The Vancouver Seawall is a great way to work up a sweat while seeing the park.  Jogging or cycling along it’s 9 km Stanley Park circumference (no motorized traffic) will take you past several incredible viewing areas, a family-friendly water park, Coal Harbour, and Second Beach.  Bicycle rentals are available at several downtown locations, including “Spokes” at the corner of Georgia and Denman Streets.  Due to the large number or regular joggers and cyclists using the Seawall, speeds are restricted to 15 km/h, and are enforced by police on mountain bicycles.

Near Brockton Point you’ll pass the Brockton Oval, Vancouver’s first athletic facility.  Opened in 1891 the Brockton Oval has been home to a variety of sports events, including Rugby and Cricket.  The historic clubhouse is available to rent for private events, and overlooks the grounds, and the Burrard Inlet.

Look for the lovely bronze statue, “Girl in a Wetsuit,” Vancouver’s answer to Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid.  At low-tide you can walk out to the statue for photos; the area is great for collecting sea-shells.   Continuing along the Seawall will bring you to Lions Gate Bridge.  Opened in 1938, the Lions Gate Bridge connects downtown Vancouver with the communities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver.  The bridge was built by the Guinness family (of beer fame), who later sold it to the province in 1955.  Clearing 200 feet above the water, it is the perfect platform to watch cruise ships heading to Alaska.

The Teahouse in Stanley Park is a restaurant billed as having the most romantic sunsets in the city.  Book early if you’re planning on dining here on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.  It is accessible on the main park road, or up a staircase from the Seawall.  Other dining options in the park include snack shops (some seasonality) at the splash park, the bridge, and at Second Beach, and the Fish House restaurant, near the tennis courts at the southern entrance to the Park.

A great way to see the park, and learn some interesting park-trivia, is to take the Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour.  You, and 25 friends, will be pulled along the Park Drive by a team of well-cared-for Clydesdales, while listening to a live commentary by the driver.  The tours start at the Totem Poles near the park entrance.  Set aside an hour for the tour.

Parking in Stanley Park is pay-as-you-go.  Purchase a timed ticket when you park at any of the parking lots in the park, and display it in your car until you leave.


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