Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first park, covering over 1,000 acres of land only minutes from Downtown Vancouver, BC. The park was first opened in September 1888 by Lord Stanley, at the time the Governor General of Canada.
Stanley Park is a major drawpoint for locals and tourists visiting Vancouver, which is 10% larger than New York’s Central Park. Approximately 8 million visitors are drawn to this spot every year for the spectular forests, gardens and landmarks.
The park contains over 500,000 trees including British Columbia’s Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees. A popular activity is to walk, jog or cycle the 8.8km seawall surrounding the park.
Exploring Stanley Park
From Downtown Vancouver, the main entrance to the park is by Georgia street. You can rent a bike on nearby Denman street, with many rentals for less than $10/hour. You should allow 2-3 hours to walk around the park at a leisurely pace and 1 hour to ride the seawall. The pathways are divided into two sections, one for foot traffic and the other for cyclists and roller bladers.
One of the main attractions for visitors walking around Stanley Park is the totem poles at Brockton Point, which are some of the most famous First Nation’s displays in Canada. The 8 poles at Brockton point are part of the Indian Village display and are connected spiritually to the land.
Eating at Stanley Park
There are picnic facilities available in the park, however if you wish to experience some fine dining while enjoying the sea and mountain views, there are a number of restaurants including the fish house, the prospect cafe, the teahouse and the Stanley Park pavilion.
The Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is located within the boundaries of Stanley park, and is the largest aquarium within Canada. It is definitely worth a visit with over 7,000 aquatic animals including dolphins, beluga whales, sea turtles and otters, sea lions and plenty more!
There is so much more to see and do at Stanley Park depending on the time of the year you visit. In the summer months, Second beach pool which is located on the west side of the park is open for swimming. The pool is heated and life guards are on duty from May to September when it is operates daily.
There is also many walking paths within Stanley Park and you can explore the rainforest and discover Lost Lagoon, Beaver lake or take the kids to the Children’s Farmyard, the playground or a ride on the miniature railway through the forest. For more information, visit the Stanley Park website.