Welcome to Stanley Park!♥
Location: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Hours of operation:
Entrance Fee: No
Where should I begin? My mind is overflowing with fun and exciting memories every time I think of Stanley Park. There’s just so much to see, and so much things to do in this park that I don’t know where to begin my story. Almost every year I visit this place, and every time I visit this place there is always good memories added in mz mind.
I guess, I will start from the very beginning, my first visit to this park. I visited this park first time in 2009, few months after I came to Canada. This was the first and largest park I’ve visited and I was totally blown away and I was impressed with the natural beauty of this place. It has almost every thing that I enjoy doing on my spare time. Walk with me as I look back on good the times I had in this place and let me show you around.
Getting to this place is not difficult at all, the park is located the West end of Vancouver’s neighborhood. There are many ways to get here either by foot, bike, car or public transportation. But of course, it always depends where you are coming from. I came here first time with friends so we were in a car, but I’ve been to this place countless times using public transportation and I never had a problem with it.
What to do
You will not run out of things to do in this place, so it is best to plan your visit and decide how you want to spend your day. One day may not even be enough to fully explore and enjoy the many things that this park offers. I visited this place several times, but still there are areas here that I haven’t had the chance to check. This place is huge (405-hectare) with lush and green areas and almost entirely surrounded by water. Let’s check what we can do here.
Tour the park by shuttle trolley or horse-drawn carriage
Don’t feel like walking? No problem! Enjoy Stanley Park in style by any bus, horse-drawn carriage or shuttle trolley.
I find the Stanley Park Shuttle the most reasonable option (excluding walking, biking and cycling). The shuttle have 15 stops inside the park, more than enough for people to see the highlights of the park.
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Hours of Operation: Daily from 11:00am – 6:00pm
- Rate: Adult $10. Click here for more details of the rates and schedule
- Capacity: 26 passengers per tram
- Departs: The shuttle stops at 15 of the most popular area in the park
- For more information, please visit their website: http://www.vancouvertrolley.com/tour/stanley-park-shuttle
Another option if you do not have enough time to see the entire place is to take the Horse Drawn Tours. I haven’t tried this one, as I prefer to travel on foot, but I imagine it would be a nice and fun experience to enjoy Stanley Park. This is a professionally guided and narrated tour which highlights Deadman’s Island, Vancouver’s Harbor, Lions Gate Bridge, a Coastal Red Cedar Forest, and includes stops at the Totem Poles, the Girl in a Wet Suit Statue, the S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead, and the Rose Garden.This is a lot more expensive option than the trolleyz car.
- Duration: One hour
- Hours of Operation: 9:40 am to anywhere between 4:00 pm-6:00 pm depending on the month. Click here for more details of the schedule.
- Rate: Adult $42. Click here for more details of the rates and schedule
- Departs: From the horse-drawn tour kiosk at the Coal Harbour parking lot beside the information booth, just off the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park.
- Capacity: 26 passengers per tram
- For more information, please visit their website: http://www.stanleypark.com/
Walk, Bike, Run in the sea wall
My favorite activity to do in Stanley park is to walk around the sea wall. The sea wall is about 8.5 km and could take around 2-3 hours of walking and 1 hr cycling, but of course the time depends a lot on your phase, how fast or slow you walk.
I normally start my walk from the Coal Harbour entrance. I find this route easier and more accessible since I took public transportation on most of the time that I go there. The walk or bike ride at the sea wall will give you a fantastic scenic view, you will pass by some famous landmarks, monuments and beaches where you can stop to sit and relax.
Points of Interest
9 O’Clock Gun
Cast in England in 1816, brought here in 1894, was used by mariners to set their chronometers and also to warn fishers of closings.
This bronze figure commemorates athlete Harry Jerome’s career as a runner. I personally call this monument “The Running Man”.
The Totem Poles also located at Brockton Point is one of the most visited area in the park. This area show cases first nations totem poles that are meticulously and creatively carved.
Erected in 1952 to honour BC’s lumber industry, the Lumbermen’s Arch replaced the original Bowie Arch. There is a huge ground with picnic tables, as well as a Cafe nearby to get food and refreshment.
Do you have kids that you want to keep entertained? No problem! There is a kids water play area where kids could go around, get wet and have fun. There is a washroom close to the area so changing clothes after fun wet day will not be a problem either.
Girl in a Wetsuit
The Girl in a Wetsuit is one of my favorite monument in Stanley Park. The monument is very much visible along the sea wall, you wouldn’t have a problem not seeing it. This is a life-size bronze statue of a woman in wetsuit with flippers on her feet and her mask pushed up on her forehead.
Empress of Japan Figurehead
The Empress of Japan figurehead is another monument along the sea wall. A replica of the figurehead of the SS Empress of Japan can be found on the north side of Stanley Park, west of Brockton Point. A good area to rest when zou get tired from walking.
Lions Gate Bridge
Another one of my favorite spot to take photograph is in the Lions Bridge. I like how the bridge stands with the back drop of the mountain and water. Take a few minutes to stop and take a photo.
The Brockton Point is another spot worth stopping. I love lighthouses, and the view from this area is amazing. There is a very short stairs going up that will lead you to the top, take a few minutes and admire the view. There is also a drinking fountain just in case uou run out of water for drinking.
Along the sea wall path, you will pass by the Siwash Rock, a very popular stop in Stanley Park. Siwash Rock is a 32 million-year-old sea stack (rock outcropping) located just off the seawall between Third Beach and Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park.
If you have plenty of time, invite your friends, pack your picnic basket and enjoy a picnic at the park. Barbeque can be used at nearby Ceperley Meadow and a picnic shelter can be reserved for private gatherings.
Take a swimsuit with you when you visit the park, there are 2 beaches where you could swim and cool off when your feet gets tired and you want to cool off.
The Second Beach is located at the junction of Stanley Park Drive and North Lagoon Drive next to Second Beach Pool. An ocean side, heated, outdoor pool. The pool is huge and has a fantastic view of English Bay. Check Hours of operation before going as schedule could vary depending on the season.
The Third Beach is located at the Ferguson Point in Stanley Park. This is a great place to sit down, relax or have a picnic while you work on your tan. This is the more sandy part and a lot of people stop here and it could get crowded sometimes.
Time to smell the flowers. The Rose Garden is also one area in the park that you should visit. We went there at the peak of the summer so there are a lot of flowers in bloom. You have to take that into consideration if you want to fully appreciate the garden. Peak bloom times run from late-March through April and June through October.
This place alone requires a time on its own. If you enjoy visiting aquarium, this is a good place to check. The aquarium is located within the Stanley Park, it is closer to the Rose Garden.
- Website: http://www.vanaqua.org
- Duration: 2 hours (or more)
- Hours of Operation: 9:30am to 6:00pm. Schedule could change so click here for more details of the schedule.
- Rate: Adult $39. Click here for more details of the rates and schedule
Where to eat
Its chow time! A trip anywhere is not complete without stopping by to eat something. There are few choices when it comes to dining, although you can bring your own snack. Among all the four options, the only I had tried is the Prospect Point. It is more casual and relax, and besides, I love ice cream and this is the best place to get it.
Thank You and I hope you enjoy our Stanley Park Tour. Till next time! Enjoy your vacation and safe travels! ~ SweetNSpicy
Categories: When in Vancouver