Since the 1880s, Vancouver residents and visitors have prized the 1,000 acres of Stanley Park. Wildlife, old-growth forest, and many activities make Stanley Park a favorite Vancouver day trip with travelers.
Things to Do in Stanley Park – Seawall, Gardens, Hiking
Stanley Park is named for Lord Stanley, who was Governor General of Canada in 1888 when the park officially opened. From circumnavigating the park on the Stanley Park seawall to hiking the forested trails, this Vancouver park is home to many activities and famous sights.
Malkin Bowl: Summer home to Theatre Under the Stars as well as various concerts, the Malkin Bowl is a fantastic venue to enjoy arts and Vancouver’s lovely summer weather.
Play golf: An 18-hole pitch-and-putt sits on the western shore of Lost Lagoon.
Stanley Park gardens: Rose, community, rhododendron, Shakespeare, and native plant gardens attract green thumbs from around the world.
Stanley Park Seawall: Running nearly 9km (5.5 miles), the Stanley Park seawall is particularly busy on weekends. Visitors can walk, run, cycle, or Rollerblade the route while admiring park monuments such as the Girl in a Wet Suit and the 9 O’clock gun.
Totems: On Brockton Point (the location of a historic First Nations midden, or cultural mound, containing shells), stand totem poles from various BC first nations. The totems are likely the most-photographed spot in the park.
Hiking trails: Hikes lace the interior of the park. Visit Beaver Lake, Lost Lagoon, or the Hollow Tree on a afternoon adventure.
Stanley Park Family Activities
Diverse families activities make Stanley Park an ideal destination for adults and children.
Vancouver Aquarium: A trip to the Vancouver Aquarium entertains all ages. Belugas, sea otters, dolphins, and sea lions are popular with children, as is the large play area Clownfish Cove.
Miniature train and the children’s farmyard: The Children’s Farmward offers plenty to engage kids with 50 species of farm animals. The Stanley Park Miniature Railway takes visitors on a forested journey with special displays at Halloween and Christmas.
Vancouver beaches: Third Beach, one of Vancouver’s few natural sand beaches, offers perfect ocean views. Second Beach – and nearby saltwater pool – and English Bay Beach have a more urban feel. All have concession stands for those visitors who’d rather not pack a picnic or tote a barbecue.
Stanley Park Ecology Society: Running year-round activities, the society provides a blend of educational workshops, lectures, and adventures.
Restaurants in Stanley Park
Dining in Stanley Park provides forest and ocean views to enhance the meal. The Fish House serves fresh seafood on gorgeous patios. Those traversing the seawall will want to stop at Prospect Point Café to enjoy lunch perched aside the Lion’s Gate Bridge and a panorama of the North Shore Mountains.
Visitors to the Stanley Park Pavilion will have easy access to the park’s main attractions including the Malkin Bowl and the Vancouver Aquarium. The Teahouse (604-669-3281) goes beyond the brewed beverage to serve brunch, lunch, and dinner in a picturesque location.
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