Did Someone Say Stanley Park?!
Oh how we love thee Vancouver…and Stanley Park. A park like no other; the sheer size and location of a green space in a metropolis city like Vancouver makes Stanley Park a very unique and perfect day-trip tourist stop. Stanley Park is almost completely surrounded by water since it is situated on a massive peninsula that juts out into Vancouver Bay and the Pacific Ocean. To maximize accessibility, the park has a couple of entrances: on the south side you can enter through downtown Vancouver or from North Vancouver you can enter via the Lions Gate Bridge. If I haven’t piqued your interest yet, think of Stanley Park as a huge natural green space you can enjoy year round with the whole family.
Sights And Sounds Of Stanley
The abundance of available activities in Stanley Park is quite impressive. If you are looking for a peaceful place to relax with a book or simply take in some scenic vistas, there are multiple sandy beaches where you can gaze out on the harbor at the sailboats and the mountainous backdrops. If you are interested in the local history of the area, there is a very popular totem pole display exhibiting the artwork of the aboriginal peoples who first settled in these lands. Be sure to read over the plaques explaining what the various symbols on the totems represent.
Another must-see stop at the park is the burned tree. Vancouver houses some of the tallest and widest Redwood and Douglas Fir trees in North America – and this one is like no other. An historical accident caused the tree to start on fire and burn almost completely to the ground. What remains is a very cool, hollowed-out portion of a huge tree. Feel free to walk right inside for a perfect photo-op.
The Lions Gate Bridge, one of the ways into the park, is another prime viewing location. This suspension bridge is the only roadway connector from downtown Vancouver to the smaller community of North Vancouver. Be on the lookout for many vantage points in the park to get some great snaps of this majestic, arching structure that connects Stanley Park to North Vancouver.
If a casual walk is not your style and you are more of an exercise fiend, Stanley Park has tons for you to experience as well. Have you heard of the Seawall? Adjacent to the seawall there is a paved walkway that runs the entire circumference of the park along the shoreline. Off the beaten path there are countless nature trails that crisscross through the dense, natural rainforest areas. Bikers, hikers, runners and walkers can experience something new every time they visit this beautiful park and in all seasons of the year. After all, we don’t get snow in Vancouver!
Creatures Of The Deep
Had enough sun, clouds or rain for the day? Depending on the season Vancouver spouts some very different weather. To get out of the elements be sure to visit the Stanley Park aquarium for a completely different experience. Just be warned that the Aquarium comes with a higher price tag per person. All of the other activities in Stanley Park are free of charge including entrance to the park. Some of the close-up encounters at the Aquarium will be with the penguins, dolphins, whales, jellyfish and sea lions. Avid learner? The fast facts and education side will keep you engaged.
The Best Ways To Enjoy Stanley Park
How you enjoy Stanley Park will be up to your personal preference! There are numerous ways to experience the park depending on the activity level of yourself and your guests. The layout of the park lends itself to the causal tourist – the many roadside stops provide opportunities for casual walks and scenic strolls. Rest assured that there is plenty of paid parking available in the park. A trip to Stanley Park wouldn’t be complete without checking out the world-famous seawall which can be enjoyed by walking, rollerblading or by bike. Feel free to get lost in nature before popping back into the hustle and bustle of downtown city life in Vancouver. Choose your own adventure and enjoy!
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