Even though BC’s Lower Mainland is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire world, Stanley Park’s unparalleled beauty makes it stand out as one of the most naturally scenic parks. The park covers over 400 hectares of Vancouver’s downtown core, (larger than New York City’s Central Park) and attracts over 8 million visitors each year. It constantly receives high acclaim for its plethora of activities available to participate in year-round, and was even named “Top Park in the World” by Trip Advisor in 2014.
Where is it?
Stanley Park is located at the northern tip of downtown Vancouver. Its close proximity to downtown makes it easily accessible by car, bike, bus, skytrain, or even foot! To see directions on how to get to the park from YVR, (Vancouver International Airport) click here.
Stanley Park is named after Frederick Stanley, who was the Canadian Governor General at the time of its opening.
Originally, Stanley Park was home to Burrard, Musqueam, and Squamish First Nations people, and was opened to the public on September 27, 1888. Spanish and British explorers were the first Europeans to discover the park in 1792. The park is named after Frederick Stanley, who was the Canadian Governor General at the time.
My personal favourite time to visit Stanley Park is during the summer months. Apart from all the fun activities one can participate in, the sunny weather transforms it into a lush, downtown oasis, and it is pleasant just to sit and relax. Below are some of my favourite things to do in the summer at Stanley Park:
–have a picnic on the grass in the centre of the park
-go swimming at the pool at First Beach
-have brunch at the Teahouse
-go for a jog, bike ride, or stroll around the seawall (insider tip: for the best views of downtown Vancouver, head to the area by the Totem Poles)
-visit the Vancouver Aquarium’s outdoor exhibitions and shows
-go for a horse-drawn carriage ride around the park
-relax on First, Second, or Third Beach
-watch the Celebration of Lights fireworks competition at English Bay, featuring entries from all over the world (insider tip: the beach can get particularly crowded on these nights, try to grab dinner at one of the restaurants on the beach for the best view! I recommend the Cactus Club at English Bay, as their menu has something for everyone! Although, I may be partial to their Butternut Squash Ravioli with Prawns.)
-book tickets to watch one of Theatre Under the Stars’ fabulous broadway-style musical productions (outdoors!)
-Because of Vancouver’s mild winter climate, many of the summer’s outdoor activities are still available during the winter! In addition, many other opportunities to enjoy the park open up, particularly during the Halloween and Christmas seasons.
-visit the Vancouver Aquarium’s indoor exhibits
-visit Bright Lights at Stanley Park (for a stunning Christmas light display)
-book tickets for the Stanley Park Miniature Railway’s Halloween and Christmas Train (insider tip: plan to book these around a week in advance, as they do tend to sell out)
On your next visit to Vancouver, I hope you have the opportunity to visit Stanley Park and check out some of the activities I recommended! And hey, maybe I’ll see you there.
Until Next Time,
Miss Teenage Lower Mainland 2016