There’s a reason why Stanley Park is rated the #1 place to visit in Vancouver by Tripadvisor, with over 28,000 reviews. It is North America’s third-largest park which draws over eight million people a year. The park consists of a scenic, 9km path running along the water on the perimeter of the park. It also houses an aquarium, recreational facilities, nature center and small beaches. It is hard to complete Stanley Park in a day, so we have made your life easier by giving you the top 8 things that impressed us the most, and you shouldn’t pass by them.
1. Prospect Point Lookout
Right from entering the park from Lion’s Gate bridge, Prospect Point lookout is easy to access. From this point, you can see the lions gate bridge, West Vancouver, as well as ambleside beach at the distance. There’s ample space for parking (paid parking) around the area. Up here, there is a nice cafe and a souvenir shop that’s worth a visit.
2. Hollow Tree
The Hollow Tree at Stanley Park is a monument to the original forest of giant trees. It is a Western Red Cedar tree thats about a 1000 years, but left a huge hollow stump, which makes it unique. It’s really cool that they even made a documentary on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=136&v=kVDixF4dN3g&feature=emb_title
3. Third Beach
Take a nice stroll along third beach, or you can just have a simple picnic while having the view of West Vancouver.
4. Viewpoint Burrard Inlet
Right in front of a quaint little tea house, where you might be able to catch a couple saying their vows or having their first dance. If you don’t join them, you could take a moment to appreciate this view of the water that separates you from Vancouver Island (Straits of Georgia).
5. Second Beach
Second Beach is a peaceful place to do your yoga, grab an ice cream or have get some swimming exercise in. The second beach pool is a heated, outdoor pool located near the beach. It has a sloped entry, gradual depths for families, and separated lanes for lap swimmers.
6. Vancouver Skyline
Just along the road of N Lagoon Dr (marked on the map), you get to see the beautiful Cityscape of Vancouver. If you go when its completely dark, the city lights just stand out more, and its so much more peaceful.
7. Vancouver Seawall
The seawalls around Stanley Park have absolutely stunning cityscape views of Downtown Vancouver. The pictures just speak for themselves.
Cycling is the best way to cover the most ground in Stanley Park, due to the size of the Park. The perimeter of Stanley Park has a cycling route and takes about 3 hours to complete. There are lots of stop points along the way to take some amazing photos. Here are some for reference.
9. Bright Nights Christmas Train
And after all that cycling, go catch the light show in the park! 3 million twinkling lights seems to be a big waste of electricity to some. But during the holiday season, it goes on for a month at Stanley park (Nov 28 – Jan 1). Since its seasonal, it brings out the holiday festivities to life. You could also buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route.
There is definitely more to Stanley Park than this. But if you only have a day there, these would be our recommended places!