There are two things you should know about me. I love cities. And, I love cities with lots of public spaces. This means I usually visit at least one park when I’m in a new city. I knew I couldn’t leave Vancouver without checking out Stanley Park.
Rain on the day we planned to see Stanley Park didn’t stop us. We rented bikes from English Bay Bike Rentals, a cruiser for me, a city/hybrid bike for Kenny, threw on our obligatory helmets & ponchos and hit the trail on the way to the park. But, uh…where do we go?
Stanley Park must have the most organized walkway I’ve ever seen in my life. There were two large lanes wrapping around the entire park and seawall. One lane for those on foot, and one lane for those on wheels (cyclists & rollerbladers). And, all of the lanes only going in the counter-clockwise direction around the island. Huh? It’s all good as long as you follow the rules.
So, we cruise around, staying within our specified lanes, of course, in the rain. I felt supremely tourist-tastic in my pink bike helmet and Vancouver 2010 Olympics poncho. Stanley Park was everything it advertised. Wide expansive greenery, beautiful stone cliffs, navy blue sterling water, and the beautiful mountains over the ocean. The Pacific Northwest is stunning. I’ve been waiting for this moment, and it didn’t disappoint.
On our ride around, we came upon the totem poles. First of all, did you know that totem poles were only used by the indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest? Well, my ignoramus self didn’t know that, so that’s step one. The poles themselves were beautiful, all recreations of the ‘real’ poles that are being displayed in museums throughout Canada.
There isn’t one particular thing for me to pinpoint and say about Stanley Park besides go there. If you are visiting Vancouver to experience the beauty of the Northwest, then you came to see Stanley Park. Take a morning or afternoon, rent a bike and ride around the sea wall. Stanley Park captures the natural beauty of the area, while being just on the edge of the city.
Location: North foot of Georgia Street
Area: 400 hectares (1,000 acres)
Most Famous For: 8.8 km (5.5 mi) Seawall
Number of Trees: Approximately 150,000 trees
Annual Visitors: 8 million
Bike Rental at English Bay Bike Rentals
1754 Davie Street, Vancouver
Rates for our bikes: $7.14/hr. for the cruiser and $8.04/hr. for the city/hybrid.