Cities oftentimes have the best culture and food which is a major reason to visit, but they also are the most crowded and stressful scenario that makes you want to run away! Whenever I visit a major city I always find myself heading to the park to get out of the mad-dash and pollution of an urban environment. Every city’s got one, and Stanley Park in Vancouver has an exceptional talent:
it can make you forget about the difficulties of city life while you are walking along the seawall staring at the skyline.
This park is outstanding, it really has it all in a perfect peninsula package.
The aforementioned seawall trail is 5.5 miles and gives brilliant views of downtown, the Burrard Inlet, mountains, and the Lions Gate Bridge. Be sure to make a stop at the lighthouse which was cheerful even on a gloomy day.
From here you may notice an industrial scene across the shore and there are many plaques to learn about local exports such as vibrant sulfur from Alberta coal from British Columbia, seafood, and lumber.
If you continue on the seawall path down towards the bridge you’ll most likely notice some of the really interesting art such as a colorful dragon replica of the RMS Empress of Japan, an ocean liner that made a trans-pacific route in the 1890s-1920s.
Nearby is the ‘Girl in a Wetsuit’ which reminded me so much of the little mermaid statue in Copenhagen! You must make time to visit a different form of artwork, the incredible collection of totem poles in the park.
They are amazing to view and each one has a story to learn about. Totem was the coat of arms for the local natives. They were carved from Western Red Cedar trees and each sculpture tells a real or mythical event. Art isn’t the only great element in the park, there is of course, equally amazing nature to experience. The rose garden was still in full bloom on my October visit, there are other gorgeous gardens, and so many stupendous trees.
Wildlife is everywhere and if you have a keen eye, you may see some very fascinating sights.
If you want more nature study, visit the aquarium located within the park. Other interesting paid attractions include a ride on a mini train through the forest and horse drawn carriage tours. If you plan on getting out of the city, there is something for everyone at the park!