Stanley Park – ideas for free time

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Surrounded by an 8.8 kilometre seawall, Stanley Park is a vast green space on the edge of downtown Vancouver, neatly contained by the ocean and with magnificent views across to the Cyprus and Grouse Mountains. Providing a play area for the residents of Vancouver the park is also a tourist attraction in its own right with plenty to occupy a visitor to the city for an afternoon or longer. For starters there are over 27 kilometres of walking trails that weave through temperate rainforest and past lovely beaches. Many of these trails double as cycle lanes so hiring a bike is also a brilliant way to get around. There are a number of historical landmarks, such as Brockton Point Lighthouse and the famous First Nation’s totem poles, natural landmarks, such as 800 year old hollow cedar tree and biodiverse Beaver Lake, and many sculptures and colourful gardens to be discovered. There is also an impressive aquarium, a large outdoor swimming pool and several cafes and restaurants tucked amongst the thickets. Add some wildlife – bald eagles, bats, raccoons and squirrels – and you begin to understand why this is considered one of Canada’s greatest green spaces.

Bikes can be hired locally from a number of places near the park – ask your host/concierge for details.

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