Vancouver: 12 things to do in Stanley Park

January 16, 2020

Stanley Park is the largest park in Vancouver.

It features scenic views of the mountains and the city, beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, winding trails, and historical landmarks.

Stanley Park is famous for its Seawall, where locals and tourists alike can walk or bike. 

The Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. It is 26km long in total but only 9km of the Seawall goes around Stanley Park.

It will take you roughly 2 to 3 hours of walking or an hour to two hours biking it.

I would highly recommend biking but don’t worry the road is flat and well maintained.

Also, the road is divided into sides – one for pedestrians and the other for bikers.

In this blog post, I am going to tell you about 12 things to see as you walk/bike the Seawall (outlines the outside the park).

Here is a useful link that has the map of the park – it will be easier to understand this blog post if you take a look at the map first.

1. Lost Lagoon 

The very first thing you will see as you enter the park is the Lost Lagoon.

It is essentially an artificial, large body of water that features the Jubilee Fountain in the middle.

Unfortunately, when we were visiting, the fountain was under renovation. It is a quiet and serene area, where you can spot some local wildlife – herons, ducks, swans, etc.

There are benches on the banks of the lake where you can sit down and reconnect with nature.

 

Lost Lagoon, pond, Stanley Park

View of the Lost Lagoon

2. Rose Garden/Lord Stanley Memorial Monument

The Rose Garden is the next thing you should check out during your stroll. It is outside, so you will most likely be able to see the flowers during the spring and summer times only.

The roses are different colors and make for some amazing pictures. There are more than 3,000 rose plants in the garden. 

 

Rose garden, flowers, park

Beautiful rose bushes

 

Right outside the garden, you can see the Lord Stanley Memorial Monument.

The statue depicts Lord Stanley (the park is named after him), standing with open arms and welcoming everyone to the park.

For all the hockey fans, a fun fact is that the Stanley Cup was named after him. 

 

statue, Lord Stanley, park

The statue of Lord Stanley

3. Harry Jerome Statue 

It is a statue of the famous Canadian track and field runner Harry Jerome. The statue depicts the athlete, in the middle of a sprint.

Harry Jerome held a bunch of world records and received many awards in his lifetime.

 

Harry Jerome Statue, Vancouver

Harry Jerome Statue

4. Nine O’Clock Gun

This is a really cool one!! It is essentially an old, working canon and every night at 9 PM it is fired.

Unfortunately, we were in the park during the morning so we weren’t able to see it go off.  If you have time, it would be really awesome to see.

During the day it is stored in a small pavilion protected from the elements.

 

canon, Stanley Park

Nine O’Clock Gun

5. Brockton Point Lighthouse

Due to the many boat accidents around the point, the Brockton Point Lighthouse was installed.

The lighthouse is a white, rectangular tower with red stripes. In the background, you can see North Vancouver.

Here is a quick video of the lighthouse.

 

lighthouse, landmark

Brockton Point Lighthouse

6. Totems at Brockton Point 

The totems are probably the most famous attraction in Stanley Park.

There is a total of nine totems and they all come from different parts of British Colombia (a province in Canada).

You will have to leave the Seawall and use one of the trails (follow the signs) to get to the totems, as they are a little bit inland.

Here is a quick video of the totems.

 

totems, art

Totems at Brockton Point  

7. Girl in a wetsuit 

It is a bronze statue of a girl in a wetsuit sitting on a rock that is located in the water.

She has flippers on her feet and a diving mask on her forehead.

It does look a lot like The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Here is a quick video of the statue.

 

statue, rock, landmark

Girl in a wetsuit

8. SS Empress of Japan Figurehead

This is a replica of the figurehead of the SS Empress of Japan which was an ocean liner.

It traversed the waters between the West Coast of Canada and Japan for over 31 years.

It carried Vancouver’s commerce to Asia and it apparently made over 300 crossings of the Pacific Ocean.

The original figurehead is displayed at the Maritime Museum.

 

figurehead, ocean liner, replica

SS Empress of Japan Figurehead 

9. Lumbermens’ Arch

It is a single, huge log that is resting on top of two other logs. It is also a little bit inland so you’ll have to follow the signs towards it.

Makes for some funny pictures if you stand beside it as you realize just how huge this monument is.

 

log, arch, landmark

Lumbermens’ Arch

10. Lions Gate Bridge

It is the Canadian version of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco but this one is greenish. The bridge connects the City of Vancouver and North Vancouver.

On the south entrance to the bridge, there are two statues of lions.

If you are on Stanley Park’s Seawall you will pass underneath the bridge. If you want to drive on the bridge, there is a big road that goes through Stanley Park which turns into the bridge.

Also, you can walk on the bridge as well if you want.

 

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

Lions Gate Bridge

11. Siwash Rock (Pineapple Rock)

Siwash Rock, also known as Pineapple Rock due to its shape, is a rock outcropping protruding from the waters.

It is made out of basalt, which is why it has not been eroded by the tides like the rest of the landscape.

There are a bunch of trees and shrubs growing on the top.

Climbing the rock is not allowed so please stay on the Seawall. 

 

Siwash Rock (Pineapple Rock), formation

Siwash Rock (Pineapple Rock)

 

Most of the attractions are located on the east side of the park’s seawall (at the beginning of the park).

This means that if you are biking, you would probably have to get off your bike frequently to take pictures.

After Siwash Rock there is not that much to see in terms of man-made attractions. Use this time to admire the beautiful nature and landscapes.

12. Beaches 

There are three main beaches in Stanley Park. They are Third Beach, Second Beach and First Beach (also called English Bay).

As you are walking or biking the Seawall you will encounter them in that order.

Third Beach is the one that has a bunch of logs for people to sit on. Second Beach is the one with the huge swimming pool.

First Beach (English Bay) is a little bit after the park ends. You will see more people here because we are more or less back in the city.

 

English Bay, Vancouver

Me chilling at English Bay

Bonus:

A-maze-ing Laughter Figures

We randomly stumbled upon this attraction. It is located at the beginning of First Beach (English Bay) and it’s in the middle of an intersection.

It is made of 14 large, bronze statues of smiling men. They are all standing in a circle and have pretty funny facial expressions.

We stopped by and took some pics with them trying to imitate what they were doing.

 

A-maze-ing Laughter Figures

A-maze-ing Laughter Figures

Inukshuk

An Inukshuk is a structure made out of individual stones, organized to resemble a human.

It is a popular symbol of the Inuit People who live in Northern Canada (Pole Regions). The purpose of the Inukshuk is to be used as a navigation marker or to mark a specific location.

This one is of particular interest due to its size. Inukshuks are usually way smaller, most likely due to the fact that the stones are heavy to lift and hard to balance.

It is a really nice place to take pictures as you can see all of English Bay in the background.

 

Inukshuk, English Bay

Inukshuk with English Bay in the background

Continuing biking down the Seawall after the Inukshuk, you will eventually get to Granville Island.

If you do not wish to continue down the Seawall after Second Beach (it is a lot of biking in one day, especially if you are not used to it), you can turn towards the Lost Lagoon and get back to exactly where you started.

If you rented your bikes you will have to go back towards the Lost Lagoon as all of the bike renting places are located right by the entrance to the park.

This is why I have the A- maze-ing Laughter Figures and the Inukshuk as bonus ones as they are a little bit further.

Overall, it was a great experience to bike around Stanley Park. I was a little bit worried because I haven’t biked in years and I’m not in a very good shape.

However, we had a really good time, we made a lot of stops and we took a lot of pictures. It is definitely manageable even if you’re not very athletic.

One thing I will say is to bring water with you as you will get really thirsty.

Also, if you want more information about Stanley Park and how to rent a bike, check out this post. 

1