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Stanley Park

Stanley Park, backed by the skyline of Vancouver, Canada
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Stanley Park

Stanley Park is to Vancouver what Central Park is to New York. Here are thousand acres of peace and quiet, only minutes from downtown’s business district. This is prime real estate, jutting out into the water, with superb mountain views. There were First Nations villages here – some of their trails have been converted to hiking and biking trails. Today, ask around among Vancouverites and you’ll find that most of them visit Stanley Park at least a couple of times every month. They jog, bike, walk, picnic, check out the totem poles, ride a horse carriage, sit on the beach, fish, or go to the aquarium located in the park.

At Stanley Park there's also a perimeter walk that journeys along the seawall. some 5½ miles (9 km) that loops around the park, offering a good overview. It consists of a paved path, and neatly divided for bicyclists and pedestrians. Take this division seriously, for you can actually get a ticket for being on the wrong side. For those with wheels, the path is one-way only, counterclockwise around the park.

Lost Lagoon and the Vancouver Aquarium 

At the town edge of Stanley Park is the Lost Lagoon. It used to be a tidal flat, but not anymore. Heading counterclockwise from there, you walk along the edge of Coal Harbour – yacht clubs, people with more money than most of us – and can see Deadman’s Island, which is now a military outpost. The name comes from its history as a Salish burial ground.

Close at hand, too, is the Vancouver Aquarium, one of the best in the world. Inside are more than 250 species of swimming things, plants and more. If you haven’t seen the big stuff out in the water, come here to get a good look at dolphins, seals, beluga whales and, of course, otters. There’s even an Amazon exhibit with sloths, and moths big enough to block out any light they fly up to.

Last updated June 12, 2011
Posted in   Canada  |  Vancouver
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