Stanley Park – An Epic Day Out in Downtown Vancouver

*Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small percentage of every purchase at no cost to you.*

I am taking you back to my Summer Road Trip 2019 with a friend from home. The trip started out on the West Coast of Canada; Vancouver. The city combines city life and nature, with the Mountains in the North. Firstly, was a ride around Stanley Park.

Stanley Park. Bicycles. What Could Happen?

The bridge walkway to the entrance of Stanley Park surrounded by greenery
Eager To Explore Stanley Park

I’m joking, all we had to do was ride our bikes around the beautiful Stanley Park. Stanley Park is outlined by an 8 km seawall and covers over 400 hectares. This incredible rainforest on the west coast located in Downtown Vancouver is simply breathtaking. We rented our bicycles from a shop across from the park yet there are many stores that do rentals, so I would recommend visiting a couple to find the best deal. It was the beginning of our self-made tour. We were excited and eager to start so we didn’t listen to the briefing about how to use them… all bicycles are the same right?!

Two cute bikes next to a body of water in Stanley Park
Bicycles for Our Ride Around Stanley Park

There are various things to see throughout the 27 kilometres network of trails that Stanley Park has to offer. Yet we didn’t cover them all… we aren’t athletes after all. Nevertheless, this was about a leisurely ride to enjoy the sun, take in some fresh air and see what nature had to offer. Firstly, we rode to the Second and Third Beaches. These weren’t the cleanest and the sea didn’t look all that inviting which was a shame. Off we headed into the trees.

Cheap flights with cashback

Lion’s Gate Bridge, Vancouver

The view of Lions Gate Bridge over the sea with a mountain in the background
The Lions Gate Bridge into Downtown Vancouver

Somehow, not quite sure how but we ended up at the Lion’s Gate Bridge. This bridge connects Northern Vancouver with the core of Downtown. We cycled along the path for a bit until a view back across Stanley Park was visible. Besides, the ride was into a strong headwind and uphill slightly making this the least favourite moment of the day. Also, this was less enjoyable as the heavy traffic noise replaced the birds singing. Although, the suspension bridge is impressive in itself. However, in my opinion, the best view of it is from the other side of Stanley Park.

Beaver Lake, Stanley Park

Me standing in front of one of the oldest giant cedar trees in Stanley Park
One of the Giant Cedar Trees

We pedalled along the vast network of trails over the three hours that we hired the bikes. As we explored, we came across a variety of gigantic trees including Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir to name a few. Whilst enjoying what nature had to offer, we made our way to Beaver Lake. Beaver Lake is a small lake situated in the middle of Stanley Park. For the most part, one can only assume it got its name from the animal. However, I’m not sure as there wasn’t any about that morning.  Also, there is no swimming or boats allowed but you can enjoy a nice stroll around it.

The Totem Poles in Stanley Park

On our way to the Totem Poles at Brockton Point, we paid a visit to the famous Hollow Tree. It was exactly that, a large hollow tree, pretty impressive. There are 9 totem poles in Stanley Park from different British Colombia First Nations. They are easier enough to find when following the seawall for around 10-15 minutes. Also, the herds of people will show you have found what you are looking for.

The Stanley Park Seawall View

Finally, we made it out of the trees onto the water’s edge (who knew Stanley Park seawall was a one-way system for bikes). Yes, we were going the wrong way. Funny enough we seemed to be the only people who made this mistake. Subsequently, my advice would be to go the right way, Canadians are very particular about this. Undoubtedly, the view back across the city will never get old. This wasn’t the first time I was seeing it but it was still as amazing as the first. The skyscraper skyline along with the sun shining and the water glistening is perfection. Towards the end, I found the brakes, a backwards pedal… who knew! Strange and awkward to get used to, fortunately only one tree got in my way! Success.

Me riding the bike down a paved seawall at Stanley Park
A Successful Day on the Bicycles

‘Meet’ – A Gastown Vancouver Restaurant

Well, after a long ride and an even longer walk to get to one of my favourites restaurants in Vancouver. I certainly had an appetite. This restaurant was introduced to me by some fellow travellers. The boys went on about how good the burgers were… yet they didn’t know it was actually meatless!! It was indeed a vegan restaurant with two locations in Downtown Vancouver; Gas Town and Main Street. Another, meal that didn’t disappoint and to top it off I can enjoy a dessert. The lemon tart was my choice this time. Without a doubt, I highly recommend this place if you are looking for food.