One minute I was walking my bike across busy West Georgia Street, the next I was cruising past totem poles with the ocean breeze in my hair. With its 1,000 acres of luscious grass, giant trees, goose-filled lakes, and gorgeous ocean views, Stanley Park is a green haven in a metropolitan city.
And if you’re lucky enough to visit Vancouver on a sunny day, renting a bike and riding around Stanley Park is a must. Even on a cloudy day the loop around the park provides amazing views of the city you can’t get anywhere else. It houses gardens, wildlife, playgrounds, restaurants, and even arts events. You can even volunteer with the Stanley Park Ecological Society – just be sure to contact them in advance.
On our trek, we saw a huge Pileated woodpecker, goslings and geese, swans, ducks, and even a raccoon (which I suspect may have been rabid, but that’s another story).
Biking in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Head to Denman Street in the West End and rent a bike from Spokes Bicycle Rentals or Bayshore Bike Rentals for as little as $8/hour (with a helmet). Stop by a local market on your way to grab bread and cheese or your favorite picnic food, then take a break on the shore of Beaver Lake, Lost Lagoon, or English Bay to eat and people watch.
The entire loop takes about an hour at a relaxed pace with a few short stops. Elizabeth and I were able to steal away for a relaxing ride around Stanley Park the day before the wedding, and the laid-back alone time helped me stay sane through the next day.