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by Club Fred
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
October 26, 2002
At 1000 acres, Stanley Park is the largest urban park in North America (yes, it's bigger than Central Park). In my life time I have picnicked on the grass, played & swam at the beaches, eaten many batches of fish & chips at Lumberman's Arch, chased the seagulls, frolicked in the water park, run around the entire seawall, rollerbladed around the entire seawall, fed peanuts to the squirrels, ridden on the miniature train, petted the animals at the petting zoo, gotten my face painted, made out in the parking lot (don't tell my Dad!), eaten my first 5 star meal at The Teahouse and savoured the smell and feel of the ocean many, many times.
You can explore the park on your own but there are also tours on site if you wish. I recommend taking a bus into the park and exploring on foot. There's lots to do for kids - they can play at the water park, visit the petting zoo, ride the miniature train or just hang out and do kids stuff.
This is also a great romantic spot - you can stroll along the sea wall holding hands and being mushy. Gardeners will appreciate the beautiful lawns & flower gardens. You might even catch a cricket game.
Whatever you decide to do, give yourself lots of time; it's a big park. Families might want to pack a lunch or you'll probably get soaked at the snack bars. Also, I know the racoons are really cute but DO NOT FEED THEM - they are high carriers of rabies and once they lose their fear of humans they can get aggressive.
Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium which I hear is nice but I cannot support marine mammals in captivity so I will never go. I think there's more than enough to do in the park without the Aquarium anyway.
From journal My Vancouver Top 10
December 28, 2000
A distinctive feature of Stanley Park, which you are sure to discover the minute you pass the gate, is that it is almost a huge forest. In fact, trees cover an area larger than 50% of the park. There are western hemlock, Western red cedar, alder, Douglas fir, maple… This green forest skirts a seawall offering gorgeous views of the city skyline and the harbour. The seawall is approximately 6 miles and can be covered in two hours of brisk walking, or it can be better enjoyed through a leisurely stroll. It is the best way to take in all the sights.
Another reason for visiting Stanley Park is because if offers more recreational and entertainment options that you can imagine. Besides the breathtaking view, you can take advantage of an internationally renowed aquarium, a zoo, a renowed rose garden, a miniature railway whose engines are scale replicas of the first train that cross Canada, totem poles commemorating the Squamish Indian, the first peoples of the coast, and of course, picnic areas. For those of you after more strenous pursuits, there is a rowing club as well. The park's features are too numerous to describe--it is a true oasis in the middle of a busy city.
From journal Vancouver, a city of many attractions