Stanley Park is a major destination in Vancouver. Named after Lord Stanley, this 1001 acre site is the largest urban park in North America. Surrounded by Vancouver Harbor and English Bay, the interior is densely forested. It features trails, beaches, lakes, children’s play areas, and the Vancouver Aquarium among other attractions; in addition, there is a 5.5 mile seawall and scenic walkway around the park.
Stanley Park was about a two-mile walk along the waterfront from our apartment. When we reached one of the entrances, near Second Beach pool–a huge seaside saltwater pool– we caught an off-and-on trolley that circled the perimeter of the park. Our favorite stop was at a totem pole exhibit.
It was interesting to learn that totem poles, by their nature of being carved entirely from trees, have a finite life of 60 to 80 years depending on the type of wood from which they were produced (mainly red cedar). Through the years, copies have been reproduced by local carvers in order to maintain their historical content.
Other interesting views included a lighthouse, some flags flying along the way (Vancouver, Canada, British Columbia), and a cruiseship anchored in the harbor.
We took a city bus back downtown, stopped for a happy hour drink and appetizer at the Cactus Club Cafe that is near the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. From there we took a taxi back to to our accommodation and enjoyed some takeout Mediterranean food, while we pondered our next adventure: a seven-day cruise to Alaska….