Vancouver's stunning Seawall — Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Coast Mountain Photography
Vancouver is a cyclist's dream! For the adrenaline junkies, there’s plenty of steep terrain, well-carved-out paths, jumps and adventures to be had on the North Shore Mountains, which will keep you busy for hours on end. Looking to use your bicycle as a mode of transportation throughout the city? Vancouver is loaded with bike lanes to help you safely get from Point A to Point B. And for those looking to explore the city and take themselves on an urban adventure, this half-day itinerary is for you.
If you have your own bicycle to use, that’s great! For those who don’t have one, there are many bike rental stores throughout Vancouver, where you can rent a bicycle for a few hours, or for the day. Prices are reasonable and they also provide helmets and bike locks for added safety.
The Seawall is one of the best ways to explore Vancouver because it will take you past most major attractions that are worth a pit stop. The Seawall is essentially a paved pathway that stretches around all of downtown Vancouver, much of Kitsilano, False Creek and parts of West Vancouver.
A half day on a bicycle can take you on a pretty big adventure, especially when the majority of your ride is flat. Pick up a bike in Coal Harbour, a stone’s throw from Stanley Park. There are many to choose from, so no need to worry about them running out. Strap on your helmet, and make your way to Stanley Park.
Inside the park are perfectly manicured gardens, a free water park for children, restaurants, cafes, horse-drawn carriage rides, the Vancouver Aquarium, beautiful Totem poles, beaches and - most importantly - amazing views! The views from the Seawall around Stanley Park are some of the best in Vancouver.
It’s up to you how much time you would like to spend in Stanley Park and whether or not you would like to check out some attractions. The Vancouver Aquarium is really neat and an easy way to kill two hours.
After you’re about three quarters of the way around Stanley Park, you will stumble upon Third Beach. This family-friendly beach is great for sun tanning and swimming. It’s also a great spot to stop for a bathroom break, or to grab a drink or a bite to eat from the concession stand.
When you’re ready to get back on your bike, you’re going to eventually come across a public swimming pool. This outdoor pool is a great place to stop and cool off, and a sand-free alternative. It should take about an hour to cycle around the park at a leisurely pace.
Cactus Club Coal Harbour — Photo courtesy of Cactus Club Coal Harbour
After the pool, there are two paths that you can take. The first will continue to take you west, towards English Bay. The second will take you back to Coal Harbour and in the direction that you started, and eventually you will reach where Stanley Park and Coal Harbour meet.
You’re going to now head east on the Seawall towards Coal Harbour, and less than 10 minutes away is a cold beer and a comforting meal waiting for you. Cactus Club Coal Harbour is right along the Seawall, and you can’t miss it – the yellow umbrellas will beckon you! Don’t worry about saying goodbye to the beautiful views just yet; Cactus Club has amazing views of the North Shore Mountains.
While you’re in the area, check out the public art along the Seawall. When you leave Cactus Club, your bike rental store won’t be too far away.