Stanley Park in Vancouver is home to an abundant amount of things to do and see. There are 1,001 acres of awesome that make up this park, and you'll find everything from golfing and swimming to totem poles and aquatic creatures.
Take a Horse-Drawn Tour
The Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour is one of the oldest things to do in the park, dating back to the 1880s. The park itself was first established in 1886 by British settlers, and prior to that it was home to British Columbia's First Nations People, who lived off the land. So the park is both a significant and special piece of history to Vancouver, and it's worth discovering.
This artwork by Bill Reid greets visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium, one of the many draws to Stanley Park — Photo courtesy of Kristi Wilson
The old-fashioned carriages seat 26 people and take you through a good chunk of the park. You'll see Deadman's Island, Vancouver's Harbour, Lions Gate Bridge, a Coastal Red Cedar Forest, the Totem Poles, the Girl in a Wet Suit Statue, the S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead and the Rose Garden. Bring that camera!
This hour-long tour is led by a guide, who provides insight throughout, and two beautiful horses: the stables are home to Grey Shire, Clydesdale, Belgian and Percheron horses. When these horses aren't working, they're enjoying a relaxed life of downtime.
The tours generally run from mid-March through the end of October, and tour times occur throughout the day.
Ride a Miniature Train
Small children will love this ride! Nestled in the forest, the Stanley Park Miniature Train is a replica of the Canadian Pacific Railway #374 from the late 1880s. The train takes guests on a two-kilometer ride through the forest.
Make sure to check out the special Easter Train, Spirit Catcher Train at Klahowya Village, Ghost Train and Bright Nights Train.
The Stanley Park Miniature Train runs from March 15 until Jan. 4, 2015, and then it's closed for the remainder of January and February.
On a hot summer day, nothing beats a cool dip. Thankfully, Stanley Park boasts beautiful beaches, the most popular of which is Third Beach.
For small children, there's also an outdoor free water park to keep them cool.
You'll want to check out Second Beach Pool, too, a heated pool that's ideal for all ages. Plus, the views here are spectacular.
Go ahead and get wet!
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
This popular attraction has recently undergone the largest expansion the aquarium has seen in 56 years. Visitors to the aquarium have the opportunity to interact and learn about 50,000 aquatic creatures, both large and small. And while the Vancouver Aquarium is a fun place to visit, they also do a lot for our local aquatic life through research and rescue.
Things to do in Stanley Park are endless! No matter what time of year you're visiting or what the weather man is calling for, you won't be hard-pressed to keep yourself busy in this urban rainforest.