The Best Vancouver Parks – Our Top 5 Picks
Vancouver is a city that loves its parks and beaches, and we locals have Opinions on these things (and that’s “Opinions” with a capital “O”). If you’re asking around for the best Vancouver parks, you might as well ask which kid is their favourite child. So with that in mind, we’re still going to wander into the fray and give you our opinion.
Number one on the list of criteria is proximity from The Burrard. We offer all guests free use of our rad cruiser bikes, so all five of these parks are easy for you to cycle to. Then, what are we looking at when we get there? Spectacular views are important, but people-watching is highly-rated too. Amenities? Stops en-route? We’ve factored those in as well. So next time you’re staying with us, grab a bike and hit up one of these awesome Vancouver parks.
STANLEY PARK Where: at the end of the Vancouver’s downtown peninsula, less than a 10-minute ride from The Burrard. We know, starting the list off with Stanley Park seems a little obvious, non? But Stanley Park is a marvel. It sits right on the edge of downtown, but within minutes you can find yourself lost among giant trees. You have amazing views of the North Shore mountains and Burrard Inlet, numerous secluded beaches, and loads of monuments and sculptures including statues of Robbie Burns and Lord Stanley (AKA “that hockey guy”). Grab a G&T on the patio at The Fish House, then end the afternoon with 18 holes at the Pitch & Putt.
DAVID LAM PARK Where: on False Creek in Yaletown, a 5-minute ride from The Burrard. A lovely park right on the water and the seawall, David Lam Park is essentially a community park for the Yaletown neighbourhood. It’s home to a lot of events, including the annual Picnic in the Park and free entertainment such as the stage it hosts during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. But we mainly visit on a sunny afternoon for an impromptu picnic after scoring snacks at the Yaletown Farmer’s Market or Urban Fare.
HABITAT ISLAND Where: along the south side of False Creek just past Olympic Village, a 15-minute ride from The Burrard. This little sanctuary was created about five years ago when the waterfront was redeveloped, establishing an urban environment for over 200 native plants as well as birds, small animals and harbour creatures. All of these earnest, awesome conservation efforts have been recognized by locals who call it simply, “Beer Island.” Sigh. We’re not condoning public drinking, so instead, we’re taking the high-road and suggesting a walk around the habitat, then getting back on two-wheels and heading to the nearby Tap & Barrel for a (legal) post-wildlife beer.
CRAB PARK Where: east of the convention centre, facing the North Shore mountains, a 20-minute ride from The Burrard. This is definitely a local secret, tucked away on the “wrong side” of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Seek our Crab Park and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the mountains and visiting cruise ships docked at Canada Place, as well as people-watching par excellence. Ride through Gastown and pick up sandwiches from Meat & Bread, or currywurst from Bestie. On the way back, swing into The Alibi Room for the city’s best selection of craft beer on tap.
VANIER PARK Where: Just over the Burrard Bridge, facing the downtown peninsula, a 5-minute ride from The Burrard. Along with a cool view of Vancouver’s downtown West End neighbourhood, Vanier Park also boasts “cultural stuff to do.” If Shakespeare’s your jam, you can catch a performance at Bard on the Beach every summer evening. The park is also home to two museums – the Vancouver Maritime Museum and, our favourite, the Museum of Vancouver with its collection of vintage neon and “The 50’s Gallery.” On the way, stop for salmon and chips at Go Fish or collect fixin’s for a picnic at Granville Island Public Market. Looking for more things to do while you’re in Vancouver? Click here for more blog posts about activities we give the “thumbs-up” to! Or click here to find a hotel deal and come sleep with us!
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