It was a 14 hour plane journey from Australia. We arrived in Vancouver in the morning (what was the middle of the night for us.) Neither Dan nor I slept very well on the plane. Dan was distracted by the great movie selection (thanks, Air Canada), while I had a giant baby taking up all my space. But despite our fatigue, we knew we had to push through and keep ourselves awake and busy during our first day in Vancouver in order to combat the worst of the jet lag.
I had read that one way to combat jet lag is to spend a lot of time outside in the sunlight. Apparently the sun helps reset your body’s internal clock. So we decided to spend our first day touring the myriad of activities at Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
A Guide to Stanley Park Vancouver
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first and largest city park. It is densely forested and provides many attractions for Vancouver residents and tourists. Stanley Park borders downtown, and is very easy to reach by public transportation.
Attractions in Stanley Park
Vancouver Seawall – The sea wall borders the entire park (which is almost completely surrounded by ocean), and has two lanes for traffic. One lane is for pedestrians, and the other lane is for faster traffic (roller bladers, bicycles.) Cycling or jogging around the seawall is hugely popular with residents. We briefly considered renting some bikes and touring the seawall, but Dan’s jet lag and my extremely poor cycling skills soon ended that plan. Instead we chose the next option….
Horse Drawn Tours – The Horse Drawn Tours depart every 20 and 30 minutes and run from the beginning of spring until the end of fall. The tour lasts about 1 hour and takes you around the main sights of Stanley Park. This is a relaxed and pleasant way to experience the park, and is a lot of fun if you are travelling with children. Tours cost $31.99 per adult.
Totem Poles – Near Brockton Point in Stanley Park you will find nine impressive totem poles. The totem poles come from varying regions across British Columbia, and offer an opportunity to compare the differing styles of different regions.
Visit the Gardens – There are several gardens in Stanley Park, but our favourite was the rose garden. These gardens and public spaces are a great place to settle in with a picnic and a good book, or let the kids run around to blow off some steam.
Vancouver Aquarium – This was one of our all time favourite things in Vancouver! We rushed there with limited time, and only got to spend just over an hour in the aquarium before they were closing. This was a BIG mistake! We easily could have spent half a day in there! The Vancouver Aquarium is unique in the types of animals they have on display. I was blown away by all the different jelly fish they had. You rarely see jelly fish in aquariums, and Jacob was completely transfixed. Another highlight was the Amazon display where they had a giant Arapaima, which can grow to 2.5 metres and over 100 kg’s!! And of course, you can’t forget the penguins, beluga whales, and seals. Pretty much the best place ever. Tickets currently cost $25 per adult.
We would like to thank Destination BC for providing admission to some of the attractions listed above