For most visitors to Vancouver, the number one item on their agenda--and the most famous landmark in the city--is Stanley Park. On the list of Top 10 Things to Do at Stanley Park, number one is biking (or running or walking) the Stanley Park Seawall, the paved pathway that encircles the park and boasts incredible views of the city, the northern mountains, Lion's Gate Bridge, and the waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay.
There isn't a more famous place in Vancouver to bike, run, walk, or rollerblade than Stanley Park's Seawall. It's one of the most scenic bike trails in the city and one of the best running trails, too.
Stretching 8.8km (5.5 miles), the Seawall loops around Stanley Park, running along the park's northern, western and southern coastlines. Fully-paved, the Seawall is an ideal pathway for walkers and bikers of all skill levels (it's also accessible for strollers and wheelchairs), and its route--with its breathtaking views--is undeniably scenic.
Along the Stanley Park Seawall, you can find two of Vancouver's most-photographed (and most Instagrammed) landmarks: the picturesque Siwash Rock (a natural rock formation / outcropping, situated along the western side of the Seawall) and the aforementioned Lions Gate Bridge (you can get incredible views at Prospect Point).
Bike & Rollerblade Rentals for Visitors to Vancouver
While you can't rent rollerblades or bikes inside Stanley Park, you can rent them just outside, along Denman St. and on W Georgia St., at a variety of locations, including Bay Shore Bicycle & Rollerblade Skate Rentals.
You can make a full day of your visit to Stanley Park, combining the Seawall with other Stanley Park attractions like the Vancouver Aquarium, the Stanley Park Totem Poles, and the Stanley Park Gardens.
Walkers and hikers have another option at Stanley Park, too: There are over 27km of forest trails, winding through the park's dense foliage, offering a quiet, more secluded getaway.
You can dine at one of the restaurants at Stanley Park (which includes restaurants inside the park). And, if you start your trip on the northern side, you can end at the gorgeous English Bay Beach, one of Vancouver's Top 5 Beaches.
Stanley Park Seawall History
Originally conceived of as a way to hold back erosion, the Seawall took 60 years to complete, beginning in 1917, and only became a fully-paved, complete loop in 1980. Today, the Seawall is part of the seaside path system that also runs along the Downtown Vancouver waterfront, which means you can extend your walking or biking trip to include most of the Downtown core.