There are many attractions and points of interest in Stanley Park. In addition to it's natural beauty there are both free and paid attractions in Stanley Park that are worth visiting. The most popular attraction in all British Columbia are the First Nations Totem Poles at Brockton Point which can be viewed for free! Other free attractions are the Lumbermens' Arch, Stanley Park Pavilion, Nine O'Clock Gun, Susan Point Welcome Gateways, Nature House, Malkin Bowl, Siwash Rock, SS Empress of Japan Figurehead, Entrance Bridge, Jubilee Fountain, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Brockton Point Lighthouse, Lions Gate Bridge, 3 boardwalks, Georgia Viaduct Lamp, Cob House, HMCS Discovery Naval Reserve, Vancouver Parks Board Office, Rose Cottage, Wishing Well, Salmon Display Pool, and the Polar Bear Compound. Some of these you can only view from the outside, e.g. HMCS Discovery Naval Reserve, or with tickets when events are on, e.g. Malkin Bowl. There are a number of paid entry attractions also, such as the Vancouver Aquarium and Miniature Train. No visit to Vancouver is complete without a visit to Stanley Park and it's attractions.
There was a proposal in 2017 for a Lions Gate Bridge Climb where you could climb up 360 ladder rungs in the north or south towers of the Lions Gate Bridge emerging at the top having a 360 degree view around. This proposal was shut down by the government for many reasons including safety, driver distraction, and the commercialization of public infrastructure.
The First Nations Totem Poles in Stanley Park are the most visited attraction in the province of British Columbia and possibly all of Canada! There are 9 beautiful carved totem poles that represent the aboriginal culture of British Columbia. These totem poles are presented in a beautiful natural setting at Brockton Point along with 3 aboriginal welcome gateways!
The Vancouver Aquarium is one of the best aquariums in the world and is a major attraction in Stanley Park. It has many displays showcasing British Columbia's coast, Canada's arctic, penguins, tropical mammals, fish and frogs. The most recent exhibit is one in which you can actually touch rays swimming in a pool! They also have a fabulous dolphin show with rescued animals. The aquarium is well known for it's research and animal rescue work.
There is a Miniature Train ride in Stanley Park. There are 4 different locomotives that take people on a 15 minute ride through a beautiful wilderness area that includes a tunnel and a tressle! Children and Adults can ride the train for a small fee. The train runs during Easter, summer, Halloween, and Christmas times! For the Halloween train, there is a scary theme where nightly there are fabulous sets and actors dressed up according to a yearly theme, e.g. scary fairy tales! For the Christmas Train, there are millions of christmas lights set up in displays!
The Lumbermens' Arch is one of the unique attractions of Vancouver. It is a monument unlike any other monument in the world. Located where once was a first nations village site, it is made up of a giant log raised in the air at one end paying homage to British Columbia's logging heritage!
The Stanley Park Pavilion is a historic 1911 building that has a restaurant, wedding/banquet facilities, and offices for the Stanley Park Ecology Society. It has a beautiful garden in the front of it that is one of the best in Stanley Park. In the summer you can frequently see weddings taking place here!
The Nine O'Clock Gun is another attraction that is unique to Vancouver. It is an old cannon that fires nightly at 9pm. It has been doing this almost continuously since Vancouver became a city! During the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020 it fired at 7pm in support of essential workers. Learn how it was once kidnapped!
There are 3 Welcome Gateways carved by Susan Point around the Totem Poles in Stanley Park. Most people go to see the First Nations Totem Poles, but overlook the beautiful First Nation Welcome Gateways. If you go visit the Totem Poles be sure to check out all 3 Welcome Gateways located around the area where the totem poles are.
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