9 best parks in Vancouver

Here is the list of parks we liked the most and visited often in Metro Vancouver. If you would like to know what is the best park for spending time actively or where to go for a date, check this out! Also, if you are curious where you can walk naked and police will not arrest you, keep reading!

Beware that some of the parks in Vancouver are as big as large apartment and many of them are simple grass fields with few trees surrounded by car roads. That list will tell you where you will find escape from busy and noisy city.

9. John Hendry Park
John Hendry Park

Lake in the middle of the John Hendry Park.

A cute, tiny park that ended up on the list simply, because it was close to the place where we have lived. Good for short romantic walks around the lake.

8. Central Park Burnaby

Actually, it is not located in Vancouver, but in Burnaby, right after the border. It’s not as big as its famous counterpart from New York, yet features some nice walking/jogging trails and a lot of birds around lake. Plus many playgrounds for children. We got to know the park when we participated in orienteering training, so we have no pictures of it.

7. Capilano River Regional Park

Located in northern part of Vancouver, the park touches Capilano Lake and has walking trails around the magnificent Capilano River canyon. Next to the lake there is a dam worth checking out. Plus from the lake you can see the famous Lions peaks. Next to the park there is Capilano Suspension Bridge that is one of Vancouver’s expensive tourist attractions. In our opinion not worth seeing as it’s crowded and there is another park with free admission to a smaller suspension bridge over a river canyon, but more about it in the next point.

6. Lynn Canyon Park

Like the Capilano River Regional Park, this park is all about the Lynn Valley and Lynn River with its high cliffs. There is a suspension bridge over the cliffs that can be visited for free. In addition there are some cool waterfalls and pools that are great place to have a quick refreshing swim.

5. Burnaby Lake Regional Park
Ducks on a jetty next to bird watching tower

Ducks on a jetty next to bird watching tower.

Similarly as Central Park is in Burnaby. Surrounds Burnaby Lake and you can see a lot of water birds, in particular many ducks, but also herons. There is a jetty and bird watching tower where you can peek on the birds from. If you are fan of trains, you can walk in the park watching trains on the nearby track.

Burnaby seen from the lakeside

Burnaby seen from the lakeside.

4. Kitsilano Beach Park
View from a tiny park connected with Kitsilano Beach Park

View from a tiny park connected with Kitsilano Beach Park.

The park is located in Kitsilano, one of the most prestigious districts of Vancouver. In contrary to the Burnaby Lake Regional Park it’s much more maintained. There is no hint of ‘wilderness’ in it. It’s the first park on the list that has beach and outdoor swimming pool. It offers a great view to nearby downtown Vancouver.

3. Queen Elizabeth Park
Unusual plants in Queen Elizabeth Park

Unusual plants in Queen Elizabeth Park.

Another well-maintained park on the list. It features frisbee (disc) golf field and restaurant on top of the hill. Next to the restaurant there is a great viewpoint from where whole downtown Vancouver is visible on the background of mountains surrounding city from north. From the top, you can see (and walk) in rose garden and a garden in an old quarry. Actually the viewpoint is located right on the rim of the quarry. There is the Bloedel Conservatory, an indoor tropical garden, and a nice fountain in the vicinity of the viewpoint. If you walk to the parking lot next to the fountain, you can even see Mount Baker across the border in Washington!

Mt Baker as seen from Queen Elizabeth Park

Mt Baker as seen from the park.

2. Wreck Beach
Us enjoying the Wreck Beach

Us enjoying the Wreck Beach.

Famous for being the largest naturist beach in North America. It’s actually clothing optional beach, not strictly naturist beach. After climbing down the cliff, you can enjoy not only the beach, but long walk along the shore wiht cool views. Like in every beach in Vancouver there are many tree trunks on sand. There is a lot of timber waiting for transportation on the water along the beach, so the view isn’t that good, unless you like to see how the timber is handled.

1. Stanley Park

By far the best park in the city, mostly because of variety of things you can do here. There is everything: sea, lakes, beaches, forest and a bit of culture. It’s one of the biggest parks in Vancouver, covers the peninsula right next to downtown. Seawall surrounds the park. It’s about 9 km and you can either walk, cycle or roller-skate it. Eventually, it is possible to take a horse drawn wagon that takes you to some places in the park and gives you life commentary about what you see. On the way, you have guaranteed great views. You can see skyline of downtown with dozens of sailing boats moored in harbor. A bit later you will see totem poles. When in the east of the seawall there is good view to industrial harbor and northern part of Vancouver.

Beach in Stanley Park

Beach in Stanley Park.

In the north of the park, there is the impressively high Lions Gate Bridge. That is also a part of the seawall that lies here between the sea and vertical rock cliffs. On the west side there is Siwash Rock, a pillar standing between the waves. South from there there are three beaches and an outdoor swimming pool.

Ship passing under the Lions Gate Bridge

Ship passing under the Lions Gate Bridge.

Siwash Rock at the seawall

Siwash Rock at the seawall.

Inside of the park there are many walking paths, many of them in an inviting old forest. The park features a charming little lake, Beaver Lake, and Lost Lagoon where you can relax while observing ducks and geese. Stanley Park appeared in many movies for example along with other Vancouver locations in 50 Shades of Grey and X-Files.

Beaver Lake.

Beaver Lake.

Siwash Rock at the seawall

Siwash Rock at the seawall.

 

Best Parks in Vancouver

 

First hike in Washington together: Hannegan Peak
The Lions of British Columbia
  • Absolutely beautiful! Those Autumn tree are gorgeous.

  • TravelwithBIRD

    Great post and nice pictures! There is a high chance that we travel to Vancouver next spring – you post really inspired us with some new ideas. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences 🙂

  • I visited Vancouver for the first time last year and completely fell in love with the city. I definitely plan on returning and when I do I’ll take your wonderful Park guide with me 🙂