With its oceanside setting and mild year-round temperatures, Vancouver is a city suited for outdoor play, particularly for those who love to two-wheel. Where best to cycle? Stanley Park, the city’s lush crown jewel, provides all the forest-meets-coastline scenery required to quicken the pulse.
While walking and running are both excellent ways to explore the city’s evergreen expanse, cycling ensures that adventurers can make the most of the park’s 400 hectares (1,000 acres). Bayshore Bike Rentals, at the Stanley Park seawall entrance, showcases plenty of cycling options, from children’s bikes to hybrid models and even tandem and two-seater rides; eZee Riders, further northeast at the Vancouver Convention Centre seawall entrance, offers a simpler solution with its fleet of electric bikes at the ready.
On their metal steeds, adventurers can pedal through the park’s leafy trails or wend along the seawall, all before stopping for lunch at The Teahouse, a local gem on Stanley Park Drive that serves up West Coast specialities and spectacular English Bay views in equal measures. Back on the bikes, it’s off to Second Beach to the south where adventurers can meander along the shoreline or picnic next to Second Beach Pool; or Kitsilano Beach, further southwest across the Burrard Street Bridge, where a spirited game of beach volleyball is sure to be in play during warm-weather months.
For a serious calorie burn, enthusiasts can spin seven kilometres (four miles) further west to the University of British Columbia, where their exertion rewards with several must-see attractions, including impressive First Nations collections at the Museum of Anthropology and natural history wonders at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. For those who wish to linger, the UBC Botanical Gardens showcase a varied mix of temperate plants, from alpine to Asian species, while Vancouver’s lush Pacific Spirit Regional Park eases enthusiasts back in the saddle for unhurried exploration of the University Endowment Lands.
Returning east, back to the heart of Stanley Park, cyclists can happily call it quits along the scenic False Creek section of the seawall, where the new Ancora Waterfront + Dining melds Peruvian and Japanese styles with local ingredients, making for a satisfying final stop to toast the setting sun. tourismvancouver.com/activities/cycling-mountain-biking/biking-in-stanley-park