Photo credit: digitaldesi | Flickr
Beaches and Lakes
A string of beaches line Stanley Park, but only two are accessible for swimming. Second Beach, on the park's southeastern coast, boasts the popular Second Beach Pool, a heated, outdoor pool with magnificent views of English Bay and the west side of Vancouver. Secluded Third Beach, also on the park's southern coast, features a sandy beach and beautiful views of the sunset. Both offer concessions and basic services.
A third swimming beach is located just outside the park connected by the seawall. English Bay (or First) Beach is the city's most popular beach. There is a washroom, kayak and paddleboard rental facility, sand volleyball courts, and even a swimming raft with a large slide.
In addition to these swimmable beaches and a natural water pool, Stanley Park also has many naturally rocky beach areas that are only accessible during low tide. These untouched, mostly hidden spots are home to an array of starfish, shellfish and other marine life.
There are also two prominent lakes to enjoy. Beaver Lake, which was once home to a beaver colony, is the lone natural, freshwater lake in the park. Herons and trumpeter swans are commonplace, and come summer, colourful water lilies take prominence. Lost Lagoon is a man-made lake near the park's entrance that features plenty of wildlife and a 1.75-kilometre (1-mile) trail around the perimeter. Check out the Stanley Park Nature House, run by the Stanley Park Ecology Society, for great info on the park's flora, fauna and social history.