The extensive Vancouver Seawall is broken down into four sections and Stanley Park Seawall is one of them. It picks up at the end of Coal Harbour Seawall, running for the next 9 kilometers looping around Stanley Park before ending at the Second Beach.
Steeped in a multitude of outdoor activities and great views of the North Shore and the city, walking the Stanley Park Seawall is the best way to check out the main happenings and major attractions of Vancouver.
The nine-kilometer seawall begins at the end of the Coal Harbour Seawall, moves on to the east side of Stanley Park, and marks its end at the Second Beach Outdoor Swimming Pool.
On the map, you can see that it’s northeast of the downtown peninsula.
Stanley Park Seawall Walking Tour
What Is Stanley Park Seawall Famous For?
The biggest hook of the seawall is how you enfold the finest beauty of everything Stanley Park and Vancouver shorelines have to offer within two hours.
Start your morning bike ride from Coal Harbour into the east side of Stanley Park as you watch the sun rising above Vancouver Habor. Complete the loop of the green oasis, soak up the peaceful vista and check out the famous cultural landmarks that belonged to the First Nation.
As you pass the Nine O’Clock Gun that goes off every night at 9 pm, the majestic Lions Gate emerges through the fog, dubbed as one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.
Somewhere mid-way, the lonely Siwash Rock serves as a perfect canvas leaning its back against the dramatic ocean.
As you leave Stanley Park behind, move on to Third Beach, a serene getaway or keep up with the main happenings at a more bustling Second Beach.
8 Best Things to Do and See at Stanley Park Seawall
Whether you plan to walk or bike the Stanley Park Seawall, in your journey you’ll come across several attractions and viewpoints that are worth making a pitstop and embracing.
Below we’ve compiled just 8 (of many) that you’ll come across when you traverse around the Stanley Park Seawall:
1. 9 O Clock Canyon
The historical gun breathing fire every night at 9 pm is one of the first things you get to see when cycling along the Stanley Park Seawall. It’s located right next to the Brockton Point Lighthouse, looking out to a marvelous view of Vancouver Harbour and the dramatic skyline.
As stated on the plaque, the gun is ‘a naval-type twelve-pound muzzle-loader’, cast in 1816 in Woolwich, England.
For the past century, the canyon has been seeing some major movements to prevent people from putting rock into the barrel and it being kidnapped. For now, the canyon sits inside a secure building to avoid unwanted situations. The firing of the Nine O’Clock Gun is one of Vancouver’s oldest traditions, making it even more worthwhile to see a part of the Stanley Park Seawall at night.
2. Brockton Point Lighthouse
Located on the northeast of Stanley Park Seawall, the historical Brockton Point Lighthouse guided ships safely out of Coal Harbour between 1915 and 2008 before its operation was put on hold.
Standing the test of time as one of the most well-poised symbols of Vancouver, the lighthouse is perched on the headland with a signature red band swathing around its belly and a red lantern sitting on top.
The lighthouse alone does not do enough justice to complement its own beauty. The vast landscape behind like the inlet and the cityscape makes it a lot better to look at.
3. Hallelujah Point
Peace, scenic, and refreshing, Hallelujah Point rewards you with a gorgeous view of the downtown skyline casting its reflection on the calm water. It sets foot on the east wing of Stanley Park before you reach the Totem Poles.
You can stop by the point for a while to rest up before moving on to see the Nine O’Clock Gun nearby. The grassy point is peppered with multiple plaques commemorating the pioneering of the work of the Salvation Army in Vancouver. It used to hold Sunday services at the point with the shouts ‘Hallelujah’ heard across the water.
4. S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead Replica
The colorful statue perched on a small roundabout reaching out to the sea right by the statue of a mermaid girl on the rock. It represents a replica of the figurehead from the famous ocean liner that crossed the Pacific Ocean over 400 times from 1891 to 1922
This represents the links that Vancouver had with Asia that began soon after the city was born.
In 1924, the unique figurehead was restored by the province newspaper after an attempt to throw it away. It has been serving the visitors of Stanley Park Seawall for nearly 100 years.
5. Lions Gate Bridge
The towering Lions Gate Bridge beholds an extravagant look as you gradually head north on the seawall that takes you under its foot. The iconic symbol of Vancouver stands nicely between the harbour and the mountain, reflecting its finest beauty during noon time when the sunlight casts its glitters on the water.
Lions Gate Bridge has been going strong since 1938 and is dubbed as one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. You can also embrace the view of the bridge from Prospect Point after a hike, which is one of the best viewpoints in Vancouver.
6. Siwash Rock
Checking out the Siwash Rock is another epic thing to do along the seawall. Cycling past the rock at the dawn of the morning speaks volumes about its beauty when the first sunlight of the day pierces through it.
Stop by the rock for a while and immerse in the almighty nature as the aggressive waves slashed against its foot. When it’s foggy, the waves of the vast English Bay behind move with the wind and cargo ships traverse through the water. This entire scene becomes a spectacular sight to enjoy while you rest your legs along the way.
7. Third Beach
Leaning its back against the mighty forestry of Stanley Park, Third Beach is one of the most visited beaches northwest of the downtown peninsula. Ironically, the beach is never really scrambled with people despite its proximity to the downtown core.
That being said, the secluded feel still survives compared to other bustling beaches in Vancouver.
The log-strewn shoreline is pressed against the clear water with calm waves and swimmable waters. On a clear sunny day, you can soak up the scenic view over the far-flung mountains as part of your morning jog along the seawall or get on a forested hike in the afternoon.
If you travel with friends or loved ones, check out one of the food stands or kick back by the patio deck with tables. When the tide is out, you can even walk down as far and pick up shells.
8. Second Beach
20 minutes walking south of Third Beach, Second Beach is another great attraction to enjoy along the Stanley Park seawall. In contrast to the undisturbed feel that Third Beach has to offer, Second Beach is steeped in a lively vibration, dotted with two children’s playgrounds (Ceperley and Stanley Park) and even a popular outdoor heated swimming pool that’s open from May to September.
Second Beach is a great hook for families with kids. Not only the pool is stocked up with a water slide but also lifeguards on duty and a contained, slightly safer environment for the little ones.
Other than that, Stanley Park is home to a myriad of seasonal events such as the summer cinema hosted in the middle of the grassy knoll with popular movies on a giant screen and the Celebration of Light fireworks.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Stanley Park Seawall?
The Stanley Park Seawall is available and a popular destination for locals and visitors year-round.
However, the best time to walk the seawall is early in the morning when the path has fewer people. Weekend and summer break are the peak time to visit when the sun is shining and people benefit from the warmth outdoors to enjoy the seawall.
What to Know Before Visiting Stanley Park Seawall?
Stick to the early morning hours if you don’t like the crowd. That is when people are not out yet.
Public washrooms are available at multiple points along the seawall.
Pack your own food for a picnic if you don’t want to pay extra for the food spots around this area.
You can rent a bicycle or electric scooter near the Georgia Street entrance to the park.
Recommend you take multiple stops along the way to enjoy the views.
Second Beach is more staffed with lifeguards compared to Third Beach.
Parking at Stanley Park Seawall
Easy Park: Harbour Cruises (Easy Park Lot 35), 501 Denman St, BC V6G 2W9
Price: CAD 5.50/hour
Bayshore Gardens Lot# 138, 1675 Bayshore Dr, Vancouver BC V6G 3H5
Yacht Club (EasyPark Lot 62): Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
Price: CAD 2.75 – 3.75/hour
Rowing Club (EasyPark Lot 62): Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
Price: CAD 2.75 – 3.75/hour
Frequently Asked Questions about Stanley Park Seawall
How Long Does It Take To Walk The Stanley Park Seawall?
You need about two hours to walk the circumference of Stanley Park Seawall.
Is The Stanley Park Seawall One Way?
The Stanley Park Seawall is one-way, counter clockwise while other parts of the seawall are bi-directional.
Where Do You Park for Stanley Park Seawall?
To begin your trip at the beginning of the seawall, park your vehicle at one of the parking lots around the end of the Coal Harbour Seawall that should be along the Denman Street and Bayshore Dr. Otherwise, go past the entrace of Stanley Park and there will be two to three different lots available around Yacht Club and Rowing Club.
Check out other parts of the seawall and more things to do in Vancouver: