Vancouver Seawall

Vancouver Seawall: Address, Phone Number, Vancouver Seawall Reviews: 5/5

Vancouver Seawall
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The area
Neighbourhood: Stanley Park
Stanley Park is Vancouver's premier spot to get up close and personal with nature and animals. The grassy expanse offers outdoor teahouses and stunning views, beachfront hideaways and splash parks. It is a typical getaway spot for friends and families, especially as it is home to Vancouver's aquarium, and some of its best equestrian outlets.
Popular mentions

5,071 reviews
Very good

Victoria, Canada12,106 contributions
An Epic Walk and Gateway to Vancouver
Nov. 2021
The Vancouver Seawall spans some 24 kilometers (or 28 km, depending on what you read) and has been called a “crown jewel” of the city. I’m inclined to agree with this description because the Seawall, in my view, is multifaceted and represents much more than a nice stroll along Vancouver’s waterfront. Consider: It is functional and serves a practical purpose; we can use it for recreation – walking, jogging, and biking, for example; and, we can use it to access key areas and attractions in and around Vancouver. In this respect, then, the Seawall can be anything we make it out to be.

From a historic perspective, the Vancouver Seawall used to refer specifically to the 8 kilometer loop around Stanley Park (interestingly, the majority of reviews on this site also seem to speak exclusively to this area). When construction of the seawall started in 1917, under the watchful guidance of Jim Cunningham, it was being built for practical reasons: The city wished to protect Stanley Park from erosion. The “walking path” aspect came several years later and eventually followed the length of the “wall.” Mr. Cunningham continued to watch over the project until his death in 1963 and, while he didn’t live to see the official opening of the Seawall (1980), he is nevertheless commemorated with a plaque near Siwash Rock (see my earlier review on this site). Now, Vancouver’s Seawall extends over 20 kilometers and is typically divided into 4 separate, yet interrelated sections: Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, English Bay and False Creek. Any one of these “sections” is rich in attractions and heritage; it really is up to you where you go from here. Some may choose to tackle the Seawall in one go (I’m definitely not that enthusiastic, though I know some who are), but most of us will likely conquer the Seawall in chunks – enjoying the scenery along the way. Indeed, when I walked the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, I tackled it in 3 different parts: 1) Coal Harbour + Stanley Park; 2) English Bay to Granville Island; and, 3) Granville Island to Kitsilano.

If you begin your journey at Coal Harbour, you’ll walk just over 2 kilometers before reaching the Stanley Park section of the Seawall. In this highly urbanized area, you’ll come across a number of worthwhile attractions: Canada Place, which hosts the highly popular FlyOver Canada (see my earlier review on this site); the Vancouver Convention Centre; the lovely Harbour Air Seaplane base where you can watch and observe the seaplanes frolic and play (again, see my earlier review here); the “Drop” sculpture (see my earlier review); the Olympic Cauldron; and, Doug Coupland’s intriguing Digital Orca (please see my earlier review on this site). Besides the sculptures and glass condos laid out before your eyes, you can also take in spectacular views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. The popular Cardero’s Restaurant can also be found along this section of the Seawall. Indeed, while this area is nice, I’ve always viewed it as a prelude to the much richer experience that lay ahead at Stanley Park.

While the Stanley Park section of the Seawall has been called “just one part of the bigger picture,” I think it’s the most rewarding overall, at least in terms of scenic views and access to attractions. Coming in from Coal Harbour, you’ll see a lot: The original entrance bridge to Stanley Park (I’m surprised this isn’t listed on TripAdvisor), the handsome Vancouver Rowing Club, Monument to Queen Victoria, Deadman’s Island, Totems of Brockton Point (see my earlier review on this site), Nine O’Clock Gun, Pioneers Cemetery (see my earlier review on here), the Brockton Point Lighthouse, Statue of Harry Jerome, Girl in a Wetsuit and the unique Empress of Japan Figurehead. Complementing all of this, of course, are the beautiful views both of Burrard Inlet and the Vancouver skyline. At about the 4 kilometer point in the Stanley Park loop, you should start getting some epic views of the Lions Gate Bridge. For many – myself included – this is a nice place to detour off the Seawall and admire the views from Prospect Point. Once you return to the Seawall (assuming you took in the aforementioned Prospect Point), you’ll pass the Prospect Point Lighthouse, which I didn’t find overly interesting. The scenery for the next 3.5 or so kilometers is quite nice thanks, in part, to the rocky cliffs overhead – in fact, you’ll often see this section used in drone shots. It’s also along here where you’ll encounter Siwash Rock (see my review on this site). Third Beach is just a few hundred meters south of here and represents a nice place to detour for food – at the Stanley Park Teahouse – or nearby attractions (E. Pauline Johnson Memorial and the Hollow Tree). Continuing south along the Seawall for another kilometer, you’ll hit Second Beach and First Beach (English Bay Beach), respectively.

Of course, the Stanley Park Seawall is just one piece of the larger whole. As I’ve attempted to explain (albeit in microcosm), one could easily spend multiple days exploring the park while using the Seawall as a sort of connector. Indeed, that’s what I’d recommend doing – there’s just so much to see and do here. That way, you can truly enjoy Stanley Park and all it has to offer rather than simply rushing from point A to point B.

Once you hit English Bay, you’ll have entered the West End neighbourhood (see my earlier review on this site for more detail). This section of the Seawall runs along a densely populated area known for its boutique shops and plethora of ethnic eats. I highly recommend ¾ Full Café in the Denman Place Mall. Again, you’re treated to outstanding views of English Bay, augmented by the A-maze-ing Laughter Sculpture (see my earlier review), Inukshuk, Engagement Sculpture and the Vancouver AIDS Memorial (again, please see my earlier reviews for more detail on each of these). One thing you’ll surely notice from this point up to, and including, the False Creek area is the Seawall is a lot busier here. Certainly, some may like that but if you want relative quiet then maybe not so much . . . still, the walk along this section is nice as you pass by Sunset Beach, walk under the Burrard and Granville Street bridges respectively, skirt trendy Yaletown and come upon George Wainborn Park and David Lam Park – both of which are beautiful in Springtime as the cherry blossoms bloom. Continuing east, the Seawall gets a little less scenic as you pass the Plaza of Nations and former Edgewater casino – things start looking a little more industrial. Really, if you feel like cheating here and taking the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries to Granville Island you wouldn’t be missing much.

Continuing South along False Creek, you’ll pass by Science World (I refuse to call it Telus World of Science!) before turning west, walking along False Creek en route to Kitsilano. Here, you’ll encounter Olympic Village, which played a key role in the 2010 Winter Olympics by housing the athletes. Post the winter games, this neighbourhood was re-purposed into a green residential development, still lauded to this day. Be sure to keep a watchful eye out for the BIRDS sculpture (again, see my earlier review) while in the area. Anyway, as you continue walking west, you’ll pass a couple of small parks – Charleson probably being the most notable – before coming upon Granville Island. I’ve written extensively about Granville Island elsewhere, so won’t say much here other than it’s easy to spend a good half day exploring the grounds, buying treats and fresh product from the market and enjoying an AMAZING smoked meat bagel from Siegel’s Bagels! Mmmm!!!

After leaving Granville Island, you’ll notice foot traffic finally starts to die down pretty significantly. This was kind of surprising to me given there’s still plenty to see and do, including a couple of major stops: The Museum of Vancouver, Maritime Museum and, of course, Kits beach. The latter is probably Vancouver’s most popular beach – and it shows with how busy it can be. I didn’t spend much time on the beach and instead chose to finish off my trek of le Seawall.

The last few hundred meters of the Seawall are uneventful, though the views of Kitsilano and downtown Vancouver are quite nice on a clear day. The pathway gets narrow and turns to dirt near its terminus point but, once you reach the end of your 24km trek (or is it 28km?), one cannot help but feel a certain level of accomplishment . . . even if you’ve tackled this “outdoor recreational hub” in parts. Taxi back home, anyone?

Well, this review certainly ended up getting rather long in the tooth; however, I wanted to go beyond simply saying “beautiful” or “great walk!” because that, while true, doesn’t capture what the Seawall is all about. It was initially built for practical and functional reasons, but has gone on to accomplish so much more. Now, the Seawall is both a gateway AND symbol of the city. Please take your time and enjoy!
Written November 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Celine T
8 contributions
Nov. 2021
If there's one thing I'll always remember about the Seawall is just how kind passerbys are – as long as you are in the right lane! Make sure to walk in the walking lane, and bike or skate in the biking lane!
Written November 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guelph, Canada143 contributions
wonderful views
Sep. 2021
Biked around the perimeter of Stanly Park mid sunday morning and it was getting busy so go as early as possible to avoid crowds. Lots of places to stop and enjoy the views. Nice and flat so no problem for anyone to access. Like that most places have cyclists and pedestrians separated.
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

White Rock, Canada257 contributions
So beautiful!
Oct. 2021
Our recent walk of Vancouver's Seawall was certainly helped by the amazing weather, but even in less than ideal weather, the Seawall can't help but impress, offering so many gorgeous vistas.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hari A
Delta, British Columbia, Canada584 contributions
Gorgeous Scenery
Sep. 2021
The Seawall is beautifully maintained and offers ever changing scenery. As the clouds and the sun dance with eachother and the sea breeze blows through your hair, you can do nothing but be grateful to nature. The area is excellent for walks or bicycling.
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karamjeet Dhillon
Langley, Canada2 contributions
Nice Walking location
Aug. 2021
Really good for walks and jogging in the morning. I would recommend to go at 5:00 am as there are less people.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ontario, Canada464 contributions
A Must Do
Sep. 2021
Honestly, we walk along the seawall every chance we get when we visit Vancouver. It's so nice and always so much to see, and it's free to do it. Coming from a landlocked province, we especially love being able to fully appreciate the beauty of the sea and the mountains all at once.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vancouver Island, Canada7 contributions
walker friendly great views
Sep. 2021
great energizing walk, fabulous views stops along the way, concession, washrooms, side paths for detour sites. all amazing ... take the time to experience all that is offered
Written September 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tucson16,861 contributions
Divide and conquer (the seawall, that is)
Aug. 2021
Stanley Park's seawall is just one part of the bigger picture which encompasses the route from the Convention Center up and around Stanley Park, down the coastline of Yaletown, and ending at Kitsilano Beach Park.

Just getting out and about on Stanley Park's many miles of seawall takes some strategy. Divide it in two: imagine Lion's Gate Bridge/Prospect Point Lookout as the dividing point and follow both sides down to Lost Lagoon. Plan for a couple of days to explore both directions (if on foot).

After finishing the Coal Harbor walk (at Lost Lagoon's east side), the option is to follow the path on the right to the Totem Poles or to go left and walk a bit to the seawall path near Second Beach. Either way, there will be umpteen photo opportunities and many points of interest along the way.

The Second & Third Beaches route was especially beautiful; the water views were unending and uninterrupted. The terrain had some rises to it and it seemed more tranquil in its open spots.

The seawall is the longest waterfront in the world. That is some accomplishment!
Written September 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Calgary, Canada26 contributions
Bike or walk, just please don't miss it!
Aug. 2021
This was so good that we did it twice! You can rent some bikes and go around in under 1 hour, or stops many times along the way and enjoy the views.
We travel at the end of August and during the week there was almost no people on the paths. Lots of opportunities for great pictures.
If you are biking remember the bike path is one-way, make sure you are not "that" person going the opposite direction.
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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