It’s official. Vancouver’s Stanley Park is the best park in the world.
Vancouver’s green jewel was named top park in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards, beating out heavyweights like New York’s Central Park and Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that measured the quantity and quality of user reviews submitted worldwide over a 12-month period.
At 400 hectares (1,000 acres), Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver is North America’s third biggest park and attracts about 8 million visitors a year. A stunning example of Pacific coastal rainforest, the park has more than 500,000 cedar, fir and hemlock trees and is almost completely surrounded by Pacific Ocean waters.
Perhaps best known for its 9-kilometre scenic seawall (a favourite among cyclists and runners), Stanley Park boasts kilometres of hiking trails through its wooded interior, sandy swimming beaches, beaver ponds and more. The park is also home to Canada’s largest aquarium, a beautifully landscaped pitch and putt golf course, fine dining restaurants, an outdoor ampitheatre for summer performances and even a miniature train line.
As one TripAdvisor user wrote, “A mini-forest, beautiful gardens, totem poles and scenic walkways make this such a peaceful location. I made a huge pile of autumn leaves and dove into them like a little kid.”
In 1886, an enlightened Vancouver city council petitioned the federal government to set aside more than 1,000 acres on the edge of the city for park and recreation purposes. Named after then governor general Lord Stanley, the park occupied lands traditionally used by the Squamish and Musqueam First Nations.
Here are the top 10 parks in the world, according to TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards:
1. Stanley Park; Vancouver, Canada
2. Garden of the Gods; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
3. Central Park; New York City, USA
4. Millennium Park; Chicago, Illinois, USA
5. High Line; New York City, USA
6. Kings Park and Botanic Garden; Perth, Australia
7. Guell Park; Barcelona, Spain
8. Ibirapuera Park; Sao Paulo, Brazil
9. Retiro Park; Madrid, Spain
10. Luxembourg Gardens; Paris, France
What do you like best about Stanley Park? Let us know below.
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