As a native of Vancouver, BC, I’d like to think I know this place pretty well. I adore this city, and there’s nothing I love more than sharing this city with others, whether it’s discovering new spots with other locals or showing my friends from out of town around. But there are still a few spots in my neck of the woods that I like to keep secret … namely my secret parks.
I have two secret parks. Both are walking distance from my house and are recent discoveries. My secret parks are special for a couple reasons. First, they’re concealed. Since these parks are very small patches of green in the city, they’re rather difficult to simply “come across”. Second of all, both parks feature spectacular views looking out towards downtown. And lastly, they’re quiet. Because of their small sizes and relative concealment, they’re not crowded and almost always empty. They’re the perfect place to relax with a picnic while enjoying the view.
My first secret park is not so much of a secret, I guess, since I found out about it on Yelp. You have to walk down a lane to reach it (how’s that for hidden?), and for a while it seems like the alleyway is going nowhere. But suddenly, it opens up to a small triangle of grass and the best view of downtown. The nearby street of ice cream shops, Indian food, diners and pizza places make it the perfect place to come for a picnic.
My second secret park I first found walking home from school when I was younger. Over the years I forgot about it, until walking by it again last year. It’s a small patch of grass with benches under cherry blossom trees that look lovely in the spring. But to tell the truth, the park is a bit of a red herring. When I visit this park, I almost always head for a little lane off of it that ends at a staircase going down a hill. Right there, at the top of the staircase, is a fantastic view looking out towards downtown. So you can’t enjoy the view from my second secret park, but it’s still a great place to sit under the cherry blossoms after you’ve admired the view.
Admittedly, the pictures don’t do the views justice and they really have to be seen in person. Can you figure out where my secret parks are? And do you have any secrets from your neck of the woods? If so, share them with the #OurNeckOfTheWoods hashtag. We’d love to hear about them.
The Wanderfull Traveler
It would be cool to try out the iPhone panoramic photo option.
I’ve been trying to find ways to capture views with photography and I have found that this iPhone feature has been invaluable.
As for hidden spots in my neck of the woods – Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley – Knox Mountain is a great hike to see the Okanagan Lake and downtown. In West Kelowna, aka West Bank, a great vantage point is Mission Hill Winery as well. But a one minute walk from my front door offers some great views stretching far down and up the lake and city views of West Bank & Summerland.
If I’m ever in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley, I am definitely going to check out your hidden spots! The panoramic option would have been a good idea for those photos, but I only discovered it recently so sometimes I forget about it. Thanks for the suggestion!
Vancouver is stunning, and difficult to capture on film.
Very true! It’s a great city to experiment with photography since it can be so difficult to capture.
I’m a native Vancouverite too and I’m going to try and find your secret spots!!! I love on the north shore though, so I have a few of my own too… (:
Ooh good luck! Let me know if you find them.