The seaside village of Stanley is just a short drive from the bustling heart of Hong Kong, but the beaches, hiking trails, Stanley markets and alfresco restaurants help you feel a million miles away.
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? With several beaches, access to some fabulous hiking (make a start on the Wilson Trail!), a good alfresco dining scene, a dog-friendly waterfront, a historic pier, and the opportunity for plenty of water sports, a visit to Hong Kong’s seaside Stanley could be the perfect tonic. Located on the southern end of Hong Kong, Stanley is a laidback and leafy suburb on the shores of the balmy South China Sea. Here are some of the highlights of the area, which are sure to keep you well-fed, entertained and smiling throughout your whole trip down to the south.
Stanley Restaurants — Where To Eat With Kids
Stanley’s newest and most loved bakery, stocked with freshly baked sourdough, quiche Lorraine, beef rendang pie and enough sweet pastries to keep Hong Kong’s dentists busy. There is also a small alfresco dining area perfect for snacking in the sun.
Bakehouse, 116 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, Hong Kong, www.bakehouse.hk
Bubbles and Wines
This classy local watering hole on a quiet street behind the market offers a world-class selection of drinks and tapas-style nibbles for mum and dad, as well as some chorizo toasties and Spanish-style meatballs for the kids.
Pane e Latte
Come here to enjoy photogenic pastries, Italian snacks, gelato on the weekends, and a full dining menu in one of Stanley‘s most decorated, most Instagrammed and most lavishly appointed restaurants.
Read More: Where To Find The Best Donuts In Hong Kong
Terrace by LQV
The newly renovated Terrace by LQV has some of Stanley’s most panoramic seaside views. Sip on wine, enjoy some French Mediterranean cuisine and imagine you’ve been whisked away to the South of France.
More Family-Friendly Stanley Restaurants
- Beef and Liberty – You can’t go wrong with burgers near the playground. www.beef-liberty.com
- Beesy Bay – Their quirky terrace offers awesome seaside views. www.beesybay.com.hk
- Cali-Mex Bar and Grill – A crowd-pleaser amongst all in the family. www.cali-mex.com
- Classified – A reliable favourite for coffees and casual dining. www.classifiedfood.com
- Dough Bros. – Takeaway pizzas and doughnuts from this well-known Hong Kong chain. www.doughbroshk.com
- Gino’s Gelato – Ice cream near the playground, need we say more? www.ginosgelato.com
- King Ludwig Beerhall – A fun German restaurant in Murray House. www.kingparrot.com
- Spiaggia – A Stanley institution with an extensive menu for indecisive eaters. www.openrice.com/spiaggia
Things To Do In Stanley — Stanley Plaza, Stanley Market And More
Visiting Stanley’s Beaches – St. Stephen’s Beach And Stanley Main Beach
There are two great strips of sand in Stanley – St. Stephen’s Beach and Stanley Main Beach. St Stephen’s Beach is a quiet but lovely swimming beach around a 5 to 10-minute walk from the edge of Stanley Market. There are changing facilities but eating options are limited so best to head back to town for lunch or pack a picnic.
Stanley Main Beach is the largest and most popular swimming beach in the area with plenty of facilities and some limited parking nearby. There is a government watersports centre, as well as several options to rent or take lessons for watersports like windsurfing and kayaking.
Water Sports Equipment Rental At Stanley Main Beach
Located on the far edge of Stanley Main Beach, Aqua-Bound offers a wide variety of rental options for water sports. They have toys including windsurfers, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. HiWindLover also offers equipment rental, headed up by a former Hong Kong windsurfing Olympian, it also specialises in lessons for windsurfing and wing foiling.
Read More: Sassy Mama’s Guide To Water World Ocean Park
Aside from the usual shopping mall tenants, other notable mentions include a dog groomers and pet supply, toy shops, kids’ clothes shops, a bulk food store, several gift shops, and various dining options scattered across the building. The Stanley Plaza parking is the best option for drivers to park their cars in Stanley during the weekends.
Stanley Plaza Playground
This pirate-themed playground between Stanley Plaza and Tin Hau temple is a popular place for kids to burn off energy and is surrounded by a ton of alfresco eating options.
The venerable Stanley Market has been on almost every tourist’s itinerary for decades. Comprising a warren of several covered lanes just behind the seafront, the Stanley Market is worth a poke around even if you aren’t on holiday. Despite what you hear, it’s not just fridge magnets and Bruce Lee T-shirts. There are some great finds here, from well-priced swimwear to cool pictures, cheap gadgetry and even some nice linen jackets and tableware.
Stanley Market, No. 6, Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, www.hk-stanley-market.com
Explore Historic Sites In Stanley
Two colonial and two local landmarks are within easy walking distance from one another. Start at Tin Hau Temple next to the Stanley Plaza Playground to see the pelt of a famous tiger that once roamed the neighbourhood. Then stroll over to Murray House and admire the classically proportioned stonework and ornate balustrades. Picturesque Blake Pier, with sporadic ferry access to Po Toi island, is just opposite.
And a short walk through the adjacent Ma Hang Park will take you to the tiny but charming Tai Pak temple. Keep your eyes peeled, as it’s nestled discreetly in the rocky coastline.
Drop your kids off, and let them get creative with clay at this family-run pottery studio ideal for ages 6-12 years. There are private and weekly classes, plus it’s perfect for hosting small group birthday parties.
Hiking Trails Around Stanley
You can take on either Rhino Rock – a steep path near Regalia Bay leads up to a cool rock formation and great views across the bay towards Murray House and Blake Pier – or Twin Peaks, deemed one of the most challenging hikes in Hong Kong. On that note, these hiking trails are not recommended for children.
Stanley Oriental Hotel
If one day of Stanley isn’t enough, book a stay at Stanley Oriental Hotel, its generously-sized rooms and sea-facing views make this a staycation favourite.
Read More: Hong Kong Staycations For Families
More Things To Do In Stanley
- Aida’s Fruit Stall – A friendly fruit stall opposite the Stanley Municipal Centre. Also sells fresh coconuts.
- Buddy Cafe – A family run local eatery with great Hong Kong style milk tea and Cha Chaan Teng classics. www.facebook.com/Buddy-Cafe
- Le Petit Salon – Independent café perfect for takeaway coffee and a chat with friendly baristas. www.lepetitsalon.com.hk
- Lou Pichoun – A friendly nursery with diverse activities and French, English and Mandarin as mediums of instruction. www.loupichoun.com
- Prathna Spa – Massages, waxing, facials, manicures and pedicures at this friendly family run spa. www.facebook.com/prathnaspa.hongkong
- Sei Yik 泗益 – A classic Hong Kong Dai Pai Dong within the market. Good fish ball noodles next door too.
- Smuggler’s Inn – We don’t recommend kiddies try the grog, but this is one of the coolest and friendliest pirate-themed pubs. www.openrice.com/smugglers-inn
Living In Stanley
Stanley is a popular spot for families looking for a little more space and a little more greenery, but who aren’t yet ready to move off Hong Kong Island. There are also plenty of good schools on the South Side within a close drive. As for staying on Stanley, you can enrol kids into the Glenda Allen Dance Academy, The Studio to get artsy or the Montessori for Children Nursery.
Editor’s Note: “Where To Take Your Kids In Stanley Hong Kong” was most recently updated in March 2023. Special thanks to Esther Bland for her contribution.