The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland and is the only town in the islands. There are about 1700 persons calling Stanley home. The town fronts the inner harbor and climbs up the hillside to the higher plateau. There has been a building boom since the 1982 conflict and it is in full frenzy as of March 1998. Brightly painted corrugated iron roofs adorn the houses and color the waterfront. Street names such as Ross Road, Fitzroy Road, Philomel Street, Barrack Street and Shackleton Drive all have their origins in historic personages.
The atmosphere of Stanley is decidedly friendly and rural - a lack of city hustle and bustle, no traffic lights, little traffic, small streets, greetings from passers-by. There is no movie theater: pubs are plentiful for the size of town and population; several gift shops specialize in Falkland knitwear, hats, t-shirts, crafts, souvenirs and Falklands' books, several of which are well worth the monetary investment and space-weight they take up.
Today, Stanley lies at the centre of East Falkland's road network, and is the main shopping centre on the islands. The Falkland Islands Company owns several shops and a hotel in the town. Attractions include the Falkland Islands Museum, Government House, built in 1845 and home to the Governor of the Falkland Islands (currently Alan Huckle), a golf course, and is known for its whalebone arch, a totem pole, several war memorials and the shipwrecks in its harbour. The town also has four pubs, eleven hotels & guesthouses, three restaurants, a fish and chips shop and three churches including the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral the southernmost cathedral in the world, which actually makes tiny Stanley into a city. A grim reminder of the minefields to the south is the bomb disposal unit. There is also the main tourist office here.