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Vancouver Travel Advice

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by kylet3, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    I'm heading to Vancovuer next week Wed-Sun. Looking for tips beyond the typical touristy stuff. I'm planning on doing Stanley Park and the Aquarium, downtown shopping, Chinatown... Not doing the Capilano Bridge because I don't want to pay $30 for that...

    Been to Van lots (in Edmonton here), but also looking for some fun stuff beyond the usual...

    Does anyone know if there are still any Vancouver 2010 Merchants still offering items for sale? There was a jacket that was in my Cart on the website but now they are out of stock :( and I want to see if I can find it... Any info on Vancouver 2010 merchandise still for sale would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Taso

    Taso Well-Known Member

    Scrap Capilano Bridge, but go to Lynn Canyon Bridge, it's free IIRC! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Canyon_Park.

    Now that I think about it, I didn't really see much off the beaten path in Vancouver the three days I visited last year :eek:
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    ITA about Lynn Canyon. Although it's more of a nice-day-outdoor-hiking place than general touristy. It's also not that easy to get to without a vehicle (unlike Capilano, which although touristy, is at least on the transit line).

    There's definitely 2010 Oly merchandise still available, and most of it 70% off. A few stores on Granville Island have some (and Granville Island is a great destination anyway, even tho it is on the tourist lists), and I believe the main Bay downtown was advertising some as well.

    Speaking of Granville Island, the funnest way to get there is to take the Aquabus from downtown.

    Other stuff: Film Festival! VIFF is on until the 15th. Unlike the Toronto film festival, where Oscar-contenders are premiered, VIFF tends to feature smaller, indie films, many of which will never find a distributor so this might be your only chance to see them. Also a good option -- if you get unlucky with the weather. (a better than average possibility, I'm affraid!)

    The current Robert Adams photo exhibit at the VAG is pretty wonderful if you like that kind of thing. (And another rainy-day option.)

    Check out the Georgia Straight for event listing. It's published Thursdays so the current issue will cover part of your visit; then you can pick up next week's issue when you're here (they're free, in boxes on practically every street corner. or of course online)

    Beyond that ... there's really so much to do here, can you narrow it down a bit? Any specific interests?
  4. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member


    Granville Island :cheer: Touristy or not, it's fabulous!

    The Bay must have some 2010 stuff left from their Olympic Superstore. I've never seen soooo much event specific merchandise on one place before.

    Have fun, safe trip!
  5. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    I'm not really an Art Gallery type... ohh VIFF? Any chance of celebrity sightings? I'm a total gossip monger... Outdoor natural stuff I am into, hmm... shopping, metrotown doesnt interest me as we have WEM... Looking for Van merchandise... lots of it! Thanks for the tips...
  6. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    VIFF is like the anti-Toronto film festival. No red carpet, no E! coverage....the only stars are the directors and the films. But there are some great films every year, so do take a look at the listing:

    The only Olympic merch I've seen in the last while has been at clearance stores like Liquidation World.
  8. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

    I know there is a nude beach. Does it count as touristy stuff?

    ETA: You don't have to pack anything extra to visit the Wreck Beach!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Hmm, "best" is subjective. Their range of flavours is unrivaled, and that's kinda cool. But for quality, not really the best IMO. For best flavour I prefer Dolce Amore on Commercial Drive, or Mondo Gelato on Denman in the English Bay area. Both neighbourhoods are also great for street shopping and fabulous food in general (Commercial being funkier).
  10. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Im looking for wherever would sell it within reason... I'll be staying in Kitsilano and dont have access to a car so I don't want to be going too far out of my way bussing or cabbing, Granville Island and downtown are the best options for me because Granville is close and it doesnt take long to get downtown by bus at all... I like doing touristy stuff, but Capilano Bridge... that's just too much $$ to me to be spending on that... I will be shopping (Gucci, Burberry, etc.) but only looking this time, I dropped $1200 at Gucci in Seattle so I have to be on my best behavior when it comes to the higher end stuff... I'm really mainly only looking for Vancouver 2010 Official Merchandise... More clothing really, there are some things I am looking for that I hope I can find while venturing around. I have lots of time to use so hopefully that will happen!
  11. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Two stores on Granville Island that definitely had Oly clothing a couple of weeks ago were Stitches and the Aboriginal store in the Net Loft building across from the market (they just had the Four Host First Nations stuff, not the general branded stuff).

    But I'm sure a friend said something about a big ad for "lots of Olympic clothing" at the main Bay downtown.

    For other stuffs, if you get a nice day, walk around the Stanley Park seawall. One of my favourite things in the world to do. (Or you can rent bikes.)
  12. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    Do you like Improv? The Vancouver International Improv Festival is on this week!
  13. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Fantastic, Bay is the first place I am going to look. The pullover was in my cart on the website but someone apparently got the last one :( So I am going to venture into Granville Island and the Bay, not looking so much for the aboriginal stuff but the more general branded Vancouver 2010 stuff, not looking for Team Canada but actual Vancouver 2010 clothing. I know I'm being greedy :( lol but I want to find as much Vancouver 2010 clothing at a discount heh. If anyone sees any locations let me know! but Stitches on Granville Island and the bay will be my two hot spots.

    I am most assuredly going to be doing Stanley Park and the Aquarium. Exploring Downtown and Chinatown. I know there is so much to do and explore... I was apalled that the Capilano Bridge charges $30 an adult, so that is out. I am sure there is more around Kitsilano and such, I will be looking into it.

    How long does it take to go around the Seawall at Stanley Park? Seems like gorgeous picture taking opportunities and I'm known to take a photo or two (If my 67 albums on facebook say anything...) I'm glad VIFF is about the films but I still like to celebrity watch and such.

    I'm still not sure, I know about gay bars, etc. Anyone know if there are any LGBT related stores/businesses? I don't have a TON of money to spend but still not a bad idea...

    I'm a bit of an Olympics nut (Vancouver 2010 Logo tattooed along with Olympic Rings and Canada Flag) :slinkaway so I am looking for lots of post Olympics memorbilia if I can get my hands on it...

    Should be a fun trip!

    As for Improv... I do... Except I don't get into town until my bday which is next Wednesday :(
  14. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    Make sure to eat some cocktail buns in Chinatown. Yummmmm!
    Have a great time!
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  15. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Vancouver!

    First thing: embrace public transit. When you arrive at the airport, get an all-day bus pass from 7-11 (which is near the baggage claim), so you can use our Skytrain system. That way, you can avoid the ridiculous surcharge they add on regular transit fares when you take transit from the airport. Everyday, just buy an all-day bus pass so you can use transit all day long (it's 9 dollars).

    Since you're staying in Kitsilano, check out The Eatery if you like sushi.

    The Seawall, from Canada Place/Convention Centre to Kitsilano Beach, is approximately 23 km, so it's a REALLY long walk/run. But if you can rent a bike, it's a nice (and leisurely) 2 hour ride. Along the way, you can check out the Convention Centre, the Cauldron (although no flame), the Seaplanes, Stanley Park (and everything it has to offer), the Inukshuk, English Bay, the Vancouver Museum, Yaletown, Science World (it was Russia House during the Olympics), the Olympic Village, Granville Island, Vanier Park and Kitsilano Beach. It's my favourite thing to do in the City.

    As for 2010 Merch, The Bay downtown still has a relatively large space reserved for this stuff, but the discounts aren't great. I have been waiting fr the CANADA T-shirts to go on sale, but they are still the regular price. Boo! I don't know about the rest of Canada, but there are several Bays and Zellers in the area who are selling the old Red Mittens. I bought a pair a couple months ago. They have these newly designed mittens, but I find them ugly.

    Besides Granville Island, a lot of the tourist shops in Gastown will have a lot of stuff.

    And here's a link to the Olympics Warehouse, which is in Burnaby (it says it's a 10 minute walk from a Skytrain Station, probably Production Way Station, which is the Station one departs if you want to go to Simon Fraser University):


    If you like to shop, for more high end stuff, Alberni Street is where you would go. For local designers and artists, Gastown, Main Street and Granville Island are the places to go.

    And besides Chinatown, there is a suburb called Richmond, which is like a Canadian version of Hong Kong. There's an Asian mall called Aberdeen, which has a Japanese toonie store called Daiso. Lots of fun.

    Davie Street is the gay-friendliest area in Vancouver. It's in Downtown. For clubs, Celebrities is the most mainstream. To watch a hockey games, Scores or Fountainhead Pub are the best. For stores, I like Little Sister's Book and Arts Emporium.
  16. venja

    venja New Member

    What I loved about downtown Vancouver was that all the little areas (Gastown, Denman Shops, Robson Shops, Yaletown, Davie Village, Chinatown, Granville) was doable in one day if you got an early start.

    When my sis visited Vancouver she said that she ate at an amazing Malaysian restaurant called Banana Leaf - I believe that there's one in Kitsilano (Kitsilano is a beautiful area btw).

    I hope that you have fun there, and that it doesn't rain!!! And happy bday in advance!
  17. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

    There is an extremely unassuming little park (Meditation Park) on Wall Street at the northern end of North Nanaimo Street. Walk down the slope to the northeast corner, where there is a walkway lined with blackberry vines. Go along the walkway, make a couple of quick turns, and you'll be standing over a railway line, with a view of downtown, Stanley Park, the Lion's Gate Bridge, the mountains above West and North Vancouver, and the commercial harbor. It's the best view in Vancouver. :cool:
  18. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    There is a Banana Leaf on Broadway near Main street and might be another one in Kitsilano. If not, Broadway and Main is not far to travel by bus.

    I'd recommend The Sitar (Indian food) in Gastown. I dine out with great discrimination and there are few restaurants here that I find worthwhile to spend $$ on. The Sitar is one of the few.
  19. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

    I'd recommend the Water Street Cafe in Gastown. Great Italian food!

    And the views from the Vancouver Lookout are fabulous:

  20. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

    Ohh Lewis many thanks! I've actually been to Vancouver 3 or 4 times before :slinkaway but yeah I obviously still don't know all that there is to offer...

    and 23 KM... More than a half marathon would take me the entire day to complete the seawall :lol: I will most assuredly take some time to do some of it and do a lot of picture taking and do some exploring and of course go back to the Aquarium for the first time since 2001.

    My mom is going to kill me, told me not to bring any more clothes home but at those prices well... I'll just have to take price tags off :lol: I have a habit for buying clothes... and lots of them...

    I have to admit for dining options I'm very generic and picky about what I eat. I usually stick to places like Moxies, Earls, Joeys, etc. I eat a VERY western diet and don't much have a palate for spice, though I may get adventurous in Chinatown lol.

    I'm sure I will find lots to do! Thanks for all the advice.
  21. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    I'd suggest Hon's in Chinatown.
  22. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Ok, not for Kyle because he's a spice wimp ;) but for others ... there's another Banana Leaf location on Denman, and it happens to be right next door to the fabulous gelato place I mentioned earlier, Mondo Gelato. Mmm, what could be better than Malaysian + gelato on English Bay?

    As for the seawall, the 23 km is for the whole shebang, but to go just around Stanley Park is only about 10 km.
  23. jl

    jl Well-Known Member

    Food in Kits?

    I'm not a big fan of the Eatery myself. Atmosphere is fun and it's a very college crowd but I've never run into good food there.

    If you want Western or not-so-spicy foods, I recommend the following, in Kits unless otherwise stated (I live near UBC):

    - Pair Bistro, a BC contemporary restaurant with lots of fresh local ingredients. I personally like their squash ravioli and elk medallions most.
    - C in downtown, a BC contemporary seafood restaurant with a great variety menu. Too bad I didn't know you were coming earlier or I'd have recommended you buy their tasting menu as advertised on Groupon for $42. Extremely well-done food.
    - Kirin, Golden Great Wall, or Imperial Chinese for dim sum in the local area. Jade Palace, Northern Delicacy and Kirin in Richmond. New Town Bakery in either Richmond or Chinatown for buns (large, very filling and extremely cheap).
    - Zakkushi, Japanese grill, with lots of beautiful non-sushi items that are a little more exotic and suit the palate. Grilled skewers, stir-fried udon, nothing really spicy but something a little off the beaten path.
    - Nat's Pizzeria, New York style pizza with some rather good toppings. I personally like the margerita the most.
    - Modern Club, Japanese grill that prepares okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake). Very unique place (at least, when the old owner from Osaka ran it; she was the best).
    - Mix: the Bakery, home of my favorite grilled sandwich, the Spanish boca (an egg omelet with tomatoes, bell peppers, etc and Spanish seasoning) as well as the ever-so-addictive ambrosia cookie.
    - White Spot, the local version of Earl's/Milestones but quite a bit better IMO on the burgers at least.
    - Vera's, the city's favorite burgers.

    Oh, and you have to go to Cocoa Nymph in the area. My vote for best chocolates in the city. They also make a drinking chocolate that's Belgian in style (i.e. so thick it's like molten chocolate) in four varieties: I recommend the dark and spicy! Chocolate Arts is also pretty good, better artistry but not quite the same level of taste IMO.

    If you have any questions or anything, please don't hesitate to PM me. I'd probably be up to meet for lunch or dinner somewhere (i.e. I have no life :lol:).

    Note that most of what I have given you is pretty accessible by bus. The key bus numbers to keep in mind in Kitsilano (to transit between Kits and downtown) are 2/22, 7, 9, 10, 17, and 99.
  24. I went there by bus and I was fine? In my memory it wasn't very far from the busstop...

    and I agree it's just great. I also loved to bike along the seawall :)
  25. jl

    jl Well-Known Member

    It's kind of cold, the beach is actually very rocky, and the vast majority of people who go there nude are... north of 49, shall we say? :lol:

    We went as a 13-year old class, scaled the steps and semi-cliff to go down there. It was quite a :wideeyes: experience and not one I want to repeat.
  26. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    The point of a nude beach is that you are not supposed to stare.

    And I doubt there will be many nudes at Wreck Beach in October, more likely anyone there will be wearing a hat and gloves.
  27. SandraMGfan

    SandraMGfan Active Member

    Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine are in town at the moment shooting This Means War. They were shooting Downtown several times this week (Art Gallery, Gastown & Granville St), so keep your eyes open for lines of big trucks in the street which usually means you are close to the action!
  28. JumpinBug

    JumpinBug New Member

    I'm a master of Olympic markdown shopping. :D

    What you want is the Gastown area. There's a strip of stores, all with Olympic merchandise of varying prices. The best of them is Hudson House (http://www.hudsonhousetrading.com/), but do go into the others along the street as well. Their website has a map to get you there. It's a 5-10 minute walk from The Bay. Hudson House has the best selection of pins - I got the coveted mittens and torch pin around a month ago for $5. They still had plenty of clothing, but things you likely never saw - mascot clothing, hats, etc.

    What you'll find at The Bay... some marked down clothing, not too many options. Large quantities of some things, but often random sizes (think 40 2XL shirts on a rack). Fair number of kids shirts. And, you'll also find the new release of clothing... new quilted jackets, new hoodies, new mittens, etc. Don't expect what you see online, even on the 2010 site store. Even a month ago, there wasn't a ton. I scored on 99 cent pins, not sure if there are any left.

    Northern Gifts is a bit tricky on foot, but there are some good bargains on mascots and other random items.
  29. venja

    venja New Member

    I believe that Tom Hardy (from Inception) is in Vancouver shooting a movie right now, also. Aren't there lots of shows that are filmed up there like Supernatural, Smallville, Stargate Universe, Psych, Fringe, etc.?
  30. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness! I was alone in Van for my birthday once and that is the exact meal I treated myself to!
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.