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Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by flyingsit, May 11, 2011.

  1. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Am thinking about a trip out there in the fall (would be the first time in Western Canada).

    Would 7-9 days be enough to really see the city/surrounding area?
    What neighborhoods/areas would be most central to stay in?
  2. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    7-9 days should be plenty. You may want to take a side trip to Victoria or Whistler too (I prefer Victoria, myself).

    Downtown is most central. It is an easy Skytrain ride from the airport (Skytrain is an elevated subway, a central feature of our transportation system--learn it, love it).

    Let us know what your interests are, and we can tailor our suggestions accordingly.

    I am planning a family reunion here, so I have to make a list of activities for almost 40 people (a lot of kids too). Some things I have in my itinerary: Grouse Grind, Stanley Park, Granville Island, eating and shopping Richmond (we're Asian), Chinatown, White Rock, Steveston, Canadian bowling (a lot of my relatives are American), the Celebration of Lights, Victoria, Lynn Canyon, La Casa Gelato, Dragon Boat Rowing, Science World, biking along the Seawall, and Splashdown Park.

    Depending on when you come, you should check out BC Summerskate. Some FSU'ers will probably be there.
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    ^ LOL at "Canadian bowling" (aka 5-pin bowling for the uninitiated).

    I agree tho that we need more deets about your interests, flyingsit, to give you advice. I've lived here all my adult life and still haven't "done everything," so you'll have no problem filling 7-9 days just in the city.

    In addition to the great "top tourist spots" manhn listed, there are tons of other possibilities depending on your interests. For example:

    ~ If you like theatre, the Arts Club season starts in September. But even more fun is the Fringe Festival, which runs for 2 weeks in September.
    ~ If you're interested in wildlife and conservation, a trip to Burns Bog and/or the Reifel Bird Sanctuary are a must. Whale watching is an option too -- not quite as good out of Vancouver as from some other parts of the province, but still a nice day out.
    ~ Like wine? There are tons of local wineries, or you can take a side trip to the really top-notch wineries in the Okanagan region.
  4. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

    :p I was gonna ask what 'Canadian' bowling was - no one else has five pin bowling?

    The free weekly paper Georgia Straight will have a pretty comprehensive listing of events, it comes out on Thursdays.
    Ditto that you have plenty of time and might want to do a side trip for 1 or 2 nights.
  5. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

  6. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all

    We love architecture, good food, parks, walking, modern art, galleries. We also do like wildlife, zoos, dramatic scenery. Our general idea is for about a 9-day trip, maybe 5-6 days in the city and 3-4 in the surrounding area.

    Is mid-late September a good time weather-wise?
  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    It might rain a bit, but otherwise it's a very nice time of the year. Temps around 20-25 Celsius.
  8. Colleen

    Colleen Active Member

    You can easily spend a day at the University of BC campus at Point Gray - gorgeous architecture, lots of trees, it's on the ocean. The botanical gardens are amazing, and you can go on the canopy walk (suspended walkways in the trees, totally cool and a little scary). There's also Nitobe gardens, which is a beautiful Japanese garden. And the Museum of Anthropology - even if you're not into the exhibits, the building itself is beautiful to see. From there you can walk down to the beach ... depending on which trail you take you end up walking back up 400 stairs or so, but it's worth the effort. There are a lot of restaurants around campus.

    UBC is easily accessible via transit. And you can always stop at Spanish Banks/Jericho beach on the way.

    Vancouver is a beautiful city - if you like walking, you'll love it here!
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    I echo this advice -- and you can start reading it online a few weeks before your trip to help you plan and to see if there's anything coming up that you want to grab ticket for. Georgia Straight (link to listings section, you can then search by listing type)

    For your art fix, here's a link to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Most of the exhibits change over in September, so check again closer to your trip.

    For "dramatic scenery," I recommend the Sea to Sky train up to Whistler. Spectacular. You can go as a day trip, or book a hotel up there and stay the night.
  10. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    If you have a car, the Sunshine Coast, accessible by ferry from West Vancouver makes a good day trip or perhaps an overnight side trip.
  11. ss1

    ss1 New Member

    The Sea to Sky highway stretch from Vancouver to Whistler (or even just to Squamish) is one of the most gorgeous stretches of highway I've ever seen. You can also go horseback riding in Squamish--very lovely.
  12. Hanna

    Hanna Politicking for more stationary lifts

    May I hijack your thread, flyingsit?

    I'm in Vancouver right now :cheer: and I'd have a couple of questions. Mostly about the "non-in-city" areas, as I feel I've pretty much got the city covered.

    I would really like to go and wonder in the beautiful nature but I don't really know which places to choose. There are two things to consider: 1) I don't have a car and 2) my budget is pretty tight. I've been trying to only spend 40$ a day (not including accommodation, but everything esle). Since I haven't even spent that much so far, I could afford to spend something like 50-100$ one day. But - where to go? It'll only be a day trip.

    I take it that Whistler and Victoria are quite far just for a day trip? Will I really regret it if I don't go to either one? What about places like Mt. Seymour, Grouse Mountain or Squamish? Which one of those would you recommend money/quality wise? Which has the best views? I'm a hiker type and don't mind walking for 10 or even 20 km.

    I'm pretty sure I'll go to Lynn Canyon instead of Capilano to save 30 dollars. Do you think it's a good choice? Will it be decently easy to get to without a car?
  13. Kelleys6th

    Kelleys6th Active Member

    In my opinion, Grouse was not worth the money. I was there for the olympics, and I wanted to see it for the view of Vancouver from above (beautiful). $40 bucks just to go to the top of the mountain on the tram. However....you can walk/hike it for free ~ good luck with that!
    "The 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to by Vancouverites as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”
    Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
    Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
    - Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
    - Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
    - Total Stairs: 2,830"
    You can even time your climb. Ugh!

    The Lynn Canyon idea would probably be better eventhough Capilano was fun. Capilano is just a cable bridge over a deep canyon with a river. Since I'm from NY I thought the nature was nice. It was easy to get to, and there's buses that make pick-ups a few places in downtown, but it is more expensive ~ $30 bucks, Lynn is free(?).

    I loved walking around Stanley Park. If you're up to walking the 6 miles(?) it's peaceful and there's a few places to see. Siwash Rock, the 9 o'clock gun, the traditional totem poles, the bay at sunset.

    Victoria is beautiful, but it's a full day with a long ferry ride ~ which is beautiful just by itself.
    I was sad I didn't get up to Whistler.

    Do me a favor and go to Blenz coffee and get yourself a dark mocha latte. I haven't had a coffee like that since..............
  14. SandraMGfan

    SandraMGfan Active Member

    Hanna, I don't know where you are staying but the Hi-Hostels (on Granville and on Burnaby St) have guided tours (I think to both Capilano Bridge and Lynn Canyon). I know that for Capilano Bridge, they get you the group discount, and for the other tours you basically just have to pay for bus/seabus.

    You might want to stop by one of them to ask. The Hi-Hostel Central is at Granville & Nelson and the Hi-Hostel Downtown is at Burnaby & Thurlow.

    You can get to Lynn Canyon by bus, it will take about 1h from the Waterfront Station.
  15. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Stanley Park is a must--hours and hours of natural beauty for no money (unless you rent a bike or some rollerblades or go the aquarium).

    Watch the Canucks game over at the CBC building Tuesday night.

    And I love Blendz too.
  16. Celine82

    Celine82 Well-Known Member

    Blenz hot white chocolate... :swoon:

    Hanna, I wasn't impressed by Whistler at all, it's just a fake Alpine town. I don't know how good the hiking trails are there though, and the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish is absolutely FABULOUS.

    I loved the ferry ride to Victoria too, but it'd be very stressful to make it there and back in a day if you want to see anything of the city.

    If you're tight on money, definitely go to Lynn Canyon rather than Capilano. Public transportation goes to both.

    Another highlight of my stay in Vancouver was kayaking at Deep Cove with friends. So beautiful I wanted to cry.

    Oh, one more option: Bowen Island. Public transportation to Horseshoe Bay + ferry + lovely walks on a very quiet island.

    In any case, ENJOY!! :)
  17. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    So, just got back from Vancouver. Stayed at the Listel Hotel http://www.thelistelhotel.com/ which is on Robson (I think the addy is 1300 Robson). It's a boutique hotel. Thought it was nice and quite reasonable for the downtown area.

    I have two excellent craft cocktail bar recommendations: The Diamond http://www.di6mond.com/ and Boneta http://www.boneta.ca/ . Both of them are in the Gastown area. Two other bars in the area that came highly recommended that I didn't get to try are The Pourhouse http://www.pourhousevancouver.com/ and L'Abattoir http://www.labattoir.ca/ (the name is a bit interesting). We did walk by L'Abattior though, and it was packed, which is why we didn't go.

    Met a former Diamond bartender at the Diamond. He is now the daytime bartender at The Hawksworth, http://www.hawksworthrestaurant.com/ which just opened and is in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, just down the street from the Hotel Vancouver. Sounds intriguing, but need to see a few reviews.
  18. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Doing Grouse and Lynn Canyon on the same day is a good idea, since they're both in North Van. Grouse for the views, Lynn Canyon for the spectacular natural setting. And as others have said, both are accessible by bus. How long are you here, though? The rain is coming in this afternoon, and due to stay for a few days at least. Welcome to Vancouver!

    BTW, I just got back from NYC where I found the Hopstop site/ap invaluable (thank you dbny!), and imagine my surprise to learn that they have it for Vancouver too! The Translink (Vancouver transit site) will give you bus / skytrain / seabus info, but Hopstop takes it one step further: it also lets you select walking routes/times, and taxi times/fares. Very handy.
  19. Hanna

    Hanna Politicking for more stationary lifts

    Thanks for all the great advice everybody. :) I've spent a great week here and have really enjoyed the beautiful nature. :swoon:

    Celine, I've had the white hot chocolate three times now (the first time was already before I saw you write about it). ;) It's delicious. :swoon: (I'm not really a coffee person).

    I would've wanted to do the Grouse Grind but apparently it was not open yet. :fragile: Therefore I ended up not going to Grouse Mountain at all, although I would've really wanted to. But I decided to save the 30 dollars. I will definitely have to come back to British Columbia one day and explore the nature more.