3 days around Vancouver

Jul 2nd, 2003, 02:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4
3 days around Vancouver

We arrive in Vancouver 8 July, and will have 4 days to fill in before our cruise to Alaska. Will do Vancouver city in the 3 days between our cruise and Rockies tour. So any suggestions for somewhere to go - we will have a car. The tour goes to Whistler, Victoria, etc so don't want to double up. We thought maybe heading towards Seattle - anything interesting in that direction? We are coming from Australia and haven't been to Canada before. Thankyou for any ideas.
lynnmc is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I will be arriving in September, but I have been doing a lot of planning for my trip. In my opinion, I think the aquarium is a must see. I registered for one of their "Orca Encounters" where you are allowed to get up close and personal with the orcas (you get to feed them and help train them!!)
My 2nd choice for can't be missed is Granville Island where they have the Public Market and the Brewery.

I hope this helps a little.

FromAtlanta is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Three full days should afford you ample opportunities to get a good overview of Vancouver. I took my family there last year for 3 days before moving on to Whistler and Victoria and well all enjoyed it much.

About a 30 minute drive north of the city (over the bridge) is Grouse Mountain. You park at its base and take a cable car up the mountain. At the top are fun activities. Included in the price of the ticket is a ski lift up even higher. Very good (beautiful) views of Vancouver and surrounding area.

On the way to Grouse Mtn. you'll pass the Capiolani Suspension Bridge. It too, is lots of fun, with easy walking trails under the trees.

Stanley Park is also very nice to drive through. You can rent bicycles and bike along the seawall. The park is rather large, so a car is good to have. The park has the tallest totem pole in the world!

In the city is Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, a very beautiful and relaxing small Chinese water garden park you can visit. They offer guided tours or you can stroll around at your leisure. We found the thick stands of black bamboo intriguing. All of these activities can be accessed on the internet for more information. Your hotel will also have literature and perhaps discount passes. Have a great time!
waltd is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Factoring in border X-ing, the drive to Seattle isn't as fast or easy as one might think. I would stay in the city of Vancouver the whole time Depending on how active you are (Vancouver is a GREAT walking city) you should be able to do quite a bit on foot before getting into your car.
First of all, get a map of Vancouver city and surrounding areas.
If you stay downtown or in the West end you can shop Robson/Denman/Yale Town and Check out English Bay. If you get a place with parking and you can walk you won't need to worry about finding a parking spot (very frustrating sometimes). Also, if you go into Gastown (whcih is kind of a cool tourist place) be very careful where you park. Some lots are a bit dodgey...and be careful where you wander. The neighbourhood gets pretty bad east of Gastown proper. Stanley park is a great walking/biking park. It (like the rest of this city) can be a nightmare to drive through due to traffic during the summer... and you don't get to see as much in a car so I would leave your car in the hotel lot. There is some kind of a cable car that takes tourists to the park (I always see it driving up and down Robson) so you might want to look into that.

From English Bay you can take the Water Taxi to Granville Is. which is a great place to spend the day.

Places you can do via car:

Grouse Mountain is a good bet. If you are in good shape you can climb it (locals call it the Grouse Grind) and then take the tram down.
The Stop at Cap bridge on the way down is kind of cool but really touristy and overpriced.

You can also drive to Kits Beach and White Rock. Both are fun on a nice day.

To summarize, three/four days is perfect for exploring Vancouver at a relaxing pace. Get a map and try to plan your days so you have to drive as little as possible. Enjoy!
Corgie is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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just returned from a quick visit there. the one recommendation i will give is check out the public transit system. i think it is pretty good and i personally found driving in the city a pain - many impatient drivers and a lot of jay walkers. there are several locations to catch the ferry to grandville. have fun.
ltt is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 17
Don't forgot world famous robson street for shopping (the counterpart to rodeo drive in hollywood). The vancouver art gallery and lots of museums downtown. Grouse mountain skyride. Capilino suspension bridge. Lonsdale quay/seabus (shopping, markets). Granville island (shops, restaurants, cafes, pottery and artisan studios, public market - on the water). Canada place (Cruise ship terminal downtown - nice to walk around). Gastown (quaint sections of downtown with cobblestone streets, cafes, shops etc right near canada place and the seabus terminal but as noted by someone else, at the "end" of gastown the streets turn a bit "rough"/vancouver east side - turn around and go back the way you came - you will know it when you see it).

I would plan on one day downtown (robson street, gastown, harbour center, canada place, stanley park and the aquarium. NExt day take the seabus over to lonsdale quay, and take a bus to grouse mountain and capilino suspension bridge. Day three maybe take the little aqua bus or false creek ferry from downtown to granville island, then explore shops on 4th ave. The city has a great bus/train system so a car is not really needed. All of the sights i have mentioned are acessible by bus. It is best to stay in a downtown hotel to be in the center of things/accessible to most of the main attractions. There are tons of great restaurants downtown. Enjoy.
sinne is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 128
If you have a car and want to get out of the city, consider visiting Harrison Hot Springs. It is a resort community set on Harrison lake about 2 hours east of Vancouver. The Harrison Hotel is a landmark there and probably where you want to stay. Get either a room in the new tower or a lakeside room in the original hotel.
In the summer it is a very international place as tourists from all over seem to come there. The beach is very nice, but the lake is freezing, but oh so pretty, as the mountains are right there. It would be very relaxing and a great base for doing a day trip to Hells Gate or Manning Park.
Another thought would be to go into the USA at Blaine and stay at the
Inn at Semiahmoo. It is right on the ocean, a 1st class hotel with golf and spa facilities, and the most fabulous sunsets. It is right across the border from Vancouver.
From There you can do day trips into the San Juan Islands, or over to Whidby Island via Deception Pass.
Larabee State Park is worth a visit for tidal pools and beachcombing, and La Conner is a funky little town as well.
Happy planning
Lynette is offline  
Jul 4th, 2003, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 556
Corgie mention the Capilano Suspension Bridge is touristy and overpriced. As an alternative you could go to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge which is nearby - it's free and when I was there, the place was deserted. There are lots of walks around there too.

In fact, we were on the bus to the Capilano and the bus driver convinced us to change bus and go to the Lynn Canyon instead, in his words "it's less busy, much nicer, and doesn't cost anything".

I think the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is nearly as high as the Capilano but not as long, but I may be wrong on that.
Dave_ is offline  
Jul 4th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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Thankyou so much for all of your replies and suggestions. We will look into all of them before making the big decision. Vancouver sounds really great and we are so looking forward to the trip - sounds like we won't have nearly enough time! Will post a message when we get back. Thanks again.
lynnmc is offline  
Aug 7th, 2003, 10:56 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4
Hi all,
We're back home and had a fabulous time in a wonderful country. Thankyou so much for all your advice - all excellent. We spent our first 3 days in Harrison Hot Springs - thanks to Lynette - and it was a great way to get over the jet lag. Then we had another 3 days to do Vancouver city - wow, I could live there. We did most of the things you all suggested, and enjoyed it immensely.
If I can ever help you with info on Australia, mail me.
Thanks again!!!
lynnmc is offline  

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