In and around Vancouver

Jan 31st, 2013, 05:16 AM
  #1  
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In and around Vancouver

Hello,

We're planning a trip to Canada soon and will be flying from Hong Kong to Vancouver first. We will be renting a car and are interested in driving to the smaller towns/cities nearby Vancouver. Do you guys recommend any and what attractions are there? Hear from you soon!
Aaazif is offline  
Jan 31st, 2013, 06:32 AM
  #2  
 
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Can you advise how long you plan to stay in Vancouver and time of year (is "soon" before late spring/summer?). Also, do you have particular interests?

You might consider nearby North Vancouver/West Vancouver, to visit Grouse Mountain, Lynn Canyon, Capilano Suspension bridge, etc. You could take a trip up the Sunshine Coast or across to Vancouver Island (both more than a day trip). I'm not a fan of Whistler, but that could be a pretty drive into the mountains.

Vancouver itself is loaded with wonderful things to do/see; and a car is rarely necessary there.
sludick is offline  
Jan 31st, 2013, 03:25 PM
  #3  
 
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Aaazif, we are also planning a few days in Vancouver before a cruise and would like to rent a car. Problem is, I'm reading a lot of negative reviews about scams. I'm hoping someone here will have a reputable dealer recommendation?
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Jan 31st, 2013, 03:25 PM
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We hope to rent from a downtown location.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 04:54 AM
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That shouldn't be a problem. You'll find the majors have downtown locations - we often use Budget, but I think most of the others are there (Hertz, Thrifty, National, Enterprise, Alamo, etc.).

What sort of scams are you hearing about?
sludick is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Here is a link that tells about it: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Sho...ID/2311055766/

I have searched several brands in downtown Vancouver & only one - Thrifty - did not have bad reviews posted that I could find. But, they suspiciously only had two reviews posted. Have you had experience with them in Vancouver?

I also am thinking that Budget may be the exact one to go with as they are under scrutiny now & surely would be taking extra steps to 'clean up their act'?
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 08:56 AM
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Hmm, interesting. I did not have any difficulty with Budget Vancouver.

BUT I have had that experience with car rental companies here in the U.S. It is not an uncommon problem, and one is cautioned to look the car over carefully before taking it out and ensuring any damage is noted then as well as condition at return.

Of the majors, my worst experience in this regard was with Enterprise (though they are not alone).
sludick is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 11:49 AM
  #8  
 
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Yes, I know that it is a common thing to be 'on guard' for. But, when I've rented in other areas, I've been able to find places that were rather hugely recommended - not so many negative reviews. It makes me wonder if I should take the train to Whistler instead ( which I don't want to do because of the length of time it takes to get there & back).

I'm still looking. Thanks for your replies.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 12:05 PM
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There is good bus service to Whistler as well leaving from the airport and stopping in downtown Vancouver for pick ups. Drops you right in the centre of the Whistler village. A car is not an advantage in Whistler.
jane1144 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 02:52 PM
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Towns outside of Vancouver aren't tall that attractive or unique-the Sunshine Coast has a few that can be seen in their entirety in 20 minutes.

The drive up Highway 99 to Squamish is lovely and if the farmer's market is happening it's worth a 20 minutes or so there are also a few nice walks around town and the main street has some lovely flower baskets & unique stores so if you're headed that way stop by.

http://www.squamishfarmersmarket.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As to car rentals I've used Enterprise for years-as recently as last Monday in fact-and have had zero issues.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 03:00 PM
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I should have added-when I rented a car last Monday I travelled to Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Mission and Abbotsford-none of them is worth visiting for any more time than it takes to drive through.

While the settings are nice the towns are little more than extended strip malls-Mission and Abbotsford do have downtowns but Mission is a slum that even locals avoid and Abbotsford a few crooked streets that end in-you guessed it-malls, malls and more malls.

Food on offer is nothing but fast food/grease/sodium and more fried crud.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2013, 07:34 PM
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jane1144: I really think I want the flexibility of doing stops whenever I want. Buses seem to only have a couple. Is that correct? Is one bus more recommended than another?

I don't actually think I plan to use the car IN Whistler - it's about the drive/sites along the way. Once there, we will probably visit some shops & have lunch, maybe dinner & then be on our way back. Is there something wrong with this picture? Am I missing something?

That's reassuring, Sam_Salmon - I mean about Enterprise. That moves them up on my list.
Thank you for the FM link. I hope it does coincide with our visit! We expect to do this drive on a Monday.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 09:55 PM
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I live in Vancouver. Day trip suggestions:
Whistler is a MUST. Gorgeous, scenic drive approx 2hrs from downtown. Great restaurants, outdoor activities. Try the Scandinave Spa for a little relaxation It's unlike anything else. Definitely do-able in a day.
Crescent Beach - a cool little beach town. Small but quaint. You can take a nice stroll along the boardwalk and have lunch.
Deep Cove in North Vancouver. A little village with great restaurants (Arms Reach for lunch, Honeys for donuts), shops (Room 6 is my fave) and lots of outdoor options. Kayaking, paddleboarding, walking, hiking.
Vancouver Island - you can do a day trip but overnight is better. Victoria has lots to offer. Tofino is a longer drive and merits 2 nights but is my very favourite spot to spend time. The rugged West Coast, beaches, great lodges (Wickaninnish, Middle Beach), cool town.
Gulf Islands - again an overnight but there is nothing like spending a night at a B&B on an island. There are some gorgeous spots. Saltspring is the most heavily populated and built-up of the islands and offers more in terms of restaurants and shops.

Well, that gives you a start. There is tons to do but it all depends on what you like. Oh yah, don't forget to spend at least 1/2 a day at Granville Island and don't miss the Museum of Anthropology (for the setting and building as well as the First Nations art)
Francewithfive is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 10:01 PM
  #14  
 
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Haven't heard of anything overly crazy with car rental agencies here. My inlaws always rent and we choose based on the best deal but stick with the major companies: Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, Thrifty, etc.. On their website there is usually a spot to click for deals and you almost always get an upgrade or discount. We live on the North Shore so usually rent from offices over here but I doubt downtown is any different.
Take the Canada Line (sky train) from the airport to downtown. All the locals do and its much more economical and enjoyable than being crammed in a taxi.
Francewithfive is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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It's reassuring to hear that you've not had any problems. My friend in Victoria is who told me that it was all over the news up there (about the Budget scandal)at the downtown locations & either she gave me the link or I googled it. I'd been surfing the TripAdvisor site & saw many bad reviews as well ( of various rental agencies in downtown). So, maybe it's blown out of proportion?

We are concentrating on Vancouver this trip for just a few days prior to our AK cruise & one night after. That last night, we are scheduled to stay at the hotel on Granville Island, so we will definitely have time for it.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
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