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Suggestions for Vancouver (and surrounding areas) trip

Suggestions for Vancouver (and surrounding areas) trip

Old Aug 7th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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Suggestions for Vancouver (and surrounding areas) trip

My boyfriend and I are heading to the Vancouver area for six nights at the end of August. I would love some suggestions as to how we should spend our time.

We are keen for 2/3 days in Vancouver to see the sights/shop/eat good food. Does anyone have any suggestions of what area we should stay in or recommendations for eating/drinking or must see sights? Stanley park looks beautiful. Wondering whether Victoria is a must see? I've heard it's pretty touristy and not sure what it really has to offer.

We would also like to head out to the countryside to relax, take in some amazing views do some walking/gentle hiking etc. We were thinking perhaps 2 nights in Whistler - what other areas should we consider and how do they compare?

Also, we are flying in and out of Seattle (flights were much cheaper) and renting a car. We arrive in Seattle at 11am so could drive straight up to Vancouver but is it worth staying in Seattle for the night?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Don't forget your passports! If all you need is transport from Seattle to Vancouver, consider taking the Amtrak bus #8906 at 4:45PM arriving at about 8PM. For a train to Vancouver #516 Cascades leaves at 6:50PM and gets into Vancouver about 11PM.
There are 2 HI Hostels in Vancouver. Both are good alternatives to the more expensive hotels. Only rent the car when you need it to go outside the city. Ride the HOHO bus through Stanley Park. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1241267371724
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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My personal opinion on things to do in the Vancouver area:
1. UBC - 4 very nice attractions that we especially enjoyed and all close to each other:
a) The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) - best collection of totem poles and other west coast native artifacts BEAUTIFULLY displayed - the highlight of our trip
b) Botanical gardens at UBC
c) Nitobe Japanese Garden
d) Wreck beach

2. Stanley Park (but skip the aquarium - we were hugely disappointed)

3. Lynn Canyon

4. Bill Reid Art Gallery

In the area - consider taking the ferry to Gibsons - lovely ferry ride, nice area

Victoria - worth seeing - Butchart Gardens alone are amazing and it is a lovely ferry ride.

In Vancouver we stayed at Times Square suites - not big and luxurious but great beds, a kitchen, friendly and helpful staff and the location was excellent.
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 08:05 PM
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I heard about a restaurant in Vancouver with a spectacular view so we went there when passing thru Vancouver on our way to Whistler & Banff last week. It did not disappoint: went for lunch and the food was quite good. We sat on the terrace which had many fireplaces to take off the chill, and the view of the city was fabulous. It's called "Seasons in The Park"..in Queen Elizabeth Park,( easy to find on Mapquest) and was close to our route from the airport to Stanley Park. I think you can check it out online.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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d) Wreck beach

Be advised that is a "clothing optional" beach.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions!
We are pretty set on hiring a car (the boyfriend wants a big, macho pickup)and it seems to be the quickest way to get up to Vancouver.
Will definitely look into the hostels - we would want a private room so will compare the price of this to other hotels.

Semiramis - thanks for the tips - will defo bare these in mind. Time square suites seem very reasonably priced.

The view from the Seasons in the park looks great! Will make sure we check it out in person!

Anybody got any tips on Whistler or other areas outside the city we should visit?
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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You would probably enjoy Whistler more than Victoria if you like light hiking and mountain scenery. Having been to both (and this is spoken by a 65 year old!), Victoria is kinda
" granny does tea for the tourists seeking the Olde English schtick", while Whistler has a young "Mountain bikers on steroids" look and feel--much more high energy vibe. Take the ski gondola to the top and enjoy the crazy bikers rumbling down the ski runs. Light hike or rent a bike in a (mostly flat)Lost Lake Park, or shop all over Whistler Village.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Curf, as downtown Vancouver is mostly flat, and somewhat small-ish (surrounded by water on most sides), you can't go too wrong by employing Priceline.com to land one of the better hotels at a reasonable rate. (particularly when you are a party of two people)

Do be aware that many/most of the downtown hotels charge a staggering parking fee of perhaps $30-40 per NIGHT, for that rental car.

(it is almost worth looking into taking the train up, and only renting a car when you really need it, to go to Whistler)

A train leaves Seattle for Vancouver @ 6:50pm... and if you are landing at 11:00am... (and here's where we allow THREE HOURS for everything to go wrong - only to give you a margin for error)...

(so take it from 2pm leaving the Seattle airport:

You get the "Link Light Rail" from the airport to downtown Seattle (cost $2.75 each)... you find a convenient way to see things while handling your luggage simultaneously (does one check bags at a train station, or not???? - I don't know).

The train would leave downtown seattle @ 6:50pm, and be in downtown Vancouver exactly 4 hours later.

Driving, it would take you 150 miles worth, plus your time at the border... so maybe 3 hours.

Sunset would likely be SOMEWHERE near to 8pm at that point, and you could count on at least the first 1 1/2 hours of your trip in daylight, for seeing out the train window.

Another train leaves the next morning @ 7:40am, if you are inclined to consider it. (this would allow you to stay in downtown Seattle, bus into the city, check your bags at your hotel, and then try to get Seattle done in half a day) (that entails the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and perhaps the local neighborhood of your choice for spontaneous browsing)

I live in Seattle and I know central Vancouver really, really well, and I am quite confident that in this case, the train really could prove most economical for you.

IF you use Priceline for Vancouver, you'd just take a short cab ride from their train station to whichever hotel you land there.

In a day or two, when you're interested, THEN rent a car and go up to Whistler for a day or two. If timed suitably, you can have the car toward the end of your Vancouver stay in order to get your luggage back to the train station conveniently.

Central Vancouver is very much do-able without a car, and your short time in Seattle does NOT require one either.

So... just something to think about (mainly the $40-ish overnight parking fee attached to so many downtown Vancouver hotels - and you could do without it).
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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I agree with the above. I always get a great deal on hotels but then choke at the parking rates which are almost the same price as the room in some cases (well not really). Vancouver is easy to get around without a car, and there is a hop on hop off bus which would give you your bearings right off the bat. It would be a lot less stress and expense in my opinion.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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curf , if u r traveling in the late summer u can face LONG lines both ways @ the border. better as mentioned above to rent a car when u need it here. i am a big fan of downtown seattle: the stunning library; seattle art museum ; wandering the streets; wander up to capital hill ; dinner @ purple cafe on 4th av dt: great and very reasonable small plates; olympic sculpture park

if u want u could take the victoria clipper to victoria; walk the downtown, beacon hill park , dallas road dog walk /windsurf promenade; maybe rent a kayak from ocean river sports and kayak the inner harbor and gorge; stop @ cano brew pub or glo for lunch (bothh accessible by kayak. personally i'd skip butchart: the gardens r way over planted imo but it is a show esp on saturday night for the fireworks. a better in town garden is abkhazi 10 minute public bus ride from down town. the royal bc museum is quite terrific.

u can then take bc ferry s to the mainland. it's one of the most spectacular ferry crossing imo
((and i am a ferry fiend!). the coast plaza in the west end has been having sales and that leaves u on stanley park's doorstep w/ great dining and beaches

have fun
AndrewDavid
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 07:19 PM
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Clarity for CURF:

I'm guessing ANDREW DAVID is in VANCOUVER (aka - "here", to him)
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 02:26 PM
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curf and nortwestmale, to clarify , i live in victoria!
cheers
andrew
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