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Vancouver activities and time constraints

Vancouver activities and time constraints

Jul 5th, 2012, 01:50 PM
  #1  
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Vancouver activities and time constraints

I am helping my 20 something son and his wife plan a trip to Seattle and Vancouver at the end of Sept./beginning of October. They are both active and enjoy outdoor activities, good restaurants and general sightseeing of whatever area they are visiting. They will arrive in Vancouver on Sun. afternoon, Sept. 30th and probably head back to Seattle sometime early afternoon on Wed., Oct. 3. They are visiting friends in Seattle prior to Vancouver so if they decide to go to Vancouver Island/Victoria, they will have done that already. So I am focusing on what they could do in Vancouver. I think they will rent a car either before going to Vancouver or when they arrive by some other means to Vancouver. I am researching the alternatives and there are so many! I don't think they could take the Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver because there are only 2 time choices for those dates and they are too early or too late for the rest of their itinerary. Does anyone know anything about the bus ride from Seattle to Vancouver? I priced it and looked at the schedule and that would work. Their friend lives in Bremerton so they would have to take the Bremerton Ferry back to Seattle Sun. morning, get a taxi to the Station on Jackson St. in Seattle and then the bus to the Vancouver Pacific Central, then probably a taxi to hotel in Vancouver. Seems a little complicated but they are young. Any suggestions are welcome about this.

As far as activities in Vancouver I am sure they would enjoy Grouse Mountain, Capilano or Lynn Canyon Park, Stanley Park, possibly the Aquarium, Sea to Sky Highway, Granville Island, and maybe the Trolley Tour to get an overview. I just discovered the Lynn Canyon Park idea today when researching. The plus would be that it would save them some money by doing that instead of Capilano. Maybe they could choose between Grouse Mountain and the Sea to Sky Highway as well. Would the trolley tour be the best way to see the city and Granville Island or can this be done some other way? How much time (minimum) should one allow for each of these activities on my list? If there are any recommendations of which activities could be combined on the same day to economize time, that would be very helpful too. My last question is about the weather; would any of these activities not work due to the temps being too cold to really enjoy? I realize you can't count on what weather will be like so maybe they can have alternatives depending on that. Thanks much for any help.
jet519 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Firstly, let me clarify: when you talk of taking the "bus" from Seattle to Vancouver, are you talking Greyhound? or some other bus? The Greyhound station is at 8th & Stewart in Seattle, not on "Jackson" street.

With 3-ish days in Vancouver, there is so MUCH in the way of life going on up there, that they could fill it even without a pre-planned itinerary.

For three days in the Vancouver area, it may be cost effective to arrive via bus/train, stay downtown, and seldom even leave the downtown core. The reason being the considerable overnight PARKING charges at most downtown hotels, along with the high probability that they wouldn't need the car very much while IN Vancouver.

The weather at that point could be a nice "Indian summer"... OR it could be an early start to the fall rain. It won't be especially 'cold', but of course it all depends on where they're from, in terms of whether they'll be comfortable.

Oh, I just looked up quickcoach.com for other bus possibilities between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. Maybe they have something that would work for you.

For the "outdoor activities" part of their quest, while in Vancouver, they should go to nearby Grouse Mountain... though I'm not sure about the timing for the hiking one can do up there... it is bound to be pretty COLD up at the top by about October 1... so I just don't know what someone gets themselves into that way. (investigate specifics on that)

Central Vancouver is m-m-m-m-m-mostly flat-ish... and the WALKING AROUND is the appeal. "Normal" people walk around on central Vancouver streets all night long, like in few other places I've ever seen.

You've not cited anything truly important enough to warrant the need for a car either in transit or IN central Vancouver.

Consider (their) not being 'burdened' by a vehicle.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Jul 5th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Thanks. The bus I was referring to was actually shown as an option along with the Amtrak on the website I went to for amtrak. I will look at the link you gave me and investigate the one on the Amtrak website further.

I agree that they would probably save money by not renting a car as well as hassle overall. Have you heard anything about the "Tour Guys"? That sounded interesting and my son and his wife like to try different beers; they had a beer tour on their list of tours.
jet519 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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The trolley tour is a hop on/hop off that runs until about 5pm... it covers a lot of the city and eliminates driving and parking hassles... book on line and you get the second day free.... well worth it www.vancouvertrolley.com
garyt22 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Lynn Canyon Park is a very good alternative to the overpriced
extremely touristic Capilano Canyon. The suspension bridges
are very similar and although Lynn Canyon doesn't have an
elevated boardwalky thing, it does have a great trail that
ends at a waterfall. In the fall it's lovely.

Granville Island for sure - lots to see and a great seawall
walk- good idea is to have a meal at Go Fish; it's almost
an institution now - and the salmon tacos are terrific.
immimi is online now  
Jul 9th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Recognize that rain can put a damper (sorry) on things. We were there for 3.5 days in mid-May, and it rained better than half the time. Still a lovely, lovely city, but....
bookhall is offline  
Jul 10th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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May is traditionally a rainy month while September/October are not.
BC_Robyn is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Grouse is a good idea, it's a stunning view and if they're looking to do something active, they can do The Grind (that is, hike up it! Takes a few hours depending on health level but it's fun and rewarding, some locals do it every week)

Biking around the seawall at Stanley Park is something they'd probably enjoy, as well. Bike culture here is on the rise and the new bike lanes and regulations make it easier for people to see the city that way. It's personally my favorite way to see any city, much more room for serendipity than on a bus

Granville Island is quaint, super touristy but there's an art school that has some galleries open to the public and art studios. The weather is usually pretty mild still in Sept, we often have really lovely falls here and it doesn't get very rainy or cold until November usually.

Restaurant-wise, definitely point them in the direction of Gastown - the restaurant culture here is quite strong, and there are tons of great places to eat. A few names to get you started - The Diamond, Six Acres or the Pourhouse for cockatils/appies, Peckinpah's for bourbon and BBQ, Salt for wine & cheese, L'Abbatoir is hands down the best meal in the city (pricer, but worth it). Meat & Bread (self-explanatory lunch place), and there's tons of great sushi here and ramen houses. La Brasserie, Campagnolo.....the list goes on of great food.

Culture-wise, check out The Waldorf Hotel - an original 1950's hotel renovated to its former glory, now a cultural hub with multiroom parties, art shows and concerts, Nuba restaraunt and the infamous Tiki Bar. Also, check the Georgia Straight (www.straight.com) for things to do and see.

Have a great time!
jenpan is offline  
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