Vancouver Babymoon

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Jun 18th, 2018, 11:46 AM
  #1
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Vancouver Babymoon

Hi all - My wife and I are traveling to Vancouver at the end of July for a week. We've never been and have heard great things and would love everyone's tips. Some helpful background info:
1. Flying in and out of Vancouver and staying 6 nights total.
2. My wife will be well within her second trimester during the trip. We are planning on being active but obviously nothing too crazy so that she can rest and for the safety of the baby.
3. Interests are nature, art, food and culture. We are lovers of big cities but also love exploring nature through hikes, bike riding, etc. We love being culture shocked and food is a big part of any trip for us.

We have hard Vancouver Island is worth pairing with the city for a good mix. I'm starting completely fresh here with not much of an idea of what Vancouver has to offer. Feel free to share itineraries or just list things you feel are must-sees.

Thanks very much,
Tony
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Jun 20th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Just FYI: the City of Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island (Victoria is).
Vancouver has a Hop On Hop Off bus service that may be helpful when you want to visit Stanley Park. See the totem poles and at least part of the seawall in Stanley Park.
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Jun 21st, 2018, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
Just FYI: the City of Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island (Victoria is).
Vancouver has a Hop On Hop Off bus service that may be helpful when you want to visit Stanley Park. See the totem poles and at least part of the seawall in Stanley Park.
Thanks, understood and will do. How do you suggest splitting time between Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver given my above preferences? Would like to start arranging my lodging and wondering where I should be looking and how much time to spend in each.


Thanks for this! Any thoughts on my question above?
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Jun 21st, 2018, 11:01 AM
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I would spend all of it in Vancouver unless you want to rent a car for the island, and even then it takes time to get there and back. I stayed in the YWCA in Vancouver, not sure if that is your kind of place.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 05:25 PM
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FYI-Vancouver Island is 500km long, 80km wide, and has a mountain range down the middle some of which are almost 600 metres high so it's not easy to see much in the time allotted you need a week or better yet two weeks.

As to visiting here in the city that's well trodden path.
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Jun 29th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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Victoria could be a long day trip from Vancouver-or possibly one night-by using the ferry without a car.

BC Ferries Schedules: Vancouver - Victoria<br />(Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay)
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Jun 29th, 2018, 01:08 PM
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Vancouver proper can also be very expensive anytime-especially summer-so i would consider staying in a bedroom community such as Richmond, Burnaby, or New Westminster then using public transportation such as the Skytrain to enter Vancouver. Driving and parking in Vancouver can be very trying. I'm in Seattle and travel that area a lot. Any questions I can probably help.
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Jul 4th, 2018, 09:50 AM
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check out visitacity Vancouver 5 day itinerary. This covers a lot of attractions around the city in a fairly good pace.

I would spend the extra and stay downtown to enjoy the city. I hear good things about the Blue Horizon, but have not stayed there myself. You will find lots of diversity for food in Van, but not sure about culture shock if you are from North America. Also be sure to take one of little Aquabuses from Granville island to downtown... a charming way to get to and from downtown. If it is hot, bring your swimsuits to take a dip in the Kits Beach pool or lounge at the beach for a refreshing break.

You may want to change up to do 2 nights in Victoria which adds a nice ferry ride and tour around downtown Victoria, but you end up using a full day to travel. Or you could swap out one day to go up to Whistler for mountain town charm.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 06:19 AM
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Thanks everyone for the tips! It seemed a bit of a stretch to do Vancouver Island with the short time we have so I came up with the below. Please let me know your thoughts!

Day 1- Arrive in Vancouver
Day 2 - Vancouver (City Day 1: Stanley Park/Bike Tour/Beaches)
  • Sleep in to adjust to jet lag. Head to breakfast.
  • Stanley Park:
    • Cycle City Tour (https://cyclevancouver.com/tours/)
    • Approx $90 pp with bike rental - The grand tour includes Stanley Park, Granville Island Market, Chinatown and Gastown. Said to be a good way to orient yourself and learn about the city.
    • Available bookings: 9, 9:30, 10. 10:30 and 11 AM. Must book in advance. Cheaper bike tour available if you just want to do Stanley Park alone. Grand tour is 5 hours (2 hours of riding time) and Stanley Park tour is 3 hours (about 5 miles). Both are said to be relaxed and easy.
    • Note: People mention the hallow tree.
  • Lunch: Due to timing, suggest grabbing a quick to-go lunch before heading to next destination.
  • Afternoon Swim - Two good options:
    • Kitsilano Beach - One of the most popular beaches in Vancouver, especially in the warm summer months. Located at the north edge of the Kitsilano neighbourhood, the beach faces out onto Burrard Inlet. The beach is home to the longest swimming pool in Canada. Toward the northern edge of the beach is a playground and a number of beach volleyball courts.
    • English Bay Beach - The closest of Vancouver's downtown beaches, with amazing sunshine facing straight south and close in views of Kitsilano and Granville Island on the city's Westside. This beach is sandy, good for swimming, is made up of a string of smaller coves that stretch for about 2km, and is often less crowded than the more popular downtown beaches in Stanley Park. At the western end of the beach is the intersection of Denman and Davie Streets - this is the epicentre of Vancouver's West-End neighbourhood and small cafes, restaurants, and shops stretch for many blocks up each street, particularly Denman.
  • Hotel Break and then Dinner
Day 3 - Vancouver (City Day 2: Seawall, Gastown, Chinatown)
  • Day Activities - Grab quick breakfast and then*]Seawall - Seawall is the walkway around the park with beautiful views of the sea and mountains on one side and the dense forest on the other side. It is about 8.8km and takes about 3 hours to walk. Start from Coal Harbour and end at English Bay. Trail offers a walk past Granville Island, Stamps Landing, Olympic Village and Telus World of Science. Many say the best way to get around is to bike the 8.8km portion.
  • Granville Island for Lunch - Granville Island is an actual island and one of the most popular places in Vancouver. Inside is Public Market, there is an assortment of colorful food and produce stores as well as handcrafted products and unique gifts.
    • Note: A Food Tour is available of Public Market.
  • Chinatown - Quickly walk through Chinatown. In addition to chinese food, there is a large abacus made of British Columbia jade.
  • Gastown at night - Historical neighborhood in Vancouver. Named after a Yorkshire seaman, walk along Water street to see his statue. Also has the steam clock and a variety tours (food, photography and ghost). Good place to get dinner at night.
Day 4 - Vancouver (Excursion Day 1: Whistler)
  • Getting to Whistler:
    • Car - Two hour drive from downtown Vancouver, climbing up the spectacular Sea-to-Sky highway via Horseshoe Bay, Britannia Beach and Squamish. Can stop at Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls on the way. Can also see Howe Sound.
    • Bus - Epic Rides ($35 round trip), Greyhound Canada, Pacific Coach Lines, and Snowbus.
    • Floatplane - Harbour Air offers scheduled floatplane flights between downtown Vancouver and Whistler from May to September. Taking just 30 minutes, the fully-narrated flight soars over Garibaldi Provincial Park, as well as giving passengers a bird's eye view of Shannon Falls, the fjords of Howe Sound, and an unforgettable view of Vancouver. Book online or by calling 604.932.6615. https://www.harbourair.com/book-a-fl...tes-schedules/
    • Tour Option:
      • Landsea Tours - Whistler & Shannon Falls Tour drives along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway and features various stops and viewpoints including Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. Pass by 2,125 metre (7,000 foot) high mountains, an ancient glacial fjord, and the second largest granite monolith in the world. Enjoy four hours of free time in Whistler Village to explore, shop and dine. $145 per person.
  • What to do there:
    • Peak 2 Peak Gondola - An elevated ride between the two mountains. Though the distance covered is a record-breaking 4.4 kilometers, the ride takes only 11 minutes. On a clear day, the view is superb and looks out to snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes, and dense coniferous forests.
    • Admission: Adults $53, seniors and youth (13-18) $46, children (7-12) $28 (discounts for online purchase and shoulder-season visits). http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/eve...?season=summer
    • Lost Lake is a year-round destination for activities, be it mountain biking and bird watching in summer or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. Trails fan out from the lakeshore exploring quiet forests filled with British Columbia wildlife. The small lake offers a beach and is generally one of the busier spots on a hot summer day, especially as there is a shuttle from the village. For more sandy, freshwater beaches near Whistler, head to Alpha Lake and Alta Lake.
Day 5 - Vancouver (Excursion Day 2: Squamish or Salt Spring Island)
  • Squamish: Hire a car for a Sea to Sky Highway drive north of the city. The cliffside road is one of BC’s most scenic routes but it’s also home to several great attractions, mostly near the town of Squamish less than an hour away. The Sea to Sky Gondola (seatoskygondola.com) is the area’s newest lure. It shimmies 1920m up a tree-crowded mountainside for some spectacular panoramic vistas. At the summit there’s a suspension bridge, forested trails and a view-hugging restaurant. Can see Shannon Falls.
  • Salt Spring Island: Salt Spring Air’s floatplane service from downtown to the most popular Southern Gulf Island takes just 35 minutes. En route you’ll encounter breathtaking ocean and archipelago panoramas before splashing into Salt Spring Island’s Ganges Harbour – and just a few steps from Canada’s best outdoor market. Running Saturdays from April to October, the market has more than 100 stalls that hawk everything from arts and crafts to food and produce, all grown or made on the island. Save time for Ganges’ galleries, coffeeshops and restaurants – especially the Tree House Cafť – before hopping the plane home.
Day 6 - Vancouver (City Day 3: Capilano Suspension Bridge/Grouse Mountain)
  • Day Activities - Grab quick breakfast and then
    • Capilano Suspension Bridge - Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 110 feet above the forest floor. The new Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms and only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure!
    • Grouse Mountain - Either take a taxi (around $20 or take the free shuttle that runs from Canada Place (departing every 30 minutes in peak times). Grouse Mountain is about 15-minutes after crossing Lions Gate Bridge.
      • Head to the top of Grouse Mountain via funicular
    • After the mountain, enjoy Vancouver by roaming around the city aimlessly or revisiting a spot we liked.
Day 7 - Vancouver (Early Departure)

Some food tips we received:
  • Joules Bistro - affordable French restaurant in Gastown
  • Shabusen - all-you-can-eat sushi --- this is located at the corner of Robson and Burrard St....it gets crowded but the sushi is very good and you can try a lot of varieties. Lunch is about $15.
  • Guilt & Co. -- this is a fun place on a Saturday night. It's a bar in Gastown where you can have drinks and play board games. Recommend heading there before 9pm though.
  • Society (in Yaletown) - this lounge is very chic -- try the Nutella milkshake drink -- it's amazing.
  • Chambar - really good mussels and beer selection. It's Belgian food.
  • Thierry - this is an awesome chocolate cafe -- they are known for their macarons
  • Banana Leaf - this is a Malaysian restaurant -- great food and prices
  • Finch's - get the blue brie, prosciutto and pear sandwich
  • Meat and Bread - located in Gastown, this is a great place to grab a sandwich (get the pork). But, it's only open from 11am-5pm.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 09:21 AM
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Chinese garden while in Chinatown. Lynn canyon also has a suspension bridge and trails, and it's free.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 11:44 AM
  #12
 
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while i love your thorough, ambitious planning, your days to Whistler and Salt Spring especially are really long. be prepared to pair back. especially with a pregnant wife. also, IMO for swimming, rely on the pool not the bay. that water is real cold. also, IMO any guided tour of Granville Island is a waste of time and money. explore on your own. much nicer. another restaurant that has never disappointed us is Bishops. upscale and delicious.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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Jules Bistro in Gastown is a great French resto but be warned - it’s in a very scuzzy area. I’d cab it.

Oddfish in Kits is a fun, very lively restaurant.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 07:19 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by melproffit View Post
while i love your thorough, ambitious planning, your days to Whistler and Salt Spring especially are really long. be prepared to pair back. especially with a pregnant wife. also, IMO for swimming, rely on the pool not the bay. that water is real cold. also, IMO any guided tour of Granville Island is a waste of time and money. explore on your own. much nicer. another restaurant that has never disappointed us is Bishops. upscale and delicious.
thank you! Thatís the kind of feedback Iím looking for. Weíre trying to spend a couple of days to see BC beyond Vancouver. The pictures of nature weíve seen are so beautiful and we want to experience them in person but are limited by the fact that we are spending every night back in the main city. Any tips for good day trips?

feel free to rip my itinerary apart haha. Itís why I post it.
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Jul 6th, 2018, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by immimi View Post
Jules Bistro in Gastown is a great French resto but be warned - itís in a very scuzzy area. Iíd cab it.

Oddfish in Kits is a fun, very lively restaurant.
thanks! Will add those to the list. Any others of the ones already mentioned standout to you?

Last edited by tonygabe; Jul 6th, 2018 at 07:21 PM.
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Jul 7th, 2018, 12:16 PM
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Your walking tour of the seawall and the biking tour of stanley park to granville island will cover the same ground . I would bike the entire thing . It is a great bike trip. Biking in Granville island is not great however. I would do that on foot . you can do a tour if you like, or just ride around on your own on the sea wall in Stanley park, through English Bay on the sea wall and then to Science world and end up at the entrance to Granville island. Park the bike.( get locks) Grab a bite at one of the many options there and then ride back. Lots of bike rental places near stanley park.
https://sandinmysuitcase.com/biking-stanley-park/

A float plane to Saltspring would be great. The scenery from the air is beautiful and the Tree house never disappoints, and the market is fun. Try some of the home made ice-cream. Squamish is towards Whistler and you are going that area anyhow. I think an island would be a nice contrast .
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Jul 7th, 2018, 02:26 PM
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I have cycled, walked and run around Stanley Park many many times over 40 years. I find the crowds now can be overwhelming, especially on weekends. Many cyclists look like they are on their first ride. I hope your wife takes great care on her ride.
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Jul 8th, 2018, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tonygabe View Post
thank you! Thatís the kind of feedback Iím looking for. Weíre trying to spend a couple of days to see BC beyond Vancouver. The pictures of nature weíve seen are so beautiful and we want to experience them in person but are limited by the fact that we are spending every night back in the main city. Any tips for good day trips?

feel free to rip my itinerary apart haha. Itís why I post it.
ok here goes. i am basing many comments on my experiences traveling with a pregnant. wife.

Stanley Park-do not bike. imagine if your wife decides she doesn't want to continue and rented bikes have to be pushed back to pick up spot. big bummer. i suggest walking the seawall and there is a hop on hop off bus available in the park. the website has areal time map of bus locations. details here: https://westcoastsightseeing.com/hop...htseeing_pass/

swimming-as mentioned before-a pool is your friend in Vancouver unless you really enjoy ocean swimming. going to the beach to relax a bit and dip the toes is a good idea, but that water is cold.

Granville Island is a great spot-food, art, entertainment, etc. if you go as i said before, don't waste money on a tour. also, if you can mange it use public transpo to get there. parking can be in frustratingly short supply.

Chinatown to me is a bit underwhelming, especially if you have been to any other large Chinatown in North America. Gastown I enjoy much more day or night.

Hopefully you have chosen to eliminate the Whistler & Island options. on the other hand, i would definitely try to make the trip to Capilano Bridge and Grouse Mountain. nice scenery and the Bridge and Funicular are fun.

another worthwhile daytrip, especially if you like chinese food, is Richmond, BC. over 50% chinese population and more great restaurants than you can imagine. many, many outstanding spots to enjoy dim sum. and if time, the village of Steveston is quite cute with a cool fishing history. nice farmers market a couple of Sundays a month including July 29.

if your wife likes to shop, or just window shop, a walk along Commercial Drive might be nice.

food wise, i mentioned Bishops for a high end dinner. on the lower end I like SaveOn Meats and Nando's Chicken. though I have not been, Vij's is very highly regarded for Indian food.
please report back after your trip to tell us about your experience.
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Jul 8th, 2018, 10:22 AM
  #19
 
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The sea wall walk from Canada Place to the entrance to Stanley Park is beautiful...and Cardero’s
orCactus Club are great for casual dining w a view.

I think ‘Joules’ is actually Jules.

I second Richmond for the closest thing to China...and very easy to get there on the Skytrain.
Steveston Village is another good suggestion if it’s dry. Great for fish and chips in Garry Park
on the water.

UBC has the lovely Niobe Gardens plus a world class Museum of Anthropology. Easy to get there
by bus. stop off on 4th Avenue (Kits) for your choice of restaurants including Bishops.

Lynn Canyon Park has a suspension bridge and great walks through the forest. Free, too.
Also a snack place.

Seabus to North Vancouver...terrific art gallery by the terminal. Your choice of restaurants most
with streetside patios.

Bus to West Vancouver and stroll the sea wall to the end at Dundarave. Again, you have eateries at
both ends of the walk.

Lots to do in Van. in the summer!
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Jul 8th, 2018, 10:25 AM
  #20
 
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ugh...sorry for the sentence breaks!
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