Vancouver First Timer - What to do, see?

Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 08:27 PM
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Vancouver First Timer - What to do, see?

Going to Vancouver and then Seattle for the first time. Will have plenty of time in each place 5+ days each city.

We like to visit nice rooftop bars, but will it be too cold in late October? Don't mind sitting outside in 55 degree weather... (of course if it rains, we will change plans!)

Staying at the Shangri-La, so hopefully centrally located and we love to walk.

Seattle, we are still deciding where to stay. Either Fairmont or Four Seasons.

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 08:28 PM
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Sorry, hit submit too quickly...

Any good day trips from either Vancouver or Seattle?


Any "must see" sights?
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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topping...
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 07:11 PM
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Hi there,

Vancouver just has so much so very nearby, that you can just have fun immersing yourself in the city.

Not only that, but central Vancouver is alive for most of the night, as well as relatively safe when compared to American cities.

A good side-trip is Grouse Mountain (Skyride)... but you have to decide in advance whether you want to spend something like $40.00 for the ride in the gondola car up the side of the mountain.

IF you opt to go there, a reasonable idea is to straddle sunset on your visit, so that you can see the view below in both daylight and in darkness.


I've been to Vancouver a zillion times, and I never tire of just walking around the central area and seeing foreign products and labels and cuisine. Even the candy bar counter is filled with new experiences.


I like the fact that you afforded yourself plenty of time in both Seattle and Vancouver.

I just plotted your Vancouver hotel on a map, and you will indeed be central to a lot of things. The shopping on Robson Street is great, and it won't hurt to be insulated by a couple of blocks between you and the busy shopping area there.

Hope you'll get a high-up room, perhaps ideally with mountain views to the North Shore Mountains... but at least to be away from ground noise which could wear on into the wee hours.

I have lived in Seattle all my life and you're not going to get me to try to guess at the weather a month away. (though I know what first guess I'd offer if forced)


As for day trips...

Vancouver - to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky highway...


And be sure to get to Granville Island there IN Vancouver, as well as driving/walking around Stanley Park.

The shops and eateries along Denman Street are nice too.

But it's the hustle and bustle of the city that really gives Vancouver a vibe that Seattle can seldom equal.


From Seattle - Mount Rainier is always nice...

Oh, and on the path from Seattle to Vancouver you might consider a detour along Chuckanut Drive, which entails exiting at exit #250 south of Bellingham and driving west on highway #11 (can't get too lost, because it is either that road, or water...)... and 'automatically' getting back to the freeway about 19 freeway miles later.

Scenic water views can be had if the weather is suitable.


Some of the most scenic areas in the state are along the North Cascades Highway... and a side trip would commence from Burlington, WA, roughly 3 hours to the east to Winthrop, WA (6 hour round trip of driving time).


But that's something to consider, since you'll be in the area.
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Old Sep 25th, 2016, 03:17 PM
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Thank you Northwestmale!

great advice. We are planning on Grouse and Stanley, so will add in a few of the other ones you suggested. All weather permitting of course...

I had looked at a trip to Mount Rainier, and will most likely do that as well.

Appreciate all the other great tips.

Thank you!
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Old Sep 26th, 2016, 06:09 AM
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We took the "Hop on/Hop off bus around Vancouver. It takes several hours to see Vancouver but its worth it. It will save you a lot of walking and give you a better idea as to what you might want to go back to explore. Its worth the price (and we're not into bus tours) and the hotel concierge can tell you the nearest point where the bus picks up. We enjoyed seeing Stanley Park on the bus and hopped off at Granville Island. When we were done, we just waited for another bus and hopped on. This will give you a good overview of Vancouver, you're not tied to a tour, you can see what interests you and what you can skip.
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