Vancouver must see's & do's in 5 days

Old May 17th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Vancouver must see's & do's in 5 days

Greetings:

My friend and I are planning our first trip to Vancouver the last week of July or early Aug for 5-6 days. We are 37 yr old city girls from Chicago and love the outdoors, food, music, museums and architecture. What are the must see's in Vancouver for this short time frame? Besides the Orca's and gardens, we don't know what else NOT to miss. We are Asian and LOVE all kinds of Asian food but also want to try great French cuisine or any specialties of Vancouver. Also want to visit Victoria. What are must sees there? Do you think we need to rent a car in Vancouver or would we be able to get around using public transportation economically? Is August a good time to go? Are there special events going on that time?
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Lots of things to do and see, here's just a few, others will tell you more. In Vancouver, you'll want to visit Stanley Park which is a huge city park surrounded by water and famous for its lush temperate rainforest. It also has bike and walking trails and an interesting Aquarium plus other attractions. Haven't had a chance to visit but I hear the Museum of Anthropology at Unviersity of BC is very good. You'll find lots of Asian food, but a seafood specialty of the west coast which I love is Dungeness Crab. Granville Island is popular - in the downtown area, a region which combines a farmers market, upscale and unique shops, cafes, restaurants, etc - accessible by short water taxi ride from downtown. For most of these things you don't need a car, but if you want to get up into the mountains (e.g. Whistler), a car would be good (although I've never investigated bus trips/tours as a possibility).
Victoria downtown is very compact and walkable, lots of tourists and many shops. The Royal BC Museum is very good and very popular. If you have a car, a day trip to Botanical Beach takes you to some wild and scenic coastal areas a little off the beaten track. With more time I would have recommended a few days in the Tofino/Pacific Rim area which is spectacular, but too far to fit into 5 or 6 days. I think August is a very good time to go.
 
Old May 18th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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By the way, late July/early August is the height of the summer vacation season in Canada - hotels will be pricey and some will book up in advance. Again, 5 or 6 days is not a lot of time to do both Vancouver and Victoria (it takes a good part of a day just to travel between them) - a couple of extra days would be better if possible to see and explore both.
 
Old May 30th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for your feedback 'mtjt'. We really haven't decided if we should just go to Vancouver for that timeframe, or stay in Victoria Island the whole time. Is Victoria Island more of a honeymoon spot or would us gals be able to do enough there for 5 days?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Victoria Island is a chunk of frozen rock in the High Arctic.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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That last post meant that the city of Victoria is located on Vancouver Island; the city of Vancouver is NOT located on Vancouver Island, but on the mainland of B.C. Victoria island is, as Sam Salmon said, a totally different place. No, this was not a deliberate plot to confuse visitors!
The Anthropology Museum is well worth a visit, Chinatown is a popular spot, but if you're not really looking for Asian food it may not appeal. Grouse Mountain skyride (a kind of cable car up a nearby mountain) is touristy but fun. There's usually snow at the top in July, & when we were there paragliders were jumping off the top, which has a spectacular view of the city.
In (actually outside the city) Victoria, Butchart Gardens are beautiful if you like gardens. Victoria is the capital, with late 19th c. legislative buildings, and Vancouver Island itself is beautiful, and quite wild and scenic in the north.
Public transportation is fine in Vancouver,which is a large city, but more of a challenge on Vancouver Island.
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