Vancouver over Xmas. What to do?

Nov 30th, 2002, 11:22 AM
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Vancouver over Xmas. What to do?

I am coming to Vancouver to visit family for the Christmas Holidays. I want some ideas of things to do. I would like to hike up the grind but is that possible during winter? Also what about Stanley Park and other suggestion?
Nov 30th, 2002, 02:48 PM
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Although there is no snow on the North Shore Mountains yet, (a couple of weeks late by now), the Grouse Grind is closed for the winter. Hiking along the Seawall which runs for many kilometres around the city waterfront including Stanley Park is very scenic but not very challanging as it's very level. The Xmas season is very active in Vancouver but the weather is not usually very friendly. Rain and cloud are the rule but the few sunny crisp days we get are gorgeous - especially after the mountains get snow. Very rarely it does snow in the city but it doesn't last long.

There are interesting museums and galleries, excellant shopping, (especially right after Xmas), and a huge variety of restaurants to choose from so you shouldn't be bored.
Dec 1st, 2002, 10:05 AM
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I would like to know shopping areas that are very good but not too expensive. I know of Robson Street which is near the place I will stay. Are there other suggestion? Also, Can someone recommed a good china town resturant for Christmas eve celebration?
Dec 1st, 2002, 10:41 AM
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In downtown Vancouver...

Robson Street is like one giant mall - it's fun to browse and do window shopping - but you'll soon realise the stores are mostly the large, well-known chains (ie: The Gap, Aldo, Bebe, Zara, Banada Republic, le Chateau, Roots, etc).

Denman Street (located along the western end of Robson street) will have some small local boutiques (and a HUGE selection of ethnic restaurants).

Granville Street (between Robson and Hastings), has the alternative clothing/book/shoe shores, well worth a look - like the Granville Book Store, Cheap Thrills, Book Warehouse.

While Gastown (around Water Street) is very touristy, it used to be my family's tradition to go wander around and do shopping there around Christmas. While, sure, there are touristy shops, if you wander off of Water street and visit Cordova Street, Richards, Pender and even parts of Hastings (without going further east than Powell), there are some amazing book store, art shops, local designer boutiques, and craft shops. That's one idea.

If it's raining and you need to get some Christmas shopping done under one roof... can take the skytrain eastbound to Metrotown (about a 20 minute ride on the monorail-ish skytrain), you can do a LOT of shopping at Metrotown mall, which is BC's largest mall. You can practically get lost there, it's so huge.

Pacific Centre mall, which can be accessed from various entrances off of Georgia, Granville and Robson Street (including The Bay and Sears), is another idea, although it's tiny in comparison to Metrotown.

Granville Island is another place I'd recommend - they have all kinds of unique shops, and around Christmas time it's really pretty. Nearby Granville Island is West 4th Avenue which has more shops and boutiques to browse.

The neighbourhood south of downtown, called "South Granville" - Granville Street between West 4th Avenue and West 16th Avenue is yet another place to do shopping. If you browse the intersection of Granville and Broadway you'll find all kinds of neat kitchen shops, book stores, etc.

As for a restaurant in Chinatown, I haven't eaten in Chinatown for a long time, but there's a common misunderstanding that Chinatown is the center of Vancouver's Chinese community and Chinese restaurant scene. The reality is, like Vancouver's Chinese community, most of Vancouver's best Chinese restaurants are found all over the city, including in satellite cities like Richmond.

Vancouver Magazine published (a few years ago) a list of some good Chinese restaurants found around Greater Vancouver.

Here's that list, which will give you an idea of what's out there.

As for hiking the Grind, you can probably do it, even though it's closed. If you have access to a car, and if it hasn't snowed yet, I'd suggest driving up to Mount Seymour (the mountain east of Grouse), and take the "Dog Mountain" trail. It takes an hour to do, but in the end you get an amazing panoramic view of the city.

You might also want to consider going to Lynn Canyon Park and do some hiking there. There are hundreds of km's of trails there, most of which climb up and down the canyon walls.
Dec 2nd, 2002, 05:51 AM
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Thank you very much for the excellent information. I am looking forward to my visit.
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