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Vancouver this summer - four 30-year-old women

Vancouver this summer - four 30-year-old women

Old Mar 5th, 2002, 07:10 AM
  #1  
annette
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Vancouver this summer - four 30-year-old women

My best friends and I are planning a trip to vancouver in August for 5 days. We are celebrating our 30th birthdays and want some outdoor adventure, sightseeing, people-watching, good food, etc. We are on a small budget too. Any suggestions on a 5-day itinerary. I was thinking a couple days in vancouver and a couple days on vancouver island????? HELP! Thanks!
 
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #2  
Jenny
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Happy birthday- I am planning on celebrating my 30th in Vancouver in August, too (scroll down several posts to see my as-yet unanswered post). Just wanted to say that I too am looking for these suggestions, and if I come up with anything exciting on my own, I'll pass it on. So far I have been concentrating on hot springs- Harrison Hot Springs and/or the ones on Vancouver Island that you have to take a boat to.
 
Old Mar 5th, 2002, 02:47 PM
  #3  
gary
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You've both picked an excellant place and an excellant time to visit. All of S.W. BC is a fantastic combination of cosmopolitan urban and fantastic outdoor recreational and scenic venues. Whether you spend 3 days in Vancouver or two would depend on whether you prefer the urban vs the less developed rustic pleasures. Rest assured Vancouver has a great deal of outdoor recreqational pursuits from crowded to secluded beaches, (some clothing optional), to mountain climbing to sailing and much in between. Vancouver also has an ethnic blend of European and Asian in particular that makes it a great place to eat and as a world traveler I have to tell you that the price of dining out in Vancouver is half what it is in most major centres of the world. That's also mostly true of shopping and hotels although maybe we're talking 60-80% there.

I always feel it's best for people to read up on Vancouver - visit the various web sites - and then come back with specific questions, (i.e. which hotel or restaurant is better 'a,b, or c'), than answer generalities like yours. So study up and come back when you've narrowed your choices.
 
Old Mar 6th, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #4  
Carl Z
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First off Vancouver Island is too big to be even sampled in a few days-save for next time

OK here's a few places to consider in Vancouver

Great Pizza http://www.natsnewyorkpizzeria.com/

Great Gelato
http://www.lacasagelato.com/

Fabulous Seafood
http://www.crestaurant.com

Best Japanese in North America
http://www.tojos.com

http://www.vancouver.hm
all kinds of info.

http://www.granville-island.net/en
The place to be/be seen/shop for out-of-the-ordinary-things/eats.

http://www.ecomarine.com/
for a kayaking day trip.

A number of local Cycle shops rent bicycles for day trips-Reckless Rider comes to mind http://www.rektek.com/-near Granville Island.

IMO opinion Harrison is for newlyweds and nearly deads-nice scenery but that's about it-the lake is FREEZING-too cold to swim in by anyone but 9 year old Inuit (!)

Food is marginal and the locals are often knuckledraggers of the worst sort-sorry but it's true.
 
Old Mar 7th, 2002, 08:54 AM
  #5  
keri
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Shopping on Robson Street, Party at the Roxy...or any other great downtown places. Granville Island, Stanley Park, Gastown, China Town, English Bay, Kitslano...Stick to Vancouver all 5 days.
 
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:30 PM
  #6  
Jeff
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The weather MAY be a problem in August. In the last 2 weeks of August and first part of September, it often turns rainy here (coinciding with our annual Pacific National Exhibition event). But the first part of Aug is usually hot and sunny.

Somehow I cannot imagine how four 30 yr old women can NOT have lots to do here. Small budget? If you are American, the 1.6 exchange rate makes the cost awfully cheap.

A suggested itinerary (and others are welcome to argue the merits/demerits of these suggestions):
- Day 1: Visit Granville Island which is a mere stone's throw from downtown. Browse through the public market and the various local artist shops there. Be sure to spend some time at the marina just watching the sail and power boats going in and out. In the afternoon head over to Stanley Park via downtown and walk, bike, or rollerblade the entire seawall walk. Don't go too fast because there are a zillion pedestrians on that walk and those on wheels have to stick to their side of the walkway to avoid collisions. Lots of people-watching and things to see in both locations. Be aware that Stanley Park is very big. End your day strolling around Denman Street where the large downtown residents like to walk and shop. Around the area of Denman and Davie Street there are several nice restaurants and a great view of English Bay especially as the sun goes down on a clear day.

- Day 2. Head over to North Vancouver by Seabus (local commuter transit service). This gives you a quick harbour tour for less than $3 each. In North Van, you can browse briefly at Lonsdale Quay if you are into a little shopping. However, I would catch the transit bus over to the "village" of Deep Cove. Once there, grab a take-along lunch, and rent kayaks or canoes. See www.deepcovekayak.com for info. Paddle around Indian Arm and stop at one of the isolated islands for lunch - it's very quiet and scenic in the area except for the odd tour boat. For the evening, head back to North Van and try out the BC Rail Starlight dinner train for a very scenic tour and dinner up Howe Sound. Check www.bcrail.com/starlight. Be aware that many passengers are couples who will be dressed up for a romantic evening together.

 
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #7  
Jeff
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- Day 3. Take the bus to Victoria on Vancouver Island, via the ferry. Check www.pacificcoach.com <http://www.pacificcoach.com>. Rate is $67/adult. Count on a 4 hour (including waiting for the bus, etc) trip to get there. If you can splurge a bit, you can fly by floatplane to give you fantastic view of Vancouver, Georgia Strait and souther Vancouver Island by air. Check www.harbour-air.com or www.westcoastair.com. Rate is $198 and you will get there in 45 minutes (including wait time). It is safe - they use Twin Otters - I have flown with them hundreds of times but don't look out the front window when they land in Victoria. The planes fly harbour to harbour so bus or taxi is not necessary. Stroll Victoria downtown and try high tea (anybody know if the dress code is still in effect?) at the Empress Hotel. Stay overnight. There are lots of B&Bs but they are mostly outside Victoria. Victoria is a sleepy town so don't expect much of a night life.

- Day 4. Take a whale watching tour. They go right out of Victoria harbour. There are covered boats, but the fun ones are open air (and sea). If you are into flowers and well-tended gardens, then take a tour of Butchart Gardens. Take the bus or plane back to Vancouver.

- Day 5. Take a tour of Chinatown. $5 each at the Chinese Cultural Centre. Be sure to stroll through the various shops and hawkers screaming their wares. Try a dim sum lunch at one of the restaurants. Or the Chinese equivalent of fast food at Hon's Wun Tun - but be prepared to share your table with strangers because it gets busy at peak times. Head back to downtown and stroll around Robson Street to do window shopping.

 
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:34 PM
  #8  
Jeff
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Some other ideas/alternatives to the above:
- Take the skyride up Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. The view of Vancouver is breathtaking. Check www.grousemountain.com Looking for a physical challenge? Hike up the Grouse Mountain (called the Grouse Grind). You must be at least moderately fit, and count on about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Your legs will hurt though unless you train before coming here.

- Try the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. It's always a thrill as you swing back and forth while crossing the canyon. Don't want to pay? There is another suspension bridge free of charge known only to locals - it's at Lynn Canyon Park. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery in the area (whichever canyon you choose).

- Don't bother trying to get to Whistler because that will take a whole day by itself. If you do go there, you can rent mountain bikes or ATVs for a ride around the trails. Or just stroll through Whistler Village, enjoy some street entertainment, and gawk at the high-priced condos there. An overnight stay is rather pricey so plan on returning that day.

- If you get the chance, find a White Spot restaurant and try one of their legendary burgers. The chain is only located in western Canada, and many former BC residents get homesick over this burger. The meat is just ground beef, but it's in the sauce.

- Relax on one of the beaches. Local favourites are Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver where the crowds are generally young (many are students), Second Beach at Stanley Park, or Ambleside Beach in North Vancouver. If you go to the latter, you can do the group wave as the cruise ships go by in the late afternoon.
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #9  
Annette
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Thanks for all the replies everyone! They are very helpful. My friends and I decided we will spent about 3 days in Vancouver and two or three on the gulf islands. Does anyone have any suggestion about which of the gulf islands to visit? Also, do you think we need to rent a car? Thanks!
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 09:51 PM
  #10  
Carl Z
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There is NO public transportation on the Gulf Islands-apart from Cabs that is.

So a car it is-Yes.

http://www.gulfislands.com/ for more info.

Saltspring is the biggest Island although there isn't a heckuva lot to do for people in your age bracket, the locals come in 2 basic varieties, #1-grubby hippy-types trying to scrape a living out of #2-recent moneyed retirees .

Smallmouth Bass fishing is good in St. Mary Lake, Golf is available, Kayaking as well, it can be a fun place to Cycle if you like hills (!)

Be careful driving-Deer are endemic and will walk right out in front of you at the WORST possible moment-they seem to have a liking for blind corners.

 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 11:26 AM
  #11  
amanda
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Goto Victoria 2 days! You will love it

1) Have Tea at either the Empress Hotel or Blethering Place? (less expensive and still delightful)
2) Have dinner at pagliaccias on a night when they have live music
3) Stay at Abigail's B&B, call and ask if they have special rates, the breakfast here is amazing! ! !
4)Stoll the streets...
5)Goto Buchart Gardens, simply amazing, beautiful and delightful even if you are not a garden person... it will take your breath away!!!


Vancouver (2-3 days)
1) Goto the aquarium
2) Stroll around the park
3) Go shopping! ! !
4) Take a bus tour of the city (it is worth it)
5) Goto granville island and have lunch at the market...


 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #12  
Artemis
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Since you mention people-watching in particular ... One of the day's you're in downtown Vancouver, get a take-out lunch and eat it on the steps of the Art Gallery. It's one of the best people-watching places in the city. Other good locations for more "exotic" people-watching are Davie St. (downtown) and Commercial Drive (easy bus or skytrain ride from downtown). Commercial Drive also has faboulous eclectic shopping and food.

And I'll agree with just about all of the other recommendations made *except* Capilano suspension bridge. It's a tacky tourist trap. Only go there if you want to laugh at how tacky it is.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 02:49 AM
  #13  
doug
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well im a home grown vancouver guy! u are gonna have a blast here.! so much to do! ill be youre tour guide!! haha! ive got some interesting ideas if u wanna stay in touch here....lots of great ideas from other people here. email me if u like and i can let u in on some off the beaten path ideas that us born and bres vancouverites now about eh??!!
 
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