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Vancouver tourist questions - and do we need a car?

Vancouver tourist questions - and do we need a car?

Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Vancouver tourist questions - and do we need a car?

My family of four will spend two nights in Vancouver prior to boarding our Alaska cruise ship. Kids are tween and teen and experienced travelers and I'd like to plan a nice visit in Vancouver and environs.

Our hotel is not far from Stanley Park, a visit to which is at the top of my list. We may rent bikes and ride along the seawall.

I had been thinking about visiting Buchart Garden, but I'm beginning to think the trip to get there is too long given our limited time.

What do you think are don't miss things to see and do in and around Vancouver?

What is the quickest way of getting to Buchart Garden and back again? If speed and convenience are the priorities, is there any way of getting there that's better than taxis and ferry?

Any fun, good places to eat? Waterfront places with spectacular views and good food? Fun-for-kids restaurants like Corvette Diner in San Diego or Ed Devebic's in Chicago?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 05:15 PM
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I'd rent a car and do a drive up to Whistler over a day trip to Butchart Gardens--unless you think your kids would really enjoy the gardens.

But with just one full day, seeing Stanley Park and Granville Island (my top 2 places to visit) will take up much of your time.

Cardero's on Coal Harbour is a good family friendly seafood place with a nice view.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:18 AM
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If you only have a couple days in Vancouver, I'm not sure you will be able to really fit in Butchart Garden. I'm thinking that if you have 2 nights there, it would be 1st day arrive, 2nd day to tour, 3rd day, leave for the cruise? I think you pretty much have to take the ferry to get there since Victoria is on an island. The drive from the middle of Vancouver to the ferry area is something like 30-60 minutes (I can't remember) ad then there's the ferry ride itself, which is around 90 minutes.

I agree with the above person. Stanley Park and Granville Island are my favourite places to visit in Vancouver. There's a lot of stuff to do in Stanley Park and they also have the Vancouver Aquarium there, which could be fun for the kids. They have a new baby beluga whale that was just born there.

I can't really help with suggestions on fun for kids type of restaurants though, sorry. There are a lot of shops and restaurants on or near Robson street. Vancouver has a wide variety of ethnic type cuisines. Some of the best sushi I had in North America came from Vancouver.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Robson street has a resteruant for everyone!
or Yale town. Both are a short cab ride away if you dont want to walk it
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Vancouver is so awesome and filled with things to do, that someone there for such a short window of time need not leave the core of the city. I went to Granville Island for the first time just the other day, and although it was early on Sunday morning, I could sense that it would be hustling and bustling a few hours later.

I vote for following your kids' impulses around a wonderful city before you coop them up on a boat for several days. Definitely find a way to see Stanley Park, and maybe roam Robson Street shopping/touristy area...

You'll have a fine time during your short stay there, and it is the rare large city where decent people are walking the streets all night long.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:44 PM
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A really neat ecxperience for the kids and yourself is a trip to Capilino suspension bridge on the north shore. (around 30 minute drive) I am sure there are day tours there so you don't have to rent a car. Besides the suspension bridge, you are surrounded by the north shore mountains and forest, and lots of opportunity to explore the park. Also a day trip to Grouse Mountain ( same north shore area) is awesome- you take a gondala ride to the top and there is lots to see and do.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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a trip on the gondola just before twilight is great. you see the city in the day time and then when you come down it is all lit up and gorgeous.
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