Vancouver trip report

Old Aug 5th, 2002, 12:06 PM
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Vancouver trip report

Returned last night from a wonderful 5 day trip to Vancouver. Weather was beautiful and cool all 5 complaints there! City was busy because of the Gay Pride parade, disembarkation of cruise passengers, etc. and had a nice "energy" to it.

We stayed at the Renaissance Vancouver. Remodeled waterfront hotel with good service, pretty rooms, nice gym, etc. I would recommend it although it can get hectic with tour groups.

Lots of good meals. Really liked CinCin on Robson, Wild Rice in Chinatown and Raincity Grill on Denman. Joe Fortes, The Keg and the hotel's Vistas restaurant were all good as well. One place we discovered was Paul's Place on Granville, near the Granville Island area and in the middle of the art galleries. Fun place for breakfast with great food and pleasant service.

Did the seaplane trip to Victoria for a day visit to Butchart Gardens (wonderful) and to sightsee. Flew Harbour Air one way and West Coast the other. I preferred WC's larger planes but they were pretty similar overall.

Can't wait to return!!
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 02:34 PM
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Great tips John! We go in one week for 7 days...first trip there,staying at Pan Pacific Hotel.Question: do you think you missed out on the beauty of the ferry trip on the water, going to Victoria? Or is it really worth it to save time by flying. We have to do Victoria in one day since we are not staying overnight. Did you rent a car there, or how did you get to Buchart Gardens?
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 02:57 PM
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We opted for the seaplanes because of time. The ferries are surely lovely, but they don't go from harbour to harbour. Instead, the BC Ferry terminals are 20 km from city centers. Since we weren't driving, we didn't want to have to take a taxi or use public transit to get to/from Vancouver and Victoria downtown. We planned to fly to Victoria and take the ferry back, but decided that the 35 minute flight was worth the extra cost when compared to the 2-3 hour ferry/taxi/bus idea.

I'd like to do the ferry one day, but I'll have an overnight or two in Victoria planned!

We took the Gray Line double decker bus from the Empress Hotel to Butchart. It was $40CAD roundtrip and included admission. Kinda hokey tour but the bus wasn't crowded so it was nice.
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 07:50 PM
G mitchell
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You can take a bus <> right from the terminal in downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria. You can also take public transportation for a couple of bucks from Victoria to Butchart Gardens --no need to spend $40.
The ferry trip is lovely and highly recommended.
However, if you were just going to Victoria to see Butchart Gardens, it is probably not worth the trip. I know it is heavily promoted ( it is private ) but Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver at 37th / Oak street is a larger, better, and much less crowded ( it is public and not heavily promoted ) A little further to the east of Van Dusen along 33rd street is Queen Elizabeth park which also has a lovely garden--both a sunken reclaimed natural garden and an indoor tropical.

Has been really unseasonable cool( 60 record cold temps set yesterday in BC ) here for a few days but expected to be up around 27C or higher by wed/thurs this week ( low to mid 80's F )
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for your replys. Being from Dallas, We are looking forward to cooler temperatures next week, so thanks for the temps.
I guess we'll just make the decision when we get there about which day to go to Victoria...and no, Buchardt Gardens are not the main attraction, tho I am REALLY REALLY into photographing flora and fauna...I'm a flower nut, work in a florist shop...and want to visit all the places where flowers and plants are abundant.
John, was that plane trip scary?
And it a scary drive to it scary like the drive in Big Sur...anyone? My husband has a fear of winding roads on high mountains with big drop-offs on the side and no guard rails.....pls...anyone....tell me how scary it is to drive yourself to Whistler...or is it still neat to go by bus or train. I'd rather rent a car and take our time...but if there are scary bridges or high inclines like BIg Sur or the Continental Divide in Colorado...he won't go, not will he let me drive..even tho I'm not scared.
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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The trip from Vancouver to Whistler does involve winding roads but I certainly wouldn't call them 'scary' except perhaps on a dark, stormy night which I reccomend you avoid. The Highway is two lanes but I can't recall anywhere where you might feel nervous about going off the edge. Bottom line - in fair weather and in daylight it is really a very beautiful and not the least bit 'scary' road to drive.
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:58 PM
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Gary's right...

It's not scary in the Big Sur kind of way. I know *exactly* what you're talking about as I've been along Hwy 101 in California.... but the Sea-to-Sky is different as while it follows the coast, isn't at the edge of the cliff. And while it's curvy, it's not insanely curvy.

As for what G Mitchell said, I agree that the Van Dusen Gardens are more or a horticulturists dream, and the Queen Elizabeth Gardens are *very* similar to the Butchart Gardens. I do hope the temperature gets better though, because it's feeling too much like September or October! It feels like fall! Where's our hot summer?
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 06:47 PM
Posts: n/a's raining again here in Whistler, but it's supposed to clear and go up to 25/30 c by the weekend. The road is fine, drive during the day, drive the speed limit, and if you find you are holding up a kline of cars behind you, pull over at a viewpoint , enjoy the view, and let them pass. Go to for info on dining , maps etc. and enjoy!!
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 10:52 PM
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I found the drive to Whistler quite enjoyable - relaxing even. The float plane trip is beautiful. Consider taking it one way and the ferry the other.
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 06:55 AM
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Just came back from a 3-week holiday in BC, and although I've been there many times, I hadn't been to Butchart Gardens in years. I was very glad I went this time; if you're a flower fanatic you'll love it. Having said that, I was almost equally impressed with the gardens at Royal Roads University, and they don't charge admission. Haven't been to Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver, but now that I've heard about them I'll probably go there next trip. I can also chime in about the drive to Whistler - not scary at all, as other posters have advised. I've driven the Pacific Coast Highway and it's not like that. However, the last time I did that trip(a few years ago now) there was a package that involved going by boat as far as Squamish and then taking a train the rest of the way to Whistler, which was interesting, beautiful, and a lot of fun. Might be worth considering.
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