Vancouver/Victoria beginnning trip plans

Old May 15th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Vancouver/Victoria beginnning trip plans

Planning early September 2012 trip, thinking about 10 days.Have done extensive reading of forum, guide books etc. but would appreciate knowing about your real experiences, where you stayed and any accomodations in great area at good price, what your favorite things were to see and do. We are seniors, vegetarians, enjoy lots of walking, not night-life people. We will be using public transportation. Thinking the bus/ ferry trip best for getting to and from Victoria. Many thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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In Vancouver, Stanley Park is very popular and enjoyable for a stroll on its pathways through majestic trees, lunch or picnic, ocean and beach views and a visit to the Aquarium. Granville Island, easily accessible by water taxi from downtown Vancouver, offers a great Farmers/Food Market plus a variety of boutiques, art shops and dining establishments. Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge are popular destinations on the outskirts of town and there are tour busses that will take you there. Last visit we enjoyed our stay at Times Square Hotel - condo-like suites, on the edge of downtown that is close to Stanley Park.

Victoria is smaller with a compact little downtown full of shops and restaurants and the very good Royal BC Museum. Butchart Gardens outside of Victoria are one of the nicest botanical gardens in Canada. Their website gives details on getting there by public transit or private tour. Our last visit about 6 years ago we stayed at one of the big hotels downtown on the inner harbour (can't remember which) and it was fine.

Some of my favourite spots on Vancouver Island are some distance from Victoria. If you're not keen on renting a car, you could look into Bus tours. The most spectacular is Pacific Rim National Park and the Tofino area. This might be tricky to explore without a car, I believe there are bus services that will get you to town, but once there you would want to explore the old growth forest trails and windswept beaches in the park outside of town. There are excellent whale-watching tours - if these interest you, book well ahead. There are several resorts on the Ocean outside of town plus a variety of accommodation within Tofino.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Love September in Vancouver/Victoria.

Vancouver: Since the summer season is winding down, you could do well in any place you win as a 4-star bid on Priceline in Vancouver downtown. We are fond of the Hyatt and the Sheraton Wall Centre, but all in that range are enjoyable.

We will be there in latter September. We plan to visit Lighthouse Park (West Vancouver, on the north shore). Haven't been there before - http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/lighthouse-park/ Also, Lynn Canyon is very enjoyable, and free, so don't miss that. http://lynncanyon.ca/

The public transportation is excellent, and you can take a boat across to those two and then the local bus, very easy and pretty quick.

Did not do this either, since it was pretty rainy when we were last there (we are so sweet we melt, don't ya know), but the Canopy Walkway is still on my "must do" list: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/canopy-walkway

Just a few initial suggestions.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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many thanks mat54 and sludick, you have both given me some new ideas and very helpful suggestions.Will check them out.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 10:12 PM
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In Victoria make certain to eat at Rebar, 50 Bastian Square.
It's a vegetarian resto with a creative and delicious menu.

Very busy place and no rez, but open for all 3 meals.

If you like Indian food, there's a very well-known and
extremely popular restaurant in the South Granville area -
Vij - with lots of veg. choices. It opens at 5:30 and you
have to get there by 4:45 to get a table...but so worth
the hassle. Easy access by bus.

Vancouver is a walking city - lovely waterfront promenade
from the Waterfront HOtel to Stanley Park - on a Sept. evening
it's wonderful for a stroll. Again, easy to get there. The
West Vancouver Seawall is a popular paved waterfront walk -
the views over the water to Stanley Park and further to Kits
Beach are charming and there's a somewhat quaint neighbourhood
shopping are called Ambleside with lots of places to eat or
have coffee. Busses leave from the downtown core and go over
the Lions Gate Bridge to West Vancouver on a regular schedule.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Thanks immimi. Will definitely try Rebar,hope to go to the Indian restaurant and look forward to some waterfront promenade strolls.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 09:28 AM
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We had a really good meal at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown - Phnom Penh. Here's a link to the thread that led me to it (there's more to the thread, so you might want to read the whole thing). We were there in winter, so didn't get to do the outdoor things, but we enjoyed our visit to Chinatown, and absolutely loved Granville Island.

http://www.fodors.com/community/cana...gers-place.cfm
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Old May 17th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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we stayed at the Surf Motel in Victoria and it my opinion in, its a great place to stay. Right on the water- open the drapes in the AM and there is the ocean right across the street. Its is a small kind of 50's style place and may not be what some would want- we loved it. The units also have a kitchen which we appreciated. Across the street is a walking path and you can walk along the ocean for miles-and since you are walkers, you should be able to easily walk to the inner harbor.
Some reports on Trip Advisor complain about the noise from traffic but being a sound sleeper, did not bother me. I would stay there again. Loved sitting in bed in the am, drinking coffee and looking out at the ocean before the day got started.

A special dinner or just drinks could be had at the Bengal Room at the Empress- I always do that instead of expensive tea at the Empress. I think on Sunday they have a curry dinner.

I do suggest renting a car for a couple of days so you can get out of the city - a drive up to Sooke would be nice- maybe have lunch at Sooke Harbor House.

In Victoria we do tea at the Blethering Place or the White Heather- much less expensive than the Empress.

There is a very casual nice restaurant close to the Surf Motel too- I forget the name but its where the cruise ships come in.

Victoria is a great city, The Royal Museum itself could take you most of the day if you do it all.

Are you bikers as well as walkers- there is a great bike trail- the Galloping Goose - I believe there is access from the inner harbor and bike rental available.

Enjoy!
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Old May 17th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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>>Planning early September 2012 trip, thinking about 10 days.Have done extensive reading of forum, guide books etc. but would appreciate knowing about your real experiences,> where you stayed and any accomodations in great area at good price
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Old May 17th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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link to restaurant close to the Surf Motel - I see it has some vegetarian dishes- very casual place

http://members.shaw.ca/ope/
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Old May 17th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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sunbum1944 - I see that the Blethering Place is now closed. Very sad.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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that is sad the Blethering Place is closed- I really liked that place!
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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If you enjoy walking you could check out the Ogden Point breakwater (more or less across the street from the Surf Motel. Also, Fisherman's Wharf is fun—great fish and chips at Barb's Place (if you eat fish—)if not, it's still a charming place to walk around with float homes, seals that mooch for fish scraps etc.

We live in the James Bay neighborhood which is nearby (charming painted Victorian houses, if you like that kind of thing) and we often walk our dog on the boardwalk path that starts at Fisherman's Wharf—
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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funny one of my best friends knows the owners of Barb's and swears by their burger ( he is a big fish eater)

the surf motel in victoria is great. ogden point cafe is conveniently located across the street. heron rock bistro is probably a 10 minute walk into james bay and the lounge/ restaurant @ the coast on the inner harbour has great views and good value and food.

in vancouver i stay @ the coast plaza @ denman and comox near the park and english bay good public transit. when out @ ubc for the anthropology museum check out he beautiful nitobe ( japanese) garden. in victoria , the abkazi garden ( #7 bus from dt) is lovely and has a tea/lunch house. butchardt is a great operation w/ all the attractions ( i think of it as the disneyland of garden for its great operation and entertainment value) but as gardens go imo it is over planted

cheers
AndrewDavid
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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If you want to try a tea room there are two that get good reviews —the White Heather tea room in Oak Bay and the Venus Sophia tea room (and vegie restaurant) on Fisgard Street in Chinatown. Either might be a better experience (less touristy) than the Empress.

http://venussophia.com/

http://www.whiteheather-tearoom.com/
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Old May 17th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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>>We are seniors, vegetarians, enjoy lots of walking, not night-life people. We will be using public transportation.
>>

Post 2:
Food:
Just off Denman on Pendrell (not far from Times Square Suites) is a Persian Restaurant called Darya. It has some very good veggie choices and is quite reasonably priced.
If you stay at Times Square there is a large grocery store kitty-corner to the hotel - lots of choice and plenty of reheatable takeout items.

Walking:
Lots of lovely walks in Stanley Park. Kitsilano is lovely for walking too. And the North Shore is simply gorgeous (the Lynn Canyon is wonderful).

Transit:
Local transit is EXCELLENT. If you can get a system map. We regularly got transit passes - very convenient to use. The grocery store opposite Times Square Suites sells them. The ferry to the North Shore is part of the transit system and I recommend it highly - it's like a little mini-harbour tour.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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If you do rent a car and drive out to Sooke be sure to stop
at the East Sooke Regional Park for a lovely long walk on
the beach - it is truly a West Coast gem.
Also, if you venture further afield from Sooke stop at the
Point-no-Point resort for a cup of tea or a dinner. Haven't
been there for a few years, but the resto used to be excellent
and had some veg. choices. The location is right overlooking
the ocean - each window table has its own binoculars. But
a car is a necessity.

Vancouver is Sushi Central and Lonsdale in North Vancouver has
at least ten little cafes making the Japanese addiction. We
think the best one is Sushi Bella on Lower Lonsdale. Really
nicely presented selections but super busy! They have another
branch on West 4th in Kitsilano. Now Kitsilano (Kits) is an
area that's great for walking, exploring, beaching and eating.
Since it's close to Downtown it's very easy to get there. In
fact, a tie-in with Granville Market and Kits would work well.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Gracious, outwest! Venus Sophia sounds wonderful. We'll be out that way come September and will make a point of stopping there. Thanks.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Wow, great suggestions!!! Wondering if we should make trip longer than 10 days. Planning on giving each place equal time. Have not purchased airline tix yet? Now or wait, any thoughts? Many thanks to all and if you think of other things please do post. I don't think I could plan a trip without expert Fodorites.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Semiramis- I have booked corner room with lots of windows at Times Square Suites for four nights. Thanks for suggestion. Hoping street noise will not be a bother. Also, will need to get transportation logistics from airport. Had planned on Skytrain but don't think station near West End. Need to start working on Victoria stay now, getting there and back to fly home from Vancouver.
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