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Which neighborhood for my Vancouver stay?

Which neighborhood for my Vancouver stay?

Sep 25th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Which neighborhood for my Vancouver stay?

I've been reading posts here and elsewhere, and it seems like the West End, Commercial St., Yaletown, and Kits are "in" neighborhoods. But I'm having a hard time picturing what distinguishes one from the other. Can someone explain? I want to be able to exit my hotel/b&b and browse in a cool independent bookstore, get a latte or a veggie burger, buy a leftie bumper sticker, you get the idea...Other issues are, of course, access to public transport, nice hotels or b & b's in the 100-200 USD range, maybe proximity to a nice park or the waterfront. Also, while my partner and I are two men, we wouldn't want to be in Vancouver's version of the Castro (if there is such a thing.) Any advice re: neighborhoods and accomodations would be appreciated!
Cimbrone is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Hi, I'm not a local expert but we've just come back from Vancouver and this was our impression:
Kits is fun but not walking distance to what we called the "manhattan" or central bit of vancouver. There are nice houses, nice beaches, one long shopping street with some alternative restaurants. Definitely worth a visit.
Robson St at Granville is the commercial hub with lots of stores, malls and restaurants etc you can walk to most places like gastown, Chinatown, Yaletown from there. It's the most central but not the most inspiring. Some parts feel as if you could be anywhere in north America.
Yaletown is cool and chic with one main street and some interesting buildings. It's more residential but getting quite hip I think.
The west end of Robson St or Denman st would probably be your best bet as it's quieter but more alternative than downtown, close to the park and close to Coal harbour with the nice sea front and restaurants and also close to English bay.
Granville island with the public market is worth a visit and you can ferry there or back from Yaletown.
Vancouver isn't as small as everyone makes out. You can just about walk from one end to the other of the centre but wear comfortable shoes! Hope this is helpful.
carrom is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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I don't think we've been trying to suggest that Vancouver is "small". The downtown area is compacted by the water constraints on all sides. This is somewhat evident in the downtown skyline which is dominated by apartment/condo buildings unlike that of any other North American city.

If I were (anybody) going to Vancouver for the first time, I would simply use Priceline to land a hotel in the DOWNTOWN area and allow fate to have a hand in choosing your spot.

Sometimes you just need some other force to PICK something fairly arbitrary on your behalf.

Vancouver's downtown IS of a size which allows you to make just about anyplace you stay there workable in terms of getting about. There are no major "hills" in downtown Vancouver, and the weather is generally moderate.

The transit system is adequate and getting around is generally easy.

I stress using Priceline to shave costs on lodging to afford that Indy bookstore or that veggie burger.

PS - a Place a mere 140 miles from Seattle has lattes everywhere.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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I think the West End would work well for you--it's very gay friendly but not at all the same vibe as the Castro. It's a nice residential neighborhood but still within walking distance of the center of downtown, Yaletown, etc. Try the English Bay Inn which is just a block from Stanley Park--if you're going in the off-season, they have rates in your price range.

I love going out to Commercial Drive on my trips to Vancouver, but think it's too far out of downtown to be a good lodging base.
NWWanderer is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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When I'm in Vancouver on business or pleasure, I always stay in and around the convention centre, hotels such as the Pan Pacific, the Fairmont Waterfront, or the Metropolitan. From here, you're a five minute walk to Coal Harbour, a 5 minute walk to Gastown, a 25 minute walk to Stanley Park, you're on the water, you've got great restaurants nearby, you're five minutes from Robson St. shopping, and yet you're out of the way and not privy to lots of traffic. This is centrally located in my opinion. I've even walked to Yaletown, though it's not particularly close by. I love this little part of Vancouver.
cwindrim is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for the very helpful replies! It seems we're still working out where we want to go. But this info will definitely come in handy as Vancouver is on our must-see list.
Cimbrone is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,293
Cimbrone: We are seriously considering Vancouver for a home exchange. You said it was on your "must see" list. Why? We have read a few very pleasant things about the city and are interested in it for an extended vacation. We are thinking 4-5 weeks. Can you tell us what intrigues you about the city? We are trying to make up our mind. We have been reading a lot of posts lately about how expensive Vancouver and Canada, for that matter is, for those spending the US dollar even though the two currencies are pretty much par right now. For other people reading this note, can you let us know what your feelings about the city are. My husband is leaning towards a second trip to Buenos Aires (really not that much more expensive), but I am inclined to favor Vancouver. Thanks everyone and I hope Cimbrone does not mind me attaching additional questions to his initial question. I may need to start my own thread.
annetti is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Cimbrone, take a look at www.vanmag.com . It has a Travel & Tourists area which provides a description of V's neighbourhoods. Written a little media-cutesy, but it gives you somewhat of an overview.

From what you've written I think you'd enjoy the West End, Yaletown, Kits and Fairview Slopes (butts against Granville Island - not actually an island), and a B&B or apartment might be the way to go.

All of these areas are great for any age bracket, not just the 20 - 40's. When my kids are gone, me and the hubby will head to the Kits area for the no-highrise vibe, good shopping, good restaurants and bars, close proximity to downtown, good beaches, etc.

However, unless the CAD-USD exchange rate radically improves for you southerners, I think your budget will dictate where you'll stay, regardless of when you visit. I'd go with NWM's suggestion of PriceLine and get something reasonably priced in the d/t area.

Some ideas (haven't checked out prices):



BowenLinda is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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Hi annetti--Vancouver appeals to us because we have friends who love it, it is a progressive city with bookstores and cafes, it's multi-ethnic, it's near the ever so British town of Victoria, it's near areas of great natural beauty, and the city itself is supposed to be in a lovely setting on the water with extensive parks.

Hope that helps! That said, we decided on Switzerland for next summer. Perhaps another year...

And thaks, BowenLinda, for the additional information!
Cimbrone is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,293
Hi Cimbrone: I've been doing some reading on Vancouver and I am very enthusiastic about our proposed trip there. I just have to hope our home exchange plan goes through! We did a 6 week plus home exchange in Switzerland during Summer 2006. We had a wonderful time. Switzerland is a traveler's paradise. You are sure to enjoy yourself!
annetti is offline  
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