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Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

Norwood...
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Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

Hi, we will be taking a cruise out of Vancouver on a Friday in August. I am thinking of having our family fly up from Boston on a Wednesday to take advantage of reduced airfare and have a day to explore Vancouver. Does it make sense to rent a car and explore the extended area or is there enough to do using public transportation or walking. I have a 4 and 6 year old with us. There may be as many as 13 people in our party, depending on when the rest of the group decides to fly out. What attractions best showcase the city and the West coast that are unique to the area?, while the Science museum and Aquarium sound great, we have similar attractions in Boston (unless they are unique to the area). We will be headed up on a 7 day cruise to Alaska, ending in Seward so we will get to experiance the beuty of the NW area in more detail as the week goes on. What is a must see in Vancouver itself?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

With 13 people, you're looking at two cars anyway. It's bit tougher with kids, but I think that given you are only looking at a couple of days, I'd forgo the car and stay around the downtown area, which is beautiful and worth exploring.

You're probably right about Science World. It's good, but hardly unique. The aquarium has a large focus on Pacific Northwest animals and environments, so it might be a good place to learn a bit about the sea life you might be lucky enough to see on the cruise. And it's located in Stanley Park, which is a great place to go with kids.

For one day, here's what I'd suggest:

Get down to the False Creek Waterfront somewhere and then ride the mini-ferries around. Probably cost you less to rent a car, but they are fun for a day. You can hop on and off at the various venues around the inlet: Grandville Island, Yaletown, and not too far a walk from Chinatown/Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. I like going to public gardens with kids because they can run around and explore a bit. I was quite impressed with the SYS garden when we went there a couple of years ago with my two kids.

There are two mini-pedestrian ferry companies, and one of them has a dock up at Vanier Park. At Vanier, there are often people flying fancy trick kites, and it's also the location of the Planetarium and the Maritime Museum. I think your kids are still a bit young to get the best of the Planetarium, but the Maritime Musuem has some terrific interactive exhibits and is really geared to families, so I am confident that you would all enjoy that.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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2. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

The Best Part of the Maritime Museum (IMO) is the beach just behind it!

Why you ask?

Because it's a **Dog Beach**!

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs especially later in the day/into the evening.

People bring their Dogs from all over the city to frolic in the waves/fetch sticks/do tricks/chase each other around and generally goof off.

People-it's the cheapest/best/funniest time in the city and attracts all types of Dogs from the largest lumbering behemoths to the fastest sleekest little speedsters and everything in between.

I've seen visitors shrieking with laughter/falling on each other/barely able to stand up from laughing so hard at the mayhem, in addition it's a lovely spot to sit on the benches and watch the sun set and a decent place for a swim-(away from the dogs that is).

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

Well, that's a good tip! I've been down there a few times and not seen anything, so I guess I've been there at the wrong time. That is a nice little beach there.

Norwood...
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4. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

Great! Thank you for the day...it sounds lovely and we do love our parks. Can anyone recommend a good restaurant in that area that the 13 of us would be able to make reservations at to toast the start of our adventure? Casual dress, the kids in our group are 5 boys - 4, 6, 10, 13 and 16. The adults love interesting food but some of the kids need a basic hot dog/macaroni/burger choice. Thanks.

Vancouver
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5. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

I agree with the other posters, particularly with such a big group just use the public transit available or grab cabs, it will be easier plus downtown has so many 1-way streets and the price of parking will add up and not make it worth the hassle. Just make sure you bring walking shoes - we live right downtown and walk everywhere, we only use our car every 1-2 weeks.

south
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6. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

What would you recommend for mid March? We'll be there 1-2 days on our way to Whistler. Would the ferries and the waterfront be too cold/dead that time of year? We'll have 2 school age boys. Thanks>

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

If you're only around for a day, I don't think you'll need a car. Public transit in Vancouver isn't great, but it isn't that bad either and the drivers/transit people are very friendly and helpful.

In addition, you can walk around most of the downtown area without much trouble. Stanley Park is very nice, but the aquarium is pretty standard issue. It might be interesting for you because it is largely west coast oriented. There is also an art gallery downtown, though that may not be of great interest to your kids. It can be hit and miss and, personally, I've had about all the Emily Carr I can take but you might want to check it out.

There's also Granville Island, which is also a place where you can catch or get off those wonderful little water taxis. There are are also a variety of restaurants there you could make reservations at or a food market where you can find something for everybody. Bridges and the Sandbar are both pretty good. Bridges has a patio where, if the weather is warm enough, you can eat and have a nice view of the water and boats. And, there's a children's market and cool play area on Granville island...and theatre, and art, it's a nice place...

Norwood...
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8. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

Great! I was flipping through some of the posted pictures and saw a cool bridge labeled Capalino Suspension Bridge, is that any where near Downtown/Stanley Park/Granville Island?

9. Re: Best of Vancouver...will we need a car?

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