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Vancouver help

New York
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Vancouver help

I shall be in Vancouver next week for a few days (Tuesday-Friday) with a friend and shall be staying in the downtown entertainment district. I am fine renting a car and going out of the city or staying in Vancouver.

I'd like suggestions on what I could do. I live in New York City, so a lot of the attractions (eg eating out, walking past shops, etc) may not be the optimal thing for me to do.

I have been to the Atlanta aquarium. Since the Vancouver aquarium is also pricey, is there something extra here that I should especially go for?

What else is unique in the city? I have heard so much about it, and would love to experience it. Museum of anthropology? I am not very interested in Anthropology, but am happy to give it a try if people suggest...

Alternatively, I can rent a car and go somewhere for a couple of days. Any suggestions? Any boat trips that I should take? Its a pity that the weather is likely to be rainy.

Thank you all for your time and help.

Sid

seattle
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1. Re: Vancouver help

I wouldn't rush to rent a car as its expensive and car break ins are prevalent. If you do, then the physical beauty of vancouver and BC is readily apparent. Drive thru Stanley Park, but for a day trip the drive to Whistler is probably one of the most scenic anywhere. If you want to take the ferry to Vanc Island and visit Victoria. What makes Vancouver so nice is the way the city is laid out and the water and mountains makes it pretty hard to beat as far as beauty. I've been to the Vanc Aquarium many times and while nice isn't the end all. Enjoy your visit.

Port Moody, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver help

I would visit the Museum of Anthropology if you are at all interested in northwest native art and culture. the Great Hall is stunning and there is a magnificent collection of totems and other artifacts. It also has a huge collection of other cultural artifacts but the northwest native people are the main attraction.

If you wanted to get away for a couple of days I would look at going either to Whistler ( take the bus.. no car required there) or go over to Vancouver Island and spend a couple of days somewhere like Point No Point near Sooke..walk the beach, watch the waves..visit the forest

http://www.pointnopointresort.com/

... a third alternative is to go somewhere like Salt Spring Island which will have better weather (usually) small farms, rural feel but also lots of art etc. Do you want to just hideaway with a good book? do some hiking? in that case I would say Sooke or Salt Spring.

Sechelt, BC
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3. Re: Vancouver help

The wonderful thing about Vancouver is that it contains all of the big city comforts but within minutes you are you can be on the mountain or in a natural setting.

The Museum of Anthropology just finished renovations. It really does have beautiful first nations artifacts. The grand hall is fantastic - I haven't been there since renovations were finished so I'm sure it is even better than when I went. You can combine it with a trip to the UBC Botanical Garden. UBC is a little out of the way from downtown so doing 2 things while out there will make it worth your time.

Other suggestions:

Stanley Park: yes, New York has Central Park but you will still enjoy Stanley Park. What is beautiful about Stanley Park is that it is on the ocean. I recommend biking around the sea wall. Bike rentals are available near the park entrance.

Granville Island: a market like setting. Combine it with the aquabus for a fun activity

Capilano Suspension Bridge: within minutes (or a little longer if travelling by bus) you can be outside the city in a breathtaking location. Travel by Seabus to make the trip interesting.

Chinatown: There are some great walking tours of Chinatown - especially the tours that include dining options. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens in Chinatown are beautiful.

Just a few ideas to get you started.

NY
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4. Re: Vancouver help

coastcouple- what tours specifically would you suggest for china town? i'm going to be in vancouver in april with my 11 yr old while my husband is there on business. that sounds like a fun thing for us to do while he's working. any info would be helpful.

Richmond, Canada
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5. Re: Vancouver help

I'd go with Stanley Park and going up Grouse Mountain on the lift. The view is incredible up there if it's clear. Also go to the Spanish Banks area if you like walking. Consider going over to Victoria for a day.

New York
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6. Re: Vancouver help

Thank you all for your suggestions. This is really helpful. I shall incorporate whatever I can into my itinerary.

What is the best way to commute withing Vancouver (eg. Museum of Anthropology at UBC to Stanley Park)? Is there some mass transit that would work well, or are cabs much better for such distances?

I have one rainy day (Wednesday), 1.5 sunny days (Thursday / part of Friday). I shall probably target Whistler for Thursday, do the outdoor bits of Vancouver on Friday (since I only have half a day) and consider going to Victoria on Wednesday if the weather isn't lousy. I also have the second half of Tuesday, when I shall try to visit the Museum of Anthropology.

Again, your help is much appreciated!

Port Moody, Canada
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7. Re: Vancouver help

There is a bus directly to UBC from downtown check

this link for trip planning.. very easy to get from one to the other.

http://tripplanning.translink.bc.ca/hiwire?.a=iTripPlanning&.s={$SID}

don't count on the weather report! supposed to be pouring rain today.. sun is shining and it's cool. Good if you can be flexible as our weather is very definitely flexible!

Port Moody, Canada
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8. Re: Vancouver help

Forgot to mention if you have the $$ take the float plane to Victoria it's a beautiful flight from harbor to harbor

http://www.harbour-air.com/

.. also be sure to check their weather as often it is much better than here..earlier this week it was snowing here and I was speaking to a friend there and it was sunny and 8 ( celsius) so a lousy day here may be a great one to visit there.

Vancouver
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9. Re: Vancouver help

Don't rent a car if you are staying downtown, total waste of money.

Go to Stanley Park, (http://www.venturevancouver.com/stanley-park), maybe skip the aquarium, although the animals are totally worth it, they have a (fairly) new baby beluga, super cute!

The museum of anthropology is very well done, however, if you don't care much for the art scene skip it. (www.moa.ubc.ca/)

If you are willing to rent get a bicycle from the corner of Denman and w. Georgia street and cycle the entire seawall, the views are amazing! (http://www.vancouverbikerental.com/)

Don't forget to grab a cupcake from Cupcakes by Heather and Lori - they are fabulous! (venturevancouver.com/cupcakes-denman-vancouv…)

The False Creek Ferries, totally awesome and fun to ride (www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/)

Great day trip: you can grab a bus to Whistler, the view of the mountains from the top is awe inspiring - you'll never look at the city the same way ever again!

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Vancouver help

Vancouver is all about having a city on some spectacular scenery. It's about being able to walk from the heart of downtown and then... be on a beach, or in the rainforest, or 20 minutes later being up in the middle of the mountains skiing. That's what Vancouver's about.

No need to rent a car. Staying in downtown Vancouver and renting a car to get around makes as much sense as staying in Manhattan and renting a car to get around.

Stanley Park is a must. The Vancouver Aquarium not so much - visit their giftshop or the free beluga viewing area to determine if you want to visit. When visiting Stanley Park, I can recommend a full walk or bike ride around the seawall and visit the trails on the western side of the park (the eastern side of the park is more landscaped and urban than the more wild, remote western side). Definitely walk the stretch from English Bay beach to Second Beach and up to Third Beach to get a sense of what Vancouver's all about.

To get a sense of downtown Vancouver, there are several areas - Robson Street, Denman Street, Davie Street, Gastown, Yaletown, and Coal Harbour. One idea is to walk along the Coal Harbour seawall (the northern waterfront) from Canada Place west along the water to Denman Street, then south down Denman

to English Bay. From English Bay, walk along the False Creek seawall to the False Creek Ferry dock. For $3 or so you can take the water taxi across to Granville Island. Granville Island's markets/shops stay open until 7pm. You haven't been to Vancouver if you haven't spent 2 hours on Granville Island.

After Granville Island, take another water taxi back to downtown, but this time take it to Yaletown - a cluster of old warehouses turned into lounges, bars, restaurants, and boutiques. From there you can walk back to wherever it is that you're staying.

Other ideas is to take the water taxi down from downtown across to Vanier Park and stroll along Kits Beach in Kitsilano. Walk from Kits Beach, cross the street at Cornwall and Yew and walk up to W 4th and back - it'll give you another sense of Vancouver outside of downtown.

UBC to the Museum of Anthropology is a 20 minute bus ride from downtown. From Howe Street you can pick up the #4 or the #17 bus and it'll take you to the UBC bus loop. From UBC it's a 10 minute walk to the museum. UBC campus is massive. While on campus, you may also want to visit the Nitobe Japanese Garden, or find the trail through the temperate rainforest down the cliffs to Wreck Beach. The Museum sits atop the cliffs and the beach down below (a clothing-optional beach in the summer months but in April down there are clothed). It'll give you a feel of what Vancouver's all about - being on campus one second, feeling like you're a million miles away from the city another.

Oh, and a particular unique experience that you can't get in New York is Lynn Canyon Park. I'd personally scrap Capilano Suspension Bridge, as it's expensive. Instead, from downtown get yourself to the north foot of Seymour Street and buy yourself a 2-zone ticket for the Seabus. It's a 10 minute passenger ferry ride across Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver. Once in North Vancouver, you arrive at Lonsdale Quay. With your seabus ticket, hop on either the #228 or #229 bus and 20-30 minutes later after driving through North Vancouver residential neighbourhoods you'll arrive at Lynn Canyon Regional Park. Lynn Canyon's a beautiful free park in the temperate rainforest at the base of the mountains. What's special is that they have walking trails in the form of boardwalks and stairs along the canyon walls, but they also have a suspension bridge over a waterfall. Capilano's Suspension Bridge may be more famous and slightly longer, but Lynn Canyon's bridge is essentially the same thing (slightly shorter but higher up) - and it's free. You can easily spend 2-3 hours at this park - *that's* what Vancouver's all about.