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1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Virginia
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1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Hi,

We will be at the Westin Bayshore for two nights in July. We would like to see Stanley Park and Granville Island. What else will we have time to do? I would say our interests are local markets, local artists, people watching and enjoying the culture, rather than high fashion and upscale shops.

We are celebrating our 31st anniversary and husband's 60th birthday, so while we aren't dead yet, we don't need to know the hottest nightspots! ;o)

We arrive in the late morning on July 24 following a cruise and leave in the morning on July 26. Thanks for any tips you have!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Here are some of the highlights of Vancouver:

Granville Island and False Creek

Stanley Park, including the Aquarium

Gastown - for a self guided walking tour: www.gastown.org --> history --> take a self guided walking tour. Otherwise this historic birthplace of Vancouver will just be brick and stone to you.

Chinatown

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St.

Vancouver Art Gallery with its great Gallery Restaurant

Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free) or Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)

Maritime Museum - at Kitsilano Point

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park with its quarry gardens and the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory

Having said all that, you will find both Stanley Park and Granville Island could easily take a half day each. The Museum of Anthropology at UBC (25 min bus ride) is particularly interesting due to its local first nations artifacts and art. And the Maritime Museum at Kitsilano Point, accessible by the little Harbour Ferry - especially from Granville Island - certainly represents our coastal maritime history, including the St. Roch ship. See granvilleislandferries.bc.ca or theaquabus.com On Granville Island also, is the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (local artists). I really like this Model Railway Museum's map of Granville Island because your mouse can bring up descriptions of all the buildings. www.modeltrainsmuseum.ca/trains/about/map.cfm

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

It sounds like you've picked the best spots for your interests. If you want to spend a bit more time, then perhaps add a mini-cruise on the pedestrian ferries of False Creek (as per Mufti's suggestion above). You can easily walk from one of the stops at the other end of False Creek to Chinatown (which is quite small, but authentic) and tour the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, which is charming.

I think you'll really enjoy the people watching opportunities at Stanley Park (especially in the area of First Beach at the foot of Denman) and on Grandville Island, so if you take your time and enjoy those spaces, I think it will fill your time nicely.

Sherwood Park...
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3. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

You are in a perfect hotel for those options. We usually stay there or the Pallisades on Robson.

Across the street from Westin is a bike rental shop. They are a bit pricey compared to the shops further up Denham, but the bikes are much better quality. Rent one of those and ride around, it will save you piles of walking time or cab money.

Ride the seawall around Stanley Park, ride through English Bay over to Granville Island and check out the market and the brewery, those are the two spots I never miss every time I am in Vancouver. Plenty of high quality restaurants on the island, one of the best is The Sandbar.

Gastown is another quality spot for culture and arts. Not to mention great pubs. Careful of your location though, one wrong turn and you could end up on East Hastings which is known as crackalley to locals. Needless to say it isn't the safest place to be walking.

Since you are there for more than a day, my suggestions for dinner is:

Tapatree - A small tapas only restaurant with a great wine menu. It is on the corner of Robson and Denman.

Capones - A live jazz band plays while you eat some very well prepared food. I always get the tenderloin for dinner and muttermilk chicken for apps. This is located in Yaletown across from Granville Island.

Vijay's - Considered one of the best indian restaurants outside of India. Vijay walks the floor and makes sure his guests are well taken care of, and samples get passed around throughout your entire sitting. There are no reservations and there is usually a line for the 5:30pm sitting, but we went at 7pm and got seated in the lounge immediately where we still were served the samples while we polished off a couple drinks. This is on South Granville Street.

A day and a half is perfect for Stanley Park, Gastown, and Granville though. Yaletown is so close to Granville and has that same laid back, but more upscale, vibe that Granville has.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

A word of note: if you are to visit Chinatown, be aware that it's best visited in the morning or afternoon. Visitors have a tendency to stroll down that way at night which is a major no-no around here. It's not that it's dangerous, but it becomes a bit of a ghost town after 6pm and it borders on the city's less-desirable area. So be aware of that. If Chinatown is on your itinerary, visit in the day time hours only.

Edited: 25 January 2010, 03:48
Virginia
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5. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Thanks everyone for your informative replies. Do you think we should make the time to take a ferry over to Victoria or save that for another trip? It sounds like there will be plenty to see around us as it is.

ShaneL79, thank you for the tip about the bike rental, that sounds like a great idea! We live near the beach in VA and frequently ride our bikes on the boardwalk, so that will be a good/ fast way to see as much as possible. Do you know if they provide a bike lock or should we bring ours from home? We'll need to park our bikes when we go to try out the brewery on G. Island! We will also find East Hastings on a map and steer clear of that. We don't have time to explore crack alley! Also, thanks for the tip on Vijay's! Sounds perfect!

Mufti, we have been to aquariums around the world, is the one at St.Pk. remarkable? If so, we should go, If not, maybe we should forego it in order to see more of the city. Thank you for the link to Gastown. That sounds interesting.

Vancouverite, Is the pedestrian Ferry accessible from Stanley Park? Can we also use it to get to Granville Island? Is a day pass available or do we pay cash every time we get on?

BC_Robyn, thank you for the warning about Chinatown. Maybe lunchtime would be a good choice.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Getting to Victoria by commercial coach takes 4 hours one way, by float plane takes 35 min one way, harbour to harbour.

The Aquarium is considered world class. You might consider seeing more of Vancouver in your short time though.

The Granville Island Ferries do not go to Stanley Park.

http://granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/map.html

http://theaquabus.com/downloads.htm

new york
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7. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

VAjanet

We are the same age as you also celebrating my husbands 60th. We will be in Vancover just a little before you on July 9th for two days (taking an Alaskan cruise). Can I ask what research you've done on the best hotels as we have just started our search. Thanks

Sherwood Park...
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8. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

They rent locks, but the day we rented bikes they were out of locks so we had to sit close to the window in the brewery so we had a view of the bikes. I recommend taking your own to save you the hassle if they are out of locks again.

http://www.bayshorebikerentals.ca/

It appears you can reserve them online which would save you from having to carry your own.

If you try ViJ's, make sure to try the lamb lollipops. Even if you don't like lamb, that is the dish that will change your mind, and the staple of the restaurant.

Granville Island Brewery has a great Pale Ale, my favorite actually. If they happen to have the Winter Ale, try it. It is only there seasonally and was our favorite.

Virginia
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9. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

Hi,

Thanks everyone for such great info!

Panter, We talked to our travel agent who has been to Vancouver a number of times and he thought that we would like the Westin Bayshore because of it's location and view. He recommended against the Pan Pacific when we inquired about that.

We are taking a Princess cruise from Whittier to Vancouver and wanted to spend a few extra days in what we hear is a fun city. We don't want to do any "tours" or excursions from there, but just enjoy exploring.

Our room is booked through the cruise line, but I checked rates myself and found them to be very similar. The reservation will be part of the insurance package and we'll get the transfers from the cruise to the hotel and back to the airport. Sometimes saving a few dollars here and there is not as important to us as having everything be tied up in a neat little package. We are adding a few days to the beginning of our trip in Anchorage as well, so it makes it easy to do it all together.

If you haven't checked out the www.cruisecritic.com message boards, you really should. There is a wealth of information available there and you may even "meet" some fellow passengers on your cruise. Many people from the boards are opting for the Sheraton Wall Center. I hear good things about that hotel as well. Additionally, you'll get tips on excursions from your ship.

Have fun and keep in touch! My user name on cruise critic is 5326jan.

new york
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10. Re: 1 1/2 days in YVR, advice please???

VAjanet

Hi - I was born in VA, didn't spend much time there, but anyway - my name on cruisecritic is samar. I must be posting the wrong questions on their board because I haven't received any responses to the best Alaskan cruise for baby boomers and cabin selection advice. Originally we wanted to do an expedition type cruise but they are extremely costly so have settled on a cruise-tour with one of the larger ships. We were looking at Celebrity but have not booked it yet. Have you been on Princess before? We took one cruise to the Carribbean on Royal and found it was not our style so are somewhat hesitant.

Thanks to everyone who answered you. They also provided invaluable advice for us.