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Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Illinois
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Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

We will be arriving by rental car from SeaTac and plan to stay at a hotel on Capilano Road in North Vancouver due to my husband's preference for not staying in the metro area. The car is necessary for further travel to a family gathering in Abbotsford later in our trip. I've been reading about the cost of parking in Vancouver. I'm wondering what the public transit options are from that area of North Vancouver. Any recommendations? Also, if it is necessary to bring a car into town, where are there parking facilities with daily or hourly rates, and how much do these run? Or, would we be better served - despite hubby's objections - by staying in a more central area and leaving the car at the hotel? I have been able to find a couple of hotels in the West End that include free parking; no small feat, I infer. Thank you for any suggestions!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

I'm a firm believer in being able to walk out of your hotel into the city ambiance and liveliness. But that's just me.

If you do stay at Cap and Marine Drive, the bus is easy. You can get a day pass for $9/$7 and ride on all transit from first service to last. Public transit is very convenient in Vancouver. www.translink.ca and use their "trip planner."

From your hotel, you could simply catch the #240 on Marine at Cap Rd and be over in Vancouver in 15 -20 minutes. Return the same way from a bus stop on Georgia St. Or you could go the other way on Marine Drive to Lonsdale Quay for the Seabus to downtown on the #239 bus - 15 min to LQ and 15 min across the harbour.

You can also get up to Cap Susp Bridge and Grouse by transit, but you would likely want to use the car as it is fairly straightforward.

One of our parking lot systems is here: http://easypark.ca/index.aspx. Pacific Center has underground parking. But do consider the day pass as opposed to parking - it adds up, as does street parking until 10 pm. Does the motel on Cap Rd charge parking? Compare that too.

Illinois
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2. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Thanks, Mufti! One other question: Does the Seabus honor the day pass that you spoke of for the regular bus? If not, what is the fare for the Seabus? That sounds like an option that would be scenic as well as practical.

Illinois
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3. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Forgot to say, the hotel on Capilano Road includes free parking, which I know is almost impossible to come by in central Vancouver. By the way, this will be our second time in your wonderful city, and we are really looking forward to it.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Yes the day pass is good for all busses, all 3 skytrain lines and Seabus. Not WestCoast Express which is a weekday commuter train from the valley - inbound in the a.m. and outbound in the p.m. The Harbour Ferries in False Creek are not included (http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/ and http://www.theaquabus.com/)

Hope you have a great time while you are here.

Edited: 19 May 2010, 03:29
Rockies BC
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5. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

If you are staying on Cap Rd, definitely take the #240 bus over Lions Gate Bridge into downtown - you are practically on top of LGB if you are on Cap Road. Picture a clock: Cap Road is at about 4:00; downtown is 12:00. I would rather take the bus between 4 pm up to 12:00 rather than swing around through 5-6-7 etc up to 12 (which is what taking the Seabus amounts to). On the other hand the Seabus offers lovely views & it is a fun experience. It also gets you close to Gastown if that is one of your destinations.

If you want to take the car downtown, I find the best place to park is at Robson Square (the Courthouse). The parking is about $16 for the full day. Drive over the bridge through Stanley Park and the road becomes Georgia Street. Follow Georgia up into downtown & you will drive by the Hotel VAncouver (between Burrard & Hornby), and get into the right-hand lane ready to turn right onto the next street, which is Howe. Turn right onto Howe (often there is a lineup to turn right because of the large number of pedestrians crossing Howe) and drive straight ahead (south) for almost 3 blocks (across Robson, Smithe, & coming up to Nelson). Just before Nelson - like the width of the sidewalk - on your right is the entrance to the parkade under the Courthouse. You will be signalling to turn right into the parkade & people behind you might wonder what you are doing because Nelson street is one-way going the other way. I usually have no problem finding parking there as long as you get there before Court gets going (Provincial is at 9:30; Supreme/Court of Appeal is at 10).

The parkade at Robsons Square is handy for many downtown destinations - as I am sure you have read in other posts, downtown Vanc is very compact & you can walk everywhere. There's no point using transit while you are actually downtown as the distances are so short & you can walk faster than transit will take you.

Also, my usual approach when I am travelling is that I don't want to waste time on transit to go any distance; I'd rather have the freedom and speed of a car. If you do take the car downtown you can easily branch off into other directions - like over the Granville Street Bridge to Granville Island, or out to UBC to see the Museum of Anthropology, or up to Queen Elizabeth Park, or for a walk along the beaches at Spanish Banks.....without spending a lot of time getting from point A to point B.

Have a great trip!

Illinois
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6. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Thank you, EastBC, especially for the directions to the parkade. This is most helpful!

Rockies BC
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7. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

My pleasure! Just one more thing so you aren't confused more - you will recall I said that the Hotel Vancouver is between Burrard and Hornby on Georgia. It literally does take up the whole block. THe next block (between Hornby & Howe) has some grass, a fountain, flower beds, and a lovely big neo-classical building which looks like it should be the Courthouse. Well, that's what it used to be - but it's now the Art Gallery. So don't become confused & look for a parkade under the Art Gallery!

Also, once you turn right onto Howe Street, you will have to move out of the right hand curb lane for a bit - it's for buses only, and at Smithe it's for right turn only. So once you have crossed Smithe, move into the right curb lane & just keep your turn signal on so that you can turn into the parkade entrance. There is a sign there, with a digital clock, so that will help you find the right place. If you use the google map and search for 964 HOwe Street, & use that little person figure to get the street level view (sorry ,don't know the terminology!), you will see what I mean about the entrance to the parkade, the digital clock & sign, etc. Hope that helps! Have a great trip!

Illinois
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8. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

Thanks for the clarification!

9. Re: Recommendations for getting around Vancouver from North Van

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