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1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

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Chicago, Illinois
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1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

I will be traveling with my husband and 2 teenagers (age 13 and 19) to Vancouver for the first time. This is one leg of a 3 leg trip (sandwiched between Seattle & Portland - the other 2 legs). We will have 3 days and 2 nights to explore.

We love browsing markets, little shopping, some sights (I understand Vancouver is considered by some to be God's country) and some light exploration. We enjoy lots of dif types of ethnic foods and will have a car so we can drive anywhere. We will also be there in 2 weeks and I have nothing planned...

I would love some recommendations as to the best areas to stay, what to do and where to go.. Does Vancouver have any Farmer's Markets?

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all...

Sophie

Vancouver
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1. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

Don't miss granville island... http://www.granvilleisland.com/ Produce...handicrafts.. cottage industry gourmet foods... artist boutiques... interesting little shops. Good for 2-3 hours if you have lunch there and browse.

As far as ethnic foods, we have an abundance in vancouer in all price ranges and in all areas of the city. What type interests you? large assortment of chinese....indian.... korean... japanese (our specialty!)...and everything else. As well as "gods country" we are also a foodie city!

Port Moody, Canada
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for Vancouver, British Columbia
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2. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

Stay in the downtown area.. Robson Street, West End, Coal harbor, Yale Town all good and all attractions easily accessible by foot/ car from here.. be prepared for parking fee at most hotels but much easier to leave car as parking around town expensive. check hotel listings on left, narrow down, then come back for more recommendations.

Second Granville Island.. be sure to go past the food market and over to the Netloft, down to railspur Alley etc.. easily good for 1/2 day...take the Aqua bus over. Also rent bikes on Denman Street and ride a the seawall around Stanley park.

http://www.theaquabus.com/

Vancouver
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3. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

So much fun! I recommend two properties... Robson Suites is right on Robson and close to TONS of Ethnic Foods along denman and Robson. Also, a hop skip and a jump to basically anywhere... free parking too. The One Bedroom Suites have a queen bed and a pull out sofa.

OR if you want more space but still really great prices try the Landis Hotel & Suites 2 Bedroom Suites (they even have some with two twins in the second bedroom-perfect for your damily size) continental breakfast included there but parking is extra. Again, close to EVERYTHING short waslk away from the aquabus (the person above gave the link) that will take you to Granville Island which you will love. Also, all along Davie St. (where it is located) tons of amazing restaurants. You will love either of these places.

Also, downtown each Saturday from 9am-2pm along Comox St. between Thurlow and Bute St. there is a farmers market visit this website for details: www.eatlocal.org this is a great one!

Also, try the night market in Chinatown in the evening for great entertainment and a really cool experience. www.vcma.shawbiz.ca

Stanley Park is always great to explore and is right in downtown, Grouse Mountain is also something great to do while you are here. The gondola up is gorgeou and the view is amazing.

Have a wonderful trip!

Vancouver
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4. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

agree with trveller47....I think with the kids , closer to robson would be better (the main shopping street) but remember that most all hotels downtown are within 20 mins walking of eachother. Condensed downtown.

Being from chicago you know doubt are aware of the parking fees but at least for Vancouver they seem to be getting higher in recent years.. maybe trying to recoup lost revenue due to offloading rooms to discounters. For example I just booked the Hyatt on priceline for my in laws that are here this week. $80.00 per night.. fantastic price (listed on the hotel web site was $269) but they were dinged with a $44.00 parking fee per night. In this case it still worked out to a decent price but funny that parking was more than 50% of the priceline rate.

Granville island, stanley park, capilano suspension bridge are all good fun and check out grouse mountain on our north shore mountains (only a 25 min drive from our downtown). Gondola ride up the mountain offers a great view... on top there is a bird show... "theatre in the sky". lumberjack show.... a couple dining options and just kind of neat to wander around up top looking out over the city. If any of you are looking for some great excersize maybe even do the "grouse grind" this is a very popular hike on a well maintained trail up the mountain. Its moderate difficult climb and a very good workout. Not for the timid. Its like being on a stair climber machine for an hour. You can find out more if this is for you at http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/

A great walk is to go all the way west down robson (west would be to your left when facing the mountains)... to Davie street. davie has less major brand retailers but lots of boutiques.. interesting shops.. cafes, ice cream shops...lots and lots of places to grab a snack. This is the heart of the west end.. lots of healthy attractive young people (Gay capitol of Canada) so great people watching and casual atmosphere. Walk south on davie (that would be away from the mountains) all the way to English bay.. there is a sea wall .

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

Thank you all for your info... This is a wealth of info and I will now begin my planning....

We LOVE ethnic foods - in fact, that's what we eat most of - anything and everything asian, ethiopian, indian, etc.. - We will definitely be going to Chinatown as well as I am Chinese myself. In fact, I already know we will be going to Little Sheep for Mongolian hot pot. Just have to figure out where they're located...

Granville island's market sounds awesome and that will definitely be one of our stops... and your Chinatown has a night market?? excellent... The last night market I went to was in Seoul, South Korea... talk about electric!

Thank you all again.

Sophie

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

Farmers Markets are here. I sorted the list by city so Vancouver's will be grouped together.

www.bcfarmersmarket.org/findamarket.asp…

For restaurants, go to yelp.ca. Here you could just put "restaurants" in the search bar and "Vancouver" on the right. You can put the exact name of a particular restaurant in the search bar. Reviews are included. You can search by neighbourhood as well. Try selecting "The Drive." Gelato! Commercial Drive is easily accessed by public transit from downtown. It stretches up Commercial Drive from Venables to about Broadway (=9th Ave) about 20 blocks of funky shops and restos. IMO the part from Venables to 1st Ave is the most interesting. Ten Thousand Villages has a shop there as well.

It's the place to be with soccer/football going to July 11th! especially if Italy is still in the game!

Little Sheep for Mongolian Hot Pot is in Richmond near Lansdowne Mall. You could easily take the Canada Line - Brighouse direction, to the Lansdowne Station for that. About 25 min journey.

Edited: 11 June 2010, 19:37
Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

I LOVE Yelp... and use it all the time here at home to help with deciding which restaurants to go to.. There are as many die-hard Yelpers as there are Tripadvisor Info Gods... Great idea to use them as a reference. I didn't realize Yelp extended itself to Vancouver..

We will have a car and a GPS with us so hopefully, it'll be easy getting to Richmond..

Thanks for all of your help...

Sophie

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

Sophie, just to clarify. Chinatown is downtown and does not have the night market. The nightmarker is located in Richmond. Chinatown after being sort of neglected over the years is slowly coming back. It's resembles a lot of Chinatowns that you see in North America. Richmond where a lot of people of Chinese descent live is kind of like a new Chinatown full of Asian malls etc. Kind of like Taiwan! Therefore some of the best Chinese restaurants are located there. The Chinese have a long and interesting history in Vancouver and is definitely part of our multi-cultural fabric that we love.

vancouver
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9. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

its actually now known as the "summer " market

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: 1st Time to Vancouver - What to do? Where to stay?

What time does the Chinese night market open up at? The ones in S. Korea didn't open til midnight and stayed open til 5am!

My parents emigrated to the U.S. from China 50 years ago and came thru the port of Vancouver. With so many chinese settlers there in Vancouver, the food must be awesome! Being Chinese myself, I've made it a point to visit Chinatowns all over the world and the U.S. No matter what country you go to, the Chinatowns all seem to be more similar than not... Can't wait....

Thanks again for your help.