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3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Indiana
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3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Eight of us (7 adults ages 39 to 75 and one 4 year old) will be traveling to Seattle then Vancouver via Amtrak for an Alaskan cruise next late May. We will be in Vancouver for 3 full days (4 nights) before our ship sails and don't really want to bother with a rental car. We only fit in a Suburban!

I've been looking for an area of the city where we are close to light rail and can also enjoy the neighborhood around us. Just figuring out how to get interested people to the Museum of Anthropology, for example, will take some planning and coordination so I want to know where to look.

I've also started looking a condo vacation rentals as opposed to hotels since we need 3 rooms. It may very well be less expensive overall.

Any suggestions would be great. I've read about Gastown, Yaletown, West Vancouver and Downtown. We don't want to be TOO far away from the dock so we can get to our ship fairly easily when we make our way to our ship.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Have a look at the Yaletown and Downtown areas, in particular Yaletown (lots of favourable feedback re Yaletown condos, accessibilty to food stores, restaurants, public transportation, etc.) West Vancouver is lovely, but less well-positioned in terms of getting around the rest of the Metro Vancouver area. Gastown doesn't have the same accessibility to a variety of restaurants, food stores, etc. that Yaletown would offer. Although interesting from an historical perspective, it is not a place that families would enjoy for three full days (IMHO).

You won't need a car to see what you will want to see in your three days. We have a good public transportation system -

http://www.translink.ca/

You can save some money (and it is more convenient) if you buy booklets of faresaver tickets (available at various outlets).

When you have a better sense of where you want to go, let us know and we can help out with the public transportation options. For example, the MOA is out at UBC. There are buses to UBC from downtown, or depending upon the time of day and day of the week, you could take the Canada Line out to the Olympic Village station and get an express out to UBC.

For the benefit of the 4 year old, have a look at the water taxi, if you are going to Granville Island -

http://www.theaquabus.com/

The 4 year old would also enjoy the Aquarium in Stanley Park -

http://www.vanaqua.org/

Salt Lake City, UT
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2. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Yep, agree with the above Vancouver expert response, (of course!). The Vancouver folks on this forum are so helpful. We are vacationing here right now from the US, (granted, we are only 2 adults). We booked a condo in Yaletown (939 Homer St) and we have LOVED this location for the entire 7 nights we've been here. We are a 4 block walk to all public transportation we need via land bus (trasnlink.ca which is SO easy to use once you get the hang of it!); we are 6 blocks from the Aquabus/False Creek Ferries which we've used numerous times; and we are about 10 blocks from the SeaBus to North Vancouver. Even on the crazy night of fireworks for the Celebration of Lights, we walked from our condo to Stanley Park (which is about 1.5 miles) happily enjoying the vibrant city. I'll admit, we've walked A LOT...but we've enjoyed the city so much. Good luck! :-)

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

I definitely agree about staying in Yaletown. Lots of families live there - it's central, it's convenient, it has all the grocery stores, parks, and transportation options you'll want. You can walk everywhere and if you want to visit UBC or somewhere outside of downtown - transportation connections are just a short few blocks away. It's the perfect place for a home base while you're here, in my opinion.

seattle
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4. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Yaletown or the 'west end' are both good neighborhoods as good proximity to lots of restaraunts etc. I always stay at the Executive hotel on Howe street and they have a lot of 2 bedroom extended stay condos they rent out. Its two blocks to the water taxi to Granville Island and they offer a free shuttle to the cruise ports, plus a daily shuttle into downtown. You can walk the whole city from their hotel. I'd check into their rates.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

I'll mention the following:

Times Square Suites

Sunset Inn and Suites

Delta Hotel and Suites

Rosellen Suites

Robson Suites

Cascadis Hotel and Suites

Australia
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6. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

We stayed at Robson Suites before and after our Inside Passage Cruise. Loved it, great position, and staff very helpful and friendly. We walked everywhere from there.

Large grocery store (Safeway) and liquor store very close by, as well as many restaurants, including White Spot, which was great for breakfast, though the suites have a full kitchen, so you can make your own if you want. (McDonalds and Starbucks very close also).

Edited: 02 August 2011, 06:01
Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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7. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

FACT-The sylvan streets and lovely beaches of Kitsilano beat the pants off the drear concrete canyons of Yaletown and the stifling ossification of the West End.

http://www.kitsilano.ca/stay/

Port Moody, Canada
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for Vancouver, British Columbia
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8. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Possibly you mean the WEST END in Vancouver ( which is the area downtown west of Thurlow Street and up to Stanley Park) as opposed to West Vancouver which is a competely separate municipality on the north shore.. Coal Harbor which is on the inner harbor waterfront between Stanley Park and the Cruise ship terminal at Canada Place might also be a thought. Yaletown or the West End would be my choice...and yes Sam is right that Kitsilano is sylvan but may be a bit more complicated to find something for such a large group.

Edited: 02 August 2011, 16:10
Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

Kits does not have as easy access for buses as well. From downtown you can catch a bus to UBC for their many wonderful museums and gardens. The buses are easier to catch in downtown.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: 3 days in Vancouver without a car/best area for lodging

I would think for a large group Kits will have much less to offer after you've done the MOA( not in Kits but at UBC but same side of the water ), Kits Beach and walked down 4th Ave.

Most of your activities, Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, restaurants of a great variety etc exist downtown which include Yaletown and the West End.

The West End does have many more apartment highrises than Kits but most of it's streets are just as tree - line as in Kits. Barclay Street in particular is lovely. It also has easy access to several beaches as in Kits.

Yaletown is more concrete but is still sprinkled with little parks and as in all 3 of these areas has easy access to the seawall. Yaletown is a newer residential/business neighbourhood of converted old warehoused and new condo highrises.

Of the three in general of course because it depends on where you stay in these neighbourhoods, Kits would be the quietest, except on Cornwall which is a zoo in the summer. Then the West End except on Robson, Denman and Davie where it's busy with tourists and traffic. Lastley Yaletown may seem the busiest escpecialy on lower Davie Street and Pacific. Yaletown and the West End are best for transit.

Perhaps after you've looked at a few places, post them and people can then help you decide.

All 3 neighbourhoods are great, just depends on what you need.