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Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

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Philadelphia, PA
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Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

Hi everyone-My 14yo son and I are taking a trip to Vancouver for the first time. I was hoping to get some suggestions about a few things:

1 What part of the city to stay in-I don't feel the need to stay downtown, I read that staying on the West Side feels similar to staying in a neighborhood which sounds more appealing than being downtown. What about staying on the East Side? We're used to being in funky/ethnic type of neighborhoods so I'm O.K. with being somewhere that's relatively hip as long as it's safe. My one requirement for a hotel is somewhere that has a balcony as I would love to sit outside and enjoy the weather at night.

2. Should we rent a car for the whole time we're there? I haven't planned out an itinerary yet but I imagine we'll do a day trip to somewhere outside the city.

3. Would you recommend I exchange my american money in the states or when we get to Vancouver?

4. Is there a website that's good for listing things off the beaten path in Vancouver?

Thanks for your help,


Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

The Holiday Inn on West Broadway and Heather is a decent hotel, most of the rooms have been recently renovated. And they have rooms with balconies. Not a bad neighbourhood, and not very far from downtown and there are also lots of dining options close-by.

I'll leave the other questions to the Vancouver TAs, I just wanted to mention this place since you indicated that a room with a balcony is a preference.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

I think you'll find Vancouver's downtown is a little different to what you find elsewhere. We have a densely populated downtown area with a high percentage of residential, so downtown is, on itself, a neighbourhood. Sure, there is a business area that is less residential, but all of the waterfront - which includes Coal Harbour, West End and Yaletown - around the downtown core is highly residential and lovely.

One of the main benefits of staying downtown is that its the best place for transit. Buses are very regular and omnipresent. As soon as you get out of downtown, transit starts to be a bit less convenient.

Don't get a car until you need one (eg to go to Whistler). Its a nuisance to park and expensive ($35 - $40 is a typical overnight fee).

Just bring your bank card and withdraw from ATM machines while you are here. You might want to check with your bank regarding which system they are on and which machines you should use up here.

I see we have an "Off the Beaten Path" Traveler Article that should get you started:


Vancouver, BC
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3. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

1. I suspect your first comment about the West Side has encountered the confusing Vancouver naming of West Side, West End and West Vancouver (all totally different places). To add to the confusion, North Vancouver is next to West Vancouver.

The West Side of Vancouver has few hotels. You might check for apartment rentals in Kitsilano (try www.vrbo.com) but it may be that you mean West End which would have more hotels, more eateries including funky ones and is closer to public transit. Try Times Square Suites, or Marriotts Residence Inn on Hornby Street.

The East Side is funkier (Mount Pleasant or Commercial Drive (:the Drive") but again lacking in hotels and certainly in hotels you would want to stay in.

2. Rent a car only for any day trip such as to Whistler. Public transit is good and will get you to most spots. Also parking in Vancouver is very expensive.

3. Change your money here. You will get a better rate. On purchases, use either a credit card or a debit card. An excellent place to change money is Vancouver Coin and Bullion on West Pender between Hornby and Howe Streets. Avoid changing money in banks as they will charge you a fee plus give you a crummy exchange rate. There are also all sorts of money changers along Robson Street who will change money without a fee.

Actually, for the amount of cash you are likely to need, and the difference it will make, going to an ATM and simply withdrawing money is probably the most convenient for the cost. If your bank is on the same system as the bank, your ATM will work. For example, my bank card works on the interac and the Plus systems. Avoid white independent machines but go to ATMs at chartered banks.

4. Others may help you with this. What in particular are you looking for off the beaten path. Even provide an example of what in Philly you would consider off the beaten path?

Destination Expert
for British Columbia
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4. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

Honestly that 'Off The Beaten Path' article is useless as teats on a boar.

Stanley Park?

Park Royal Village?

Aberdeen Mall?

One sentence for Commercial Drive?

Maybe if I have time this winter I'll spend some time cleaning it up-as is it's an embarrassment.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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5. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

Hi ryanwex ~

1. I think you might enjoy a place in the Fairview area or the Commercial Drive area.

Here is Fairview with dotted line: http://goo.gl/maps/mc3nA

Here is Commercial Drive: http://goo.gl/maps/xviDA

The Holiday Inn is a good suggestion for Fairview. Know that it on Broadway, which is Medical Row and close to the hospital. The two streets that run busses downtown are Granville St and Cambie St (the latter has Canada Line as well.) Commercial Drive is a counter culture area with somewhat eccentric restos and coffee shops, as well as stores. 10 years ago this would be the tie dye and macrame plant baskets would be found. Mostly you will find B&Bs in these two areas.

Check out what you mean by the West Side though. That is a specific part of Vancouver, away from downtown. We generally call most of that area Kitsilano when you're looking at north of Broadway. You won't find hotels here either, mostly B&Bs.

2. Public transit is easy and convenient. Walking is probably best if you stayed downtown.

4. Off the beaten path: Commercial Drive, 4th Avenue from Burrard to Balsam, Broadway from about Larch to Blenheim, Main Street from about 2nd Ave to about 28th Ave, walking in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.

Capilano River Regional Park: metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regio…

IMO, you might want to look in the West End at possibly Lord Stanley's Suites, Times Square Suites, Robson Suites, Rosellen Suites. If you happen to find something on TA that appeals to you, post that info to give us a point of reference for further suggestions.

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6. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

Stay downtown. If you want something a bit different check out the Sylvia.


Vancouver is too small to have different Burroughs....unless you want to stay out in the suburbs for budget reasons....stay downtown.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

It's fun to stay near Granville Island:


Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

LOL Sam - Ok, I'll admit that I didn't look at it too closely, but we already have a couple of articles featuring the main attractions. It would be great if that one could be redone and cleaned up to better represent the less known parts of the city (but keep it legal.... ;>)

9. Re: Need some suggestions regarding trip to Vancouver-please hel

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