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Help with Itinerary

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Fredericton
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Help with Itinerary

Hi all,

Would appreciate some feedback/guidance on my itinerary for my upcoming trip! M husband is going for work, and I am tagging along :)

Arrive December 11 at 1PM (staying at Fairmont Pacific Rim)

- we were hoping to check in, get a bit nearby

- thinking of heading to Stanley Park, to walk/cycle the sea wall and do the bright lights tour

- we will be jet legged so early night

December 12 (my husband is in meetings all day)

- I was going to head to Granville Island in the morning, via aquabus

- afterwards I was going to go to the Christmas Market

- if extra time I was going to wander around, maybe do some shopping

How much time should I allot for these?

- We have a meet and greet to attend from 5-6, would there be anything near the hotel that would be worth doing after?

December 13 (husband in meetings until 5)

- Gastown during the morning

- Foodie tour from 1-4PM

- any ideas for the evening?

December 14

- open morning

- shuttle to Capitalano Bridge, spend afternoon there

- his Christmas party in evening

December 15

- open morning

- leave at 1PM

Any feedback is much appreciated. I love to get local experiences beyond being just a tourist, open to most things! Thank you in advance :)

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary

If you like shopping, get yourself to Main Street between E 5th and E 28th for tons of one of a kind, locally owned boutiques. It's probably the best shopping for unique clothing, jewellery, and gifts outside of downtown. In fact, I prefer it to downtown (although Gastown has some nice finds). Some of my favourites include Front & Company, Pulp Fiction Books, Red Cat Records, Dandelion Records & Emporium. You've got everything from $$$ shoe boutiques and hipster stores, to really quirky interior design and books stores, to random cocktail lounges, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. You could spend the entire afternoon strolling and exploring - it's a totally different vibe but authentically Vancouver.

Edited: 28 November 2013, 23:40
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary

Hi

For the Bright Nights train, do you already have tickets? You can get them through tickmaster in advance or on-site the day of starting at 11. We usually grab tickets the day of just because I'd rather pick a decent night weather-wise but you might want to get them in advance so you don't have to worry about getting there before they sell out. It will probably be a bit late to bike around the park by the time you get to the hotel, unpack. It gets dusky around 4 here.

The Christmas Market is okay although it can get very crowded and I don't like the fact you have to pay to get in. If you do go, try to get a Groupon for the entrance fee. They've been available lately.

I would allot half day for Granville Island and maybe an hour for the Christmas market. From there, you can easily stroll up Robson Street for shopping.

Fredericton
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary

Thank you for the reply, BC_Robyn. I will certainly look into getting there! Any other recs for our open mornings that might be classified as low key and Vancouver experiences?

Port Moody, Canada
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary

You might look at Van Dusen Garden festival of lights for the evening of the 13th. If the weather is nice you could go to Seasons in the Park for dinner after. The food here is consistently good but the views are lovely if it's not pouring rain. You'd want a reservation. You can easily spend half day at Granville Island. Be sure to venture past the market over to the various artists places, Crafthouse gallery etc.

Second Robyn's recommendation of Main Street. Great area.

Edited: 29 November 2013, 00:03
Fredericton
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary

I will take a look traveller47, thanks for the recommendation!

For Main St, would it make sense to go on the Saturday morning?

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary

Some of the Main St. shops won't be open early--many won't open until 10 or 11-- but you could easily start off with coffee and donuts (interesting flavors) at 49th Parallel Roasters or brunch at Crave on Main.

Commercial Drive is another shopping street but is more about Italian food/coffee. There are a few interesting shops however. You can easily reach the Drive via Sky-train.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary

I'd argue Commercial Drive is less about shopping (although it's great place if you like shopping for food!) and more about small scale nightlife - tiny jazz bars in restaurants and pubs, poetry readings, live swing bands/hip hop groups, folk bands, etc. Excellent craft beer pubs, vibrant little hole in the wall restaurants, a totally Bohemian unpretentious vibe. I recently moved to Commercial Drive (2 years ago) and find that I rarely leave in the evening because there's enough going on outside my front door. When people seek nightlife in Vancouver, Granville Street has the meat market club kid scene, Yaletown has the Real Housewives of Vancouver lounge scene, Gastown has the craft cocktail and foodie scene, whereas Commercial Drive has the live music/pub/foodie scene, yet somehow almost always gets overlooked as a nightlife destination for tourists, even though it's hopping in the evenings, especially weekends.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you're seeking another authentic Vancouver experience in the evening, go with Commercial Drive.

Edited: 29 November 2013, 01:39
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Help with Itinerary

Dec 11. For the Bright Nights in Stanley Park, you will avoid a whole line up of people waiting to buy tickets at the door if you purchase in advance on Tixmaster. With tickets printed off, you would go straight to the lineup for the actual entry to the ride. But as mentioned, see what the weather is on the morning of.

Dec 12. At the Hyatt, at Georgia and Burrard, you can find a display of gingerbread creations. There are about 40 entries from high school/culinary school cooking students, to chefs, to other groups who put together large and small for a donation to a charity. They are throughout the lobby (where there is a Starbucks, McD's next door) and are open 24/7. Some of them could sit on a business person's desk top and some could sit on a serving tray. But colourful, creative, often themed, and fun. If you wanted to appreciate all the detail, I'd allow 1-1.5 hours to make your way around.

I've been to the Christmas Market outside the QE Theatre and spent about an hour snooping around. I found more to enjoy in people watching than in the actual kiosks. But I wasn't shopping for the goods for sale and we had other plans for eating.

After your meet and greet, if it isn't too cold, you could walk down the Coal Harbour seawalk for the lights in the harbour and on the neighbouring buildings, or walk around Canada Place on the promenade. You could also look into Fly Over Canada, which is an activity at Canada Place. It's open to 9 pm daily.

http://www.flyovercanada.com/index.html

Dec 13. You might not be very hungry after your foodie tour! But I also think Van Dusen Gardens Festival of Lights is a good choice. They have a large property of gardens, where all the trees and shrubs are lit up for Christmas. From 4h30 pm and every hour? or half hour? there is a Dancing Lights display to music around the lake. There might also be hot chocolate and, I think beaver tails? or a sweet/carb of some kind in the food tent area. There are two dining options at Van Dusen, the casual Truffles Cafe and the reservations recommended Shaughnessy Restaurant.

Dec 14. I would actually place Capilano Bridge on the morning of the 12th, coming back on the shuttle to the Christmas market and shopping. On the 14th, then you might combine a morning at the UBC Museum of Anthropology for a couple of hours, then whisk down on the bus to Granville Island for the afternoon from where it would be very easy to get back to the Pac Rim.

Fredericton
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9. Re: Help with Itinerary

Thank you for the replies Foodie66, and the recommendations! Is there anything typical to do in Vancouver on a Saturday morning? We are pretty open to anything.

Fredericton
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10. Re: Help with Itinerary

Thank you multimixandmatch! I hadn't seen much on the gingerbread display, sounds like something to definitely add in!

The reason I put the capilano bridge in the afternoon is that the shuttle only starts at 11.... Would it be worth it to take public transportation there or just wait for the free shuttle? The shuttle times change November 30.

Thanks for all the suggestions close to the hotel as well- I know my husband will probably be tired after working all day and want to stick close to "home" :) we are leaving our 16 month old daughter behind, so some relaxation is on the menu as well!