My boyfriend & I are planning a 13 day trip to Vancouver and not sure where and how to spend 2013 Christmas and NYE: Vancouver, Seattle or Portland? We are both from Holland, 22-25 years and new to Canada & the US.
We will probably spend Christmas in Vancouver since he'll be arriving late on the 24th, leaving on 5th of January. I understand Vancouver is pretty much dead during Christmas as everyone celebrates it at home and that mainly Chinese restaurants and hotel restaurants are open. However, we prefer having a more Christmas feeling-dinner but not as expensive as $70 p.p. for a buffet meal. Do you know any nice restaurants (e.g. in Gastown) that are open? I've been walking around and asking restaurants but most are closed.
I thought it would be nice to see a big public firework show on NYE and/or go to a NYE ballroom/club but so far it seems that only Seattle has that. Do you have any recommendation on how and where it would be best to spend NYE? We have both never been to Seattle and Portland but I have been in Vancouver for 2 months now on exchange.
P.S. (FYI) We might be able to stay at Sammamish lake, 30 mins from Seattle, too and want to stay in Boise-Elliot neighborhood in Portland. The rest of the holiday will be spend in Vancouver, so we're thinking of spending 1 or 2 nights in Seattle and Portland and the rest in Vancouver since I am based here. We are willing to rent a car unless its not safe in winter time and busses allow us to enjoy the views and relax a bit while commuting.
Let me know if I provided enough information. I would love to hear your opinions!