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lisabees

Vancouver? What do I need to know for 5 day trip?

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Dh and I just made last minute plans to go to Vancouver at the end of the month.  We would like to use vrbo, air b and b etc.  We always have luck with them.  Are there certain neighborhoods/sections we should be staying?

 

Restaurants?  Things not to be missed?  We are not really museum people.  We love to walk through awesome neighborhoods, hike, visit parks and gardens and cook and eat. :)

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These are some of the things I loved from Vancouver from decades ago:

 

Stanley Park

Lion's Gate bridge

Japanese Gardens

Grouse Mountain

Capilano suspension bridge

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These are some of the things I loved from Vancouver from decades ago:

 

Stanley Park

Lion's Gate bridge

Japanese Gardens

Grouse Mountain

Capilano suspension bridge

 

Thank you, thank you!

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Vancouver is *huge*. If you can, staying in Coal Harbour would be nice. It's an easy walk to Stanley Park and also downtown. Yaletown is also nice and central. Traffic can be an issue, especially if you're driving over bridges, but it all depends on time of day and where construction is. 

 

For restaurants, I really like Cardero's. It's right on the water in Coal Harbour and it's got a great pub feel. There is often live music. The seafood is fantastic. Lots of local food.

 

I also like Joe Fortes. It's over by Robson, so nice to eat at if you're doing some shopping on Robson St. It's a lively atmosphere and the food is great. Again, lots of seafood, but a pretty wide menu.

 

If you are getting out a bit and you have a car, think about driving up to Port Moody. I haven't been there in years, but I used to like poking around there. My map says it's a 40 minute drive from Coal Harbour, but that's assuming no traffic. http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=1506

 

Buntzen Lake is just North of Port Moody and it's gorgeous. Nice hiking and swimming at Buntzen. I really like the neighbourhoods on the way from Port Moody to Buntzen - some very beautiful houses up that way. https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/buntzen-lake/ There used to be a really neat shop in Port Moody that sold logic puzzles from Israel. They were wooden and absolutely beautiful. I don't know if it's still there.

 

Bring a rain coat. Or an umbrella. Or both. 

Edited by Sarah CB
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in addition to what has been mentioned - queen elizabeth park.

 

and go into the sun-yat sen gardens. the "pay" side is much much nicer.   and try to be there during feeding time for the koi.

 

richmond (part is heavily asian.)  or china town in vancouver itself for chinese food.

 

PNE goes from Aug 19 - sep 4th.  

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We stayed in a VRBO (it was a B & B, but we had a basement apartment and declined breakfast) one block from Stanley Park and loved the location. One of our favorite things was a bike tour of the city. I can't remember any particular restaurants, but we were within walking distance of just about anything you could want.

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Frances, thank you!  If you'd like to share details, let me know!

 

Dh just bought the plane tickets yesterday; we hadn't done any researching into the trip, so I feel like I'm scrambling.

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in addition to what has been mentioned - queen elizabeth park.

 

and go into the sun-yat sen gardens. the "pay" side is much much nicer.   and try to be there during feeding time for the koi.

 

richmond (part is heavily asian.)  or china town in vancouver itself for chinese food.

 

PNE goes from Aug 19 - sep 4th.  

 

 

Ooooh.  Is that good or bad that PNE is going on while we are there.

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Ooooh.  Is that good or bad that PNE is going on while we are there.

 

depends.  pacific northwest exhibition.   like a fair.  https://www.pne.ca/

it might be something you'd like to do one day.  it's been going on for years.

 

here's some history of it.  it started in 1910

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_National_Exhibition

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Vancouver is *huge*. If you can, staying in Coal Harbour would be nice. It's an easy walk to Stanley Park and also downtown. Yaletown is also nice and central. Traffic can be an issue, especially if you're driving over bridges, but it all depends on time of day and where construction is. 

 

For restaurants, I really like Cardero's. It's right on the water in Coal Harbour and it's got a great pub feel. There is often live music. The seafood is fantastic. Lots of local food.

 

I also like Joe Fortes. It's over by Robson, so nice to eat at if you're doing some shopping on Robson St. It's a lively atmosphere and the food is great. Again, lots of seafood, but a pretty wide menu.

 

If you are getting out a bit and you have a car, think about driving up to Port Moody. I haven't been there in years, but I used to like poking around there. My map says it's a 40 minute drive from Coal Harbour, but that's assuming no traffic. http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=1506

 

Buntzen Lake is just North of Port Moody and it's gorgeous. Nice hiking and swimming at Buntzen. I really like the neighbourhoods on the way from Port Moody to Buntzen - some very beautiful houses up that way. https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/buntzen-lake/ There used to be a really neat shop in Port Moody that sold logic puzzles from Israel. They were wooden and absolutely beautiful. I don't know if it's still there.

 

Bring a rain coat. Or an umbrella. Or both. 

 

We weren't planning on driving anywhere.  Is Coal Harbor or Yaletown better known for its food?  We are total foodies. :)  

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Frances, thank you! If you'd like to share details, let me know!

 

Dh just bought the plane tickets yesterday; we hadn't done any researching into the trip, so I feel like I'm scrambling.

English Bay Inn

 

Cycle City Tours - we did the 5 hour Grand Tour which included a lunch stop at the Granville Public Market on the waterfront, we even took our bikes on the miniature ferries

Edited by Frances
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Come visit me. We're staying in Surrey (a part of Greater Vancouver) right now. :D

 

You could visit the botanical gardens at UBC or Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Stanley Park is lovely too but really heavily populated. You might like the Grouse grind if hiking is your thing. Lynn Valley suspension bridge is free and probably as nice as Capilano suspension bridge. VanDusen botanical gardens are really nice too.

 

For food, I'm not your person to ask, but if there's an ethnic food type that you like but can't get to often here's your chance. Vancouver is VERY multicultural. You'll find a restaurant serving any ethnic cuisine you can think of.

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A little bit southeast of Vancouver, in Surrey, but TOTALLY worth the (short) drive... Tasty Indian Bistro. We go there every year on our way home from Whistler. Our favorite meal of the year!!

 

 

https://m.yelp.com/biz/tasty-indian-bistro-surrey

I wish we had known about this when we were in Vancouver, we'll have to check it out next time. But we did have the best Indian food of our lives on the drive from OR to BC, near Olympia, WA. It was so good and the portions so large, that we bought ice and a disposable cooler at a nearby convenience store and took the leftovers with us to Canada.
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Do you remember the name of the restaurant in/near Olympia? I'd love to try it next time we head to OR! Two of our boys are completely obsessed with Indian food. :-)

 

 

I wish we had known about this when we were in Vancouver, we'll have to check it out next time. But we did have the best Indian food of our lives on the drive from OR to BC, near Olympia, WA. It was so good and the portions so large, that we bought ice and a disposable cooler at a nearby convenience store and took the leftovers with us to Canada.

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Do you remember the name of the restaurant in/near Olympia? I'd love to try it next time we head to OR! Two of our boys are completely obsessed with Indian food. :-)

 

 

 

Curry Corner, not too far off I-5

The portions are huge, especially the lunch specials.

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A little bit southeast of Vancouver, in Surrey, but TOTALLY worth the (short) drive... Tasty Indian Bistro. We go there every year on our way home from Whistler. Our favorite meal of the year!!

 

 

https://m.yelp.com/biz/tasty-indian-bistro-surrey

 

I mentioned we are foodies and that is one of the reasons for our trip.  Dh's cousin, a well-traveled and opinionated man :), has said that the best Asian food he has ever had was in Vancouver. I think he included Vietnamese, Thai, possibly Indian etc.  

 

Keep sharing.  Indian food is my favorite!

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Come visit me. We're staying in Surrey (a part of Greater Vancouver) right now. :D

 

You could visit the botanical gardens at UBC or Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Stanley Park is lovely too but really heavily populated. You might like the Grouse grind if hiking is your thing. Lynn Valley suspension bridge is free and probably as nice as Capilano suspension bridge. VanDusen botanical gardens are really nice too.

 

For food, I'm not your person to ask, but if there's an ethnic food type that you like but can't get to often here's your chance. Vancouver is VERY multicultural. You'll find a restaurant serving any ethnic cuisine you can think of.

 

Thank you for the info re: Stanley Park!  We don't necessarily like people.  Well, lots of people!  :lol:

 

I tried to find places in Coal Harbour and Yaletown during our dates, with no luck.  

 

Frances, thanks for the English Bay Inn name!

Edited by lisabees

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I mentioned we are foodies and that is one of the reasons for our trip.  Dh's cousin, a well-traveled and opinionated man :), has said that the best Asian food he has ever had was in Vancouver. I think he included Vietnamese, Thai, possibly Indian etc.  

 

Keep sharing.  Indian food is my favorite!

vancouver does have a very large chinese population - even the seattle times food critic will go to vancouver for her favorite chinese restaurant.

 

they have a very large indian population as well.  I know indians who will go up there (from the US) to shop for indian goods, especially fabrics, etc.

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We have slim pickings for our dates, since our trip is last minute.

 

If a place is "downtown" is that okay?  Are there certain sections to be worried about?

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We weren't planning on driving anywhere.  Is Coal Harbor or Yaletown better known for its food?  We are total foodies. :)

Both areas are part of downtown Vancouver and have great restaurants. (And you can walk between those neighbourhoods. Downtown Vancouver is quite walkable.  I am there often on business and generally walk everywhere. )

 

The skytrain is a convenient way to travel throughout city if you want to go outside of downtown.  In fact, you can take train from Vancouver Airport (YVR) to downtown quite easily.

 

Vancouver is a great city.  You'll enjoy visiting.

 

Rose

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When we went to Vancouver a couple of years ago (me, two daughters and a friend of mine), we stayed at the St. Claire Hostel. It was a really great place if you're not doing a traditional hotel. I'm an Airbnb host and I would still consider (myself) staying there again. It's in a great location related to downtown and a lot of the places that are great to visit. You could get a room for just the two of you.

 

We walked everywhere -- out to Stanley Park and back, to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (to see "Les Miserables"), to/from the train station, to the Gastown area, to Granville Island, etc. You could check to see what is happening at the QE Theatre. We had a lot of fun attending the play and then going out to dinner. We had the best gelato at Bella Gelateria on Cordova Street. They've won people's choice (and other) awards in Italy!

 

Enjoy your trip!

Edited by milovany
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We have slim pickings for our dates, since our trip is last minute.

 

If a place is "downtown" is that okay?  Are there certain sections to be worried about?

Definitely stay as far away from Main and Hastings as you can get. It's an area of downtown that is basically skid row. I think that there are about 5000 hardcore drug users that live in that neighbourhood. Accomodations probably get cheaper the closer you get to that intersection. Gastown, while trendy, is quite close. Chinatown in close too. That's a nice spot to visit during the day but I don't think you'd want to stay in that area.

 

Both areas are part of downtown Vancouver and have great restaurants. (And you can walk between those neighbourhoods. Downtown Vancouver is quite walkable.  I am there often on business and generally walk everywhere. )

 

The skytrain is a convenient way to travel throughout city if you want to go outside of downtown.  In fact, you can take train from Vancouver Airport (YVR) to downtown quite easily.

or your kiddos.

Vancouver is a great city.  You'll enjoy visiting.

 

Rose

I completely agree with this. If you visit translink.ca you can see where the skytrain runs and find accomodations near any of the stops on the route. The trains run about every five minutes at their peak and every 12 the rest of time. Along the Cambie corridor would probably have some nice airbnb houses. It's also not so far from downtown. Kerrisdale, Kitsalano and Dunbar, although not on the skytrain line, are also really nice neighbourhoods.

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Okay - this is stressing us out.  So many things are booked.  Sigh.  

 

You all are absolutely amazing with advice and restaurants and things to do.  We will definitely be using many of your ideas.

 

Ideally, we want a cool looking neighborhood - something with character - like a Gastown.  But not seedy.

 

 

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When we went to Vancouver a couple of years ago (me, two daughters and a friend of mine), we stayed at the St. Claire Hostel.  It was a really great place if you're not doing a traditional hotel.  I'm an Airbnb host and I would still consider (myself) staying there again.  It's in a great location related to downtown and a lot of the places that are great to visit.  You could get a room for just the two of you.  

 

We walked everywhere -- out to Stanley Park and back, to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (to see "Les Miserables"), to/from the train station, to the Gaswork area, to Granville Island, etc.   You could check to see what is happening at the QE Theatre.  We had a lot of fun attending the play and then going out to dinner. We had the best gelato at Bella Gelateria on Cordova Street.  They've won people's choice (and other) awards in Italy!  

 

Enjoy your trip!

 

He wouldn't bite on the hostel thing.  It's a romantic trip for us.

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Okay - this is stressing us out.  So many things are booked.  Sigh.  

 

You all are absolutely amazing with advice and restaurants and things to do.  We will definitely be using many of your ideas.

 

Ideally, we want a cool looking neighborhood - something with character - like a Gastown.  But not seedy.

 

Definitely try Kitsalano. It's a beautiful neighbourhood and still very central. 

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Definitely try Kitsalano. It's a beautiful neighbourhood and still very central. 

 

How easy is it to get to Yaletown, Gastown and Stanley Park etc?  

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How easy is it to get to Yaletown, Gastown and Stanley Park etc?  

 

First off, it's right by Granville Island, which is also great to visit. If you are planning on doing any of your own cooking, the market at Granville Island is fantastic. Tons of fresh produce and seafood and all kinds of wonderful things to eat. There are little ferries at Granville that will take you across the water - I would recommend that over walking the bridge. I've walked the bridge, it's fine, but the traffic is busy. The little mini ferry (I think they hold about 10 people - very cute) doesn't take long. Then you're downtown Vancouver. Public transportation is pretty reliable in Vancouver, so if you didn't have an hour to walk to Stanley Park then you could look into transport or grab a cab. 

 

Being in Kits or one of the neighbourhoods near there also puts you closer to the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Great beaches, hiking, etc. http://www.greatervancouverparks.com/PacificSpirit.html 

 

Here's a link for Granville Island: http://granvilleisland.com Lots of neat little artist studios that you can poke into as well.

Edited by Sarah CB
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First off, it's right by Granville Island, which is also great to visit. If you are planning on doing any of your own cooking, the market at Granville Island is fantastic. Tons of fresh produce and seafood and all kinds of wonderful things to eat. There are little ferries at Granville that will take you across the water - I would recommend that over walking the bridge. I've walked the bridge, it's fine, but the traffic is busy. The little mini ferry (I think they hold about 10 people - very cute) doesn't take long. Then you're downtown Vancouver. Public transportation is pretty reliable in Vancouver, so if you didn't have an hour to walk to Stanley Park then you could look into transport or grab a cab. 

 

Being in Kits or one of the neighbourhoods near there also puts you closer to the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Great beaches, hiking, etc. http://www.greatervancouverparks.com/PacificSpirit.html 

 

Here's a link for Granville Island: http://granvilleisland.com Lots of neat little artist studios that you can poke into as well.

 

Thanks Sarah!  Dh likes the area and what you've said about it!  Checking into places now!

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Booked a place in Kitsilano!  Thank you ever so much!  

 

Now I can research all of the restaurants and cool things to do.  We are excited!

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