My wife and I are visiting Vancouver for what will be a romantic trip of sorts since it's just us and we're leaving the kids at home. We're visiting for five days and have a bit of an idea of a few things we want to do but were hoping to get more suggestions from anyone else who's ever been. Here's what we have so far:
Anything else? We also haven't looked up where anything is in relation to each other so if there's something close to any of these that we should see, we'd love to hear it!
I'm not sure where you are coming to Vancouver from but you definitely do NOT need a car there. I read that the cost of parking and traffic make it a nightmare to drive. The public transportation system is AWESOME and saves you not only money but time and the headache of driving in an unfamiliar city. I always seek out the free attractions first and I LOVE parks, gardens, nature and architecture. I can usually find plenty of those sights to see for free (my favorite). I tend to eat light (especially when traveling solo) so I got one dinner from a food truck parked right outside my hotel one night and grabbed stuff at Granville Island Public Market the next day and the food court in the Market on the North Shore for dinner. So, unfortunately, I don't have any restaurant info for you. If you are coming in to Vancouver from the US, the Amtrak is a great way to come (via Seattle, WA or Portland, OR). I actually took it when I left Vancouver to Portland to visit my Aunt. Its a beautiful ride and a fun way to see some extra scenery along the way. Also, much more economical than flying into Canada. I wrote a pretty in depth article on Vancouver (and another one on Victoria) on my website (blog) that has lots of pictures and links to the transportation, sights, and tourism sites I used during my research AND my actual travels. You can directly access them by clicking on "Canada" under my categories on my blog page at www.TTsTrippin.com. Much more detailed info on my stay with pictures of each place as well.
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I would add Granville Island. its a large indoor market with beautiful fruit and veggie stands, great food, cheese, pastries etc. also can stroll though some buildings / stores for local artwork and crafts.
Edit: Oh, forgot to mention... If the weather is fine, a great place to go is up the local mountain, Grouse Mountain. There is a gondola up to the top, a beautiful view of the city and forest below. There's a pub up there to have a beer and watch the para gliders leave the top of the mountain. There are other things to see as well. Depending on the time of year, there is downhill skiing, outdoor skating up there. In summer, you can visit the two brown bears that were rescued and live in a natural habitat. There are also a few tourist things to do as well. It costs about $30 to ride up on the gondola. The only thing I'm not sure about is how to catch a bus up there, but that will be easy to find out.
Science World is another place worth visiting. But it is more for kids though.
Save the best for the last. The well-known Stanley Park is close to downtown Vancouver. Specific view!
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Vancouver is one of my favorite cities after visiting only once (via ferrry from Victoria). I explored the city for 2 days by myself in the fall. Their 2 top parks to visit are Stanley Parkand Queen Elizabeth Park. Both are free and gorgeous and you could easily spend a morning or afternoon at each just wandering the grounds and enjoying the natural beauty. Queen Elizabeth is easily accessed by foot from the King Edward Metro stop. Stanley Park is downtown. I did buy the hop on hop off bus pass www.bigbus.ca so that I could get to lots of places in my 2 days there. Granville Island is one that I really wanted to get to and its a little farther to use their fabulous public transportation for. It is definitely worth visiting. Go late morning or afternoon and pick up a fresh baguette and some cheese, meat and drink from the market and enjoy a picnic with a great view. I'm not sure if you will have a car or not. I did not, as I took ferry to Vancouver from Victoria. The BC ferries is wonderful and I recommend taking it from Tsawwassen ferry dock in Vancouver to Victoria for the day (if you haven't already been). Butchart Gardens is fabulous and walking around Victoria is easy and beautiful. The ferry runs frequently from Vancouver-Victoria and back. It's a beautiful 90 minute ride and is $15.50 per adult each way. They also have several other ferry trips around Vancouver that you can check out. Their website is http://www.bcferries.com The public transportation is great in Vancouver and I used it quite a bit. Take the sea bus from downtown Vancouver over to the North Shore (12 minute crossing time) for a great view of Vancouver and also great market and park along water to explore for a couple hours. The Vancouver Public Library is another beautiful FREE attraction that I enjoyed. A great website for research is http://www.vancouver.ca You can read about attractions and also the great public transportation system they have. Let me know if you have any other questions. You and your wife will have a wonderful time no matter where you go!
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