Going on a trip to Vancouver

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cloroxbleach4, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    In July I'm gonna take a trip to Vancouver with some friends and I would like to know places and things I should do. Also, good places to eat.

    Thanks!
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
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    On tenterhooks
    #3
    Bring money.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    Der Waffle Haus maybe?
    What does interest you? Culture, history or maybe just nightlife?
     
  4. cloroxbleach4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #5
    Just looking up a lot of things on Vancouver, I know that there is a lot of things to do outside. Would like to just know places to go during my week trip. I know that i'll be going to Chinatown for sure.

    I'm assuming it rains a lot?
     
  5. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #6
    Vancouver, Washington? I don't know...maybe check out some strip malls. It's basically like any suburb. Nothing too exciting. Might as well go a few miles into Portland proper. There's a lot of outdoorsy stuff to do along the Columbia river, though.

    You don't really have to worry about rain this time of year (not sure about the Canadian Vancouver, though...on the off chance that's what you are referring to).
     
  6. Love macrumors 68000

    Love

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #7

    *snicker*
     
  7. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #8
    i lol'd
     
  8. runlsd macrumors 6502

    runlsd

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    Vancouver has both nature and culture to offer. Currently the city is hot with Canucks fever. Whistler is about 2 hours away and there are great hikes, lakes around there as well. I like Garibaldi Lake.

    If you want downtown, anywhere around Granville, Robson should do the trick. Waterfront along Vancouver Convention Center; Gastown; Chinatown are also neat. West 4th ave is pretty trendy from west of Burrard and there are nice areas along 4th or Broadway in Point Grey. Kerrisdale has its own flavour but wouldn't make it a priority. Granville Island and Stanley Park are also recommended.

    I quite like east Vancouver as well. Not as "posh" but more "raw." Good things on Commercial Drive.
     
  9. cloroxbleach4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #10
    I appreciate your help. Any suggestions on restaurants?

     
  10. runlsd macrumors 6502

    runlsd

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #11
    I don't know your budget or preferences so I'll list some places I like.

    • Yaletown Brewering Company - Good sit & dine side or a more dynamic bar side. serve their own beer.
    • Rodney's Oyster House - oysters are really not my thing. but still enjoyed the experience. Low tide before 6pm.
    • The Naam or Cafe du Soleil or The Foundation - interesting vegetarian places.
    • Whet - good fish & chips
    • Local Public Eatery (The Local)
    • Italian Kitchen
    There are others obviously. Good Thai places, Sushi places every other block..

    Granville Island is a fun way to spend the late afternoon/evening. There's a bustling public market, restaurants for dinner, a couple comedy clubs as well.
     
  11. Love macrumors 68000

    Love

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    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #12
    Quit making me hate Calgary! :p
     
  12. runlsd macrumors 6502

    runlsd

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #13
    I hear Calgary is a booming city, no? Just got back from Portland. Great, laid back city. But I'm starting to appreciate Vancouver more and more.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    You mean Vancouver, Washington, right? Let me tell you all about it....


    :p
     
  14. Love macrumors 68000

    Love

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #15
    It indeed is a booming and great city - a bit of a mess currently with urban subway/LRT train systems being built all over the bloody place (very necessary - our previous lines have proven to be hugely successful, more than a quarter of the city rides the train every day, and that doesn't include buses), but generally quite pretty and nice. I still wanna live in Vancouver, though :p


    Joke already made ;)
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
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    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #16
    Don't laugh. I was on plane at LAX, and on the taxi-way for takeoff. Chief Steward comes on to the intercom to make the pre-flight pleasantries, and - joking - says"If Vancouver, Canada is not your destination, then now would be a good time to tell us..." And a teenage kid in the back yelps out "CANADA!?!" ... and races to front. We pulled over the side, and they dropped the stairs (it was an older jet airliner, 3 engines and the stairs in the tail) and an Air Mexico car picked him up. True Story.

    So - it happens....
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #17
    How long for? Do you like to get adventurous with your eating? What kind of budget?

    One of best values in North America for eating are Vancouver restaurants, according to the New York Times.

    Cheap and cheerful.... Won More, Szchecuan cooking on Denman, and the Guu (sp?) on Robson near Denman for Korean pub style.

    Don't bother with burgers/steaks/ribs etc...you'll get better in your part of the world. Seafood, Asian, and Fusion is what Vancouver does best. Don't bother with lobster, it's been flown in from the east coast... the lobster in OK is just as fresh. Ask the server's what's fresh, they'll tell you.

    There's old Chinatown in Vancouver, and there is the bigger newer on in Richmond (near the airport). If you feel like you are fit, do the Grouse Grind. You'll find out you're not.

    Keep posting with questions. I lived 20 years in Vancouver. Love it. Still live nearby.

    Top end - Vij's for Indian, and ToJo's for Japanese (not sushi).
     
  17. cloroxbleach4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #18
    I'll be down there for a week in July. I would say i'm pretty adventurous in my eating, at least I like to try a lot of different things. I would love to get a wide range of restaurants that I could go to. I.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner.

    I've just been reading and here that seafood and fusion food are among the most popular and would love to eat at places a lot of locals eat at.

     
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #19
    It's been about 8 years since I've live there, so my current knowledge is limited. However... here are some guidelines.

    Downtown Vancouver, tending more towards the west (towards Stanley Park) has a wealth of english language schools, mostly asian kids go to these colleges. If you see a small restaurant, full loud asian looking college kids - you've found one of their favourite places. You can be sure that the food tastes like home, and that the prices will be cheap. There used to be Korean restaurant on Denman (may still be there - east side, 1 to 3 blocks south of Robson) that had a strong Korean student clientele. They had something like 15 different flavours of Korean whiskey. And by "flavours" I mean, Orange, Lime, Lavender, Grape, etc...

    Across the street and down a couple of blocks is a Japanese pub style place. Has dark wood on the front, and looks fancy. But I've been told it's a real gem.

    At the south end of Denman, on the west side, is a sushi place. Not licensed to sell alcohol, but good sushi for a fabulous price. I think it's called Akira, but don't quote me. It's our favourite sushi place. It's across the street from a fancy sushi place called something like "Apopo" (I can't remember the name, but when you see it you'll see why that name seems right). The fancy place is upstairs, and it looks nice - but we prefer the small place I recommended first. Just a block or so down is the Won More. East side of Denman, upstairs via a spiral set of steps on the outside of the building. The Won More overlooks the Bay. Szechuan food (spicey!). All the hot dishes are cooked in a large wok, in the front window, that sits over a jet engine. You'll see what I mean if you go.

    Please don't take this wrong. If you see a bunch of Americans in a restaurant, then it's not an authentic Vancouver restaurant. Vancouver is incredibly multicultural (even more so than NY city by some measures) and a young city. So, if you see a bunch of young, ethnic people in a restaurant, then look a little more closely. If they are all wearing name tags and/or wearing the same hat or t-shirt or travel bag, then you've found a bus tour - food may or may not be good. If they're young, ethnic, and not a bus tour then you've found a "Vancouverite" restaurant.

    Also try Fiddlehead Joe's (across the water from Granville Island, a little west on the seawall. You can take either ferry from the Island to a stop nearby the restaurant. Ask your ferry driver.

    Granville island is fun. There is a lot to explore there. Eat in the food court, or buy fresh bread, deli stuff, etc from the food vendors. Thursdays are when the "truck market" shows up. Basically farmers from the area show up and sell out of the back of their trucks, in addition to the regular farmers market inside. If you see a fellow selling tomatoes, with a line of people waiting to buy.... lets just say there is a reason why people are waiting in line to buy his tomatoes.

    There is micro-brewery on the island (Granville Island Brewing), but BC is teaming with micro-brews. I like Pender island Porter, for something dark. If you want something really hoppy try Hop-Head (I think from the Nelson Brewing Co., but I could be wrong... we are currently out of Hop-Head at home so I can't look.)

    Depending on the season, you may be able to do a salmon fishing charter out of Granville Island. There are a couple or rivers that empty in the harbour, and if the Salmon are running you can fish for them at the mouths of the river.

    Just about the entire city's waterfront has been turned into a "sea-wall". Which is a walking, rollerblading, biking path that runs for 10s of km. Just pay attention to the lane separations (smooth paved paths are for blades and bikes, brick pavers are for walkers). You can rent bikes and blades from any number of places. The bike helmet laws are enforced.

    If you have a car (rental or one you've driven up) don't leave anything of any value visible. One of the major blemishes on Vancouver is that it's got the worst (or at least one of the worst) records for theft from cars on the continent. People will break a window for cupcake, an umbrella, a quarter. So, just don't leave anything out.

    It probably won't rain much in July. May not rain at all. Or, it could rain for a week. Welcome to the west coast. But July is generally gorgeous.

    If you haven't booked rooms yet, try the YWCA on Beatty street. It's a bit of secret (well, not any more....)

    If you have a car, you can do a circle tour via BC ferries. Drive north to Horseshoe Bay, take the ferry to Nanaimo. Head west towards Tofino as far as Cathedral Grove. It's a BC Park that has an old growth forest of Douglas Firs. These rival the Red Woods of California for size. What is amazing at the Grove is that a few years ago there was a massive windstorm that blew through and knocked a bunch of trees down. It's quite amazing to see a bunch of giant trees (30ft or so around) knocked down and piled like pickup sticks. The pile is on the south side ( the left side) as you drive in.

    Either keep going for truly scenic drive, through Port Alberni and on to Tofino, or turn back at Cathedral Grove and head south towards Victoria to do the circle tour in a day. If you go to Tofino you may need to book a night there. Tofino is where Pacific Rim National Park is, and is the home to Long Beach. Big surfing community there.

    Head south on Vancouver island, from Nanaimo. Make sure to visit Cowichan Bay. There is really good bakery next to a good cheese shop there. There are a number of wineries in the Cow Bay area, and you can picnic at most of them - and sample the wine. Some of them have a tasting fee (personally, I don't like the fees, but I understand why) that is credited towards any purchase. So buy a bottle for the room.

    Victoria is a very "English" City. Splash out for "High Tea" at the Empress Hotel, or hit the Superior Cafe for dinner. There is ferry back to Vancouver from Swartz Bay, about 30 minutes north of Victoria. Some of the Vancouver-Victoria ferries have a "Pacific Buffet" on board, that is surprising good. I'm on one of the islands you dodge on the way out of Swartz Bay.

    You can do the circle the other way too of course. Call BC ferries to get the best rate. I think they have a deal on the circle tour thing.

    For a 2 or 3 day trip, take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast and drive up the coast to Powell River. Then you cross by ferry to Vancouver Island. If you like to fish, head up to Campbell River and do a Salmon charter. (Call first to make sure they're in season). Then drive south to Nanaimo and back to Vancouver (short circle) or carry on down the island for the long circle (see above).

    OK, I'm going to stop now.

    Be aware that BC liquor laws are probably more strict than what you are used to. And drinking and driving here is an absolute zero tolerance affair. I know some places in the US are stricter than others, and I don't know where OK comes in.

    You will need a passport to visit. Actually, we don't really care, but since the USA now insists on passports to get back into America - including from it's own citizens - it's a lot easier for Canada to insist on passports too rather than housing Americans who can't get back home.

    Canadian & US dollar are more or less at par. But you find it easier to convert your cash to Canadian $$. But you can do that here. And most tourist shops will take American dollars, but they may not give you a good exchange rate.

    Blah blah blah.... come and have a good time....
     
  19. cloroxbleach4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #20
    Thanks for all the info. We're staying at a hotel in North Vancouver and are renting a car. I'll have to check out those Salmon Charters, they sound like a lot of fun.

    I was thinking about renting a scooter and just riding around the town. So far we're definitely gonna go to Granville Island and visit the Chinatown. Aside from that it seems like just visiting the many many different parks. Are there any museums that I should go to? I know that there is a large science museum up there.
     
  20. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #21
    Vancouver is very walkable city, and has a decent transit system (despite the locals complaining about it.) Depending on your level of physical fitness, walking and transit may be all you need. Though of course a scooter is fun too. Vancouver is not, um, traffic friendly. They really prefer people bus, walk, bike, or take the SkyTrain (like a subway in the core, and light rail when it leaves the core).

    The science museum is good. There will be some terrific shows at the Vancouver Art Gallery in July if you like Surrealist art and/or photography. Museum of Anthropology at UBC (University of BC) is also usually worth a visit. If you like plants/flowers/gardens then Van Dusen gardens is worth a visit. Vancouver is an "outdoor" city. Inside cultural pursuits can sometimes be a little lacking.

    If you are in North Van (North Vancouver) you are very near the parks on the North Shore mountains - Cypress, Grouse, Seymour. If you decide to go on a day walk, treat it as a proper hike. The terrain can be treacherous, and it's easy to get lost and fall off an edge. People (visitors and residents alike) get lost all the time there. Every year or so someone dies. I'm not saying don't do it... but just because you took a city bus to trail-head doesn't mean it's a city park... it's wild and the weather can get nasty quickly. So take water and some food, and carry a coat. Tell the hotel where you are going. If you do get lost the North Shore Search and Rescue is one of the best in the world, so just stay put and they will find you. I'm not trying to scare you .... just treat the trails with respect and you'll have a great time.
     
  21. cloroxbleach4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #22
    Thanks! I really appreciate your help

     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #23
    Just re-read this bit. When my wife (then long-distance romance) first visited me, from Ontario, for a weekend she had salmon for every meal. Pacific Bennies (with salmon, instead of ham on a traditional benny), salmon fish & chips, seared salmon, baked salmon, sushi salmon, etc etc

    Try the Cafe Medina for brunch one day. Ask about, and then do, the waffle thing. Also, try the lavender cafe latte. Trust me. It'll sound weird, but you'll thank me afterwards.
     

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