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3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later

Los Angeles...
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69 posts
3 reviews
3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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Dear all travel experts and fans,

My husband and I have a short trip planned in early July, arriving mid-day, then 3 full days, followed by another half day before heading back home.

I only booked the flight and temporarily booked four nights at Hotel Blu which is expensive but more in line with our budget. It's been over 20 years since the last visit in Vancouver. I have seen lots of information and am overwhelmed as to where to start.

We won't have a car so that we stay within our budget.

My hope is that this short trip gives us some freedom away from obligation at home, offers some good shopping experience, provides some great sightseeing time outside of the City in addition to some good/not super expensive eats. I thought spending a day in Victoria, another day in Whistler, then a whole day in the City may be a bit too hectic. I am also curious about those Foodie Tours, and wonder if it is worthwhile or we should simply check out restaurants/food places on our own.

I am not completely settled with Hotel Blu and open to any suggestions for a couple without cars in Vancouver.

Look forward to your comment about how to plan our trip (this is our once a year, or every few years opportunity to have some fun just for ourselves).

Thank you!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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78,232 posts
58 reviews
98 helpful votes
1. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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The Vancouver Foodie Tour gets excellent reviews: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154943-d2225663-Reviews-Vancouver_Foodie_Tours-Vancouver_British_Columbia.html

There is also an historic Chinatown tour which gets great reviews as well: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g154943-d8114845-Reviews-Historical_Chinatown_Tours-Vancouver_British_Columbia.html

Spending a day in Victoria would involve a 13-14 hour round trip. It takes 4 hours to get over there, or 35 min if you fly by Harbour Air seaplanes. Public transit coupled with the ferry ride is possible which involves an hour by bus to Tsawwassen ferry tour, the 1.5 hour ferry ride, and an hour by bus down to Victoria. There is a coach that goes to Victoria, again in 4 hours. BC Ferries Connector will take you from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria. www.bcfconnector.com

Whistler would be a much more relaxed day trip as it is 2 hours away from Vancouver. Pacific Coach would take you there. www.pacificcoach.com

There are a couple of good streets for alternative shopping experiences. One is Main Street between about 8th Avenue and King Edward Avenue (would be 25th Ave if it had a number) in our Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Link: http://mountpleasantbia.com/

The other is Commercial Drive between about Venables Ave to 13th Ave. Link is here: http://www.thedrive.ca/our-bia

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Vancouver, Canada
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39,530 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
2. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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The location of Hotel Blu is nice. You are very close to Stadium-Chinatown station, which makes easy access for getting around without a car. The only thing you might want to just check is major events at either of the stadiums on your dates. It can get very congested and noisy around there if there is a big event or concert. This isn't catastrophic, especially if you are on foot, but its just good to know what you are walking into.

https://rogersarena.com/events-nav/

http://www.bcplace.com/events

I've never been inside that hotel, so can't comment on that part.

I'd be inclined to just stick with Vancouver with such a short stay, although if you want to include a day trip up to Whistler, that's not stretching it too far. Personally, I think you need three days just for Vancouver, so you are selling the city short if you head out of town right away, IMHO.

Sightseeing time outside of the city...what do you mean by that? Kayaking from Deep Cove or Bowen Island? Hiking in Lynn Headwaters or walking around Lighthouse Park? Touring the Craft Breweries in Port Moody and walking along the Port Moody waterfront? Hitting the museums and gardens at UBC? Strolling the dock and visiting the national historic site in Steveston?

I'd plan on one day right in Vancouver - Stanley Park and the sea wall, perhaps you can squeeze in Granville Island, especially if you like to shop. Then a couple of outlying spots for the other two days depending on your interests - north Vancouver, Commercial Drive, UBC, etc etc.

Edited: 4 years ago
Los Angeles...
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3. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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Thank you for great suggestions. I will skip Victoria but go to Whistler. Should we take a tour or take a train there? Is it easy to explore on foot? I assume it's a full-day trip, right?

That leaves us a half day when we arrive, two full days open to the City. Without a car, what itinerary would you recommend if you have the time? We should get a pass or something can get us around via public transportation easily, right? Is Uber common or taxi better?

BTW we are not really into outdoor activities such as water rafting, rock climbing...etc. It's for the younger people :) but are always curious about new things, new eats, new culture experience.

Edited: 4 years ago
Los Angeles...
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4. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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I also read about Richmond...is it a whole day deal? multicultural experience for foodies? Any suggestions about inexpensive but nice restaurants/eats? Thank you.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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5. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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You can double check on their website, but I don't think the Whistler Mountaineer (train) is operating any more. www.rockymountaineer.com

Vancouver, Canada
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39,530 posts
60 reviews
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6. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later
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Nope. I think the train to Whistler is no longer an option. A tour or the bus or a self drive in a rental (or you could fly) are your options. I haven't spent much time in Richmond, but it is *very* Chinese, so a real cultural experience if that's what you are after.

7. Re: 3 full day in Vancouver without a car - 20 years later

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