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21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Livingston, United...
Level Contributor
223 posts
64 reviews
41 helpful votes
21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

I usually do long drawn out trip reports, but we were away for two weeks this time (Whistler the second week) so will spare Vancouver readers the tedious detail this time and just summarise where we went/stayed etc. :+’

We flew with Air Canada Rouge Edinburgh to Toronto then Air Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. Suffice to say the flight was delayed by five hours and not only did we miss our connecting flight but the first rescheduled connecting flight as well. Thankfully there are flights every two hours so we did get to Vancouver on the correct day! I have ignored Air Canada’s offer of compensation via credits towards another Air Canada flight and have filed for our 600 euros pp cash compensation instead!

We stayed at the Times Square Suites Hotel after seeing it so highly recommended on Trip Advisor. It was great and excellent value! We have two teen children and were in a one bedroom with den corner suite. No problem with noise as mentioned by some reviewers and the location is fantastic! We loved the short walk to English Bay and spent most evenings down there watching the sunset. Denholm Stret was great with all the restaurants and Coal Harbour was a short walk in the opposite direction. Stanley Park was about ten minutes away and it was on a bus route direct to downtown. It was absolutely perfect for us (and the staff were great too).

We did/visited/saw:

Stanley Park (multiple times!)


Gastown then Granville Island

The beaver at the Olympic Village

Steveston for a whale watch/general wander

Mad day to Victoria via float plane then Butchart Gardens then back via boat

Anthropological Museum

My family isn’t keen on filling their days from down to dusk but I usually get my way and plan a mad schedule. This time I promised only one main activity per day. :+)

Brief impressions:

Steveston- We came to Canada because a year ago my (then) 12 year old daughter was obsessed with Once Upon a Time and I realised we could easily combine a Vancouver holiday with Whistler as our summer holiday this year. One year on and........... yeah, she’d grown out of the show and had NO interest in going to Steveston and had to be pretty much dragged down the Main Street while the rest of us shouted at all the buildings we recognised. Fortunately it is very easy to do a whale watch out of Steveston (booked with Seabreeze Adventures who offer a paid for shuttle to and from your hotel though we only used it for the return leg. The taxi there was $50 before tax)

It’s up in Boston so have done many a whale watch but there was no comparison. We saw two bald eagles at the very beginning, my first and after that I didn’t care if we saw whales or not! However, we saw two pods, the second one with 7 or 8 with lots of activity. Wasn’t impressed with the speedboat who despite our boat blowing their horn at them, went racing over pretty much exactly where one whale was. :+(

We also wandered along to the Britannia Shipyards which is free (donation boxes around) and we’ll worth a visit if you like open air museums. A great little day trip from Vancouver!

Capilano- My husband gave this a miss because he suffers from vertigo and we had all sorts of vertigo challenging activities planned for Whistler. He went to Stanley park and saw a raccoon (very exotic for a Brit!). I’d been warned off Capilano as a ruined mass tourist attraction but it’s the sort of thing my kids love so we got one of the first free shuttles at the Westin. I’d prepurchased tickets online which saved a significant chunk of time given the queue at the ticket office. We went straight to the bridge and it was fairly quiet and did the walks on the other side- practically to ourselves. Hiwowever, by the time we recrossed, the queue to the bridge was an hour long! At least the signs said so- possibly an exaggeration but it was very very busy!

We did the cliff walk and then spent far too much in the gift shop (Christmas tree decorations). I have to say, it was great fun! I wouldn’t do it any later in the day though because those queues were rather horrendous. Disneylike.

Off for dinner, TBC later...

Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
7,680 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Sounds like a great time. Thanks for sharing.

Camberley, United...
Level Contributor
76 posts
1 review
2. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Have been waiting for your Trip report to Butchart garden as we hope to do similar in September

Swindon, United...
Level Contributor
44 posts
13 reviews
5 helpful votes
3. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Thanks for this lovely informative description, we are heading to Vancouver in September still unsure about Capilano as I have a fear of heights 👍

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
39,539 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
4. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

So if I understand you, people are queuing to get a ticket to get IN to the Capilano Suspension Bridge site THEN queuing for AN HOUR to cross the bridge once inside? That's mental....

Livingston, United...
Level Contributor
223 posts
64 reviews
41 helpful votes
5. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Argh, real life got in the way of this....

*Vancouverite* When we got to Capilano, a number of coaches were off loading with people going to the group entrance and there were lots of people at the ticket desks as well so quite a wait for people who hadn’t prepurchased their tickets! When I saw that, I told the kids to just ignore everything at the start of the park and head straight to the bridge. I think lots of people pottered around the totem poles and possibly did the cliff walk first because it was very quiet on the other side of the bridge. However, by the time we went back across, the hoards had descended and there was a double looped line from the bridge almost to the entrance with a 30 minute marker and a 60 minute one. I would have *hated* that! I think this was around 10:30ish?

*daftoldbat* ok, Vancouver Island. : +) I have mixed views on this day. When I was five we spent the summer with an aunt who lived on Vancouver Island. My father wouldn’t fly so we had taken the train from Toronto to Vancouver and the train, the totem poles on Stanley Park and Butchart Gardens are my first holiday memories. Because of this, I was desperate to do a day trip to Vancouver Island. We took a floatplane there, spent a few hours in Victoria, went to BG and took a boat back to Vancouver.

I think if I hadn’t done it, I would have reallly regretted it, but in hindsight, if I hadn’t had all these nostalgic memories, I wouldn’t have done it in a day. Too rushed. The floatplane was fun <although the kids took the best seats and then slept the whole 40 minutes!!!> and I loved the boat back, but we didn’t have enough time in Victoria and we had too much time in BG (my fault as we could have taken a later bus). I wouldn’t do it again without an overnight there, certainly.

Other places...

Stanley Park- not much to say that hasn’t been said elsewhere. It’s great! We were going to rent bikes, but decided to walk round it instead. We ended up here several times as it was so close to the hotel. We saw the funniest big flock of Canadian geese crossing single file at an actual crosswalk with cars stopping for them. At least they were funny until one decided to break rank and come nibble on my leg instead, resulting in much hopping up and down by me and shooing away.

Anthropological Museum- a bit of a trek to get to but well worth it if you are into this sort of thing. I loved it. On the way back we got off the bus at Kitsilano, walked to Granville Island, took the little boat back across to the other side then walked back up to English Bay. I liked Granville Island, my husband didn’t (too touristy). The little boats going around False Creek are great fun (but a bit expensive when you have four people).

English Bay Beach- we wandered down here most evenings. I think I was the oldest person there by far, but I loved it. So much pot! It was a bit of an eye opener to my teens, lol. <not that I partook> I wish we had something similar over here. It was so laid back and relaxed. I went swimming on the last evening- coildn’t persuade anyone else to join me.

As a general observation, Vancouver (and Whistler) was so clean! There was very little litter. Here there’s litter everywhere and when I cycle it’s a constant game of “avoid the broken glass”. We were really impressed with the lack of litter. It also felt like a much more healthy lifestyle with so much opportunity for activity. My husband says it’s the first city we’ve visited where he’d actually like to live. It has a great library as well! Perfect for a break when with a sulky, fed up,of being dragged around tourist stuff teen.

Finally, the Olympic Village beaver. He has his own twitter page. :+) We have old friends from Scotland who moved to Vancouver years ago and they had us round for dinner. Afterwards they took us for a walk through the Olympic Village and we saw the beaver. If you have spare time, go find the beaver happily living in the middle of the city. Lovely.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
78,241 posts
58 reviews
98 helpful votes
6. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

Sounds like a great time, Bonnie. Gotta love that beaver. Thanks for posting a TR, I've just popped it into the Trip Report Collection in the BC Forum's Top Questions.

7. Re: 21-28 July 2018 Trip Report

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