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Vancouver Trip

Waipahu, Hawaii
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Vancouver Trip
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Hi Everyone,

We are a family of 4: 2 adults (late 40s) + 2 kids (10 & 14) who will be visiting your great city in a little over a week (7/24-8/1). Hooray!!!! We enjoy hiking, going to museums/gardens/parks & just checking out new & exciting places. This is our 1st trip to Canada but definitely won't be our last.

We will be renting a car. Yes, I know that the public transportation system is great, however, we will flying in/out of Bellingham b/c on the lower airfares. I've already checked out other forms of transportation to get us to Vancouver: Amtrak, Quick bus etc, however, because of our arrival time (~8:20 am) & its departure (9:30), I didn't want to take the chance that we miss the bus/train (there is a 4 hr wait for the next one).

Got a great deal from the Richmond Tourism Bureau. Great room rate w/ FREE hot breakfast + parking + $800 worth of admission tickets to many of the attractions. It was a deal that we couldn't pass over. Here's my tentative itinerary:

7/24: Capilano Suspension Bridge. Capilano Salmon Hatchery. Cleveland Dam.

7/25: Telus World of Science. Granville Island. Tour Guys walking tour of Olympic Village & False Creek.

7/26: Stanley Park via bicycle. Aquarium. Celebration of Lights. Since the fireworks display will not start until 10 pm, do you have any suggestions on places to see?

7/27: Playland Amusement Park (will probably go around lunchtime). Looking for suggestions on what we could do in the morning.

7/28: Tour Guys walking tour of Downtown & Waterfront. Vancouver Harbour Tour. Canada Place. Vancouver Lookout.

7/29: Scenic drive to Whistler on Sea-to-Sky Hwy. Stops in Porteau Cove, Britania Museum, Hiking @ Shannon & Brandywine Falls. Squamish.

7/30: Hiking in Whistler: plan on doing the Top of the World route. Any other hikes we shouldn't miss. Nothing too strenuous. Family Adventure Zone in the pm.

7/31: More hiking: plan on doing the Spearhead Walk. Ziplining. Indoor rock climbing. Biking around town?

8/1: Heading back to Bellingham. Flight leaves @ 6 pm

Any other suggestions on places to go? Depending on our schedule, we may go to the Gulf of Georgia Hatchery, Britania Harbor Shipyard or take a cruise from Stevenston. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Edited: 6 years ago
Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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1. Re: Vancouver Trip
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Hi Kane ~

I would add Grouse Mountain for a half day on the 24th. Plenty of entertainment up there over 3-4 hours. It's just 10 min up the hill from Cap Susp Bridge.

7/25: do GI (2-3 hours) and the Tour Guys tour, then head off to Steveston for the afternoon. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Society and the Village and outlying attractions. Have fish and chips from Pajo's on the dock, or have a meal at one of the restos on the riverfront.

7/26: Science World would go well on the 26th after Stanley Park/Aquarium for a half day, then along English Bay to the Aquatic Centre for the harbour taxi down to Science World. Return the bikes after that.

Do consider the Maritime Museum as well. It is on Kitsilano Point, west of Granville Island. The RCMP schooner St Roch is there and can be boarded. It is quite something to imagine this ship traversing the Northwest Passage in the 1940s. Could easily go with GI so move the Tour Guys tour to another day than the 25th.

Take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay for a look at the market and shops and maybe consider taking one of the free shipyards tours with Shipyard Sal.

http://vancouversnorthshore.com/what-to-do-outdoors/tours/free-waterfront-tours/

My 2 cents.

Vancouver, Canada
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7/24 When you are at the Capilano Fish Hatchery, also make time to head into the park. There's some beautiful trails in there, as well as views of the canyon and giant trees. You might park at the hatchery, then hike up to Cleaveland Dam, cross the dam and come down the trails on the far side. Make sure to get to the lookout point that is below the dam. You could easily spend an hour or more doing this. There's enough trails in here to keep you busy for hours if you wanted.

7/25 If you have the time and energy, you could continue up to Kits Point and Kits Beach. There's the HR MacMillian Planetarium, the Museum of Vancouver, the Maritime Museum, and then Kits beach and Kits pool around the corner. In fact, on this day, I think you'll get the best parking in the Vanier park area, so what you might want to do is just park your car here for the day, and then use the False Creek Ferry that picks up at the dock out back of the Maritime Museum and get a day pass to get around to your other stops that day.

http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/find_us.htm

7/26 Your best place to dump the car this day is going to be inside Stanley Park. Given you are planning to stay in the city late, perhaps you do some tourism in Richmond in the morning first, then come into the city mid-afternoon and just pay for parking for all day in the park. You could drive around the park first, visit the Aquarium for a couple of hours, then dump the car and just walk back to Spokes at Denman to pick up bikes (this plan hinges on how late you can return your rental bikes, so check into that). Ride around the sea wall, and perhaps you could continue down False Creek, where you were yesterday, and just see it from the pathway rather than the water this time. Return the bikes hopefully around 7 pm or so and then walk either up Coal Harbour or up Denman to find your dinner. Have a leisurely dinner and then walk to English Bay to find your spot for the fireworks.

The only real problem with this plan is your exit strategy. Getting out of town after the fireworks is always chaotic, and your car will be 'trapped' in Stanley Park and you are trying to get to Richmond. You are either going to just sit tight somewhere for an hour or so before you try to get going in your car, or you might actually want to get out of the park going north on the Lion's Gate Bridge and loop around via highway 1 and the 2nd Narrows Bridge to get a route south heading to Richmond. Getting across downtown with 200,000 pedestrians heading home will be impossible.

7/27 Playland is east of the city, on the Burnaby border, so I might suggest a couple of options out that way.

http://deerlakeboatrentals.com/

http://www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca/

Although, to be honest, local families make a day of a trip to Playland. Its cheesy and old, but everyone still has fun.

There's also a Whitecaps game

http://www.whitecapsfc.com/schedule

7/28 This day I'd dump the car in Queen Elizabeth Park. There used to be free parking on the lower road, away from the Bloedel conservatory, but I haven't been there in a couple of years, so that may have changed. You can see the park and the gardens and go into the Conservatory if you like (we always enjoy it) and then walk down to the northwest corner of the park to connect with the Canada Line into the city. Do the city on foot. You might enjoy the very small and interesting Bill Reid Gallery as part of this day,

http://www.billreidgallery.ca/

Your kids might enjoy the BC Sports Hall of Fame

http://www.bcsportshalloffame.com/

I like the suggestion to continue on the Seabus to Lonsdale just for the trip, then return to your car at QE Park when you are done.

Your plans for Whistler sound good. The Britannia Mining Museum and the West Coast Heritage Railway park are both good. You might also just want to have a day at the beach. There are swimming beaches at Lost Lake and Alta Lake in Whistler, and I think they do boat rentals at Alta Lake as well, so some unscheduled play time for all of you. Its also worth doing a drive north of Whistler, just to see the mountains.

Waipahu, Hawaii
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Thank you Muftivancouver & Vancouverite67 for all your suggestions. Will definitely be adding on Deer Lake boating & Stevenston attractions to itinerary.

Edited: 6 years ago
Vancouver, Canada
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<<7/25: Telus World of Science. Granville Island. Tour Guys walking tour of Olympic Village & False Creek.

<<7/26: Stanley Park via bicycle. Aquarium. Celebration of Lights. Since the fireworks display will not start until <<10 pm, do you have any suggestions on places to see?

>>7/27: Playland Amusement Park (will probably go around lunchtime). Looking for suggestions on what we >>could do in the morning.

I wonder whether or not you would consider:

7/25: World of Science opens at 10, walking tour of Olympic Village, then Playland (open until 7). If the weather is forecast to be hot, then do in reverse order, so as to be in air-conditioned comfort at the end of your day. World of Science closes at 6.

7/26: Take car to Vanier Park/Kits Park area, pay for parking for the full day. Public transit, or walk/water taxi to bike rental, ride around Stanley Park, Aquarium. Return bikes. Walk seawall to Aquatic Centre/Sunset Beach, water taxi to Vanier Park. Maritime Museum if time, or otherwise stake out fireworks viewing spot, and have a picnic. Your car will already be on the south side of downtown, so easier to get back to Richmond. Also, Vanier Park offers some excellent vantage points for fireworks viewing. You may want to have your viewing spot selected before 8 pm.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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Police will not open the roads out of Kits Point or out of the West End until 11h00. The 100,000 people will be filling the car free streets as they walk out of Kits and the 200,000 people in the West End at English Bay will be blanketing Denman, Davie and Beach Ave the same way.

You would be possibly better off parking on 2nd or 3rd Ave and walking into the Point, then out after. I used to live in that area and it was after midnight when the last of the lineups of cars dwindled to the sound of idle free streets. You would be able to get into the Point earlier, but it will likely take a good hour after the fireworks to get on your way after.

Open this page, then the Festival Map to see the no access areas after 6 pm for Kits, 7h30 for the West End.

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/frequently-asked-questions/faq

Edited: 6 years ago
Indonesia
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7 posts
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Whatever you do, DO NOT book through Airbnb or Flatbook Vancouver. I am having the worst time alone with my 3 young children because of the lack of resposibility by the Manager of the property.

Vancouver, Canada
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Poster #6:

The OP is staying in a hotel in Richmond.

Vancouver, Canada
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All looks good but I have one recommendation. On your 7/25 day, walk from Granville Island to Science World and then take the little water taxi back. Olympic Village is simply a bunch of mega condos lining the seawall. You can see all that along the sea wall if you walk yourself anyway. No need to do a tour.

wgr
Vancouver, BC
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If you like museums, consider the Museum of Anthropology out at UBC. The museum is the best in Vancouver with all sorts of aboriginal artifacts including real totem poles. Across Marine Drive is Nitobe Gardens a gift to Vancouver from Japan, a beautiful peaceful spot.

UBC itself is worth wandering around in. It is a beautiful campus.

10. Re: Vancouver Trip

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