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Old 03-26-2023, 12:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Salem, Oregon
Trailer: 2022 Escape 21C; 2018 Escape 19 (sold in 2022)
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Tips for Vancouver on Alaska Cruise

I'm reaching out to our BC friends in Canada to ask for a few tips and recommendations regarding an upcoming cruise we are taking to Alaska, departing/returning to Vancouver. We plan to spend the day before departure sightseeing around Vancouver, and would love any recommendations that some of you may have for the area. We will be driving up from Oregon.

1. It looks like Canada Place is where you park your car for the week, unless there is a local spot not generally known.

2. Hotel suggestions, or maybe areas in town you would recommend? Is it important to be near the cruise terminal (e.g. is traffic bad in the mornings in certain parts of town, are there areas to avoid, etc.?).

3. Places you might recommend we visit in town as I have not been there since I was about 10. We have wide ranging interests from museums, parks, zoos, shows, shopping, etc.

4. Restaurant recommendations? (I don't mind spending some $$$$ for a great one).
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Old 03-26-2023, 12:42 PM   #2
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I'll try and not write a guide book.

1. The cruise ship terminal is at the edge of the business district and parking is pricey. I don't think that there's any bargain places that would be as convenient as parking at Canada Place.

2. Lot's of name brand hotels in the area within easy walking distance. Or, you could do something a little different. Across the harbor there are some waterfront hotels right by something called the "Seabus", commuter ferries that cross back and forth to North Vancouver frequently. It would give you a real flavor of Vancouver, crossing the harbor with a panoramic view of the city and the mountains.

Areas to avoid. Oh boy, unfortunately, yes, there are. Gastown used to be a vibrant tourist area but now, being on the edge of something called the downtown East side, it can get ugly in a hurry. Definitely avoid the area.

3. A couple of basics, rent a bike or walk around Stanley Park. Panoramic views everywhere. Ride the Seabus even if you don't stay in N. Van. If you like wilderness canyons, forests, suspension bridges etc. head over my way. I live at the entrance to a world famous mountain biking, kayaking and hiking paradise. I'd be happy to take you up the Fisherman's Trail a ways.

4. I'm off the hook on this one. Just too many world class restaurants and everyone has different tastes.

PM me if you want to discuss anything.

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Old 03-26-2023, 06:18 PM   #3
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Location: Brockville (Near Ottawa), Ontario
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Visited last April

I spent a couple of days in Vancouver and loved the city. My nephew lives there and provided lots of good and interesting things to see and do, and my sister visits her son often. I also lover cruising, but have never left from Vancouver.

Ron in BC will have current and direct experience, but these are my impressions.

1. [Parking] The LRT (called SkyTrain) is really good. You might consider using the long term parking at the airport and taking the "Canada Line" downtown whose last stop is at Canada Place. Parking for two weeks is about $Cdn170, and $Cdn400 at Canada Place. This will depend of course on how much luggage you are bringing on your cruise. Traffic in the core of Vancouver seemed to be moving, but was horrible in places like Coquitlam.

2. [Hotel] My needs were basic so I just stayed at the very adequate Days Inn which is walking distance to the terminal. There's some nice hotels in the area. As Ron alludes, you are better to stay close to the centre such as downtown. My sister always tries to stay at the Sandman on Davies Street. If money is no object, she also recommends the Pinnacle on West Hastings, or the Fairmont.

3. [[ToDo] Vancouver is a walkers paradise. I spent a day just walking along the sea wall which runs all around Vancouver. The aquarium in Stanley Park was really good. Suggest staying off Hastings and to the west of there. I did walk into gas town a bit but turned around at the Gastown Steam Clock.

If you walk down to the south end of Hornby Street, there's a little mini ferry which will take you across to Granville Island. There's a very good artistic ambiance and public market there. Or you can cross Burrard Street and walk over to Kitsilano Beach.

I didn't get a chance to go last year, but Queen Elizabeth Gardens was spectacular.

4. [Food] I had a very, very good dinner outdoors in April at the Steamworks Brewpub, near to Canada Place. I also ate with my nephew at the Boathouse restaurant in Kitsilano Beach and it was pretty good. The view was worth it. He also took me to Rain or Shine Ice Cream at 1926 W 4th Ave and it was delicious.
Steve from Brockville, Canada
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Old 03-26-2023, 07:10 PM   #4
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Your nephew did well. All good. Yes, the steam clock is about as far East as I'd venture. No man's land beyond that. A real black eye for Vancouver.

Another scenic thing to do is drive up one of the two mountains on the North Shore. Views are incredible, from Mt. Baker in WA state 100 plus miles to the SE to the US San Juan islands to Vancouver Island and of course all of Greater Vancouver.

Ironically the view is better than ever. In my university days one of my jobs was driving the tour bus up to the Grouse Mtn. Skyride. Many folks came back down less than impressed because the smog was so bad they couldn't even see Vancouver. With the greatly reduced emissions these days that's no longer an issue. Some summers there might be a thermal inversion causing a buildup of smog but not nearly like the bad old days.

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Old 03-27-2023, 01:14 AM   #5
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If you do get across the bridge to West Vancouver, treat yourself to an amazing meal at the Salmon House on the Hill restaurant. Incredible views, locally sourced ingredients, west coast ambience, and top-notch servers. Reservations recommended.
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:55 AM   #6
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If you did that then you'd head up Cypress Mtn. for an even more amazing view.

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Old 03-27-2023, 05:28 PM   #7
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Location: Port Moody, British Columbia
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Agreed that you can park at YVR and save quite a bit of money…but then you have no car downtown.

Not sure how long you will be in Vancouver. If you have no car, take the Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay. Nice market there with some good food.

You can also take the little walk-on harbour ferries from downtown over to Granville Island which has nice shops, lots of local artists (glass blowers are amazing) and more good food.

Too many things to do…agree with Ron that if you have wheels the views from Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain Road are amazing.

Have fun.
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