Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland Visitor Tips
Here are some quick suggestions for visitors with limited time in the city: The schedule is only a suggestion -- you may have more fun, or wish to take more time than mentioned below.
One Day Stay
To capture the essence of this city, here are suggestions for your first day (especially if its your only day) in Vancouver :
- Get downtown by bus, taxi, or car. Go to the SeaBus terminal, beside Canada Place.
- Take the SeaBus over to North Vancouver. Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, and West Vancouver are on your left. North Vancouver is straight ahead, and downtown Vancouver is behind you.
- Shop at the Lonsdale Quay Market, grab a bagel, and head back downtown. The 12-minute ride rests you for a day of walking around.
- Check out Gastown with its old buildings, cobblestoned streets, and steam-powered clock.
- Wander up the hill a bit into Chinatown, the second largest in North America. Grab a fine Dim Sum meal or devour a Peking Duck as a snack.
- Zip through downtown to Robson Street with its fine boutiques.
- End up at Stanley Park and wander around the Seawall (it's a 10 kilometre walk to English Bay, so if it's late or you're a bit weary, short-cut along Denman Street to English Bay and enjoy the sunset from one of the restaurant patios.
Two Day Stay
On your second day in Vancouver , here is a recommended itinerary:
- Breakfast at the Westin Bayshore Inn watching the seaplanes take off and land before your eyes.
- Catch a taxi over to Granville Island and experience the aquatic feel from the many unique shops and fresh produce from the Lower Mainland.
- Scoot westward to Kitsilano and enjoy the sights of Kits Beach in the summertime. There are lots of interesting restaurants and shops in the neighbourhood. Backtrack along the shoreline to the Maritime Museum with the St Roch, the first boat ever to cross the Arctic Ocean along the famed Northwest Passage.
- Take the water ferry across False Creek and wander eastward to BC Place, one of the largest air-supported roofs in the world. Check out the monument to Canadian runner Terry Fox, who attempted a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research.
- Head toward downtown through Yaletown. Check out the trendy boutiques and restaurant. Take a short break here.
- Head downtown and check out the many department stores and shopping complexes like Pacific Centre. Also nearby are the Planet Hollywood, and the Virgin Records megastore.
- If you have any energy left, check out the nightlife along Richards Street.
If you are visiting for a longer period, there are a number of destinations worth visiting (each about a half day, including driving):
- Horseshoe Bay, a quaint harbor community, on Highway 1 west (but don't actually go on a ferry)
- Deep Cove, a beach town nestled among the tall trees, on the eastern end of the North Shore
- Steveston Village, a historic fishing village, on the southwest tip of Richmond
- White Rock, the most splendid beach in the Vancouver area, close to the US boder
- Fort Langley, a wooden fort that dates back to the early (gold rush) days of BC settlement