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Trip List by MrTetley

Welcome to Vancouver

May 13, 2006  Vancouverite trapped in New York
4.5 of 5 stars based on 8 votes

Where to go, what to eat in Canada's most beautiful city

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Vancouver, North Vancouver, Whistler
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travelers, Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Stanley Park
    Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

    Everyone knows Central Park in New York, but Stanley gives you big old trees. Walk around it: about two hours at a slow amble. Or rent 'blades or a bike near the corner of Denman and Robson. Great views of the bridge, the city, the Georgia Strait, and a few nice-to-look-at (don't swim) beaches. Totem poles too. And the Aquarium's pretty fancy. If you're in it for the short haul, go to the south side and sit on English Bay with a take-out wrap or sandwich

  • 2. Granville Island
    Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia

    A wonderful place when it's sunny. Check out some of the craft stores, then head to the market, get a big bowl of soup and some fruit, and sit out by the boats, watching the world go by at a snail's pace. Finish with Lee's donuts. Or if soup and sandwich doesn't grab you, The Sandbar has a big boat in it, nice beer, good food, good views. You can rent kayaks on the island too. Don't eat at Beaches -- good food, but service tend towards being lowsy

  • 3. Tojo's Japanese Restaurant

    Vancouver is seafood heaven, and you can go westcoast funky, or Japanese. Japanese gets no better. You will pay for it, so those on a budget, read on, but those with money to spare, or wanting to spoil yourselves, Tojo is your man. Let him do the ordering for you. (If the prices here are too much, Broadway between Cambie and Granville or Oak has several cheaper all-you-can-eats)

  • 4. University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology
    Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia

    The UBC campus is very pretty, and if you take the bus, you'll need to walk through the campus. Start with sustenance at the SUB (student union building) by the bus loop: Pie R Squared for pizza, and Blue Chip Cookies for dessert (get the Marbleous). Then to the museum. A fantastic building. Gorgeous Native carvings, both old and new (Bill Reid is a God of sculpture), plus lots and lots of other stuff from around the world. Very high-tech. And a great view too. City's best museum by far. And while you're out at UBC, it's also home to the city's only nude beach, Wreck Beach, if that's your kind of thing

  • 5. Coast (the restaurant)

    A small restaurant in the city's ultra-hip Yaletown. I've been many times, and everytime have been ultra-satisfied. This city knows good food, but this is one of the better places. Nice people, great food. Prices not Tojo high, but not low, so be warned. If you can't get in there, go to their sister joint, really close by, called Glowball

  • 6. Lynn Canyon Park
    Lynn Canyon Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia

    DO NOT go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It's a bridge, it swings, you pay lots of money to stand on it. wow. Instead, get on your hiking shoes and go to Lynn. There's also a bridge here -- smaller, less high, but still suspended. And Free. And you can walk around the lovely water and trees areas. Great pseudo-hiking for kids, beginners, or those who'd rather not go the full haul right now

  • 7. Robson Street
    Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia

    A few nice restaurants, a few over-priced stores. But this and Denman Streets are the funky places for funky Vancouverites to see and be seen, in their pricey cars and nice clothes. You may love it, you may hate it -- whatever else, you'll see the only street intersection in the world with Starbucks on both corners

  • 8. Chinatown
    Chinatown, Vancouver, British Columbia

    If you live or have been to East Asia, San Francisco, or New York, skip it. If a Chinatown is something you want to see, go. Eat at Hon's (not the one downtown on Robson, but the original in Chinatown). Buy a kitchen knife at Ming Wo's

  • 9. Gastown
    Gastown, Vancouver, British Columbia

    Old part of Vancouver, named after one of the city's pioneers, Gassy Jack. Cobbled streets and crappy souvenir stores. PLEASE don't be lured to see the totally over-rated Steam Clock: it's a clock, and there's steam. Sit in your hotel room with your electric kettle and a wristwatch, and it'll be more impressive. While down there, though, Canada Place is worth looking at. Storyeum is not, unless you really like bad acting

  • 10. Whistler
    Whistler, British Columbia

    Wonderful skiing. Pretty little town. Or if it's summer, kayaking and hiking

  • 11. Earls Restaurant (chain)

    If you want a cheaper alternative for dinner, yet still a nice enough meal with nice enough surroundings, this chain is pretty reliable, and they tend to appear around many of the places you'll likely be

  • 12. Grouse Mountain
    Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, British Columbia

    Okay local skiing, but if it's spring or summer, go for the "Grouse Grind" -- a fairly decent hike that takes you to the top, where the views are pretty decent. You can usually get the cable car down (or up) and hike only one way if you want

  • 13. Deep Cove
    Deep Cove, North Vancouver, British Columbia

    A bit off the beaten path, but if the weather's great and you really want to do something truly BC, go there and rent a canoe or kayak, and make your way up Indian Arm. I've often shared the water with some seals: it's beautiful. And when you're done and hungry, on the main stretch in Deep Cove, these donuts are the best you'll taste. Don't tell Homer Simpson.

  • 14. Sci Fi Fan?

    Vancouver is called Hollywood North, because no city hosts more film and TV production in North America, other than LA itself. A few highlights, if you wanna go to the places of filming: (1) Simon Fraser University's central buildings are always institutional settings (key in X-Files, Battlestar Galactica); (2) Smallville fan? Smallville High is Templeton High School, a couple of blocks south of Templeton and Hastings, and Lex's mansion is St. George's private school; (3) X-Files locations everywhere -- Grouse is where Mulder got abducted, Scully's apt. is downtown, etc., etc.

  • 15. Bishop's Restaurant

    When the top restaurant rankings come out, Bishop's and Tojo's are always up there. This man is a real food artist. Again, not cheap (but, hey, Fourth Avenue, where Bishop's is, is packed with nice cheaper alternatives too), but oh so very very tasty. Buy one of his cooking books when you're done, and you'll regret nothing. Service is often fantastic too