We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Which Vancouver hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New Jersey
posts: 198
reviews: 9
Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Hi,

We will be going on a Rocky Mt. tour in July that begins in Vancouver. We plan on going three (3) days ahead on our own as we hear how beautiful Vancouver is and there seems to be a lot to see that we would enjoy. We will be staying at the "Renaissance Harbourside". The tour begins there and it does look very nice. I just started to read about Vancouver Island (we will be going over to Victoria with our tour) and I wonder if it makes sense to try and see that as well on our own or if it is pushing it.

We have had a lot of luck with this site with advise when we went to Charleston and Savannah and I look forward to hearing from anyone that feels there is something we should not miss in Vancouver. Thanks ahead of time for all your help.

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 15,770
reviews: 84
1. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

I'm a tour guide who takes groups on the Rocky Mountaineer almost every week during the summer. I always stay at your hotel so you will enjoy it very much. If you are going to Victoria during the tour I wouldn't spend a whole day doing Victoria again on your own. You will be seeing spectacular scenery in the rockies, but if you wanted to go to Whistler I think you would enjoy that as a day trip. You can get a tour there or drive yourself. Rocky Mountaineer is also doing a classy train trip there but a little expensive $100 one way. I think you could spend a day on the Northshore seeing Grouse mountain and Capilano suspension bridge. Its not hard to walk the city, go to Granville Island, spend time in Stanley Park. In other words spend more time in areas the city tour will only touch on. There is a trolley hop on hop off bus that tickets are good for two days, so that would be good for you. I think its Vancouver trolley or look under greyline. Hope this helps.

New Jersey
posts: 198
reviews: 9
2. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

David,

thank you for your prompt reply. We are looking to quite a bit of walking. Is the Renaissance in the heart of an area for sight-seeing? Really anxious.

Unless there was something really special I do believe we would spend our time going around Vancouver, that is why we wanted to go ahead of time. Try some restaurants, etc.

Victoria, Canada
posts: 203
reviews: 6
3. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

I live in Victoria and love bragging about its beauty. However, if your tour already is coming here, don't spend part of your three free days doing it again. You can easily spend a week here and a week or more in the Vancouver area. The ferry trip would cut too much into your time. I have no doubt once you get a taste of Vancouver Island and Victoria you will want to come back and spend a real holiday here! Enjoy your trip.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,901
reviews: 13
4. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

The Renaissance is located on the downtown Vancouver peninsula, so in that way it's very easy to walk to the attractions. However, the immediate vicinity is a business district. It's completely safe and I'd never worry about staying there, but the immediate few blocks might not be as vibrant than other parts of downtown. If you don't mind a 10 minute walk to get to the denser shopping/restaurant districts, then I would definitely stay at the Renaissance.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,901
reviews: 13
5. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Also, with three days and your obvious interest in visiting Vancouver, you can easily just scratch the surface of Vancouver with 3 days. I'd just stay put. There's more than enough to keep you occupied for three days.

Vancouver Island is beautiful but massive (about 300 miles long). It makes for a great side trip from Vancouver, but if you wanted to include Vancouver Island you would really want to add more time to your trip. Most people do day trips to Victoria - the biggest city on Vancouver Island. It's a quaint city (the capital of BC) with a lot of English colonial history and famous flower gardens. It gives you a completely different feel than Vancouver, but it is only one side to Vancouver Island. Most of Vancouver Island is not like Victoria. Personally my favourite place on Vancouver Island is the Pacific Rim National Park - an area famous for its old growth temperate rainforests and rugged open Pacific coastline. A trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island requires at least 3 days, in my opinion, as it takes about 5 hours to get there from Vancouver. Anyhow.

For Vancouver, I have a website that I've been building for the past few years where I've put my own photos and suggestions on what there is to see and do. It's located here:

members.virtualtourist.com/m/1b080/dc80f/

Be sure to click on the "Things to Do" link in addition to the "Off the Beaten Track" link. It'll give you a lot of suggestions on the main things to see.

With three days I would suggest seeing Stanley Park, Granville Island, Yaletown, Robson Street, English Bay, a stroll around the sea wall, an afternoon visit to Gastown and Chinatown, a hike through Lynn Canyon, a visit up to Grouse or the Cypress lookout on a clear day, a visit to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Queen Elizabeth Park or Van Dusen Gardens (if you like flowers), and a visit to Kitsilano Beach to watch the sunset.

Those are just some ideas :)

New Jersey
posts: 198
reviews: 9
6. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

There seems to be so much to see and do. That is one of the reasons I love to go to a City on our own, before we hook-up with a tour. We did that when we went to Alaska, spent three days on our own in Anchorage and it was delightful. The tour does go by ferry to Victoria, Butchart Gardens and spends some time in the City. One day it does (I guess a bus tour) a tour of the city, including Stanley Park, Chinatown and "more". We will look to do the things that are not included in the tour. Anything anyone feels is a must we would love to look into if possible. So far just getting the replies I have are great and I will definitely try to take advantage of all your help.

New Jersey
posts: 198
reviews: 9
7. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Robyn,

I just started to look at your site, I say just started, because I can't wait to be able to really spend the time going over everything. It is really amazing and I think it is great that you have taken the time to do such a wonderful job. I will certainly print out many of the pages and let you know what we will be looking to see and after we get back what we were able to do.

London, United...
posts: 264
reviews: 39
8. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

I bought the Spiral Guide to Vancouver which has a suggested itinerary for a 3-day trip. Well worth checking it out!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,901
reviews: 13
9. Re: Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Hi MaryCarol,

Thank you for the kind comments! :) I'm glad you've found the site useful. I started building it for fun a while back, but have continued updating it and improving it because of all the great feedback I've received. Thanks again :)