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Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

M A
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Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Hi. I am traveling to Vancouver by car from Seattle on Sept 27-Sept 30 this year (we are from NYC and will be spending 2 nights in Seattle before heading to Vancouver). Since we have very limited time, we obviously want to maximize it. I prefer to be a short distance outside the hustle and bustle of the city but like the idea of having easy transportation to get us back and forth. The North Vancouver area seems ideal for this (great views of downtown from across the waterway and short inexpensive seabus ride back and forth). The pinnacle is my top choice in this area. Is this a good place to stay? Or is there another location that is more ideal outside (but near to) downtown?

A Few more questions:

1. Does the seabus stop operating at a certain time?

2. What are some must see places to go to during the stay. We will obviously spend an afternoon/night in Downtown but we will also like to go off the beaten path a bit. We love outdoors and nature and a mountain hike seems nice, as well as a perhaps a day trip to an island? What do you recommend?

3. We are huge foodies. We don't believe in spending $$$ to get a great meal so recommendations for decently priced amazing food would be much appreciated. We hear they have great Asian food and seafood! Recs of areas in Vancouver that have good moderately priced options in these categories would be great (doesnt need to be in North Vancouver).

Thanks so much!

Edited: 12:28 pm, August 28, 2012
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Hi M A ::

If you stayed at the Pinnacle, then yes IMO, staying in North Van would be worthwhile and convenient to Vancouver, only 15 min away by Seabus.

1. www.translink.ca is a handy website to use for schedules and trip planning. Here is the schedule for the Seabus: tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire…

2. You might enjoy getting out to Deep Cove to kayak, Mount Seymour Provincial Park to hike, Rice Lake in the Lynn Creek Headwaters area, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and trails, Grouse Mountain, Grouse Grind if you are up to it, Capilano River Regional Park trails, Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, the seawall from Ambleside (13th St.) to Dundarave (25th St.) in West Vancouver.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g181717-d1…

www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/rice-lake/

www.findfamilyfun.com/capregionalpk.htm

3. The foodies will be along to overwhelm you with choices that would take you a couple of months to explore.

A day trip to the Island, would take you about 3 hours one way from North Vancouver to Nanaimo. 30 min to the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, 1 hour to wait for the ferry, 1.5 hour ferry ride to arrive at Departure Bay, about 15 min from downtown Nanaimo. You might enjoy going to Horseshoe Bay for the 20 minute ferry to Bowen Island + wait for the ferry, and explore that island by car. There's Crippen Park to walk in, up to Killarney Lake and the village at Snug Cove along with Artisan Square:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Se6ct3USw

Then take an afternoon ferry back to the city.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Mufti provided some great advice, and I agree with a lot of her suggestions.

As for the foodie advice, haha... Vancouver as a pretty big foodie community, tweeting and Yelping and blogging about all the restaurants worth checking out. I can throw a few recommendations out, but my suggestion is to look up some of the reviews on Yelp, and do a few Google blog searches to see if they align with what you're seeking.

There are three styles of Asian cuisine that I'd recommend a New York foodie in Vancouver: izakaya, sushi, and Hong Kong/Cantonese & Shanghainese style Chinese.

For izakaya and sushi, there are many options in/around downtown, including many hole in the wall establishments along the western end of Robson Street and along the northern end of Denman Street.

Some places randomly off the top of of my mind:

- Miku ($$$ but worth it, conveniently located on Coal Harbour)

- Octopus' Garden (a short walk away from Kits Beach on Cornwall Avenue)

- Hapa Izakaya (several locations; vibrant, bustling place)

- Kitanoya Guu (several locations; ditto)

- Kingyo (on Denman)

- Gyoza King (on Robson Street, a much more casual place)

- Sakana Bistro (on Mainland Street in Yaletown)

- Kaide Sushi (really casual looking place tucked away in a strip of shops in a condo tower, but a local's secret - where I used to go when I lived around the corner)

As for Chinese food, ironically Chinatown's not where you go, but the city of Richmond (a 25 minute ride south of Waterfront Station via the Canada Line) is the hub of 400+ Asian restaurants, many of which are within walking distance of the Canada Line stations. Just to give you a sense, Tourism Richmond has hired a food blogger to eat at one Richmond restaurant every day for a year (www.365daysofdining.com).

One of my favourites in Richmond is Dinesty (yes, spelled that way) which is a casual/modern Shanghainese restaurant - try their xiao long bao (soup dumplings). They've got a good selection of food on the their menu and several can easily be shared amongst two people.

Another idea, if you're here for the weekend, is to drop by the Richmond Night Market, as it's open until October 8th. It's also off the Canada Line, so just a short journey south of Waterfront Station. Lots of Asian street food to try, and it's a fun environment for a few hours:

http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/

That's just a starting point. Let me know if you have other questions.

Edited: 4:22 pm, August 28, 2012
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3. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

I should also mention, you don't *have* to go into Richmond to experience good Chinese food in Vancouver - there are certainly restaurants spread out over Vancouver too, but Richmond would give you a cultural immersion that you wouldn't find in Vancouver.

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4. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

An afterthought...

One thing you might not be aware of is that not all of downtown Vancouver is bustling business core; much of the west end of downtown (know as the West End, west of Burrard Street) is actually parklike, scenic, leisurely and residential and feels like you're not downtown at all.

Not to say that North Vancouver is a bad destination, but it's like staying in Brooklyn to visit Manhattan. Don't discount downtown Vancouver's West End, places like the Sylvia. Here's Google Street View to give you a taste: http://goo.gl/maps/ARwd7

Edited: 5:20 pm, August 28, 2012
wgr
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5. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Sun Sui Wah, on Main Street and also in Richmond is outstanding for Chinese style seafood.

The izakayas are wonderful, relatively inexpensive and fun.

Casual seafood: when you go to Granville Island, walk the seawall west in the direction of the Burrard Street bridge and about 100 metres from the road entering Granville Island you will encounter Go Fish which has a wonderful selction of seafood (the fisherman's dock is right there). Order salmon and fries or an oyster po'boy, sit on the seawall, look back at the city and enjoy.

They are only open until 6 pm (so not for dinner) and there will be a lineup even at 3 pm. Beware seagulls stealing your lunch.

Robyn is right about the night markets being fun on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night but, I'm afraid, she must have been distracted and misspoke on her directions. There are two night markets in Richmond neither of which is near the Waterfront Station which is in Vancouver. One is near the Canada Line station which stops at the casino in Richmond and the other is further away in Richmond but, I understand, with a shuttle from the Canada Line.

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6. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Robyn did say "just a short journey south of Waterfront Station." Quite correct in saying so as it's only 20 minutes, almost the same time as taking the Seabus.

The Canada Line Station would be Bridgeport Station. Within walking distance to the Original Night Market and a transfer to the shuttle for 15+ minutes to the Summer Night Market.

Edited: 8:42 pm, August 28, 2012
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7. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

I wasn't that clear, you're right wgr. Thanks for catching that. But Mufti, you understood my train of thought. ;)

Here's what I was thinking but didn't properly type out:

The Richmond Night Market is located off the Canada Line, a short walking distance from Bridgeport Station in Richmond. Bridgeport Station is a short distance (20 minute ride) south of Waterfront Station.

Waterfront Station is of course the SeaBus/Skytrain/Canada Line hub which is where somebody staying in North Vancouver (commuting into Vancouver every day) would likely be using every single day... making a venture to the Richmond Night Market super convenient.

I didn't mention the second night market, the Summer Night Market because it closes on September 16, and the OP arrives in Vancouver on September 27.

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8. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

Whack, whack, whack ... the sound of my head hitting the wall for not checking the closing date of the Summer Night market. :-))

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9. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

We stayed at the northshore Lonsdale Quay Hotel for a couple of nights a few years ago (We are actually living outside of Vancouver and occcasionally go to the "City" for a short escape). It's a mid-range hotel with decent views (some rooms) and right at the Seabus terminal. It is above a foodmarket.

We parked the car fulltime and did everyting by Sea-bus and Skytrain. (i.e. Downtown shopping - Queen Elizabeth Theatre). Definitely a good place to stay if you want out of downtown but with easy access to everything.

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10. Re: Staying in North Vancouver verse Downtown

I also stayed at Lonsdale quay and it worked out really well. Parking was cheap and the restaraunts in the mkt were good. Not as good as staying in downtown Vancouver but doable. I'd also suggest going on hotwire or priceline and bidding for a four star in downtown. It may work out cheaper..

I went to the night mkt a few wks ago (the one by Bridgport Station (river rock casino) and have to say it was pretty meager. While a lot of booths not much worthwhile and the food was kind of spendy for what it was. its worth a look but I'll live a long time before I feel the need to return.