Author Topic: Vacation in Vancouver and around  (Read 444 times)

ejh

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Vacation in Vancouver and around
« on: February 08, 2017, 05:59:52 AM »
Hi All!

We are planning a family trip to Vancouver and surrounding areas this summer.
We will be about 16 people, ages 75 to 2 years old - big group with lots of different interests and abilities.
The current plan is to rent a large house for all of us in Kerrisdale or Richmond for about 5 days and then either go up to Whistler for 2 nights or to Victoria for 2 nights (not sure which yet, maybe both).

I would be happy to get any advice on how to make the most of the trip without breaking the bank.

Specifically:
- What would be the best way to get around? Think about young children and elderly people.
- Where can we find discounts/coupons to attractions?
- Where would be the best place to get groceries?
- Where should I go to get camping and outdoor gear (this is of special interest to me)?

Any other info is appreciated.

Thanks!

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2017, 12:11:15 AM »
Kerrisdale--probably the most anti-mustachian neighborhood in North America. While not as horrible and disgusting as Rodeo Drive or DoBUY, it is still a clown show of laughable merchandise and excess geared toward the trophy wives of the Masters of the Universe who live south of Marine Drive. Does your little Jeffrey Dahmer Einstein need the latest and greatest $10K designer outfit? You can get it in Kerrisdale! How about a cotton polo made in Bangleadesh? For you, only $500! How about a wool sweater made from designer sheep who imbibe only the purest Iclandic spring water? If you have to ask you can't afford it.

As for transportation, rental cars are not too excessive. Vancouver is a very walkable town (just don't walk east of Granville or it might be the last thing you ever do) and bus service is quite good.

Groceries. Pay a visit to Granville Island (not really an island, but a peninsula contiguous with the mainland) for the best and freshest produce, meats, fish, candies, spices, and gourmet treats. It's all great stuff, but you will PAY for it, and you will PAY a lot. Still, worth a visit, especially if you don't go nuts.

Sorry, but it is quite expensive there, but a very beautiful town.

Free stuff to do includes:

Stanley Park
Wreck Beach (if you're not offended by nudity)

both of which are very beautiful.

Have fun.

PathtoFIRE

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 10:33:45 AM »
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rocketpj

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 11:44:27 AM »
I'd avoid Richmond, not because it is bad necessarily, but it is just suburbs with little to redeem it.

If you stay in the city try for the West End - the Sylvia hotel is maybe the best balance of cost and location - though it isn't necessarily cheap by global standards.  There are likely some AirBnB places there. 

I wouldn't personally go to Kerrisdale for the reasons mentioned above.  Kitsilano is really nice and right next to amazing beaches and some museums, as well as Bard on the Beach (if you are into that kind of thing).  It is also close to UBC, which also has some interesting Museums.

There are likely some AirBnB sorts of places in those areas, as well as the West End (which I personally prefer for a visit).  Both are along the seawall, which is wonderful (~30km of walking/cycling path along the water).  Bike rentals are fairly available.  Stanley Park is also right there and excellent - beaches, pools, playgrounds, trails, Aquarium etc.

For kids:  Science World (which is on the seawall and very close to a Skytrain station) and the Aquarium are both excellent.  Also beaches, of course.  Free stuff might include frisbee golf at Queen Elizabeth Park (a go to for me when I am in the city with my older boy for his various sports activities).  There is a ton of hiking and trails of all skills levels on the North Shore, but some of it requires a vehicle to access.

The post about danger East of Granville is a bit hyperbolic.  There is some homelessness, but physical danger isn't really an issue (property crime yes, violence no).

Whistler and Victoria are both nice.  Whistler is very expensive, especially if you stay over.  Victoria has the Royal Museum and a nice downtown area.

I would like to add a plug for the Sunshine Coast, which is accessible by ferry from Vancouver.  It is more rural but has lots of beaches and outdoor activities, and is definitely lower cost than Whistler or Victoria.

ejh

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 01:51:16 AM »
Thanks for the reply, it's very helpful.

I think we all would prefer staying in the city, or as near to downtown as possible - simply because most of the stuff to see is in that area.
However, as I wrote, we're going to be 4 families (8 Adults, 8 Children), and we all want to stay together.
Finding a place big enough for all of us which has the amenities we need (i.e. a kitchen) and still a price we can manage isn't so easy.

Freedomin5

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 07:31:09 AM »
Definitely check out AirBnB or VRBO then. We lived in Vancouver for a year and went on a very reasonably priced vacation to Whistler - I think it worked out to around $200 per family for a long weekend including meals and gas; we were three couples and split the cost. There are several people who own vacation homes in the Whistler area and rent them out privately. We rented a 3 bedroom townhouse right in Whistler.

We planned meals and bought food in Vancouver (Real Canadian Superstore / Costco / No Frills) and then brought it to Whistler. There is a grocery store in Whistler, but it is Expensive! We also shopped at the Chinese grocery stores in Richmond. For fresh local food, we liked the weekly farmers markets - but they can be pricey.

With that many people, I think renting a car/ a few cars/minivans may be best. I used public transport but it wasn't always convenient - it depends on where you're going.

We found a lot of coupons just by stopping by the tourist centre at the airport and in Whistler. We also just googled "coupon" and "name of attraction". AAA/CAA also sometimes offers discounts if you're a member - you will need to look on their website for the perks.

Yelp.ca is a good site to look for cheap grocery stores or to read reviews of attractions that you're thinking of visiting.

There are a ton of great mountain parks and hikes in the Vancouver area that are free.
My husband really liked MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) for camping gear, but it can be quite pricey.

Sorry, the post is a bit rambly.

ejh

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Re: Vacation in Vancouver and around
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 07:37:06 AM »
Thank you Freedomin5.
Your post was actually very informative.