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Summer In Vancouver

(41 Posts)
loopyloo87 Sat 07-Jan-17 09:20:36

Hi , we've never been to Vancouver but are thinking about going for 2 weeks in the summer.. I'm looking for advice on where to stay we have a 11 year old .. An apartment sounds appealing but I'm trying to price up as to whether or not we would be better off in a hotel
I'm not sure if we would hire a car as we would like to travel around and see various areas .. Any advice or recommendations greatly appreciated thankyou smile

ShanghaiDiva Sat 07-Jan-17 13:24:34

We went in 2015 and did the following route:
Vancouver for 3 days - stayed in a hotel in the centre so no need for a car - then across to Victoria Island on the ferry (collected car as we left Vancouver) and stayed in Victoria - whale watching, museums and lovely gardens, then on to Tofino for a couple of days at the beach, then to Nanaimo to get the ferry back to Vancouver. Last stop was Whistler.
We stayed at the regis hotel in vancouver
oswego hotel in victoria - full kitchen so we did self catering or ate out
pacific sands beach resort in tofino - self catering
just an overnight stay in Nanaimo - one of the Coast chain hotels
Nita Lake Lodge in Whister - hotel, but lots of great restaurants in the area so we ate out
Hope some of the above is useful smile

kath6144 Sat 07-Jan-17 14:05:35

We went in 2013 (with 13 & 15yo) and stayed at Century Plaza. It is a hotel made up entirely on mini suites, with full kitchen, and has a decent supermarket 2 blocks away but also close to restaurants and beach/harbour area.

It didnt get brill ratings on Trip advisor (next to hospital) but we found it ok. I requested a room on a higher floor to minimise traffic noise and although we heard ambulances, we werent kept awake.

It is walking distance to everything, although there are buses if you want them. We liked the fact we could go back to hotel for lunch, evening meal or just a rest when jet lag caught up with us.

We did an overnight trip to Victoria, going on a scheduled coach, and leaving majority of luggage in Vanc, but you could get a hire care and drive to the island. Whistler is also worth going to.

We had a full week in Vancouver, incorporating the overnight trip to the island, then hired a car and took in Whistler before going across to Rockies.

There is another thread about W Canada, I have posted on there too, so maybe worth you looking at that.

TheAntiBoop Sat 07-Jan-17 14:11:35

When we went we did
2 nights Vancouver
3 nights up the coast Painted Boat resort
3 nights further up Desolation Sound
Over to Victoria island - 3 nights east coast (tight Na mara), 4 nights west coast (Pacific sands), 2 nights in Victoria
Then 3 nights in Vancouver

We had a car and drove around - used the BC ferries and pre booked the crossings

I will try and find the name of the apartment we stayed in Vancouver as it had a really good location and was good value

TheAntiBoop Sat 07-Jan-17 14:13:36

They seem to have done it up so hope this still good value!!

jollydad Sat 07-Jan-17 14:36:17

Hi there
We're planning a visit to Vancouver this year as part of a longer 2 week trip to the rockies.

I think you should be aware that because of the 150th anniversary (of Canadian independence I think) entry to the national parks is free and as a consequence things are booking up really quickly. We've just about finalised our trip (in July) and a lot of places in Vancouver are full already.

I always think that apartments are the way to go when you've got kids and theres a few "aparthotel" type places in Vancouver with kitchens etc. It will work out cheaper than a hotel because you don't have to eat out all the time.

Hiring a car - we never do it when staying in a big north American city. When we want to Toronto last year we picked up the hire car on our last day there and then drove around, rather than having it while we stayed in the city.
The suggestions people have made about places to go outside of Vancouver sound good. I think 2 weeks in just Vancouver itself would be too long, particularly as theres so much else to see outside of it e.g. Whistler is only a couple of hours drive from Vancouver.
Have a good trip!

kath6144 Sat 07-Jan-17 15:00:22

Jollydad - are you doing only 2 weeks but taking in both the Rockies and Vancouver? That's a lot of driving in a short time!

We did 3 weeks and it was just about ok, but as I have said on the other thread, if we go back we will do Rockies OR Van/island/whistler, so as to maximise what we see, rather than spending many hours driving.

Mamia15 Sat 07-Jan-17 16:40:06

We did Vancouver last Summer as part of a holiday in Canada - loved the city and its surroundings, lots to do and see. Do go over to Vancouver Island to do some Whale watching etc - that was the highlight of our holiday.

Get a suite/apart hotel type room - these usually have a mini kitchen and sometimes a washing machine.

Mamia15 Sat 07-Jan-17 16:42:00

Also in summer they do firework displays - take a picnic and blanket to the beach and watch it.

westcoastnortherneragain Sat 07-Jan-17 16:46:38

Vancouver would be fun, you could also choose to go up to whistler for part of the holiday... lots to do up there.

Also Victoria is beautiful! (It's actually on Vancouver Island..... there is no Victoria Island)

Mamia15 Sat 07-Jan-17 16:47:29

I would also recommend flying with Air Canada - excellent service and yet a bit cheaper than BA.

TheAntiBoop Sat 07-Jan-17 17:06:29

Oops - yes meant Vancouver island.

We went for 2.5 weeks and decided not to go into the Rockies and focus on the coast and island. The island really is beautiful.

We loved the area around tofino and opted to stay an extra night there and one less in Victoria.

Mamia15 Sat 07-Jan-17 17:15:59

Victoria is very small - we only stayed one night there and spent the rest of our time in Tofino. Be warned that its a very long drive there from Victoria so you may want to break up the journey.

jollydad Sat 07-Jan-17 17:20:35

Kath6144 - yes it is a lot of driving! Our itinerary is
4 days Banff
3 days jasper
2 days somewhere else between Jasper/Whistler to break up the drive and take it easy for a day
3 days Whistler
4 days Vancouver

So a bit longer than 2 weeks and we're only seeing Vancouver city rather than Vancouver island.

If I recall the big drives are between Banff and Jasper and then between Jasper and Whistler. We did consider just doing a loop from Calgary but we thought including Vancouver would introduce a bit of variety,

Flights to Canada - we're going Transat Air (or Air Transat, forget which). They seem to be a lot cheaper than BA or Air Canada for the peak months. We flew with them last year and they're fairly no-frills and its not the greatest experience but the price differential when we were booking was too big to ignore.

SpornStar Sat 07-Jan-17 18:49:38

Sorry to hijack but I'm going to be in Vancouver for 3 nights in July/August this year. We are going on a cruise to Alaska and will be in Vancouver for 2 nights pre-cruise and 1 night after.
Can anyone who has been to recommend some must-do things in Vancouver with a 5 year old, please?

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 07-Jan-17 18:59:38

Vancouver is fantastic. DBro & family live there.

You won't need a car in Vancouver itself but you will for travelling around the area.

The Sunshine Coast is gorgeous - it's on the mainland but you have to take a ferry there. Lots of hiking, mountain biking, beautiful rocky beaches.

IMO 1 or 2 days is enough in Victoria, in fact I would almost skip it altogether for more time in Whistler or on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Saltspring Island is a very interesting hippy commune artistic community.

Fingers crossed for good weather!

And yes it is Canada's sesquicentennial this year. Party on dude.

westcoastnortherneragain Sat 07-Jan-17 19:19:23

SpornStar you could go to the Vancouver aquarium, science world, Stanley park with a five year old

Mamia15 Sat 07-Jan-17 19:35:43

Please don't visit the aquarium and see wild sea animals esp whales and dolphins in captivity sad

MirabelleTree Sat 07-Jan-17 19:40:40

Science world is great and has a domed IMAX thing (can't remember the correct term). Grouse Mountain is a great day out with the Lumberjack show , birds of prey and bears. There is a free shuttle from Canada Place that stops off at the suspension bridge on the way back.

westcoastnortherneragain Sat 07-Jan-17 23:02:01

The aquarium only takes animals that can not be re homed in the wild

westcoastnortherneragain Sat 07-Jan-17 23:06:33


westcoastnortherneragain Sat 07-Jan-17 23:06:51

Stupid phone can't link

Mamia15 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:15:55

Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered

MirabelleTree Sun 08-Jan-17 11:37:53

2017 pass to National Parks. Spotted this in Hotukdeals, free 2017 pass to National Parks.

Chewbecca Sun 08-Jan-17 11:44:00

We loved Vancouver in the summer but only spent a few days there after an Alaskan cruise (which also took in Vancouver island). We stayed in a large hotel with pools on the waterfront, I can't remember the name but was fine. We walked around a lot, went to the Science museum (v good), to a baseball match and on a seaplane tour.

Pre-cruise we spent a few days in Kelowna in the Lake Okanagan wine region inland from Vancouver, it was fabulous, though very hot.

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