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Tips for Vancouver, BC

I am thinking about a long-delayed trip to Vancouver for no more than a week in June or July 2023. Seeking hotel suggestions - preferably close to Stanley Park, and suggestions for an art museum or two. We will probably do a day trip (maybe overnight) to Victoria and/or Whistler.

Appreciate all help.

Posted by
7448 posts

Vancouver is a wonderful city to visit! We haven’t been there for five years, so I hesitate to suggest a hotel.

If you do the day trip to Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens are stunning! Victoria gives a little feeling of being in England. Otherwise, the Whistler area is very pretty with the peaked mountains and a nice scenic drive to reach it.

Whistler is popular in the summer, too, so I would reserve your overnight as soon as the decide.

Posted by
169 posts

Lived in Vancouver all my life so ask away if you wish

Personally if budget isn’t too big of a concern I’d stay somewhere around coal harbour if you want to be by Stanley park. FAIRMONT pacific rim, FAIRMONT waterfront, pan pacific etc.

There are probably cheaper options within the more central part of the downtown core.

I think many guide books etc. may say you can stay in say, Burnaby or Richmond, which are other cities which border Vancouver and are relatively close but imo I wouldn’t recommend it. Even if an Uber was only $20 and it takes 20-30 minutes to drive you definitely want to be downtown. Or MAYBE on the north shore, north Vancouver or west van.

I’ve travelled fairly extensively and thoroughly through Europe and imo, Vancouver has better overall cuisine than anywhere in Europe. The seafood DESTROYS places like Italy and Portugal imo. But where Vancouver really shines is the amazing, top notch, variety. I live in east van but I can see the downtown core out my window. Within a 5 minute walk from my door I can eat Japanese, Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese food which is unbelievable. So If you want any specific recommendations for types of food let me know.

Whistler is a must imo. If you have to choose between whistler and Victoria see whistler. I’ve been to 28 countries over the past 12 years and Whistler continues to be one of, if not my favourite place on this planet. We were in Chamonix this past November and Whistler makes Chamonix look like a trailer park. I have many recommendations in whistler as well but like Vancouver, you’ll want to stay in the village. I recommend “Crystal Lodge” it’s about as central as it gets in whistler and offers rooms with kitchenettes which is a nice feature.

I will come back to this and make some more recommendations for you when I have time

Posted by
6670 posts

You might also consider the Sylvia Hotel, next to the south entrance to Stanley Park, fronting on English Bay. (Coal Harbour is near the north entrance from downtown, facing Burrard Inlet.) It's an older place, atmospheric as all-get-out, with a nice bar and I think onsite restaurant. The neighborhood is lively with lots of dining options. Not far away is a Best Western where I stayed last June, probably less expensive and less atmospheric but almost as convenient to the park and waterfront. I expect others will have their own suggestions, but it might help if you provided some kind of price range. Vancouver is a very expensive city, though the Canadian dollar is a bargain now for US people.

Vancouver's art museum is nice but, as I recall, not one of the world class ones. A trip to Victoria would be fun and interesting, but better make it an overnight. Getting there takes awhile (unless you spring for a seaplane ride from Coal Harbour) since it's on Vancouver Island. It's much smaller, but the provincial capital with an excellent museum, the Parliament Building, a beautiful harbor, and much more.

Posted by
169 posts

Good point with the sea plane, imo it’s def worth the cost to fly from coal harbour instead of the trog out to a ferry terminal if you can afford it

Posted by
7050 posts

An excellent gallery worth touring in downtown Vancouver is the Bill Reid Gallery: https://www.billreidgallery.ca

Normally, I would say the exquisitve Vancouver Museum of Anthropology on the UBC campus (https://moa.ubc.ca) but it looks like it will be closed for seismic upgrades. It's by far the best museum in Vancouver. The gallery above showcases one of its prominent artists.

Posted by
3334 posts

I just booked our flights for a mid-July trip to Vancouver.

Interestingly, my Vancouver family made the identical hotel suggestions as the Forumeers.

Thanks again for your help.

Posted by
1321 posts

For me Whistler is not a must see. But a trip to Butchart Gardens I would say is a must see. I think there is way more back for your buck to spend a night or two on Vancouver Island then going to Whistler. Unless you mountain bike, I do love mountain biking there in in the summer.