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Old 04-18-2012, 12:23 PM
 
22 posts, read 45,162 times
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Hello all. For background: My wife and I are taking a couple weeks off work in June and flying into Vancouver to start our road trip. From there, we will be driving down the coast to So. California to visit family (stopping in Seattle, Portland, and as many sites as we can pack in). We are from the New York City area, thus we are city-slickers...I guess. We definitely want to see the beautiful nature that the Pacific Northeast has to offer, however we don't want to camp or anything like that.

This being said...since we will be staying in Vancouver for 2 days, can anyone recommend any cool attractions, great restaurants/bars to go to, neighborhoods to check out etc? We are pretty open-minded people so any recommendations would be appreciated. We like getting the local vibe of places we visit.

I know this is a Vancouver board, but if anyone has any recommendations for the "must do" things in Seattle and Portland (ie rock clubs, restaurants etc), that would be awesome!! Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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IMO must sees would be...
Stanley Park
Gastown
Capilano Bridge
Grouse Mtn

Stanley Park is huge, you can spend entire day there and not see it all
Grouse Mtn has a tramway to summit, great views
Gastown is cool area featuring an old "steam" clock
Capilano Bridge is a foot suspension bridge in coastal forest
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Canada
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You could also check out some of the cool neighbourhoods outside of downtown and check out the shops. Commercial drive is a hip strip in the East, and West 4th Avenue and Broadway in the West have all kinds of great little shops to check out. I'd also highly recommend Kitsilano Beach and riding the skytrain (above ground) for some nice views.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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When you are in Portland, go and check out the Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood. It's the most awesome hotel I have ever stayed in. It's like staying in a museum of Americana.
Another thing to do when you are down that way is to drive up to the Mt. St. Helens national monument. I took the helocopter tour that files right into the caldera and it was the best $90 I have ever spent it's just so mind blowing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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I would check out Yaletown, which is right by the water in Downtown Vancouver, and then walk West along the seawall towards English bay. It's a nice walk, and there are some nice restaurants by English Bay too. There are also water ferry stations along the seawall that take you to Granville Island, which is another nice tourist attraction.

If you're coming in June, the summer night markets in Richmond (there are 2 of them this year) might be open by then - it's definitely something you should check out.

As for Portland, I like Clyde Common (restaurant) and I'd recommend checking out the food carts downtown (it's a huge culture down there with empty parking lots full of them). I'd also recommend going to Powell's books. Yes, it's a bookstore, but unlike any bookstore you'll every come across. And check out the lounge at the top of the Nines hotel - it's got a nice view of Portland at night.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskKent View Post
As for Portland, I like Clyde Common (restaurant) and I'd recommend checking out the food carts downtown (it's a huge culture down there with empty parking lots full of them). I'd also recommend going to Powell's books. Yes, it's a bookstore, but unlike any bookstore you'll every come across.
watch some of these: http://vimeo.com/channels/129202

...also, Powell's is truly unlike any other bookstore in the United States. I'd say the Strand in New York City approaches it, but honestly it's not even close. It's a must-see and is easily accessible from anywhere in the city by transit. If you end up on a shopping spree, they ship your purchases back home for an insanely low flat rate (no matter how much you buy).

It's also worth mentioning, on the "comfort food" front, that any road trip including both Seattle and Portland should probably include a taste test between Top Pot and Voodoo Doughnuts. They're unique experiences...neither arguably represent the absolute best donut to be had in either city (pause while hellfire rains down on me from adoring tourists) BUT they're both a blast and worth checking out.

Last edited by khyron; 05-02-2012 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Calgary, Canada
1,068 posts, read 982,557 times
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For Vancouver check out:

Stanley Park (Vancouver Aquarium)
English Bay and the whole seawall is amazing
Yaletown if you like rich, ritzy areas
Granville st is like a mini Times Square kind of
North Vancouver is very beautiful

If you can drive up to White Rock, its a beautiful little city by the ocean
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:26 AM
 
22 posts, read 45,162 times
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Thank you all so much for the info! Truely appreciate it!
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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In Seattle, I'd recommend going to the Pike Place Market (touristy but worth it) and doing the Pioneer Square underground Tour. Skip the Space Needle. Westlake Center is good for shopping and is the most bustling part of the City. 1st and 2nd Ave in Belltown has some good restaurants and bars too.

Also, for good bars and restaurants in Seattle, check out Capitol Hill - Pike Street between 10th and 12th, and then the adjacent strip on 12th especially. Jamie Boudreau (a transplanted Vancouverite) has an excellent cocktail bar called Canon on 12th and a few doors down is Tavern Law. If you have the chance, check out the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods up North. Ballard has a great restaurant scene and the Locks, while Fremont has a huge, authentic statue of Lenin and several other quirky artifacts.. And down South, Columbia City (a neighborhood within Seattle) is also worth checking out.

Finally, the University District is a cool part of the city - I highly recommend eating at Thai Tom on 47th and University Way as well as strolling down "The Ave" and checking out the campus.

Also, great New Orleans-style restaurant (amazing breakfast) in the Queen Anne neighborhood on Queen Anne and Mercer (closer to downtown).

Oh, and if it's a nice day you can ride the streetcar to South Lake Union neighborhood, Amazon's new home and there's a cool waterfront park.
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