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Old 08-14-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
42 posts, read 138,436 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi everyone-My 14yo son and I are taking a trip to Vancouver for the first time. I was hoping to get some suggestions about a few things:

1 What part of the city to stay in-I don't feel the need to stay downtown, I read that staying on the West Side feels similar to staying in a neighborhood which sounds more appealing than being downtown. What about staying on the East Side? We're used to being in funky/ethnic type of neighborhoods so I'm O.K. with being somewhere that's relatively hip as long as it's safe. My one requirement for a hotel is somewhere that has a balcony as I would love to sit outside and enjoy the weather at night.

2. Should we rent a car for the whole time we're there? I haven't planned out an itinerary yet but I imagine we'll do a day trip to somewhere outside the city.

3. Would you recommend I exchange my american money in the states or when we get to Vancouver?

4. Is there a website that's good for listing things off the beaten path in Vancouver?

Thanks for your help,
Ryan
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Vancouver BC
4 posts, read 3,488 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanwex View Post
Hi everyone-My 14yo son and I are taking a trip to Vancouver for the first time.

Thanks for your help,
Ryan
Hi,
When's your trip? I just joined the forum and noticed no one answered your post.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
216 posts, read 389,033 times
Reputation: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanwex View Post
Hi everyone-My 14yo son and I are taking a trip to Vancouver for the first time. I was hoping to get some suggestions about a few things:

1 What part of the city to stay in-I don't feel the need to stay downtown, I read that staying on the West Side feels similar to staying in a neighborhood which sounds more appealing than being downtown. What about staying on the East Side? We're used to being in funky/ethnic type of neighborhoods so I'm O.K. with being somewhere that's relatively hip as long as it's safe. My one requirement for a hotel is somewhere that has a balcony as I would love to sit outside and enjoy the weather at night.

2. Should we rent a car for the whole time we're there? I haven't planned out an itinerary yet but I imagine we'll do a day trip to somewhere outside the city.

3. Would you recommend I exchange my american money in the states or when we get to Vancouver?

4. Is there a website that's good for listing things off the beaten path in Vancouver?

Thanks for your help,
Ryan
I would honestly just stay downtown. Vancouver has been rated very high in walkability, and most attractions are either downtown or close to it. Check Expedia or hotels.com for balconies, but I'm not sure if there will be a large selection. Most hotels are of the bland corporate type.
The Loden is rather charming however:
Downtown Vancouver Hotel, Boutique Vancouver Hotel | The Loden
If not, there are multiple choices for a nice B & B, but you might be further away from a train or bus line. You could also stay in Granville Island:
Vancouver Boutique Hotel, Vancouver Hotel Downtown, Vancouver Accommodations - Granville Island Hotel
Or, you could stay on the North Shore at the Lonsdale Quay hotel. I have stayed there and they are quite nice:
WELCOME TO LONSDALE QUAY HOTEL
Keep in mind it`s on the shore, so the only way to downtown and back is either the seabus or a lengthy bus ride.

No need to rent a car. There are multiple train lines, bus lines and a sea bus to take you where you need to go. Trust me on this, I drive the Lower Mainland for a living from West vancouver to Langley, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody!
If you need a car, just rent one for the day to go see Whistler. You`ll want to do this drive, the scenery is overwhelming - just keep your eyes on the road! There are multiple lookouts on the way thereéback for pictures. I also do this road every week and know every turn inside out, it never ceases to amaze me.
Just exchange your money here. You`re going to get a better rate in Canada than in the U.S. American banks don`t want Canadian money, and usually don`t have a lot of it - therefore they charge more for exchange.
Try these sites:
10 Hidden Gems in Vancouver: Get Off the Beaten Tourist Path
Vancouver Off the Beaten Path - Unique Places - VirtualTourist
Vancouver: Off the Beaten Path - TripAdvisor
Top Ten Off the Beaten Path Things to Do in Vancouver | milepoint

I live here on the North Shore, and while shore = snore = bore for attractions, the natural wildlife and mountains more than make up for it. Capilano bridge is nice but expensive; go to the lynn canyon one ( by my house) for free! Grouse mountain is expensive and once you`ve seen it you`ll never do it again. Hiking the Grouse Grind is far more exciting - and only costs $10 to get back down.
Anything else let us know!
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