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Vancouver- a Paradise!

Discussion in 'Places & Events in Bay Area' started by Shal, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Shal

    Shal Senior IL'ite

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    Dear friends,

    I am starting this thread for each and everyone of us to share the places to visit at various cities, countries, islands etc. This can be used as a guide by all those who plan to visit a particular place and need help or just for people like me who like to know stuff abt places so it comes in handy in related discussions.

    I'd like to start off with Vancouver, Canada. Hubby and I visited the city just a few weeks ago, so the memories are fresh! Looks like mid-may to mid-july is the best time to visit Vancouver, for it's that time of the year when it's all green with nice sunshine and good weather for sightseeng.

    Travel: We traveled from San Jose airport to Seattle by air and from Seattle, we took this shuttle (bus) called QuickShuttle(www.quickcoach.com) and it got us into Vancouver in less than 4 hrs. While on our way back, we took a flight from Vancouver to San Jose with a stop-over at Seattle. If you live somewhere up north, you may wanna just drive to this city as the route is a lovely one.

    Hotel: We stayed at Downtown Vancouver which I would recommend as the best place to stay if you visit this city. The reasons are manifold:
    a. Easy access to all the tourist attractions.
    b. Very happening with lots of stuff to do.
    c. Easy access to local transportation.

    Restaurants: Are you a health freak? Are you a veggie? Are you a seafood lover? Are you just a foodie???? Well, then Vancouver's THE place for you! Every third joint is a food place and cafes and bistros are unlimited! The best part abt this place is that every single restaurant(including Japanese sushi places and upscale seafood speciality restaurants too!) have a separate 'veggie' food menu!
    We love Mediterranean food and had the same aplenty there! Desi restaurants can now be spotted at Alaska/Antarctica too I guess!!

    Transportation: You needn't rent a car in this city if you love walking around the streets and do not mind public transport for it is one of the best I have seen so far outside India. There are tourist centers located at easily identifiable places and they patiently help you with directions/maps/tickets, etc.

    Places of attraction:
    1. The bay at Vancouver: Very beautiful bay close to the downtown! You could easily spend one evening here watching float planes(airplanes taking off and landing in water), cruises, kayaks, steamers etc. The bay is embraced by several green parks where people just relax after a hectic day at work! The bay being so close to work, why wouldn't one want to relax here!!

    2. Capilano bridge: A huge breathtaking suspension bridge with amazing greenery around to keep you occupied from noticing how high you are above the ground! The bridge is surrounded by small hike trails and a walk around the bridge is fascinating with small ponds and several smaller bridges that make it a scenic spot.

    3. Grouse mountain: Pronounced 'gross' by the locals(!!), this is rather a very interesting part of Vancouver you wanna be sure not to miss! It is a mountain which is all dry and sunny at the base but as you go up the Gondola ride(amazing one!!), you start seeing snow, trust me...the view from the top is just something to die for!! It is all snow on top of the mountain and the local cafe'/restaurants serve you hot coffee/tea which is just so refreshing and amazing!!!! There are a couple of shows that they feature there- one about the two endangered bears they are trying to protect there and the other about how Vancouver was built!

    4. Stanley park: Keep walking by the bay and you get to this fun-filled place called Stanley park! Though the name suggests a park, the main attraction here is the aquarium. It is a lot of fun if you like aquatic life! The whale, dolphin and penguin shows are a delight here!

    5. Robson street: The downtown has a street that is a 'must' visit especially for women...well, no points for guessing that it is the shopping hub of Vancouver!! Robson street is filled with chocolate, shopping, eating, etc outlets. You step into Vancouver and people first suggest you to go walk on this street!

    There are many other places surrounding Vancouver, but within the short period of time that we visited this place for, we could only cover these 5 major spots.

    I hope this serves as a guide to anyone who's planning to visit Vancouver. Let's have more contributions of places you have visited and also do let me know if you think I have missed out on any imp detail that may be helpful to you all.

    Love
    Shal
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Nice thread

    Hi Shal,

    Nice thread. Vancouver is a lovely place. I went there 9 years back. But still it has fond memoies for me. Did you go to Victoria BC ? That is one must see place. One bit of info. Vancouver has a huge Desi population too. Mostly Punjabis. I know there is this street in Vancouver that is a little India. Forget the name.
    Hope this thread gives us some pure gems in terms of places to see.

    Vandhana
     
  3. Shal

    Shal Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks Vandana!

    Dear Vandhana,

    Thanks for liking this thread. I sure did have you in mind when I was posting this thread and hoped to see contributions from you, for you have travelled and visited many a place locally as well as around the country!

    We could not go to Victoria since as I mentioned, we were there on an immigration related trip so one out of four days was spent in the US consulate itlsef! Yes, needless to say, we saw a big herd of Indians either flocked around the Consulate or driving taxicab or running a restaurant! I think you're referring to Main street which we learnt was a desi street with Indian and Paki restaurants!


    Love
    Shal
     
  4. vidhyalakshmid

    vidhyalakshmid Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Shal,
    Vancouer is the place, I was dreaming to visit one day. Thanks for the tips
    and the detailed travel information. They are going to have winter Olympics
    in Vancouer in 2010 (far away).
    Keep posting.
     
  5. Shal

    Shal Senior IL'ite

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    We need more!

    Dear friends,

    I started this thread not only to share my experiences at various places and suggestions therein, but to get loads of info abt the hundreds of other places we all have been to as well.

    I request everyone to take time to think of atleast one place (among many others) that captured all your interest and had you really enjoying yourselves. Write about it and see how ladies here come forward and thank you for the info, bcz although we get lots of info on the web, personal experiences shared by like-minded people helps them relate to it more!

    Vidhyalakshmi, thanks for liking my tips on Vancouver. Trust me, I had no idea how beautiful it was until I actually visited the place. If I will still be in the US/Canada during the time, I would defly love to attend the Winter Olympics in 2010... far fetched thkg there!!!

    I plan to write about Boulder, Colorado and Disneyland, Universal Studios at la, California too.

    Love
    Shal
     
  6. Hopefloats

    Hopefloats New IL'ite

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    Las Vegas & Grand Canyon ?

    Hi Shal & Vandhana

    We are planning on a weekend trip to Las Vegas & Grand Canyon, can you share your tips and experience with us. I find your tips very valuable and it kind of helps me plan things and thus making the trip a pleasurable one.

    i have a few queries like

    - any particular airlines or site to book tickets at a deal
    - Is four days enough to cover both the places
    - any hotels that you suggest
    - how to go to GC, do we take the tour at the hotel or rent a car
    - we would like to see the sunrise and sunset at GC, so how about the stay arrangements/ is it wise to spend overnight there


    Thanks in anticipation
    hopefloats
     
  7. Shal

    Shal Senior IL'ite

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    Good places to visit!

    Dear Hopefloats,

    Vegas and Grand Canyon are two places one defly wouldn't like to miss. Although I've been to Vegas, we couldn't cover Grand Canyon as we fell short of time.

    We went to LA(Universal Studios alone, as we'd already covered LA plus Disneyland earlier) just bfore new years(guess on 28th) and drove from there to Vegas on the 29th and returned on 1st. We drove both ways.

    We booked the hotel through Travelocity...we usually book through Hotels.com or Expedia, but after some research, I came to the conclusion that travelocity gave much better rates. We were booking at the last moment(like just a week or two bfore the new year), so we were getting good hotels like Luxor/Wynn for over 800 a night! So, we were forced to book in a cheaper hotel, but we sure were not disappointed with the hotel or the service. This one named Palace Station is just abt a mile away from the strip.

    1. Be prepared to walk a lot and cover the whole strip for each of the hotels is worth visiting. If you are a freako like me, you'd not miss the New York New York roller coaster or the Stratosphere Freefall!

    2. Try any of the lunch buffets and you're sure to like 'em. We had the buffet at Sahara and also the ones at the hotel we stayed at...I enjoyed both.

    3. Gamble in the casinos if you like doing that...I know a lot of friends who just love it...though not a great fan of it, I defly like playing the Blackjack. I did not play the last time we went, but if we happen to go again, I surely want to try once at the table. I am bored of playing in my cellphone!!

    4. Try going atleast to one of the shows like Cirque Du Soleil, David Copperfield Celine Dion show, etc.

    Lots of more fun stuff to do once you arrive there...I am sure each of us could give a new idea, for Vegas is never short of ideas for fun!

    Hope this helps

    -Shal
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2006
  8. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Grand Canyon

    Dear Hoep Floats,

    Since Shal already covered LV, I will cover GC. Try southwest airlines to Vegas from the bay area. They usually have good deals. Regarding GC, It is a 4 hour drive from Vegas. You can stay in Williams, AZ. They have a lot of Hotels and it is about 40 minutes drive to the entrance of the South Rim.
    There are a few lodges in the park itself, but you must book well in advance. Sunrise is possible if you stay in the park lodges. But don't miss the sunset. it is worth while to stay overnight.

    4 days is enough to cover both places. Here is a link for you to get more info about GC:

    http://www.thecanyon.com/

    Vandhana
     
  9. Ami

    Ami Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Shal,

    Let me know whether visiting Canada during August is a better idea or not??

    Thanks.
     
  10. Shal

    Shal Senior IL'ite

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    Canada...no idea, but Vancouver, CA...yes!

    Dear Ami,

    As such I do not know how Canada in general would be during the month of August because each of its counties and cities is pretty varied w.r.t the weather and climate conditions. However, I looked up on answers.com for climate conditions in Vancouver during August and it looks like it may just be the best time to visit during this month, for after mid-september, it starts getting colder.

    Also, while doing this little research, I discovered that 'Vancouver consistently ranks in the top five in worldwide rankings of quality of life. Most recently, the city ranked first (2002 and 2005) in a worldwide quality of life survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.' (Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/vancouver-british-columbia)

    Hope this helps.

    Love
    Shal
     

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