Vancouver BC, where to stay?
August 17, 2018 3:37 PM   Subscribe

We are 2 adults and a 9 year old. We will be driving to Vancouver. Where should we stay? What should we do?
posted by k8t to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It sort of depends what you want to do, but the most common family-friendly destination is the Aquarium in Stanley Park. After that it's Telus Science World just off of Main Street. Taking the gondola up Grouse Mountain is also a pretty common thing to do.

I'd say you might want to think about staying in North Vancouver, since you can take the Seabus (a fun trip if you've never done it) to downtown Vancouver, and then another city bus over to Stanley Park. And you'd be closer to Grouse and the Capilano Canyon. There's a direct Skytrain line to Science World from the Seabus terminal as well.

I'm not really sure what your budget is, but if you want to stay in downtown Vancouver I'd suggest the Marriott Pinnacle (great breakfast buffet). Another idea is the Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel, which has rooms with kitchens.

Another nice place to stay would be somewhere along Denman. It's close to downtown and to Stanley Park, and there is a great local vibe with restaurants and supermarkets.
posted by JamesBay at 3:52 PM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by miles1972 at 5:13 PM on August 17, 2018

Rent a couple of kayaks in Deep Cove and paddle up the Indian Arm. (avoid the weekend crowds)
Lynn Canyon has a free suspension bridge and nicer, less touristy trails and swimming holes (vs Capilano)
If you're on a budget, you can drive to the top of Mt Seymour or Cypress for the hiking without the $56 gondola ticket. You miss the bears and the chainsaw artist, but the hiking is just as nice. The black flies are equally unpleasant on all three mountains. There's an easy hike on Mt Seymour that's 9 yr old suitable (Dog Mountain, right off the parking lot). Ends in a nice city view overlook, very busy because it's the easiest hike around.
If you're not on so much of a budget, the Sea to Sky gondola on the way to Squamish is arguably a better gondola ride. No city view, nicer ocean / mountain view.
If you're here for a longish time, take a detour to Whistler and go up the Blackcomb ski lift and play on the glacier.
Richmond Night Market is a fun way to wander through crowds eat great weird food you've never heard of, and pretend you're in Hong Kong.
Head down to White Rock if you want to spend a day at the beach.
posted by cfraenkel at 5:25 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

My suggestion for staying is the Sylvia Hotel off Denman close to the beach and the park. Easy parking and close enough to everything to walk to or take transit. Also dog friendly. Has a low key bar that parents could easily get away for a drink at the end of the day. Live music occasionally, but low key lounge styles.

From there, things to do with a 9 year old. Museum of Anthropology. Watch the sunset at Spanish Banks. Eat Ice cream from Ernest. Eat crazy frozen yogurt thing at On Yogurt. Rent bikes ride the sea wall around the park and stop at third beach for a picnic. Sunday kids activities at the art gallery. Go to dinner at Nook. Go to lunch / dinner at Hapa Izakaya. Look at the steam clock and whisper to your partner that it's electric. Take the aqua bus to Granville island and go to Paper-Ya and the Kids market. Take the sky train to Richmond and visit Daiso and get school supplies and visit a food court. Go for a nice coffee and nibbles at Green Horn. Go to Gastown to Salmagundy and go downstairs. Drive to Squamish take the gondola. Drive to Tswassen go to the water park. Eat ramen.
posted by jade east at 5:25 PM on August 17, 2018 [8 favorites]

The Museum of Anthropology is jaw-dropping for adults and kids alike.
posted by unknowncommand at 5:32 PM on August 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I really liked the Maritime Museum. The ship the St. Roch is in the museum, and you can walk around on it. It was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner and the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage west to east. They carried sled dogs on it for traveling when the ship was stuck in the ice. Whether it’s a good choice for you depends on your nine year old. I think some would love it and some wouldn’t.
posted by FencingGal at 6:01 PM on August 17, 2018

Also close to the excellent Museum of Anthropology is the lesser known Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which I always feel compelled to recommend.
posted by kmkrebs at 7:22 PM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

...and if you're looking for fantastic backdrops for photos of your visit, the yearly Vancouver Mural Festival finished up last weekend, so we have 20+ new murals around the city. Find a map here.
posted by kmkrebs at 8:06 PM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Absolutely Museum of Anthropology. I could have spent days in that place.
posted by Mizu at 8:43 PM on August 17, 2018

For your grown-up dinner out, we recently had an excellent and not crazy expensive meal at Mak N Ming.
posted by praemunire at 10:09 PM on August 17, 2018

We love Times Square Suites right at Robson and Denman (larger suites have separate rooms and kitchens). The UBC gardens are pretty cool. If you like birds and tropical plants, the Bloedel conservatory is quite nifty.

If you like chocolate, Gem and/or Beta 5.
posted by Gorgik at 11:49 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Richmond Night Market isn't exactly like Hong Kong -- it's one of the most Canadian things you can go and visit when you're in Vancouver (Chinese-Canadians built the railroads that connected the country 150 years ago). Great food.

White Rock is also kind of a dump and not worth driving to (been going there since the 1970s to visit relatives). Spanish Banks is better, and it's on the way to the Museum of Anthropology.
posted by JamesBay at 10:06 AM on August 18, 2018

There are legitimate bed and breakfasts in kitsilano that are nice and don't break the back. Broaway is a major transit arterial with Express stops at major intersections.
posted by porpoise at 12:58 PM on August 18, 2018

I'd back JamesBay's suggestions for what to do during the day.
posted by Canageek at 1:09 PM on August 18, 2018

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