What to do in Vancouver?
May 5, 2008 1:23 PM   Subscribe

What do we absolutely have to see/do in Vancouver, Canada while we are there?

My friends and I are going on a cruise in two days to Vancouver. We are going to be there for a day, spending the night, then leaving on a flight home the following day.

So with our limited time there, what do we absolutely have to see/do?

We like to drink, go dancing, karaoke, etc.. things young adults usually do.

PS: We come from California ;)
posted by Schuby to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (20 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Eat sushi.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 1:31 PM on May 5, 2008

Go to Robson and Thurlow where there's 2 Starbucks and 2 other cofeeshops on the four corners of the intersection. Just to see too much coffee in one spot. The rest of Robson is a nice shopping area too. Other than that, go to Grouse perhaps. Apparently the snowshoeing trails are still open. No skiing though.
posted by GuyZero at 1:38 PM on May 5, 2008

Granville Island! And the microbrewery there.
posted by meerkatty at 1:41 PM on May 5, 2008

I was going to make a long list, but realized you should just read this.

Also, for drinking and dancing checkout bars downtown on Granville St, and in Gastown.

Lots of places to shop on Robson Street.

Take the Skytrain.
posted by pickingoutathermos at 1:41 PM on May 5, 2008

Stanley Park is always suggested to tourists, for a reason... It's just something you have to do.
posted by cgg at 1:42 PM on May 5, 2008

we're due for a meetup; there hasn't been one since January...
posted by heeeraldo at 1:45 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Uhhh, not to snark, but what kind of suggestion is go see two Starbucks kitty corner from each other? Maybe not the best use of limited time.

If the weather is nice rent bikes by Stanley Park and ride the seawall. Ride the Seabus over to the North Shore, have a drink at the market and come back, mostly just for the views. Rent a car and drive up Cypress. Wander Granville Island.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:45 PM on May 5, 2008

ooh, go to karaoke at Checkers at Davie and Denmen. monday, wednesdays fridays and saturdays.
Very entertaining. I used to be a regular on wednesdays.

If you are adventurous try Guu on Robson and Bidwell (there's more than one location). its a very good japanese bar/small plates of weird food place.
posted by captaincrouton at 1:46 PM on May 5, 2008

Stanley Park is always suggested to tourists, for a reason... It's just something you have to do.

Additionally, the Vancouver Aquarium is in Stanley Park and it's freakin' awesome.
posted by Nelsormensch at 1:47 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Then stumble to the beach at stanley park and sample some of vancouver's finest greenery to the twinkling lights and cool breeze.
posted by captaincrouton at 1:47 PM on May 5, 2008

Seconding the aquarium. You can see these adorable otters close up. The whales and the like are pretty cool, but OMG!1!1! the otters!
posted by maudlin at 2:19 PM on May 5, 2008

If you have time, you can take a Ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. The scenery is really beautiful. If you have more time, drive up the sunshine coast for however far you feel like it. Stop and look at things.

There are some pretty good restaurants in town. Be adventurous. But stay out of alleys in Gastown.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:39 PM on May 5, 2008

A sunset drink at the Bayside (next to checkers mentioned above).
Shoot I'll just ripoff captincrouton completely and second Guu and add Hapa Izakaya up the street as a good place to drink cold Saki and eat things without shoes on.

In Gastown behind the Irish Heather is Shabine(sp?) a scotch bar that's cool if you like that stuff.
Downstairs at Lucy May Browns used to be a great place to tie one on not sure if it's still cool.
The Morrissey on Granville is a good place to drink beer.

As far as dancing goes we've decided as a city that Condos are better than nightclubs.

Try Shine in Gastown or see if the Commodore ballroom has a show on when you're in town.
posted by jade east at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2008

Taking the Seabus to North Van to Londsdale Quay is pretty fun.

Since your time is limited, you may wish to walk down Robson Street (some nice shops, plenty of places to eat, drink coffee). There's a great Hong Kong-style Chinese food cafeteria on lower Robson called Hon's. Above it is a great Korean BBQ place. It's on the way to (walking) or from (walking) Stanley Park.


If you can figure out how to get there, Yaletown is pretty cool, far cooler than Robson. It's also on the way to Granville Island, which, although a little run down, is still a fantastic place to visit. Be sure to check out Emily Carr College.

The Penthouse Stripclub is also surprisingly entertaining and generally couples-oriented.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:24 PM on May 5, 2008

Celebrate the differences! It looks like you're from LA so you don't need to see expensive cafes. Robson St is the main downtown shopping district but it is nothing special; nothing really unique about it. Granville St downtown has most of the nightclubs and you could find one to your tastes if that's your thing, but nothing that you couldn't get in LA. I haven't seen the aquarium in Vancouver yet but I've seen the one in Monterey, and from what they tell me Monterey's is better. You should find stuff that is distinctly Vancouver, right?

Two streets to explore: Commercial Drive (between 1st and Venables) and Main St (between 7th and 30th). Both are a little off the tourist track, Main moreso than Commercial. Both very colourful with lots of cool stores and great places to eat. Broadly speaking, Commercial=hippies and Main=hipsters, though both are trending upscale lately. Main has some great places to buy clothes. A lot of local designers have shops there.

For sure spend time in Stanley Park. You can go hike in the forest and pretend you're in the wilderness. Renting bikes and biking the seaside trail is a fantastic idea too. You can ride around the waterfront for more than an hour, easily, through a mostly unbroken string of parkland. Stop and hang out on beaches, enjoy the views, toss a frisbee around, watch the sun set.

If this is a "Canada Trip" for you -- i have it on good authority that there is a beaver or two living in the pond near Jericho Beach (which is a lovely beach by the way). I have a friend here from the UK who was happy to see it. It was kind of part of the Canada experience. He wants to see a moose, too, but we don't have any of them. Heh.

Nightlife-wise you can stick to the Granville strip for the typical club experience; Gastown has some nice places too though, more upscale bars and such, and it borders a really rough gritty area which may or may not be to your tastes (incidentally if you like dive bars, we got 'em).

There are a few live music venues that sometimes have early shows and regular club nights afterwards. Two I can think of are The Plaza Club and The Bourbon. That would be a fun night. There are also lots of little places to check out, if you like live music post more info in the thread (what kind of music, what days you'll be here) and maybe we can find a good show for you to check out. Have fun.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:10 PM on May 5, 2008

I went to Bard on the Beach when I was there...bought a ticket off someone for Hamlet. It was fantastic. OK, so there was a bit of ambient traffic noise that filtered through the tent, but it was very intimate and fun. Afterward, we had a question/answer session with the actors and the stage director. Not certain if that is a regular feature or I just lucked out. It was rather spur of the moment.
Its fun, that is, if you like theatre and Shakespeare. You might want to buy a ticket ahead of time, though, so you know what it is you are going to see.
posted by sandraregina at 4:38 PM on May 5, 2008

The First Nations Collections at the museum. Must See, if you've even slight interest in that kind of thing. Some wonderful and very beautiful things there.
posted by anadem at 5:27 PM on May 5, 2008

Urban sights in Vancouver are, objectively, pretty lame compared to other cities. You should focus on the real beauty i.e. the nature. In addition to what's been mentioned, see also Lynn Canyon, Lighthouse Park, the Grouse Grind (and beer at the top), Iona Beach, Wreck Beach.
posted by randomstriker at 7:59 PM on May 5, 2008

My ex-wife and I used to cap off our evenings with a drive down Cordova street to gawk at all the prostitutes.
posted by Tube at 8:54 PM on May 5, 2008

what kind of suggestion is go see two Starbucks kitty corner from each other? Maybe not the best use of limited time.

True -- but it's remarkable, and right there on Robsonstrasse -- can't miss it.
posted by Rash at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2008

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