Posted July 16th, 2007, 11:19 PM
The RCCL shops dock at Ballantyne Pier instead of Canada Place. It is located about a mile further inside the harbor and is in an industrial area - not walking distance to anything - but a short cab ride to Vancouver's downtown core.
I would book a hotel in Vancovuer for your extra time as there is lots to see & do in Vancouver and to get to Victoria is either a 1.5 hour ferry ride or an expensive harbor to harbor flight which takes about 30 minutes. The time is actual travel time & does not include any boarding or line up time.
Below are some of the fun things to do right in Vancouver
My favorite most do attractions are
1) Grouse Mountain – www.grousemountain.com
– this is a wonderful scenic mountain only about 15 mins from downtown Vancouver. Ride the airtram to the top for lots of fun activities that include a loggers show, birds of prey show, 2 movies (1 about the Vancouver area and 1 about the 2 Grizzly Bears who make their home on Grouse Mtn) ride a chair lift and visit with 2 live Grizzly Bears. Enjoy a meal in any of the restaurants. Caveat only spend the money to go up on a clear day.
2) Capilano Suspension Bridge – www.capbridge.com
– this is Vancouver’s oldest tourist attraction and I still enjoy visiting it! Located on Capilano Road just before you reach the Grouse Mountain parking lot. Walk across a suspension Bridge over the Capilano Gorge, wonder the trails thru the rain forest, walk thru the treetops on the new Tree Top Adventure, visit the trading post for a huge selection of souvenirs, watch native weavers and/or carvers at work.
3) Capilano Fish Hatchery is also located on Capilano Road and is a great place to view salmon jumping up the fish ladders to get around the Cleveland Dam.
4) Stanley Park – www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/stanley/
- is the crown jewel of Vancouver's parks. As one of North America's largest urban parks, covering over a 1000 acres and offering an abundance of activities. Enjoy the totem pole collection at Brockton Point, hiking trails, beaches, water parks for the kids (young & old), rose gardens, miniature train, petting zoo, aquarium – www.vanaqua.org
– hollow tree, many view points, and several restaurants.
5) Gas Town – the location where Vancouver originated. The name is derived from a very colorful character named Gassy Jack you was one of the first settlers in the area and a salon keeper – while in Gas Town don’t miss your photo op with the statue of Gassy Jack and by the Steam Clock.
6) At the start of Gas Town is the Harbor Centre Tower www.vancouverlookout.com
a great spot to start your tour of Vancouver with a birds eye view of the city. Either take the elevator up to the lookout level or go to the top and enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant.
7) China Town is only about 6 blocks over from Gas Town and is the largest China Town north of San Francisco. While in China Town enjoy a visit to the Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Gardens www.classicalchinesegarden.com
and also make sure you visit the world’s thinnest building it is only 6’ wide!
8) Granville Island – www.granvilleisland.com
– is a huge public market area which not only sells fruit & veggies but you can also buy frozen fish to be shipped to your home. May artists make this their home and you can watch them at work in their studios – making this a great place to buy unique souvenirs. The Granville Island Brewery is also located here and you can stop in for a free tour & tastes. There are theatres for live performances and many fine restaurants. A fun way to get to Granville Island is via the Aquabus – www.theaquabus.com
9) Burnaby Village Museum – www.city.burnaby.bc.ca
– is an open air museum with over 30 restored homes, shops, school, church and a 1912 carousel situated on 10 acres
10) Gulf of Georgia Cannery – www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.com
– is a restored fishing cannery located in the historic fishing village of Steveston (part of Richmond). Here you see exhibits that showcase the history of the fishing industry in British Columbia. Once finished in the museum it is great fun to walk along the fishing docks and see the fishing boats which are selling their catch. There are also some excellent restaurants located here.
11) The Vancouver Maritime Museum located on the shore of English Bay is fun for the whole family with lots of hands on exhibits for the kid in all of us. Here to you will find the ship St Roch which the RCMP sailed from Vancouver to Halifax via the Northwest Passage and then completed the return journey in 1944. You actually get to tour this ship. www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com
12) Queen Elizabeth Park – www.greatervancouverparks.com/QEPark01.htm
-The 130 acre (52 hectare) park is one of the most beautifully maintained public parks in the world. Second only to Stanley Park in annual visitations, it receives nearly 6 million people a year who marvel at its superior standard of garden plantings.
The park was originally quarried for its rock which served to build Vancouver's first roadways. In 1929 the Board proceeded to acquire the property which had become an abandoned eyesore but still served as the site for two holding reservoirs for the City's drinking water. Dedicated as a park by King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth (the present Queen's mother) on their much lauded visit to Vancouver in 1939.
13) Fort Langley is the restored wooden fort built by the Hudson’s Bay Company as a trading post. It is the origin of British Columbia and was the first capital. This Fort is operated by the Federal Parks Board.
14) If you are a wine lover you might want to rent a car and spend a day visiting a few of the many excellent wineries located in the Fraser Valley only about a 1 hour drive from your hotel. Almost all of the wineries offer free tastes & tours.