Welcome back to this 2 part series of Vancouver. Now you have seen what there is to offer in the downtown area, it is time to spread your wings and go a little further. If you haven’t visited downtown yet and you would like to, head over to the Vancouver Guide: Part 1 – Downtown. The public transport system is a great way to travel around the city. Translink operate bus and automatic trains to the majority of Vancouver’s surrounds. A day pass will cost $9.75 and a journey on a bus, $2.75.
North Shore Vancouver.
The number one attraction in Vancouver would be the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It is located in the Capilano forest, a 15 minute journey from downtown. If you don’t have your own transport, the Capilano park offer a free bus to transports you to and from. You can also get a free commentary along the way. The ticket costs $37.95 for an adult with the opening times varying throughout the year. Check out the website for current hours. The park stays open later during the summer months but will always open at 9AM.
If you don’t want to fork out the $40 buck entry fee, you can always visit Lynn Valley. This is a free park and will only cost you a bus fare there. Lynn Valley has its own suspension bridge be it a smaller version of Capilano but none the less. Visit the information centres and hike the numerous trails. They range from 20 minutes to a few hours.
A little further around is Deep Cove. A natural harbour which makes you forget you are near a big city. Why not hire a kayak and paddle the still waters of the cove. It is about 45 minutes from the city centre by bus. There are a few shops there with a donut place to die for.
Lonsdale Market is a short ‘Seabus’ ride from down town. This is a smaller version of Granville Island but is located in one big building. You can find hand crafted gifts, plenty of food options, the odd fruit n veg shop and a micro brewery.
The three mountains.
Vancouver is lucky to be one of the only cities in the world to have three close ski resorts, all located within 40 minutes of the city. You can work during the day and head up the mountain during the evening. All three mountains have a winter and a summer season.
Let’s start off with the closest one, Grouse Mountain. A perfect place for skiing during winter and hike in the summer. Try your luck at the infamous ‘Grouse Grind’. Scale the mountain from bottom to top and try and beat the record. Currently set at 25 minutes, it is a tough time to beat. Most people do it in about an hour. With views overlooking the city all year round, it is a great place to have dinner at the Altitude restaurant. Skiing for a day will cost about $100 including a ski pass and ski rentals.
Cypress Mountain is the largest of the three closest mountains. With 53 runs to choose from and an abundance of Nordic skiing and snow shoeing tracks, Cypress Mountain can provide you with a day full of excitement. Unfortunately there is no public transport to the mountain however you can catch the express bus to the mountain for $23 return. A day at the mountain will cost you about $100. Throughout the summer months, you can challenge yourself on the many hiking trails.
Mount Seymour is located about 40 minutes away from down town. A shuttle bus will get you to the mountain for $8 each way. It leaves from Lonsdale quay at 10.35 and 1.35 each day. Whilst you are there, you have over 40 ski trails to choose from with some off piste options too. This could be a good option for people who are learning or want to improve as 80% of the park is dedicate to novice and intermediate skiiers.
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens is located 20 minutes from the city centre. $8 in winter, $11 in summer. Opening times vary throughout the year but it is mainly open from 10am-4pm. During the lead up to Christmas, the gardens stay open until late and have a light display of over a million bulbs.
If you are looking for some cheap bargains, head out to the Macarthur Glen outlet mall. It is 20 minutes on the sky train. Hop on the Canada line with the final destination of the airport. The stop you need to disembark is Templeton. Buy 2 single tickets in the city centre as the return trip will cost you $5 more if you buy at Templeton station.
The Museum of Anthropology is about the study of humanity. The Vancouver MoA focuses on the First Nation people of BC. You can find examples of art, totem poles, masks and dug out canoes. Catch the bus out to UBC and walk through the campus to reach the museum. It costs $16.75 to enter and is opened 10- 5pm through Wed – Sun, 10-9pm on Tuesdays and is closed on Mondays.
The H.R Macmillian Space Centre is open 10-3pm weekdays and 10-5pm on weekends and holidays. A daily admission costs $18. For something different to do on Saturday nights, why not visit their observatory or see a starry show. Entry is by donation. The observatory is open from 8pm-12am and has the 2 shows at 7.30 and 9pm.
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