Visiting Vancouver/Victoria

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by MazdaUK, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    We've got a 2-week holiday booked split between Vancouver and Victoria. Can anyone help with suggestions for:

    Family dining - DS 12 and 6, we don't do Thai, sushi, Chinese or Indian (well DH does but not the rest of us!) but love most other sorts of food. Best place in Victoria (near BC Museum) and Stanley Park?

    Camera tips: if I fill my memory card where's the most reliable place to get a disc done, or should I just buy extra memory cards before I go?

    Must do stuff: I've got a list of things as long as your arm (especially some really interesting museums) but what things can we do that we can't do anywhere else that will really make the boys understand Canada?

    Thanks for all your tips! What would we do without DIS? :blush:
     
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  3. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

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    I'm in Victoria. Best family place near the RBC museum is the Old Spaghetti Factory. Its just across the street. Very reasonably priced, and funky inside for kids. My kids love it.

    Right near the RBC Museum is our newest attraction: BC Experience. I haven't been to it yet, but I've heard good things about it.

    Hello fellow Disney lover! Any other questions?
     
  4. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    I think I want to live there and I haven't even visited yet!

    We're staying at the Delta Pointe (is that right? Its the opposite side of the harbour anyway) - is there free parking nearby? I understand hotel parking is $14 per night :earseek:

    And is there a grocery store or similar so I can buy cookies, milk etc. to keep in the room?

    (Shh! Don't tell DH, but is there a Walmart nearby, and what's the scrapbooking like in that store?)

    We're planning on going to part of the Dragon Boat festival - maybe the eye painting on the Friday. Any tips?

    And will we get sick whale watching? DS(6) gets quite sick in cars (so we're not driving to Tofino) but are the Zodiacs more airy than the bigger boats?

    Ever wish you'd never asked :rolleyes1 :blush:

    Thanks for your tips!
     
  5. Rachael Q

    Rachael Q DIS Veteran

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    You chould try a Whitespot. They are a BC institution - food is reasonable and well priced. It's mainly burgers and stuff. They are in Victoria and Vancouver Whitespot Restaurants

    Spaghetti Factory is good, again in both Victoria and Vancouver Spaghetti Factory

    If you eat fish and chips Barbs Place is great as well.

    The zodiacs are very open, but it can be quite bumpy. You are on the open ocean and the zodiacs travel at a fair speed.
     
  6. wyesguy

    wyesguy Earning My Ears

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    Hi I live in Victoria. There is a grocery store close called Thriftys about 2 minutes by car. The Walmart is about 10-15 min. north up Douglas Street they have machines at their camera department whcih you can browse your memory card and print pictures that you want or put them on a CD. If your are feeling adventerous there are two scrapbooking stores here I know of one is near Cedar Hill Cross Road and Shelbourne, the other is in the Royal Oak Shopping center on West Saanich Road, sorta on the way to Butchart Gardens which is a must see. Another restaurant with amazing views of the harbour from their decks is Wharfside Eatery. You could also go on the harbour ferry for a quick your of the harbour. For some amazing views and pictures of the city try Mount Tolmie (which is near one of the scrapbooking stores). Any other ?
     
  7. Lollipop's Mom

    Lollipop's Mom <font color=teal>Special trip with your little one

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    I am in BC too, close to Vancouver. Stanley park is nice. I would skip the Aquarium (over priced and over rated in my opinion) and take the kids on the miniature train ride. Also really neat there is a HUGE outdoor pool with 3 waterslides. It is really fun.
    Go to Granville Island for sure. We love going there. They have a huge building called the Kids Only Market and it is FULL of stuff the kids will love. Also in the main market you can get any kind of food imaginable counter service style. You can have a huge crepe with any filling you can imagine made right in front of you! Mmmmmmmmmmm!
    Its a great place to spend about 3-4 hours depending on how much looking you do. There is also a free spray park and a free waterslide there, so bring the swimsuits for the kids. Lots of yummy goodies and bakeries. You will love this place! If you are into adventure, the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Tree Top adventure are fun. I am afraid of heights so have never done it.
    We also have Science World, which from the outside resembles Spaceship Earth at Epcot. If you want to get out of the sun, it can be good for about 4 hours. Then hop boat from Science World right over to Granville Island. Its a nice little ride!
    And I also second the Old Spagetti Factory (there is one in Vancouver as well as Vic) and White Spot! There is a good White Spot right near Stanley Park that has outdoor seating, which is fun and 'touristy'.
    Have fun!
     
  8. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    We're staying at the Granville Island hotel for the last 4 days of our trip!

    Thanks for all your tips. I know they have a couple of bears on Grouse Mountain but is there anywhere else (not too far from Victoria) where we could go bear watching?

    Also, DH wants to learn how to carve a totem pole - where is the best place to see some sort of demo/have a go?
     
  9. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

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    Wow, there is someone else on this site from Victoria! Hello! Greetings!

    In Duncan, which is about a 45 minute drive from Victoria, there is a First Nations Centre which used to have Totem pole carving demonstrations. It is a very interesting place to go to, and you can also have dinner there!

    There are a few totem poles near the RBC Museum and there is a section of the museum dedicated to West Coast First Nations your family may enjoy. Moxies and Romano's Macaroni Grill are also great places for family eats. What types of things does your family want to do? Or like to do? We don't have any Disney equivalents here but our big claim to fame is the Butchart Gardens. They are a world class garden and if you've been to Canada at Epcot, Victoria Gardens is inspired by the Butchart Gardens. On Saturday nights they have the most amazing firework display! A must see....on Monday to Fridays they also have kid's shows. We love the Butchart Gardens and have season passes. I have 3 boys ages 5,7,10.

    Vancouver is a great city for families, I'm originally from there and my parents live there so we go often. A new place called Historeum is in Gastown (where coincidentally the Old Spaghetti Factory resides I hear is a wonderful place to learn more about B.C.

    Keep the questions coming...
     
  10. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

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    I used to live in Victoria and miss it horribly! Was just there last week with the kids visiting family.

    We LOVE Butterfly Gardens, you can't miss it if you're going to Buchart.

    My ds (5) also likes the Centre of the Universe, the observatory. If you're lucky you can get to move the huge telescope with a big ol' remote.

    We used to get bagels at Mount Royal Bagels on Cook St, coffee at one of the nearby cafes, and have breakfast sit overlooking the ocean on Dallas Road (park area adjacent Beacon Hill Park). Victorians love their gardens, so anything garden-y is representative, though maybe not so much all Canadian--that part of the country has really mild weather.

    Ocean Pointe has a good wine shop with lots of BC vintages.

    ALso love Vancouver, but mostly for the ethnic food, which isn't your bag.

    Also recommend White Spot as a family place. OSF is not my cup of tea.

    Oh, tea! You must do tea in Victoria! The Empress is expensive but the gold standard. My fav is tea on the lawn at Point Ellice House, an historic home on the river. It's actually quite close to Ocean Pointe. (Which is lovely. Treat yourself to something at the Spa.)

    Have fun--I'm jealous!
     
  11. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    Tell me more about the kids shows! I looked at the Saturday ones but I thought they would go on a bit late for DS(6) - we didn't manage to do Spectro in WDW and one evening he started falling asleep into his fries at 8.30, so I'm reluctant to get us into something where (I imagine) it will be difficult to leave.

    We're looking forward to the culture and nature in Canada - real rather than manufactured (as WDW!). I've got a list of museums, and hav even downloaded som activity sheets for the boys to do on the plane to get them into it. I do sort of want to do whale watching but I'm worried about the prospect of motion sickness - equally I'm worried about missing out! Are there places we can see them from the shore? We want to go to Botanical Beach where there are all the rockpools but I'm a bit worried about freak waves - are there good beaches where I can let them paddle?
     
  12. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

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    Botanical Beach is amazing for seeing creatures and tide pools. Be sure to check the tide tables, though, and go at lowest tide. (Just to see more. I think the danger is only when the tide is higher, but can't say I've researched it.) The water isn't as warm as it is elsewhere, none of those long shallow spots that allow the water to warm in the sun. If a beach is important, drive an hour or two to Parksville, great little resort with a wonderful beach and lots of family stuff. The beaches in Victoria are more for strolling in my opinion. People do swim, kids especially, but I'd go to Parksville if you really want to get wet. In Victoria the most popular family beach is Willows Beach.

    For the whole rainforest experience, go to Cathedral Grove, also north of Victoria. It is wonderful, awe-inspiring...they did have a big blow-down a few years ago, I haven't been back, but I think it would still be lovely. Pacific Rim National Park is really something too, but it's quite a drive from Victoria, and some pretty scary bits on the highway.


    Can't think of anything else at the moment, but it really is a wonderful place. We first visited in 1994 and in 1995 we moved there! Can't believe I was stupid enough to leave...
     
  13. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

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    The kid's shows at Butchart are quite fun. Gotta Getta Gimmick is the name of the group that puts on the shows Monday through Friday and they start at 3:00 and 4:00. They have two different shows, this year I think they are doing Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins. I'm not sure though, so don't quote me! Any show they do though is really great!
     
  14. Steamboat Bill

    Steamboat Bill Mouseketeer

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    Take a day trip to Whistler...1.5 hours North of Vancouver....and lots of fun
     
  15. disneyfreak75

    disneyfreak75 Mouseketeer

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    White Rock and Steveston (Richmond) are lovely places to visit too for a nice relaxing trip and great fish and chips.

    You can go whale watching in Steveston, Granville Island and Victoria. i've heard that there is a pod of whales in steveston right now and they are awaiting another pod for mating.
     
  16. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    Whereabouts is Steveston? And do you think sickness is likely to be an issue whalewatching?
     
  17. hollyberry16

    hollyberry16 Earning My Ears

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    I grew up in Victoria and now I spend the summers here, home from university in Edmonton. Here's my take...

    - The Warfside Eatery - I saw someone mention it, it's great but it's VERY expensive.
    - My vote for family is - Pagliacci's (broad st.) & John's Place is really good too. They are independent restaurants whereas White Spot & Spagetti Factory are chains (although still very tasty!)
    - I wouldn't go in a Zodiac for Whale Watching, especially with a little kid who get's seasick. I went, I felt like I was going to fly out of the boat - not a good feeling! But...they have other boats, which are much sturdier, and you see just as many whales. but it may be more expensive (75$?)
    - Beacon Hill Park has a big free waterpark for kids to play in...it's great! I LOVE it. well...loved it, when I was younger. Really fun.
    - If you are wine people, the Victoria Winery on the way to Bucharts is quite nice, but a bit boring for kids.
    - DO NOT do Empress tea unless you have money to burn. It's SO not worth it. There are so many other tea houses in the city, and so many of them have really good tasty sandwiches, and tea, and you get way more for your money....I enjoy the Blethering Place in Oak Bay - but there are literally tons downtown, nearly every block there's another one...don't get suckered into the Empress.
    - You might even see whales on the ferry (rare, but it happens)
    - Botanical Beach is awesome! Whitty's Lagoon, is also lovely (metchosin); the water goes out really far, and is shallow...really nice (but bring sandles, so your feet don't get cut)
    - OOH, I LOVE granville Island, and Steveston...oh and shopping on Robson...but it's not really 'kid friendly'
     
  18. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

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    Pagliacci's is one of my favorite restaurants, but depending on your kids, might not be that great. Its very tiny, always crowded and very noisy. The ambiance is super, the food is great, but depending on the kind of foods your kids eat, they might not like it. Call ahead and ask about kid's menus, I don't know if they have any as I haven't taken my kids there yet. 3 boys (11,7,5).

    There are so many things to do here, its really pick and choose what suits your family best! Its a gorgeous city, world class, small and friendly, clean and neat!

    My kids also love Miniature world! Go figure!
     
  19. disneyfreak75

    disneyfreak75 Mouseketeer

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    Steveston is in Richmond, not too far from the airport. it is a nice quaint little place to visit for some good ice cream and Fish and chips! The whale watching there does offer another boat that isn't a Zodiac. Maybe get some of those sea sickness patches as i hear they work well.
     
  20. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    Coming from the UK we won't bother with cream tea as we can have one here any time! Thanks for the good advice about zodiacs. Pagliacci's looks a goer (is it true they hand out wine as you line up?). Someone somewhere recommended a Greek restaurant in Vancouver but I can't remember the name of it. Can anyone help?

    I'm also stressing about having to fly for 10 hours with no books, gadgets or anything thanks to b****y terrorists. Will we be able to take them onboard on the way back, does anyone know?
     
  21. hollyberry16

    hollyberry16 Earning My Ears

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    WHAT?! you're not allowed books on the plane now!??
    I fly within canada about 3 times a year, and within Canada it's not too bad - I flew to Florida last year and going through security on the Canada side isn't too bad. They are so nice, and they don't make you take off your shoes. Just make sure you have your cameras/laptops ready for them to swab, they are really nice about it.

    Pagliaccis didn't serve free wine when I went....last summer, but that could have been the time or something.

    I'm not a big greek food person, by my friend likes Eugene's - also on Broad st.
     

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